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Hippocrates

The Greek physician Hippocrates (460 BC) is often quoted as having said: "Let food be thy medicin and medicin be thy food", meaning so much as: "Eat the right food, and you don't need a doctor".

The bad news is that most food produced today in industrialised countries has lost its vital qualities in the original sense of the word: life-giving. What we buy nowadays from our regular supermarkets is mostly de-natured: dead stuff. It comes nowhere near the food quality that our (great-) grandparents enjoyed, eating from their organically manured kitchen gardens with most petrochemical pesticides not yet invented. Therefore eating 'an apple a day' from an industrial cultivation is no longer sufficient 'to keep the doctor away' as the old saying goes. Even fresh fruits and vegetables are now affected! Indeed our agriculture would have been far better off if Justus von Liebig would have gone fishing, and the gentlemen Haber and Bosch would have joined Livingstone to disappear in Africa.

The good news is that we can put Hippocrates' advice into practice again, and grow our food in such a way that it becomes vital again: full of life. The way to go there is to close the organic nutrient cycles (especially the organic carbon cycle), which requires the presence of soil organisms to perform their original functions again: producing humus and organic nutrients for the plants to choose from. The result will be a resilient crop that does not need pesticides anymore, because it contains vitamins, enzymes and alexines again, which fend off pests and diseases. Those compounds are exactly the same nutrients that we also need as humans, to digest our food properly in order to remain in good shape and spirits. It is the type of food that we call wholesome food, because it has the capacity to heal.

Summarising the bonuses of restoring such a circular type of agriculture, we get:
  • a more sustainable agriculture, with much less impact on the environmment,
  • more profits to the farmer, as external input requirements are much lower too,
  • resilient crops, not in need of protection other than Integrated Pest Management,
  • vigorous seeds that do not need a coating with pesticides harmful to living organisms,
  • increasingly healthy people, and an impressive reduction in health care costs,
  • soil erosion under control, restoration of soil structure and last but not least
  • enormous volumes of CO2 being sequestered into the soil again for free!

PS1 Hippocrates has also said that once a disease has struck, it is more important to observe the conditions under which the individual organism has contracted the illness, than to focus on suppression of its symptoms. Under the circumstances, each individual shows his own unique set of symptoms in his reaction to a certain disease. A symptom is not equal to the underlying cause of bad performance of the organism, but only the indicator by which the real reason of the bad performance can be traced.

In order to heal, the organism has to come to terms with the real trouble maker first, before it can come back into harmony with its environment again. That has been forgotten for ages and it applies to cancer patients just as much as to plants and crops. Using the odd chemical in a therapy will probably suppress a symptom, but will seldom address the full scope of the cause(s) underlying a certain problem. This applies to chemotherapy also! It just creates another, and probably more serious problem. Don't shoot the messenger; he only rang the bell!


PS2 Eating the right food is even person-dependent, according to the Ayurveda. This Vedic work was scripted some 1000 years BC in India. At that time it could not have elaborated of course, on the impact of chemical pesticides and fertilisers. Which is really a pity, because it would certainly have meant an additional chapter in the Ayurveda.
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