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eliminate 99% of all medication with permaculture polyculture?

 
paul wheaton
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After three weeks with sepp holzer, while listening to Michael Pollan on CD, topped off with another excellent presentation by paul stamets ....

So many different sources of so much different information and this one, really important factor ...

Right now, do you take vitamins?  Herbs?  Medication?  Do you eat a certain way in order to mitigate some health issue? 

Our biological existence comes from having evolved to eat certain foods from a hunter/gatherer society.  100% of the food we ate either grew in a polyculture, or it was from an animal that ate from a polyculture. 

The organic food you buy at the store:  was it grown in monocrop rows?

When you plant your gardens this year, will it be in rows?  Even if you use companion planting, will you have one or two companion plants or dozens?

Add in to all of that:  we are only beginning to barely understand what we need for nutrition.  Every few years scientists come up with some new thing that we didn't really know about before - something we need that isn't in food as much as it used to be.  So we find ways to compensate.  There must be hundreds or even thousands of things we still don't know about.  And for all sorts of problems we are perpetually medicating ourselves.  Maybe wiith vitamins or lotions, or herbs or chemical medicines either OTC or prescription.  It seems like damn near everybody it taking something for some problem.

With a polyculture .... mycelium excahnges wee bits of stuff with lots of plants for other wee bits of stuff.  So it makes sense that a carrot growing next to an onion would have a bit of exchange going on there.  A little bit of the onion would end up in the carrot.  And if there was an oak tree - a bit of that would end up in the carrot.  And if there were a thousand species of plants around the oak tree, then a little bit of all of those would end up in the carrot.  Including little bits of plants that we never would think to eat.

And I just wonder ....    what if damn near all of ickiness would go away if we just replaced row crops with polyculture.  The poly-er the better. 

Just a thought.


 
Susan Monroe
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Polyculture is the natural way that things grow.  Rows make it easier to harvest, not better.

The health of America declined with the advent of chemical farming.  Now we try to find cures for things that we shouldn't have.  And if someone did find a natural cure for cancer or the common cold, would the knowledge be spread far and wide, or suppressed so doctors and hospital administrators could make more money?

In Neal Kinsey's book Hands-On Agronomy, he tells of doing a soil test on a doctor's garden. When he told the doctor what levels of calcium, magnesium and other minerals were needed to balance it, the doctor was rather surprised that the perfect levels for the soil was the perfect level for human beings.  He mused that if people only ate food from balanced soil, all doctors would have to do is treat sports injuries, accidents and old age.

Sue
 
paul wheaton
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Susan Monroe wrote:
The health of America declined with the advent of chemical farming. 


While I agree with that, I guess I'm pushing for even more still. 

Agriculture started about 10,000 years ago.  I've heard from several sources now that when we dig up a bunch of human fossils, if the folks died young and puny with messed up teeth, that is in agricultural society.  If the folks died really old and tall with nice teeth, that's a hunter/gatherer society.

There's a lot more going on here than just polyculture. 

I guess my mind is just wandering around and thinking that polyculture might be ....  far more valuable than we are currently giving it credit for.    Perhaps I am the only one thinking these thoughts?


 
Nicholas Covey
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It seems to me like permaculture's real true value won't be realized in our lifetimes, maybe not even in our children's lifetimes.

For Instance:

I am in the process of purchasing a piece of property from my grandfather. This piece is approximately 10 acres. It is separated from the rest of his farm by two roads which form a T at the northwest corner of the property. Across the southeast corner of the property runs a rather large power line right-of-way.

Like all derelict pieces of property in the area, it is covered with a carpet of scrubby hardwoods. Nothing larger than 18 inches in diameter is common. It is primarily oak and hickory, with a little bit of an understory of some smaller hardwood that I have not identified yet. The reason this piece is largely derelict is that my grandfather hasn't been able to use it to graze cattle, which is his primary business venture. It's too small to be worth clearing off, which is his only real ideal use for it.

It isn't flat. There's a rather deep gully that runs from the northwest to the southeast and the land has about a 150 foot fall from highest point to lowest. It's relatively poor soil, which means to me that it's probably been grazed or plowed to oblivion in the last century and a half. The trees that are there are at least fifty years old, so the land likely was given up on before world war 2.

So... what to do?

My plan is to take anything that's dead and cut it up, pile into hugelkultur beds. Build a shallow pond at the SE corner to collect any runaway soil. That is especially useful because quite a bit washes from across the road to the north through a culvert. My hope is to build up the soil level over time and flatten out the bottom of the gully so that it can be used more easily as a garden or grazing area. Rather than fence I want to plant a hedge around the perimeter. I was thinking osage orange, red cedar, and honey locust, but I don't know if those will grow next together well. I wuld think they would, but do not have any hard facts.

I plan to terrace some areas to create more flat areas for what little livestock I plan to have. I plan to put my house on top of the ridge and berm up around it (PSP method)

And I plan to try and grow just as much as I can cram on this little ten acres. I'll eat what I can, maybe sell a little, maybe even preserve some for bad years.

I've already started spreading out seedballs. I get the discount seeds at the end of the season and make seedballs over the winter. Then I spread them out in the spring and watch what grows. The soil is so poor that it will take years before a great many of them will thrive. Some of them are hybrids and will degenerate to some degree, but they will suit themselves to the environment, not to the land-owner.

I will add as I go.

I collect leaves and grass clippings from my local city (they have a dumping area for that where people can just drop that type of thing off for free). I mow roadsides and take the clippings. It makes people happy to see carefully groomed roadsides around here so its a win/win situation.

And no matter how much I plant and how many different plants are pulling from the ground, it's still going to be a generation or two before that little ten acres is going to really balance out and optimally grow it's potential without a lot of labor. We can see the benefits of permaculture relatively quickly, but it's only going to get better as we go. And the more plants and animals contributing to this system, the better.

I could get by planting a small patch and letting it spread, but I see hard work as being worth the reward that this little oasis will bring me in health, wisdom, and freedom. As they say, getting there is half the fun (depends on where you're going I guess). However, no amount of my intervention is going to replicate what nature will do on it's own over time with this little jumpstart. I hope that my grandchildren will see this place as an example and create their own out in the world. May we all teach our children to be better stewards than the previous generations taught us.
 
Susan Monroe
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One of the big differences with most agriculture as opposed to pass-through hunting and gathering is that the latter always leave enough behind to regenerate, and enough time to do it, as well as not making too many changes as they pass through.

