In this episode of the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast, John interviews Zach Bush MD, an educator and a triple board-certified physician who specializes in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care. Zach brings his understanding of the systemic challenges in pharmaceuticals and farming to non-profits such as Farmer’s Footprint and Non-Toxic Neighborhoods, where he works to create collaborative communities to solve these human and environmental problems. In this episode, John and Zach discuss the challenging problem of glyphosate. Zach describes the research showing the ramifications of this phosphonate compound and provides clear insights into the science of the problem before returning to an optimistic vision of regenerative agriculture as a solution.
Glyphosate/Roundup (around 00:02)
With Zach’s background in chemotherapy and cancer research, he was on the front lines in 2005 when it was discovered that the gut microbiome, made up of fungi and bacteria, has a significant impact on whether and how cancer affects people. Joining other researchers, he began to learn the importance of supporting beneficial fungi and bacteria and realized that glyphosate damages the microbiome. Zach explains that glyphosate was originally deemed safe due to the fact that it blocked the shikimate pathway, which does not exist in humans or animals. However, in time it was discovered that glyphosate limits access to some essential amino acids needed by humans for microbiome resilience. Zach says that glyphosate targets protein structures in human cells which can lead to a leak in the gut lining, furthering chronic inflammation. He says that some widespread chronic diseases, such as asthma, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, can be traced to gut disruption and inflammation linked to glyphosate use.