Industrialized Agriculture drives De-evolution

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

As we gander out onto the savannahs of Africa, to the migrating herds of zebras, contemplating on the question—What makes food therapeutic?—we know the answer for the zebra's food comes from high quality and high quantity grasslands.  Unfortunately, for ruminants, one-half of planet earth's grasslands have disappeared in the last 100 years.  Habitats are vanishing, ecosystems collapsing—leaving 1/4 of the world's mammals on the threatened list for extinction.

It's a bit more complex when considering what makes our food therapeutic because we are omnivores—more choices and more possible confusion.  For example, last week I mentioned the brand new study, just published, by a high profile team of Harvard scientists entitled, Red Meat Consumption and Mortility. The study concludes that eating red meat of any kind increases one's mortality.  And, it was endorsed by Dean Ornish MD in his comments regarding this research, Holy Cow!  What's Good for You is Good for our Planet.

Not everyone agrees with the conclusion drawn or the methodology used by the Harvard team.  One such individual is Deborah Gordon MD, who emailed me after reading last week's Forward Thinking, stating that many of the science writers that she follows criticize the science behind the conclusions.  Dr. Gordon makes some important points in her blog article, Harvard Missed a Big Point about Meat.

Whether you subscribe to a pure paleo diet or something more vegetarian, both sides in this discussion agree that ORGANIC is a must when talking about food.  Dr. Ornish really brings it home in his article, Holy Cow, where he makes the following points:

  • Animal agribusiness generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined.
  • It is also responsible for 37% of all the human-induced methane, which is 23 times more toxic to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide.
  • As well as generating 65% of the human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
  • Livestock use 30% of the earth's entire land surface, mostly for permanent pasture but also including 33% of global arable land to produce feed for them.
  • The clearing of forests to create new pasture is a major driver of deforestation.  70% of forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.
  • More than half of US grain and almost 40% of world grain is being fed to livestock rather than being consumed directly by humans.
  • Producing 1kg of fresh beef requires about 13 kg of grain and 30 kg of forage.  This much grain and forage requires a total of 43,000 L of water.
  • A quarter-pound burger with cheese takes 26 oz. of petroleum and leaves a 13 lb. carbon footprint.  This is equivalent to buring 7 lb. of goal.

I think we can agree that this is not a pretty picture.  But it's even worse.  Here are some slides from my talk and upcoming book, the De-Evolution. Lets look at what is occurring on our planet.

Deforestation 3De-forestation:  Above we talked about the fact that one-half of the grasslands are gone. But that's just part of the vanishing ecosystem.  One-half of the earth's wetlands have gone.  One-half of the tropical rain forests are gone—the very lungs of our earth.  One-third of the coral reefs have died—the rainforests of the oceans.  With such habitat destruction, so goes the loss of species, particularly the higher ones. One-quarter of mammals are on the threatened list, one-third of the amphibians are on the threatened list, most all of the mammals and large fish in the oceans will be gone within  50years.

CAFOsCAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations):  CAFOs are cauldrons of blood, antibiotics (70% of antibiotics produced in the US are used in the livestock industry) and grain (60% of US is fed to animals.  Feedlots produce 300 million tons of manure a year, and animal run off has caused a dead zone the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico.  A modest CAFO with 5,000 swine will deal with as much feces as a city of 20,000 people.  Except that it doesn’t have a sewage system.  The waste produced by CAFOs is solid, liquid and gas and it damages the land, water and perhaps most of all the atmosphere.  The livestock industry produces 18% of all CO2 equivalent emissions on the planet and contributes more to climate change than driving cars.
Mississippi

The mighty Mississippi River:  The Mississippi drains 40% of the United States. 40% of the continental US’s run-off comes down the mighty Mississippi and is dumped into the Gulf.  Millions of tons of fertilizer, human and animal waste, pesticides, herbicides, drugs and industrial chemicals spew constantly into the Gulf.  The second largest dead zone in the world is at the mouth of the Mississippi, expanding out into the Gulf.  As I said, it is the size of the State of New Jersey.  Fish, coral, crustaceans and marine mammals are dying while a blanket of algae, bacteria and jellyfish are growing unchecked.  Jellies are creatures with a 500 million year history and they survive well in a low oxygen milieu and their preferred foods is plankton (bacteria and algae).  We have altered the basic chemistry of the sea, life is moving back in the direction of a world that existed at the dawn of creation.