Agriculture tends to be Take, Take, Take, and put little back. Chemical farming puts nothing back.  Non-chemical farming isn't much better in many cases, the farmer grows the crop, and removes it from the farm and sells it, and often burns off the 'waste', or just lets it stand there (corn stalks), when it would have helped somewhat to at least knock it down and let it rot back into the soil.

It has been shown that people who eat off nutritionally complete soils don't have much in the way of medical problems.  But you do have to return what you take away, or the soil WILL become depleted.

This could be improved by what I think of as 'additive crop rotation':  Harvest the crop, knock down the residue immediately after harvest.  If there is any processing done, return any 'waste' to the fields (husks, ground cobs).  Move livestock onto the same piece of land to distribute manure.  Cattle like cornstalks, so they could be eating and processing the corn stalks so they are broken down more and more available to the soil and the soil microbles.  By now it's probably sometimes in fall and the cattle have chopped up the soil with their hooves and deposited manure.  Spread some cover crop seed and run one of those rake things lightly over the field to break up any chunky manure and to cover the seed. 

We simply can't keep taking from the soil and expect wonderful health.

Sue
 
paul wheaton
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you do have to return what you take away, or the soil WILL become depleted.


I dunno. 

I think there is some truth to that, and I think that it is possible for the soil to get richer while consuming some and putting nothing back.

I guess the thing I'm really fishing for here is the idea that a carrot grown in a permaculture polyculture can have far more nutrition and flavor than a carrot grown organically in rows.  I'm even going so far as to say that if a sick person can replace 80% of their diet with polyculture food then I wonder if this will cure what ails them.  Could this be a cure for cancer?  Could this cure all sorts of illnesses that have people so heavily medicated now?

If this is crazy talk, I would sure like somebody to help me understand why.
 
                  
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Paul,
    I appreciate your enthusiasm but my response to you would be to suggest that you are greatly over-simplifying many things.  If you think that you've stumbled onto the cure for Cancer, then you really must be amazing...  I've met many people who are smarter than both you and I who have been studying Cancer and its complications for their entire careers and they don't have it all figured out yet.  How is it that you've discovered the secrets??  Certainly there are many "folk wisdoms" about taking care of ourselves that have basis in fact--(Remember the command to "Eat Your Vegetables" that everyone has probably heard at some point in their life?).  Now you seem to say that the True key to Eternal Happiness and Well Being is to Eat Only Polyculture Grown Vegetables??  Or have I missed something here??
    Forgive me Paul, but I imagine that you are beginning to sound a little bit like a radical eccentric "True Believer" who has stopped thinking carefully about things because you are convinced that you have found the "Sacred Truthes of the Ages"--Permaculture Polycultures will Save the World!!!  I think that this is more than naive.
    I, for one, sincerely doubt that growing your carrots next to your oak trees will make your carrot different or any better than a carrot carefully grown by someone who grows their carrots next to other carrots and takes good care of their soil--follows good practices.  In fact, for my money, I think that I would rather eat a carrot grown by someone who knows more about what they are doing than just imagining that "Magic Permaculture Polycultures" will solve everything.
    The exchange of nutrients that occurs in forest eco-systems, for example, is something that occurs over many seasons.  To imagine that the Oak tree will be directly passing nutrients or other magical substances to your carrots sounds interesting but I would bet that any unique benefits that your oak tree might provide would be benefits that result from several seasons of activity--your carrot will have completed its life span and you will have eaten it long before the substances from the local oak tree would be directly passed to it in the course of one season, I'd wager--I'm not sure one season is enough time for the transmission of these substances--if there even are any truly unique substances from the oak tree that are being transmitted.  Any residual substances that will be left in the soil will undergo a variety of changes as they are consumed by micro-organism...  most likely transformed from recognizable Oak tree parts to a wide variety of substances.
    I might suggest that any of the benefits that the oak tree will provide towards directly nurishing your carrots will be residual organic matter that may or may not accumulate over time in the soil near an Oak tree.  Other possible contributions might be from subtle effects that the tree might have on the soils in its area that bias towards favoring certain plants and that discourage other plans.  For example, one can think about the Black Walnut tree--it has long been understood that the Walnut exudes substances that affect the immediately surrounding soil so as to inhibit the growth of other plants.  No where have I read or heard of any carefully made observations that describe "special affects" from your oak tree though I'm sure that there are many peole who have lots of wonderful ideas about the mysteries of nature...  There are many who have published their observations of companion planting, for example.  So far, as I understand it, no one has really proven that the claims made live up to the hype, though some unfavorable combinations of plantings have been demonstrated.


    I have heard of careful observations that have proven that relatively "large" molecules (as in antibiotics) do pass from the soil into plants undegraded when there is a diversity of micro-organisms in the soil that form beneficial relationships with the plants--aiding the plants uptake of nurishing substances.  Without the micro-organisms, this transmission is greatly reduced.  (One of the great disadvantages of large scale application of Nitrate fertilizers is that they actually "sterilize" the soil and kill off the micro-organisms.)  What has this got to do with Polycultures.  These studies were conducted in a greenhouse environment--in no way is this phenomena exclusive to Polycultures.

    Certainly, any organic matter in a soil plot will "degrade" and add its substance to the soil to be made available to plants that will grow is this plot in the future.  This could certainly be true of organic matter contributed by degrading Oak tree roots/leaves, etc.  It could also be true of organic compost materials added by the conscientious grower who manages their soil carefully.  There is a long history of human beings carefully managing growing systems--remember the stores of the Native Americans showing the Pilgrims how to bury a fish near where they plant their corn so as to add nurishment for their corn??  Or the Southwest Indigenous peoples who gave us the Three Sisters of Corn, Beans, and Squash.  The beans (nitrogen fixer) help feed the corn.  The corn becomes the trellis that the beans climb.  The squash shades out any competing "weed" plants and helps keep moisture in the soil with its shading.  Each giving us their "fruits" with nutrient rich foodstuffs for us to consume.  This is a wonderful example of a symbiotic growing system that could still work for people today perhaps, if it was consistent with their situation.  Would this system grow crops that or "Superior" to other crops??  By what criteria??

