Rendezvous with Mass Extinction?March 2nd, 2012 bio1
Last week I lectured in Connecticut and Washington DC; in Bridgeport Naturopathic Medical School and George Washington University, for their fourth year premed students. We had a blast! Last week I promised we will look further at Phyto Power, but lets look first at why we need it, which was what the lectures were all about. Here are a few points I would like to share with you.
In our lecture, we posited and then discussed two main ideas. One is that we are headed toward the next mass extinction within the biosphere. As many of you know, I call this phenomenon the de-evolution of the planet. And the second is, if we can collectivity, on a global-local level, focus on getting our global-local food system right—we not only can avert this pending doom, but create a world of abundance.
Important resources for you and your patients to read are The Sixth Extinction by Richard Leakey (1995); The Flooded Earth by Peter Ward (2010); Sustaining Life by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein (2008); Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel (2009); and Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives by Carolyn Steele (2008). Choose one or two books, have them in your waiting room. They are worth the investement of resources and time.
The facts are right before us. In today’s world there are now over one billion people who are starving, and at the same time over one billion people who are overweight or obese. We have a pandemic of chronic degenerative illnesses on a worldwide scale increasing affecting all ages—as a species Homo sapiens are in trouble. Chronic illness is a hallmark of a species in decline. Of course, as doctors, you do know this fact. So lets look further:
We are not alone. One quarter of amphibian, reptiles and mammals must now be put on the endangered list. Richard Leakey, the world famous Paleoanthropologist, says that between 17,000 and 100,000 animals disappear from the face of the earth every year! If this rate continues within the next 100 years we will have one-half the diversity of life on planet earth left. He maintains we are headed for the sixth mass extinction on our planet and this one is caused by us.
Peter Ward, Astrobiologist and Paleontologist, tells us that in all previous mass extinctions in deep time, the last one being the K-T Extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs and many other creatures 65 million years ago, there were high levels of green house gasses (particularly CO2) and an accelerating loss in biodiversity—the very conditions we are seeing now.
NASA’s own measurement of atmospheric CO2 shows it to be at 350 ppm. It is accumulating at an exponential rate and if this continues within the next 100 to 300 years we will reach levels of 1000 ppm—all the polar ice caps will have melted and water levels of the oceans will have risen by 250 feet.
There are now over 450 dead zones in the ocean. In our own Gulf of Mexico there is a dead zone the size of the State of New Jersey where only jelly fish, algae, bacteria and slime can grow. As I have said many times before, ½ of the grasslands, wetlands, tropical forests, and 1/3 of the coral reefs (the rain forests of the ocean) are gone—habitats are vanishing, ecosystems are collapsing.
The lungs of the earth—our green forests—are daily being decimated. Most of the cellulose in trees and green plants comes from heavy carbon and oxygen molecules taken out of the air during their photosynthesis and deposited into their body mass, in exchange they exhale pure oxygen back into the atmosphere for us to breathe. When we burn a log, the carbon and oxygen go back to the air as CO2 and we get the heat of the fire, which was the original captured energy from the Sun. Life is amazing isn’t it?
So this is the problem before us. Next week, we will get into the solution—the changing our food system, which our new product Phyto Power is a part of that solution. Our company believes that activism is not a separate part of daily life, quite the opposite, it is embedded (to use Dohrea’s words) in the very nature of what we do and offer.
Phyto Power: the ingredients and the benefits
The ingredients: As you can see from the label there are three species of rose hips, four species of dandelions and 4 species of blueberry. More specifically regarding the rose hips they are Rosa acicularis, Rosa nutkana and Rosa woodsii. This includes the fruit pulp and the seeds. With the dandelion the species are Taraxacum offincinale, Taraxacum ceratophorum, Taraxacum lyratum and Taraxacum phymatocarpum. This includes 90% aerial parts, 10% roots and the flower. And, with the blueberry Vaccinium ovalifolium, Vaccinium alaskensis, Vaccinium uliginosum alpinum and Vaccinium uliginosum mycrophyllum. This includes > 95% fruit w/w and < 5% leaves and stems w/w.
The benefits: Phyto Power is loaded with phytochemicals. From the bioflavonoids alone there is so much to say. In the preceeding six newsletters, since January 11th’s, we have focused on the features and benefits of the flavonoids. Robust consumption of the flavonoids reduces the risks of CVD, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. They are antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They work epigenetically. They protect cognitive functioning, protecting us against dementia and Alzheimeres. They protect against the diseases of aging. Cultures that consume robust amounts of flavonoids and phytochemicals in the diet are cultures with robust longevity for its citizens as witnessed in the Blue Zones. Next week we will dig deeper into the features and benefits of Phyto Power.
The Last Quiz Answer:
This beautiful green lizard I think is of the family Lacerta viridis. Although I am not totally sure. Always open for your corrections.
These are a medium sized lacertid typically around 30 cms long although some individuals will reach 400 cms. As adults the vast majority have a base colour, as their name suggests, of green! Most males look much the same, generally being covered with fine black speckles although some can show almost no black at all. The head is sometimes plain green and sometimes the top is speckled with yellow. During the breeding season the males often (but not invariably) display prominent blue cheeks and throats. Occasionally this appears throughout the year albeit to a lesser extent. Females can also range from plain green to green with a range of patterns and markings in black. They are seldom speckled, the marking when present being more likely to be pronounced blotches, sometimes so extensive as to form complex reticulation. Some animals retain two, or even four white lines into adulthood. Some females also have a blue throat and cheeks although this is not as pronounced as in the males. As hatchlings there is little or no green present and two or four pale lines might be present.