Dead Zones 2Dead Zones:  Oceanographers have sounded the alarm!  There are now over 405 Dead Zones in the oceans, and they are growing in size and numbers annually.  A few decades ago, its estuaries, sounds, bays inlets, coastal shores, kelp forests and thousands of cora reefs were teaming with a rich biodiversity of over 2 million species whose interwoven life benefited the global ecosystem.  We have thought our oceans to have an endless capacity to overcome our polluting ways.
Jelly fishJellyfish: Jellyfish populations are growing because they can  The fish that used to compete with them for food have become scarce because of over fishing.  And the plankton they love to eat are growing explosively.  Fishermen around the world now haul in 450,000 tons of jellyfish per year.  It is called “fishing down the food web”.  We are now eating bait and moving on to jellyfish and plankton.  In California water three of the top five commercial catches are not even fish.  They are squid, crabs and sea urchins.  The population of the big fish has declined by 90% over the last 50 years.  The jellyfish are so thick off the Alaskan Peninsula that fishermen nicknamed it the Slime Bank.  Also proliferating is the giant nomurai found off Japan, a jelly fish the size of a washing machine.  A recent assessment by a Scripps Institute Oceanographer predicted that over fishing, acidification, habitat destruction, global warming and nutrient runoff from farming would conspire to drive oceans back toward a primordial state, dominated by the likes of algae and jellyfish.

We must globally face the truth—the mess of the earth's ecosystems.  The starvation, sickness, pollution, ecosystem destruction, chronic sickness are all human caused.  We are the problem.  Going organic in our farming practices and eating patterns globally would set our world right.  There is really no other acceptable choice, and the consequences of not going for it are most likely the Sixth Mass Extinction.  We all, especially us in the holistic medical community, need to seriously get involved in being—can I say it— activists for what I term in my book "globally-local" organic farming. But more on that next week.

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

BioImmersion.com

Clinical Note:

Consider the following as a regular part of your diet:

Energy Sustain, Ultra Minerals, Phyto Power and Number 7 Systemic Booster

Dose:  Energy Sustain- one scoop (included in container), Ultra Minerals- 2-4 capsules,  Phyto Power- 1-2 capsules, and Number 7 Systemic Booster- 1 tsp.

Benefits:  Energy Sustain- The power of organically grown millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and chia, all especially processed to liberate their vital nutrients- high in protein, amino acids, complex carbs, fibers, vitamins and minerals.  Ultra Minerals- providing 72 minerals (negatively charged, nano sized, elements) derived from organic plant vegetate of the Mesozoic Era (that is really Deep Time my friends—65 million years ago).  Phyto Power- giving you intensive phytochemicals derived from wildcrafted 4 species blueberry, 3 species of rosehips and 4 species of dandelion including the roots and flower.  The magnified power of flavonoids from blues, reds, yellows and greens—polyphenol/phytochemical power.  And last, but definately not least, No. 7 Systemic Booster provides additional phyto power with organic pineapple, tart cherry, pomegranate and cranberry, not to mention five of our pedigreed Bulgarian probiotic strains and supernatant, carnitine, carnisine, fructo-borate, vitamin D, folate, inulin, and nucleic acid derived from barley sprout that lower high blood suger levels.

Significant amounts of high amount foods turn our body's genetic potential on.

The Last Quiz Answer:

This intelligent creature is the Wild Dog of Africa.  They live in packs of 6 to 20.  They are very sociable and there is little intimidation amongst the social hierachy. The entire pack is involved in the welfare of the pups - both males and females babysit the young and provide food for them.

They are truly a military operation when on a hunting mission.  If you've never seen a documentary of the wild dogs hunting, the Planet Earth Video has captured one of their hunts—it's amazing.  They are a will oiled machine.

Tragically their numbers are dwindeling and they are down to about 5,000—another mammal biting the dust.

Today, President Obama takes his "all of the above" energy tour to Cushing, Oklahoma - the "pipeline crossroads of the world." Standing in front of piles of TransCanada's pipeline waiting to be put in the ground, he will issue a specific memorandum to federal agencies, not just to build, but to "expedite" the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the refineries and shipping ports in the Gulf Coast.

Even as he rejected the full Keystone XL pipeline saying he had insufficient time to evaluate it, the President has always pushed for the southern portion to be completed. But now in issuing a memorandum to speed up that process, he's signaling a willingness to backtrack on his initial (and minimal) condition of a full review for Keystone XL.

Such a public appearance in Cushing to promote Keystone XL is a slap in the face to those of us who worked so hard to convince President Obama to reject Keystone XL in January. And it gives fuel to the cynics who said that that rejection was just an attempt to temporarily placate the environmental and young voters who believed Obama's campaign rhetoric about the need for real action on climate and our fossil fuel dependence.

If there was ever a clear moment to register our disappointment, this is it.