    I have yet to come across anything in what I have read about Polycultures that has convinced me that a Polyculture as you describe it will produce vegetable crops of superior quality to crops grown carefully by other methods and I have not been able to see anything in what you say to convince me otherwise, Paul.  I'm sorry, but you simply do not show any supporting evidence for your assumptions and your ideas seem to be very simplistic and naive to me.  Are they wrong??  There is no way of knowing either--I am beginning to realize that it may not be worth exploring this further with you because you seem to be one who truly believes what you say and it seems that to you, either one believes or one doesn't believe--it is no longer about careful, thoughtful thinking anymore.  I would love to hear you elaborate more about what it is that you think you are saying...  but alas, you may want to spend some more time researching and preparing your presentations so that others can follow your thinking processes.  Wishful thinking and overly simple ideas can have their allure, but I, for one, have heard simplistic thinking my whole life (there are plenty of peole who are looking to sell something) and am careful about what I consider to be factual and what I think needs further inquiry.
  My questions for you would be:  1) What is truely unique to a Polyculture that brings the improvements in crops grown that you suggest that would be different from what can be achieved by other methods?  2) What are these "improvements?"  2) Why is this true??

    I wish you all good fortune and the best of luck with all of your ventures...
          Dan
 
paul wheaton
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Forgive me Dan.  My arrogance may have roots in that I seem to have a history of coming up with things that turn out to become globally significant. 

I suspect that you are not aware of anybody attempting to explore my claim and proving it to be false.  So there may be some merit to the idea?

I, for one, sincerely doubt that growing your carrots next to your oak trees


I think you miss my point Dan.

"Magic Permaculture Polycultures" will solve everything.


I find your use of the word "magic" to be terribly insulting and disrespectful. 

passing nutrients or other magical substances


And now I cannot read any more of what you write. 

Dan,

I hope that your future posts will be more respectful of the other folks that come to these forums.






 
Brenda Groth
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I cannot remember a time where I was not foraging or picking food from a garden, canning or freezing or drying it for winter use..etc.

My grandfather on my mom's side was a trapper and his wife ran a restaurant..she was in her 90's when she died and still baking bread, he died with his boots on when he came in from a trapline..never went to a dr a day in his life.

they lived 2 doors behind us and had a huge market garden and a creek ran through the property with trout and other fish.

between them and us was my other grandparents home, they had a garden that stretched from the one gradparents to our back yard and garden, and the two gardens were probably about 3 acres..yes in rows..

My parents had a vegetable and fruit garden behind our house..and we went nearly every weekend in the summer to the woods to forage or to fish...blueberries, mushrooms, cranberries, greens, even picking things to sell to dnr such as pine cones..etc.

I was 20 years old when we got married, we bought the property before we were married and spent the summer before our august wedding fixing it up and planting gardens.

we hunted and fished for our meat, had a afreezer..i canned sucker, salmon and froze walleye trout and smelt. We put venison in the freezer..my dad taught me to hunt squirrels when i was very young.

when my husabnd was out of work he supplemented our income selling night crawlers and morel mushrooms..i sold raspberries from the house and taught home crafts.

we have always gathered herbs from the byways as well as our property and the first thing i canned was lambsquarters after we were married before we got our garden in here at our place.
 
                  
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Paul,
    I certainly don't mean any offense and I apologize if there were any statements I made that caused you any hurt.


  I still have trouble with claims and statements like this, however:

And I just wonder ....    what if damn near all of ickiness would go away if we just replaced row crops with polyculture.  The poly-er the better. 


I just don't know what to do with something like this...

Sorry to overwhelm you with details in my response...  I made every attempt to be courteous but yet to suggest that there is more information out in the world than you might imagine...  there's certainly more than I can imagine.  I've enjoyed the exchange of ideas on this forum but at some point it must be understood that to exchange ideas means to be more careful about terms used and the comments one might make.
    Your ideas of "polyculture" are different than mine as are your ideas about "row crops."  If, by "row crops" you mean: Large Scale AgriBusiness--Corporately run and Chemically based farming--a la "Green Revolution" Style GMO farming, then I agree with you whole heartedly!!!  This style of food growing has problems.  But growing in rows??  What's wrong with growing in rows??
    I do happen to understand that there can be many advantages to growing in rows for a small scale operation and I am certainly not going to abandon this strategy.  I initially hoped to learn from you what your ideas about Polyculture were.  I have also shared some very specific information about growing crops in rows for purposes of efficiency, etc. in other threads on this forum. 

As I complemented you before, your enthusiasm is wonderful...  now what about some more clarity about your ideas...  I would love to learn more from what you suggest, but I fear that this will not be able to happen...  What is it exactly that you find so amazing about growing plants the way you like to grow plants??  Why can you claim that there is something so much better about this approach than all others??  I need to learn more in order to understand what your ideas really are--right now, all I get is your enthusiasm.  Sorry...    unless you can explain your ideas  more carefully so that we can follow your thinking, we're left with just your enthusiasm...

Companion planting certainly has its admirers but comments like:  "the poly-er the better"--(to imply that polyculture is better than everything else, with no clear comparisons or background information given)--are difficult to work with. 

Best wishes...
Dan
 
paul wheaton
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Dan,

Please read my first post again. 

When stuff is grown in rows, it usually has 0 to 2 different species of plants nearby.  Assuming the soil is not tilled, then the carrot (from the example) could mingle with a maximum of two other plant species. 

In the polyculture scenario, the carrot sort of mingles with, say, a thousand different species. 

I am pontificating ....  what if the carrot grown in a diverse polyculture, complete with a rich soil full of mycelium turns out to be a food that is far better than the best carrot grown in rows.  A little bit of oak tree, a little bit of dandelion, a little bit of raspberry, a little bit of potato, a little bit of comfrey ....    all in the one carrot. 

When growing stuff organically in rows, the carrots are able to take in the essence of decomposing matter (compost) and that which is in the nearby rows.  In a polyculture, the carrot takes in the essence of a lot of living plants plus the same compost. 

Technically, we can measure a lot of nutrients, both what is put in and what the plant has available nutritively.  But that is limited to those things that are known.

I submit that a carrot surrounded only by carrots will be a lessor carrot.  All of the carrots are fighting for the same stuff.  And the only live plant essence to take in (generally) is carrot essence, which the carrot already has plenty of. 

I am pontificating at two or three levels beyond organic gardening


 
gary gregory
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  I do happen to understand that there can be many advantages to growing in rows for a small scale operation and I am certainly not going to abandon this strategy.  I initially hoped to learn from you what your ideas about Polyculture were.  I have also shared some very specific information about growing crops in rows for purposes of efficiency, etc. in other threads on this forum. 


