Monday, August 31, 2009

The Swine Flu-H1N1 versus Good Food

The Swine Flu, also known as the H1N1 Flu is in the front page of the Maui News today. It seems to be covered a lot with the upcoming winter and the beginning of yet another flu season.

The part that seems to really be of concern and distinguishes this Flu from many of the others is the death rate levels are higher in the 25 to 49 year old people. Most flu seasons have seen their share of deaths that seem to affect the elderly and the sickly part of the population.

Everyone seems to be stumped about this "new" type of flu and the effects it has on the middle aged population.

The first thing that comes to my mind and could probably be debated, debunked or just cast off as not a factor is the dietary habits that the 25 to 49 year old people have and have had over the years.

This is the age group that has virtually been raised on pre-packaged, highly processed foods. Either from the Supermarkets or just the habit of eating from fast food establishments.

Considering that there are reports after reports of people with the onset of diabetes and many, many other health issues at earlier ages, not to mention obesity, I really wonder how much the diet of this particular group is a factor in all of this.

The foods that are predominately eaten are high in salt and fats, hold very little actual nutritional value and our health system reflects that in the increase of medical costs.

Having and eating food that has been grown in soils that are properly managed and contain the right nutrients and then are consumed by people or the animals that people eat, seems to me a vital part of the equation.

For many years our foods, plant or animal, have been grown or fed in soils that is almost manufactured by the addition of nutrients and then supplemented in their actual production and packaging.

The animals, especially beef have had to adapt to living off food that they were never intended to consume. Watching movies like "King Corn" and seeing the beef "finished off" before slaughter by high doses of corn, and not even the best part of the corn. In many cases corn grown through questionable methods, really opened my eyes to the health of the Cattle. The last month of "finishing off" cattle can erase much of it's nutritional value, even when raised on healthy grown grasses.

The majority of cattle are kept in feed lots for a month or more to be "fattened up" before slaughter, many of
them are on the verge of dying just before they are sent of to the slaughter houses.There are many that are referred to as "fallen" cows, which means they are too sick to even move about on their own.The same goes for many of the other animals we consume.

I am a meat eater and believe that as an omnivour, people were meant to eat many things. An expert on the
subject Jerry Brunetti has presented at the annual Maui Body and Soil Health Conferences, as well as many other distingushed conferences such as AcreUSA and the, brought up the information that scientist found the average human long ago as a forager, was very likely to consume as many as 60 different types of food a day.

Today, we are lucky to vary our diets by very many foods at all.

The nutritional benefits of such a variety of food was probably the basis of their health and medicine.
 the tribes would probably still be healthier on the whole.
In summing up, I would submit that taking a ground (soil) up approach to revamping our food supply and getting people to switch to more locally and hopefully organic or close to organic foods, would probably make us all safer as the flu season arrives and this "new" Swine Flue H1N1 sweeps through our schools.

Just expecting to get a new "drug" to counteract each and every flu seems to me like a never ending cycle and will only force the mutation of viruses in the future.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Conservation is the Key

In a society that has become all about consumption, we often think that we need more to meet our needs.
This type of thinking has us always wondering if our glass is half full or half empty? It might be that we see our glass as just too big!

As our Society grows, we are always faced with a need or more Food, more Water, more Land, more Money and more Energy.The time has come long ago to stop thinking in these terms of needing more. Some have heard this message, but many don't think in those terms.We now find ourselves in a world where the Resources are very strained and limited. If we have any left, the chances are pretty certain that we are rendering them all together useless for Future Generations.

The song of Conservation is not an old one and has been sung or shouted out for many years. As people that inhabit this one planet together, we all need to sit up and listen. In fact, it's time for us to all join in the choir and not just be a part of the audience.

We can look to ways to increase our Power, our Food, our Water, our Land, our Energy  and our Money. Really what are the true costs to our Health, our children's Health, even the Planet's Health?

While we can tap into vast sources of Energy such as Energy from using Solar, Wind and a variety of other Technologies. The real truth is we can't increase the amount of land that this Planet has, and in fact, due to the oceans rising, even that will become more scarce over time.
Living on the island of Maui in Hawaii, I have seen the wearing of our shorelines within my life time.
It is has been said that we have the same amount of water on the planet as we have always have had, it's just in different forms.

Our best hope for immediate result is to do more with less. We need to Consume Less and be more Efficient with what we have. This is something than can be applied by each of us in every one of the areas being discussed here in this post.
  • We can use Electricity more Efficiently and less of it.
  • We can eat less and be careful not to waste Food.
  • We can conserve and use Water wisely.
  • Our lands can be put to better use in many places and we can make the most out of many spaces that are presently just being wasted. 
There is a lot of Land that can be reclaimed for open space or just nature's use.
Our Financial system is so out of sorts that we need to learn how to quit worrying about how much money we can make and rather about how much we can keep. Getting out of debt has a much better rate of return than most investments.

So while so many people are looking at ways to increase our resources, I say let's find ways every moment where we can decrease our needs and put everything we have available to us to the best use we can.

Something we can all start today and the children of the world can learn to follow in our new footsteps.
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