Embracing the connection between agriculture and public health
My first introduction to the concepts and ideas behind regenerative agriculture was from a three day course with Arden Andersen fifteen years ago. Arden spent the first entire day describing the modes of action of various pesticides and how they influence our bodies and hormonal system. We were the pesticide distributors for the local region at the time and the information was eye opening for us. Over the next several years, I studied the modes of action of pesticides, and learned as much as I could about their impact on ecosystems, animals, and people.
It can be challenging to have a conversation about the impact these compounds are actually having, particularly when we feel we are still dependent on them in some way. It can be hard to hear about the negative impacts they have, and the long term consequences.
I believe it is much more powerful and useful to be for something than to be against something. I do not believe that GM crops and pesticides are needed to develop regenerative agriculture ecosystems with much higher production and quality than is mainstream today. I don’t believe it useful to be constantly describing the negative impacts they can have, but to instead focus on the opportunities and untapped potential other practices and products can bring.
With that being said, I believe it is valuable for us to understand the modes of action of different pesticides, and their individual and collective impact on public health. Farmers can have a tremendous positive impact on public health, because we can grow healthy food that boosts people’s immunity and prevents them from becoming ill. On the other hand, we can also choose to grow food that is laced with toxins with a long list of known and unknown negative impacts.
In conversations with podcast guests over the last several years, we have made passing comments about some of the known impacts of pesticides and glyphosate on soil and plant health, but have never really discussed the impacts on human health. In this episode with Zach Bush, I chose to talk about the human health impacts of pesticides and glyphosate in particular, since it has become so controversial in recent years.
This discussion is not a condemnation of those who feel the need to use these toxins, but an effort to bring more clarity and light to the discussion. It is valuable for us to understand, and once we understand, to make responsible decisions when we know the health implications.
I tremendously enjoyed this discussion because of the heart and empathy Zach brings to any conversation, and I am sure you will to. Please let me know what you think.
You can listen to the episode and read the show notes here.