Have you walked around in a clear cut lately Dan?    I attended a presentation several years ago given by a man who had selectively cut trees on his land for 40 years.   The timber survey before he began was approx. a million board feet.   Over 40 years he removed a million board feet.   The survey at the end of 40 years was approx. a million board feet.   The photos of his land before and after looked the same-- healthy forest as far as you could see.   The wildlife populations were still intact.   There was no erosion.    The fungi was undisturbed.    Clearcutting the forest  would have yielded the same board feet, but the remains of the operation would have been burned, the soil disturbed and eroded, and most of the wildlife driven away.   Plus it would have been replanted in a strict monoculture not a diverse forest.   And then there would be a 40 year wait [at least] for the trees to reach the same size again.    There's your example of a healthy polyculture and an unhealthy monoculture.   And the monoculture is only practiced because there is more profit in it.    And I believe that all life in a healthy poly/forest benefits from the other.
 
                  
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Paul,
    With all respect, I think you nailed it on the head when you suggested that you are "pontificating."

    When I first came to Washington State, I visited some of the wineries in the Yakima River Valley.  There was one wine maker who had, if I recall, an apple wine that he thought was very special that year.  He commented that that year, the apple blossoms occurred at the same time that many of the other flowering plants on his property blossomed.  He found that as he made his wine, it had a wonderful flavor to it unlike other wines he had produced in previous years--a flavor very reminiscent of the variety of flower he had in abundance on his property.  Variation in flavor that occurs with successive annual crops is something common to those who make wine.  He suggested that somehow, the fruit from his apple trees had picked up something of the "essense"/pollen/nectar/resins from the other plants directly--perhaps as a result of the action of the bees during pollenation??  Perhaps just from the air itself via plant respiration??  I'm sad to inform you that he had definitely planted his apple trees in rows, Paul.  I saw them myself.  What can I say??

    In Yunnan Provence, China, there is a traditional style of tea that is actually "aged."  This style of tea (camellia senensis) is called "Pu Ehr."  This has become a very popular tea.  It is very high in anti-oxidants and is considered by many to be very health giving.  The legend is that in years past, the tea was actually burried in the ground for a season in order to age and ferment it.  The tea is often then pressed into cakes for storage.  Nowadays, growers involve themselves directly in the processing of the tea and actually add fungal innoculants to help "age" and fermant the tea.  People who enjoy this tea appreciate the fact that if they save their cakes for a few years, the taste of the tea improves.  There are some who suggest that the best teas of this style that they remember tasting from years past were teas that were picked from tea plants that were surrounded by Camphor trees.  They believed that some of the quality of the Camphor, the aroma, the flavor, found its way into the tea and would then become apparent to someone drinking the tea.  These tea afficionados lament the fact that many if not all of the Camphor trees that were interplanted with the tea have been cut down or otherwise lost many years ago, and with them, some of the very best tea they remember tasting.  Sorry to say, Paul, the tea and the Camphor trees were probably planted in rows.

    My conclusion is that you have interesting ideas, but they are not new and they are not exclusive to forest "Polyculture."  Again, I appreciate your excitement about this, but to claim that you have discovered the cure for Cancer is still a stretch for me, too.
    I, too celebrate the concept of plant diversity.  I think that it is marvelous.  I look forward to increasing plant diversity in various ways whenever I can.  I will still probably plant my carrots in a roll.  Sorry...


Gary,
    I agree with you.  I have been through areas that have been clear cut.  It can almost make one ill to see this.  I understand that this is poor management--there are better ways.  No where have I implied in anything that I have written in this forum that I wish to see clear cutting happen.  If I have an open space with nice sunlight, chances are that I might use this space to grow sun loving vegetable plants that I can eat, and I will most likely grow them in rows.




    It can be interesting to read about carrots.  There have been many varieties that are still found wild in many places around the globe.  Most of these have either dark roots or white roots--the orange carrot root that we typically associate with the carrot today was intentionally developed.  So has its sweeter taste profile and its smaller inner core or heart which can be tough sometimes.  I've read that most of the carrots that we grow in the west are descendents of four varieties of carrots that have been given to us from the Dutch who initially "developed" them.  One of the benefits of the orange carrot is the fact that this color is associated with Beta Carotine--a substance that turns into Vitamin A in our digestive process.  I've read that Years ago, many peoples in various regions of the world were suffering from Vitamin A deficiencies--their traditional diet just didn't include enough Vitamin A or Beta Carotine.  Foods like the orange carrot, and the Chinese Cabbage, or Boc Choi which contain increased levels of these nutrients were instrumental in improving the nutritional status of whole nations--enabling them to survive when before, many simply died of complications of malnutrition.  Pictures I have seen of Cabbages grown in China have been pictures of Cabbages grown in rows.
    There is also interesting documentation of how the land in ancient China was distributed among the citizens.  There is not much aerable land in China--the land is mostly mountain of dessert yet, by careful administration of the available land, they have generally been able to grow enough food to feed their large populations.  Its interesting to read about this history.  One book that has been recommended to me is "Food in China" from Yale University Press--I forget the author's name.  I have a copy somewhere, but I can't find it.

    Here in the Northwest, Nash Huber is famous for his carrots.  I have been told that he has painstakingly selected his best producing carrots over the years and saved the seeds from these.  Over the years he has selected for varieties that are best suited to his specific growing region.  My own friends have remarked to me how delicious his carrots taste to them.  I believe that Nash grows his carrots in rows.
    I have a friend that lives in Acacia, Maine a few miles down the road from Elliot Coleman's farm and gardens (part of the once Homestead of Scott Near).  My friend has gardened for years, yet she looks forward to the summer season when she can go to the local Farmer's Market and buy carrots from Elliot Coleman because she says they are the best darn carrots she has ever tasted--better than any she's ever grown herself.  I believe that you can read about the techniques that Elliot Coleman uses to get fabulous results with his carrots in his gardening books--I believe that he grows many things in rows--there are pictures in his books.  I don't believe that Elliot Coleman has made any claims about his carrots curing Cancer.

