Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Health Care: Care for the Earth

We cannot be healthy if the food we eat is not healthy. Whether you eat meat or are a vegan, the quality of the food you consume is directly related to how healthy you are. There are other factors, exercise, for one, plays a major role in health care. Getting up off the couch and going outside, even just for a walk, matters.

The issue becomes more complicated when we look at the health of the environment. If the air we breathe is polluted, the water we drink despoiled, the soil our food is grown in contaminated, then it matters little how many green, orange and purple foods you eat. Vegan or carnivore, a polluted foodscape infects the food choices you make.

Soil health, air and water quality are major environmental issues, but they are also major health care issues. We need an healthcare system that understands this relationship.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Refugees: Taking Responsibility

How do we, as individuals, respond, to a crisis so vast that it is overwhelming? The first step is to donate funds to a recognized organization that is directly working with refugees. This will see funds go to providing immediate assistance. 

Inform yourself about the reality of the refugee crisis.

The second step is to make sure our communities welcome refugees. The permaculture principles of use and value diversity and integrate rather than segregate can help to design community-based programs that will enable people who have fled danger to feel welcome and provide them with opportunities to become community members, in their own right.

Personally, I like community dinners. Food brings people together to share a common need and pleasure.

On a global scale, work for peace. Begin with yourself. Learn how to resolve both internal and external conflicts in a peaceable manner. The permaculture principle of Apply self-regulation and accept feedback can help  here.

Canada: Matching Donations

The UN Refugee Agency

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Refuge Reality

I have decided to take a look at the global refugee crisis over the next two days. I will return to permaculture and health care, then.

UNHCR states 

"Global forced displacement has seen accelerated growth in 2014, once again reaching unprecedented levels. The year saw the highest displacement on record. By end-2014, 59.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations. This is 8.3 million persons more than the year before (51.2 million) and the highest annual increase in a single year." source: 

"Of the 59.5 million: 19.5 million refugees 38.2million internally displaced persons(2) 1.8 million asylum-seekers." 

The ongoing violence in Syria and the thousands upon thousands of people fleeing the country seeking a safer haven has put the refuge reality directly into the global spotlight. 

In a world, were everything is connected, how do we respond to this reality?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Towards A Permaculture Designed Health Care System

“When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.”

― Augusten BurroughsDry: A Memoir. Augusten Burroughs

I hear the above saying frequently and tend to agree with the sentiment it expresses. After all, when you are in good health, that is both physical and mental health, it is much easier and more enjoyable to be in the world.
However, having your health is much easier to say than it is to do, especially living in a consumer society that bombards us with mixed message about what to eat and why. This is complicated by an health care system, (Canada) thts while still good it terms of costs has its focus on aftercare. Ok now you are sick we will treat you. Great for doctors, hospitals and the pharamecutical companies. But what about the people who become patients in a large bureaucracy and spend time waiting for tests etc.
The first step in redesigning this system is to look at it through the permaculture ethical lens. Tomorrow we will begin this journey.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Permaculture Ethics and Health Care

As I mentioned yesterday, the New Brunswick healthcare system is facing a financial crisis. The government is struggling to fix the problem. This struggle is likely to fail because they are not looking at the real problem but at symptoms of a poorly designed health care system.

Our current health care system is based upon treatment only, in other words, we wait until people are sick and or injured and then treat the disease or the injury.

Health care needs to be based upon prevention. Education and knowledge, both, play vital roles in a preventative system.

Permaculture ethics are the guiding principles upon which to build an health care system. There are other benefits to using permaculture to create this system. one is a permaculture designed health care system will also build a strong local economy.

But first, the three ethics: Care fo the earth, Care for people and Fair shares. Tomorrow, I will discuss how these three ethics work in the health care context.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pathway to Health

The Government of New Brunswick is worried about the cost health care will place upon the province's financial reality. They are particularly concerned with seniors as we are tied with Nova scotia in having the oldest population base in Canada.

At 68, I fall into that category, with high blood pressure, diabetes and recently diagnosed osteoarthritis in both knees. Both exercise and eating real food play a large role in my treatment plan. Neither of these cost the government anything.

Walking is free and my short weight workout is as well. The food I buy is partially purchased through a local food buying club which also contributes to building a vibrant local economy.  I only see the doctor four times per year and that is to get the results of my blood tests. Our healthcare plan which we pay into covers the costs.

Had I had the sense to exercise regularly and eat healthy 50 or more years ago, I may not need these  medical services today.

So, I suggest the New Brunswick government focus on prevention of disease through education and through community development activities such as Farmer's Markets and Food Buying Clubs. Get the kids outside and eating right. Give the parents a place to buy local, healthy food items. In a few years, a difference in the health care scene will be noticed.

The Value of Soil

From my September 25 article in the Tribune:

"In order to understand the relationship between good health and food, it is necessary to look a little deeper than the food itself, into the substance within which the food is grown, the soil.
When we talk about soil we are, from a gardening perspective, referring to topsoil. Topsoil is found, most frequently between 5.1 cm (2 inches) and 20 cm or (8 inches) and is the first layer of soil we reach when digging. "

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Snapdragon- Front Yard

Japanese Knotweed

The Inspire Coop is developing a management strategy for Japanese Knotweed. Yes, this plant is aggressive but it also serves several functions and can be worked with were it exists. This is knotweed in bloom in a nearby backyard.

Native Plants

There are two projects happening here in Campbellton that have me turning to the subject of native plants. When we are discussing native pl...