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Book excerpt: Food, Farming & Health by Vandana Shiva, et al.

The book Food, Farming & Health shows how our health is a continuum from the soil, to the plants, to our bodies. It demonstrates how chemical farming depletes the soils of nutrition, producing plants that are nutritionally empty but full of toxic residues, which cause us – its consumers – to suffer from diseases related to nutrient deficiency and/or toxins.

Among the authored chapters is Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian scholar, well-known environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and author.

The excerpt below, written by Maya Goburdhun – director of Navdanya, a seed and organic produce network in India – discusses how industrial food production robs our food of its nutritional values.

From Chapter 7: Biodiversity is Health

As food travels from the fields to reach our table it goes through two more stages: the processing and the retailing. Continue Reading →

Book excerpt: The Myths of Safe Pesticides by André Leu

Front cover of the Myths of Safe Pesticides bookIn his book The Myths of Safe Pesticides, organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into scientific research to present evidence dispelling the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators that pesticide, herbicide and insecticide products are safe when used as directed. Leu breaks down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data.

The excerpt below is from the chapter discussing the myth that “pesticides are essential to farming,” and asserting that pesticides are, in fact, not the only thing keeping our planet from starvation.

 

From Chapter 5: The “Pesticides are Essential to Farming” Myth

“We will starve to death without pesticides.”

The greatest of all the myths is that we must be exposed to numerous toxic chemicals; otherwise we will have mass starvation. This myth states that it is impossible to grow enough food without the widespread use of these poisons.

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First Ever Tropical Agriculture Conference Brings Regenerative Agriculture Experts to Belize

BELMOPAN, Belize — Belize Ag Report Publisher Beth Roberson sat in the second row, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Belizean Senator Godwin Hulse. The country’s minister of everything from agriculture to environment to immigration was held up in traffic, but would be arriving soon.

Andre Leu speaks at the inaugural Tropical Agriculture Conference in Belize

André Leu with Regeneration International helps kick off the inaugural Tropical Agriculture Conference in Belize on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The crowd was patiently waiting. It’s summer in Belize, the temperatures are in the 80s, and around us a city surrounded by hundreds of miles of jungle. Roberson, also a farmer, had attended the Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show last year, and with the help of Belize officials and Regeneration International, returned to her country inspired to start a movement.

Now, less than a year later, she was watching the first day of the inaugural Tropical Agriculture Conference in the nation’s capital. Moments earlier, speakers like André Leu, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin and Alvaro Zapada Cadavid had introduced the audience to silvopasture and pastured poultry techniques.

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Book of the Week: The Miracle of Milk

By Bernarr Macfadden

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an Acres U.S.A. title, The Miracle of Milk, by Bernarr Macfadden. Copyright 2011, softcover, 118 pages. Normal price: $12.95.

The Miracle of Milk by Barnarr Macfadden

The Miracle of Milk by Barnarr Macfadden

One of the most outstanding effects of the full milk diet is the marvelous effect the ingestion of this large amount of fluid has upon the circulation. This is most important, from the standpoint of normal functioning. For many people suffering from chronic diseases are troubled with defective circulation of the blood. Their blood pressure is 30 or 40 degrees below or above what it should be. This condition may manifest itself by cold feet, cold hands, constant chilliness, susceptibility to colds, and numerous other symptoms.

These are the cases that respond very rapidly to the effects of the full milk diet. This is due to the improved circulation and to the increased amount of life-giving fluid in the veins and capillaries. Often within a few hours after commencing the diet their pulse rate will be increased when very low. Inside of 48 hours the heartbeat has frequently gained four or five beats to the minute. The pulse will be full and vigorous and the blood will flow to every cell and tissue in the body with increased force.

The dry, scaly character of the skin will disappear and instead there will be a healthy moistness and glow in its surfaces. The colorless, leathery skin covered with pimples and eruptions becomes rosy and clear, and free from unsightly blemishes.

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Tractor Time Episode 20: David Montgomery & Anne Biklé, Authors, Scientists, Conservationists

 

Good day and welcome to Tractor Time, a podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A. Today’s podcast features two guests. Both live together in Seattle, and are writers, advocates and change agents and, it should be noted, both are quite brilliant as well – Biologist Anne Biklé and Geologist David Montgomery.

We have interviewed both separately, and will run their interviews back-to-back.

David Montgomery and Anne Bikle

David Montgomery and Anne Bikle

Our second interview you will hear on this episode, Anne Biklé, is a biologist with an interest in environmentalism and, most recently, soil life. She’s an active speaker and author of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, which is available in our bookstore at acresusa.com. 

We are going in depth on new science into life in the soil, and discuss the significance of all the new information to farmers and growers.

But to set the stage, we will get to our first guest, David Montgomery, Anne’s co-author on The Hidden Half of Nature, and a writer, geologist, professor, and researcher who will set the stage for Anne’s deep-dive into the soil. It’s also worth noting that David is a recognized genius – or at least, someone who has been recognized as the closest thing to it. David Montgomery is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a member of the Quaternary Research Center.

In 2008, In 2008 Montgomery received a MacArthur Fellowship, generally known as the “genius grant,” for his work as a researcher and writer.

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Proper Digestion Central to Health

Old wisdom suggests that to understand something our best bet is to simply be open to what it is telling us, with all of our senses. Use eyes, ears, smell, taste, touch, along with intuition, to notice the obvious — and trust our own perceptions.

Mother to three grown children plus grandchildren and a life long organic gardener, the author cultivates a nutrient-dense, pesticide and GMO-free garden, and raises a few chickens, with her husband in Ohio.

With the digestive system, or gut, its central location should tell us a lot. The gut — as a path for transformation and exchange with the outside world right through the center of our bodies — is indeed central to everything that happens in our bodies and minds.

Digestion is the transformation of not-self into essentially something, which resembles self. It’s the conversion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into constituents, which are the same material that make up the body eating and digesting the food. Digestion is the transformation of substances with their own distinct identity into generic ‘parts’ which can be used by another living being.

Digestion: Microbes Play Key Role

Microbes are central to the process of digestion in both the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) or gut, and in the soil.

In animals, microbes facilitate the final transformation of flesh or fiber into something usable by the animal; in the soil, microbes transform the residues of plants and animals into something usable, and necessary, for the growth of plants. Continue Reading →