    Everything I read suggests that soil is truly a mystery.  Many wonderful things happen in the soil.  I have come to appreciate that many of these wonderful things are the result of micro-organisms, both fungal and bacterial, as well as slightly larger multi-celled creatures, benefitial nematodes and worms and such.  We talk on and on about plant diversity and its benefits...  What about Micro-organism diversity??  There are so many varieties that it has been impossible to identify or name them all.  They can be found by the billions in every teaspoon of healthy soil.  (I've seen estimates that suggest that the biomass from micro-organisms in the soil can reach the equivalent of 12-13 cows per acre.)  They are said to be responsible for what makes plants grow--they break substances down so that the next generation of plants can recycle them for their purposes.  I have to confess that I am more interested in introducing diversity of micro-organisms via good compost to my soils than to crowding as many different plants as I can in one area.  I think that it is Okay to grow carrots next to other carrots because I can feel confident that the soil between the carrots has had plenty of love and plenty of nourishing from the good attention I might give to the soil.
    Okay, I should confess that I typically grow things like carrots in patches and not actually in geometrically straight rows...  Oops.  But I often leave a path next to some of the carrots so I can get to them quickly.  Of course, I often interplant this carrot patch with other things and I rotate the carrot bed to other places in the garden to access other soils--I don't believe that one must keep carrots in the same place from year to year though I do know that many organic greenhouse growers grow the same crops in the same place for years on end without difficulty.  They make sure that they add plenty of Micro-organisms to there growing areas in addition to compost, etc. so that the soil will benefit from their "cleansing"/digesting action.

I think that nature is truly wonderful, I'm glad to be alive and glad to be able to learn more and more about its mysteries and to even enjoy a few mysteries for what they are without having to try to understand everything.  I like the "laboratory" of discovery that a garden can be...  I think I'm still going to stick with rows, when its appropriate to do so...

Thanks,
  Dan
 
Jeff Mathias
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Dan,

Dan wrote:
      I like the "laboratory" of discovery that a garden can be... 


So why not put it to the ultimate test for yourself once and for all. It seems like you are opposed to trying that somehow.

Not really singling you out here but you mention a lot of what I see is wrong with our world. We are obsessed with finding the cure for cancer. When in fact the cure stares us directly in the face, how about we prevent getting cancer in the first place. Is that not the ultimate cure? Why must we first get cancer at all?

Same with row cropping in my mind. We do it because we can point to people doing it successfully both in the present and the past nothing more nothing less. And how is successfully defined anyway? Science doesn't really enter into the equation as row cropping has more to do with ease than anything else. Much of it is still a mystery and yet constantly we are bombarded with "this is the right way, see everyone does it this way so it must be..." Where is the mystery in that?

On a similar note: My cat has a crystal problem: I took him to the vet, the vet sold me prescription dry food that was nutritionally worse for the cat than the food I was giving him. Why? The company that sells the food told my vet it was good. No science, no proof just it has always been done that way. Turns out dry food is the worst thing you could feed a cat. And the r/x food is some of the worst available. Sure it would fix the current crystal problem but long term it would create a worse crystal problem that generally ends in death. Moral of the story: A vet is considered an expert in their field, however a vet is not an animal nutritionist. Just because it has always been done that way does not make it the best practice let alone the best science.

A final note: Asparagus grows wild in the delta region near me on some of the islands. I do not know if this is wild as in has always been here or was once a farm. I do know that for well over 20 years people have been harvesting it and every year it gets better. I hear hands down it is the best asparagus anyone has ever tasted. It does not grow in rows.

Jeff

 
 
                  
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I must confess that I have to make a correction.  Since posting the story above, I checked with the friend I was with when visiting the winery in Eastern Washington.  It was a white wine and it had taken on a distinct green apple essence--the wine maker also grew Granny Smith apples in addition to his white wine grapes.  It was not about his apple wine taking on flower essences...  It was about wine grapes taking on apple essenses...  My faulty memory is to blame for this mistaken story.  I'm glad that I checked and am at least able to set the story straight now.  Sorry... ops:  This visit occured in 1993--16 years ago.  Sorry for any confusion that this might make, if any.

Today is 18 May 09.  I imagine that sometime today, one might learn if they have been graced with a ticket to the Bullock's Workshop.  I must say that it has been fun making entrys here.  It has challenged my thinking and I have learned many things.  I will continue to periodically refer to this forum in the future in order to find great ideas.  I hope that my behavior did not get out of hand.  Thank you for hosting the forum and for offering the ticket as incentive to post and interact.
 
gary gregory
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http://www.lisarayner.com/images/keyhole_garden-navy.png


I haven't implemented it completely, but I think this is my ultimate garden shape.   It seems to me to be an easy way to do companion planting.   
   And if there were an alder tree nearby, it would be dropping it's pollen this time of year,  and everything would be covered by it and affected by it and have essence of alder in it, so I agree with you Paul, that polyculture gives [more] to everything.
 
                  
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This arrived in my e-mail box today...  thought I would post it for those who might be interested.

www.snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/biodynamic.pdf

...an invitation to a Bio-dynamic Field day.  Note the interesting research findings sighted in the blurb...

Thank you,
    Dan
 
                  
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Gary and Justhavingfun,
    Thank you both for your posts.  Gary, thank you for the picture... this gives me a better (more accurate) idea of what might be meant by polyculture than the perhaps mistaken assumptions I have been keeping (??).  Folks I met in my Perm Design Course all seemed to be fans of the "scatter seed at random and see what survives" approach to "Polyculture."  I got the impression that this is what they thought was the best method for being the most like "nature."  Difficulties with this approach seemed to relate to the potential complication of harvesting large predictable quantities of a given crop if one were to plan to grow a predictable amount for CSA members or to sell at a farmers market.  Your picture offers a nice image that suggests easy accessibility while still mixing things up a bit.

Now, some more ranting... 
    I have felt that I too am a part of nature and my humble attempts at actually paying attention to how the soil is doing and how the plants might be spaced, etc. (instead of just scattering seeds and forgetting about any further planning or follow-up care for whatever germinates--the ultimate in "low maintenance"/minimal labor food production) can also be considered an acceptable "Natural" approach to growing food.  Especially if one considers that many of the traditional "food crops," in order to be at their best, seem to have been developed to the point where they require some kind of human intervention in their lifecycle (e.g. growing bed prep, some nutrient supplementation).  I had gotten the feeling that "polyculture" also meant: "ude, the plants will feed each other--my bother with that compost stuff--too much work."
    This raises questions (perhaps for another thread) about expanding one's food options beyond the seemingly limited number of items that one typically finds at the average grocery store--here in lies one other value of Polyculture that hasn't been openly discussed in this thread yet--diversifying one's food options by diversifying your plantings.  Could this also be one other implication of the term "Polyculture??"

Regarding Cancer...  I agree whole heartedly with the idea of prevention and I think that it has been well established that eating your vegetables is a very beneficial way to at least decrease one's risk of developing colon cancer.
    I have met people who have been living a reasonably healthy lifestyle (without being obsessive) and they still have developed cancer--example, my vegetarian gardening friend diagnosed with breast cancer.  This suggests to me that cancer is more mysterious than we now know--there are no simple answers that will explain every situation.
    The question I was curious about was: How can anyone honestly say that eating vegetables grown in a mixed up Polyculture is better at reducing your risks of acquiring cancer than growing your vegetables with other methods that are attentive to soil quality, etc. but that do not mix them up??
    I would suggest that the mystery here is enormous which to me means that there is no way that anyone could prove or disprove whether eating vegetables grown in a polyculture decreases your cancer risk more or better than other means or not, so why even pretend to say so?  It comes back to the idea that one is either a "True Believer" in such things or one is an "Unbeliever."  Living in the mystery would be to not even attempt to make a decision about this question with the little or no information that is available.

Regarding Asparagus...  perenials are great, aren't they!!!

I am sorry to hear about your cat... I hope that he will be doing better soon.

Thank you,
  Dan
 
paul wheaton
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This topic is covered a bit in podcast 017

This podcast covers a LOT of different topics!

As mentioned at the beginning of the podcast: email signup.

We start off reviewing the movie "Food Matters".  The premise is that many diseases can be resolved by food choices.   And this has been discussed several times at the forums.  A good start is my thread on eliminating medication with polyculture; and the thread about beating   cancer

We talk about raw food; local food; the missoula urban demonstration project; composting toilets; outhouse; urine diversion; women peeing outdoors; hugelkultur; rain barrels; greywater; commercial compost; art ludwig; pee powered cars; jean pain technique; poop beasts.
 
Jonathan Byron
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paul wheaton wrote:
If this is crazy talk, I would sure like somebody to help me understand why.


It is not crazy to believe that a very large share of our worst health problems are related to nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, and stress. As to whether better lifestyle would eliminate 80% or 90% or 99% of medicines, I am not sure. As to what is the optimal nutritional path towards better health, again, not completely sure. Eating more fruits and vegetables goes a long way quickly, I think. But nutrition is rather complex, there are many un-answered questions.

Dan,

I doubt that grapes are being infused with 'appleness' by the soil. Any wine can develop hints (or very strong aroma) of  apple, apricot, citrus, blackberry, chocolate, tobacco, hay, rhubarb, etc ... this is due to the transformation of compounds on fermentation, and the yeasts are the big player in these aromas/flavors.  But the terroir (including soil microbial ecology) does play a big role in wine flavors.
 
Brenda Groth
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i have some good books that give things like the vitamin and mineral contents of things like herbs and wild foods, which contain a lot more nutrients than most store bought foods anyway.

also I'm planting things on my property that most people would never find in stores..like the little grape like hardy kiwi that have more vitamin c than lemons, and many of the smaller berries that most people just think of as  bird or wildlife foods..I tend to love them all..my favorites being elderberries.

I fight the critters to get them when they are ripe..

berries are some of the most nutritious foods as are the wild greens, like lambsquarters that makes up most of my early summer meals and my asparagus of course.

if i do need a remedy I keep a lot of dried herbs on hand..and have books that tell me what they are good for ..and they generally work fine for me.

I'm not much for medications, when I had my hernia surgery I took the pain meds for less than a week as they constipated me, and all I wanted to do was get that crap out of my system (pun intended)..however my husband is very much hooked on meds and vitamins, but all he eats is ice cream, cakes, cookies and pop..(I know I should fight him on that but he is bigger than me had is mentally disabled, from a head injury, so I don't fight him..at least he has medicaid !!)

most of your medication comes from the food you can find on your property anyway, so whynot just eat the weeds and trees??
 
Bill Schulz
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Hi All   Lively debate and certainly pertinent...I also wanted to ask if there is a link to the Stamets talk you refered to at the very beginning. I would love to hear it.

Thanks
WB

 
Kirk Hutchison
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Well, I do believe that it is time for me to jump into this discussion. Dan, you mention that there is not enough evidence to back up Paul's claims. Allow me to offer some up. What Paul is saying about the nutrient exchange between plants is true. It is because of a symbiotic relationship between soil fungi and the plants. These fungi connect to the plant's roots and help it take up nutrients in exchange for sugar. These fungi will run throughout an ecosystem, forming extensive networks and connecting to many plants. It follows that these fungi will not just extract minerals from the soil, but will receive surplus minerals from one plant and deliver them to another. This is one reason why "dynamic accumulator" plants are so useful. Another point in favor of polycultures is that they combine plants of many different root depths, allowing a maximum of efficiency in the uptake of water and nutrients, along with providing better habitat for soil bacteria.
 
                                
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One part that's missing here in terms of plant neighbors exchanging whatnot with each other is that the whatnot might not always be beneficial to us apes. I did an experiment last summer growing three different kind of Solanum (nomenclature arguments haven't decided whether they are all Solanum nigrum or not). I wanted to see if they were, as I've found in various research articles, good to eat and easy to grow and all that. What I found out by accident was that if you grow a Solanum nigrum near a Datura innoxia, the S. nigrum will pick up alkaloids from the datura, apparently through contact with roots. And this results in a plant that is not a pleasant experience to consume. Not horrible, but not pleasant. That is an example of how companion planting, which is what polyculture is called in gardening, is not always the best thing in the world. It can backfire. We know so very little about this type of plant interaction that IMO we cannot say that such interactions would be beneficial or not for us as consumers of those plants. I have noticed personally that some plants favor growing in stands and seem to encourage each other along and others prefer to grow alone amongst other types of plants. We could say that the plants that grow in stands perhaps create a special climate for themselves. In a sense, they develop a community. It is just not one that we apes recognize. Right now.

I have come across both anecdotal information and a couple scientific studies here and there that aromatic plants will increase the volatile chemicals of other aromatic plants they grow near--as long as they aren't antagonistic. But does that make them more helpful to us apes? Depends on that they are.

The big problem with this idea is that most plants we eat have been developed specifically to grow in full sun, to grow in cultivated/disturbed land, and to grow in groups. We are working against what we have bred into these plants by planting them otherwise. I should add that this year my experiment is to do precisely that--to grow plants developed for sun in shade and in competition with tree roots and see what happens.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Paracelsus wrote:
I have come across both anecdotal information and a couple scientific studies here and there that aromatic plants will increase the volatile chemicals of other aromatic plants they grow near--as long as they aren't antagonistic. But does that make them more helpful to us apes? Depends on that they are.

The big problem with this idea is that most plants we eat have been developed specifically to grow in full sun, to grow in cultivated/disturbed land, and to grow in groups. We are working against what we have bred into these plants by planting them otherwise. I should add that this year my experiment is to do precisely that--to grow plants developed for sun in shade and in competition with tree roots and see what happens.


Volatile oils and such that repel pests and disease tend to be good for us too, which is why we like mint tea and bath products with such oils in them have a pleasant aroma.

There is definitely much breeding work to be done for good agroforestry crops, but there are many plants outside of our traditional sphere that can be utilized. Perennial salad greens, for example, are readily abundant.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Paracelsus wrote:

The big problem with this idea is that most plants we eat have been developed specifically to grow in full sun, to grow in cultivated/disturbed land, and to grow in groups.


In my hot sunny climate I've found that most plants grow much better in part shade or dappled sun.
 
                                
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I'm going to pop in with my little anecdote.  Three Sister's plots are time tested, if not laboratory tested, evidence of polyculture enhancing growth and nutrient content of plants involved.  The corn provides a living stake for the beans allowing them to access more sunlight and saving them from the perils of growing along the ground which makes for a robust plant, the beans extract nitrogen and put it into soil which the corn feeds on making a stronger plant and better fed vegetable, and finally the vining plant along the bottom, usually pumpkin, provides a living mulch in the protection of the soil from the sun and water erosion and in a field benefits from the sun cover the corn and beans provide. 
Rigorous scientific studies are great.  They provide  clear and specific information regarding very specific conditions.  But science is a human enterprise, like anything else, and is fraught with inconsistencies in and of itself.  You can ask any pediatrician whether or not they think teething affects a baby's digestion, and they will swear up and down one has nothing to do with the other.  Ask any mother of an infant, and she will swear up and down the opposite.  The doctor is giving information based on current knowledge and studies, sometimes just a few studies, which may or may not imitate the environment of a person's home.  The mother is giving you anecdotal information specific to her and her experiences.  Neither is lying, but simply giving information stemming from the basis of their knowledge.
Scientific methods are a great way to determine the inner-workings of our world, but the point of science is to grow and ask questions, not to stop people from inquiring or to use as some sort of stick to insult or berate each other.  There are also many questions which science has failed to persistently answer, and that coupled with the fact that science is a human invention reveals its limitations.
All that said, its seems totally plausible to me that an organism that can impart nutrition to other living things after its life cycle has ended (when it's been picked) can also impart nutrition to other living things before its life cycle is cut off.  Whether you need double-blind studies or the individual results that are evidenced in the lives of yourself and your family, it's an interesting question to ask and worth some thought and time.
 
Sergio Santoro
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Uhmm.... my post is not permaculture-related, but I Dan's initial response, and I kind of feel the moral duty to post the link to this video I watched a while ago every time I come across the mentality that "many people have been studying cancer and looking for a cure for decades."
I am sure many of you know of the facts exposed in this video, otherwise I think it's a must, because personally I see that the matrix behind Monsanto and FDA is the same. The doctors who are studying cancer, if indeed they are, and not just formulating new cancer medicines, start from the premises inculcated by FDA and AMA who are behind the whole medical school system.

Anyway, enough said. Feel free to watch it or not. Otherwise, instinctively, for what it's worth, I tend to agree with Paul Wheaton.

This is the first of 9 segments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIycbNeXpww
 
Paul Cereghino
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Healers appear to have used "medication" for millenia.

I think healthy, organic, gardening, diverse food, exercise-full lifestyle is good.

The idea that controlling for all other variables, that there is a 'polyculture effect' on food nutrient composition, that in isolation changes human nutritional state, and this change, in isolation, substantively reduces cancer risk sounds like a very speculative hypothesis, requiring at least three bold inferences for which only weak circumstantial evidence has been provided (i.e. so-and-so said something in a public talk, or exchange of some nutrients between some species has been observed).  Though not "crazy talk"  I would classify this a 'wild-assed speculation'.  I suspect there are other factors controlling both human nutritional state and cancer risk that are MUCH bigger than polyculture.

In general, when someone attempts to use numbers to represent "wild assed speculation" my social community and I consider them a crackpot (no offense intended) or a propagandist (not always bad.. but in my opinion, usually bad).  I suspect this effect is not uncommon.

 
                                            
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You could change the title to "eliminate 99% of all medication by losing weight".

I doubt there is anything significantly healthier about polyculture grown foods over any other food grown without petrochemical fertilizer and herbicides and pesticides.  It just happens that polyculture is amenable to a more "natural" way of growing food without a bunch of chemical inputs and genetically modified plants.  It's pretty clear that eating foods grown by agribusiness with GMO plants pumped full of fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides isn't good for you.  And if you also eat meat then add antibiotics and hormones into the mix which is even worse for you.

I had a patient who was 400 lbs and on 3 different diabetes medicines, two different high blood pressure meds, an anticholesterol medicine, an antireflux medicine and even with all that, his blood pressure was higher than it should be, his cholesterol was high and his diabetes was not well controlled.  He went on a diet and lost weight down to 250 lbs and got off his diabetes medicines but his cholesteral was still high.  I told him to go vegetarian and he did, and now he is 200 lbs and not on ANY meds and feels the best he has in as long as he can remember and his blood pressure is good, diabetes is gone, and his cholesterol is way better than it was when he was taking the cholesterol medicine.  And this isn't controversial.  We all know that losing weight is better for all these things.

and to the person who believes there is some conspiracy to keep a cancer treatment that works out of the hands of patients because there is no money in it is complete hogwash.  This is kind of like people who believe there was a 100mpg carburator that was suppressed by the gas and auto industry.  It just doesn't make sense.  I can guarentee you that physicians and scientists for the most part care very little about whether or not a drug will make the pharma industry a lot of money.  The vast majority of cancer research in this country is funded by our tax dollars.  If I knew of a cheap diet that would cure cancer, I would publish it in every scientific journal out there.  And if it costs the pharma industry billions of dollars in lost revenue because they can't sell their cancer drugs, 99% of physicians and scientists wouldn't care.  There would be a huge incentive for a physician or scientist to publish a cheap and easy cure for cancer because the primary motivator for these people is 1. FAME and 2. PERSONAL SATISFACTION knowing that you made a difference.  Can you imagine the amount of fame a physician or scientist who found such a cure would have?  It would be unreal.  He or she would be giving talks all over the world and would be on every single news and talk show you could imagine.

So yes, there would be a reason for pharma industry to suppress some kind of cheap and easy cancer treatment but there is basically no reason for a scientist or physician to suppress it - even a scientist or physician who works for pharma.  because lets say that there was a discovery at a company and they told their scientist, if you don't suppress this, you are fired.  if he published it, he would may so much more money from his speaking fees than that company could ever pay him.

So rest assured, there is no evil conspiracy to keep a known cancer cure out of your hands.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Polycultural growing schemes do improve the soil, so that would make food healthier.
 
Jeff Mathias
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neoplasticity wrote:
  If I knew of a cheap diet that would cure cancer, I would publish it in every scientific journal out there.

If your serious these folks could sure use some help getting their message out:

This diet appears to be reasonably cheap: http://healthwyze.org/index.php/cancer-revisited-the-industry-suppressed-budwig-regimen-or-how-to-cure-cancer-with-cottage-cheese.html

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/fda-forbidden-fruits.html

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/361.html  The Relationship Between Body pH and Disease (and other facts you're not supposed to know)


neoplasticity wrote:
And if it costs the pharma industry billions of dollars in lost revenue because they can't sell their cancer drugs, 99% of physicians and scientists wouldn't care.  There would be a huge incentive for a physician or scientist to publish a cheap and easy cure for cancer because the primary motivator for these people is 1. FAME and 2. PERSONAL SATISFACTION knowing that you made a difference.  Can you imagine the amount of fame a physician or scientist who found such a cure would have?   It would be unreal.  He or she would be giving talks all over the world and would be on every single news and talk show you could imagine.


Ever heard of Dr. Johanna Budwig? Nominated five or six times for the Nobel Prize in medicine. http://healthwyze.org/index.php/cancer-revisited-the-industry-suppressed-budwig-regimen-or-how-to-cure-cancer-with-cottage-cheese.html


neoplasticity wrote:
So rest assured, there is no evil conspiracy to keep a known cancer cure out of your hands.


Rather than repeat this information poorly I will refer you again to healthwyze.org who I think lay out this discussion much better than I could/would.

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/521-video-the-cancer-report-has-been-released.html Their new video, I have yet to watch.

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/512.html  - Special Investigative Report: Why You Should Boycott the Susan Komen Pink Ribbon Foundation and Its Sponsors

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/517-the-cdcs-greatest-health-achievements.html

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/180.html?showall=1 How the Rich Got Richer While the Sick Got Sicker

Just a note, I am in no way affiliated with healthwyze.org, I am however quite impressed with their personal integrity as well as the quality of the research in their articles.

Jeff
 
Tyler Ludens
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I wish a healthy diet and exercise really WOULD solve 99% of health problems. 

Or maybe I'm just that damn 1%.    I first got high blood pressure at age 25 when I was about 10 pounds underweight. 
 
                                            
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Wow.

I read this

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/cancer-revisited-the-industry-suppressed-budwig-regimen-or-how-to-cure-cancer-with-cottage-cheese.html

It's disturbing that people actually believe this.  And frankly, when I was reading the comments, I was angry.  This author is preying on people who are desperate for hope and feeding them bad information that will get them killed.  I'm all for a healthy diet and obviously I like the things we talk about on this forum (or I wouldn't be here) but when people start promoting flaxseed and cottage cheese and saying that surgery and therapy is bad for their cancer is irresponsible and morally reprehensible. 

I've had several patients who went to "healers" who promoted various diets and treatments and claimed to cure cancer.  When I first saw them, they had cancers that were treatable and curable.  They left and went on one of these diets for two or three months and then they come back to clinic and their tumor has grown to the point that it is no longer resectable and I basically have to tell them that I have no curative therapy to offer them anymore.



Let's go over the article.

Meet Dr. Johanna Budwig.  She left us in 2003, at the ripe age of 95, but she looked like she was in her 70's.  She was nominated six times for the Nobel Prize for medicine, which means that it would be wise to take her health work seriously.

Nobel Prize nominations are inconsequential and unprovable.  Nominees are not ever informed that they have been nominated and the nominees are never published or known.  I could say that I'm a 20 time Nobel Prize nominee and no one could prove or disprove that.  Also, thousands of nominees are nominated by thousands of scientists all over the world each year.


We call her a saint, but doctors-in-the-know thought of her as a god.  Did we mention that she cured cancer ― not treated ― but cured it in "terminally ill" patients; even patients which the establishment had surrendered to fate, claimed were "untreatable", and gave a death sentence to?  We're not talking about specific or rare types of cancer either.  She cured whatever type of cancer that was thrown at her, and she did it relatively quickly, cheaply, easily, and permanently; using non-toxic ingredients, which were without any side-effects whatsoever. 

You ever hear the saying, "if its too good to be true..."  a cure for any kind of cancer with no side effect and almost no cost.   This is absolute lunacy to believe such a statement.  A cure for any kind of cancer that costs a billion dollars and you lose your right eye - I wouldn't even believe THAT.


Her medicine actually made her patients stronger, and her cure rate was over 90%, including the worst "terminal" cases. 

Absolutely no reference or proof.  If you're going to make extraordinary claims, you better have extraordinary proof.

You read that right; we did indeed say that her permanent cure rate was over 90%.  Did we mention no side-effects?  Dr. Bugwig's successes greatly contrast the facts that the life-long cure rate from standard chemotherapy is less than 4% for most types of cancer, and that chemotherapy is known to cause future cancers. 

Again, completely untrue.  Cure rates for some cancers like BCR-ABL leukemias are very high and many cancers cause no problem even with no treatment whatsoever.  Chemotherapy does not cause future cancers.  Radiation therapy does.  The author is most likely confusing the two.

We have not mentioned the most incredible aspect that is still being suppressed by the lucrative cancer industry: Dr. Budwig's secret weapons against cancer were common cottage cheese and flax seed oil.  She quickly became enemy #1 to the pharmaceutical and nuclear industries.  They did not like the prospect of people having the choice between their debilitating and bankrupting treatments, or simply opening their refrigerator for a cure. 

There is an industry that makes more money and is more powerful than the pharma industry.  That is the insurance industry.  If there was a cheap effective treatment for cancer, it would make them BILLIONS of dollars because every dollar they have to pay to pharma or hospitals for cancer treatment is a dollar away from their bottom line.  They would be ALL OVER IT.

They have been so effective at suppressing her Noble Prize worthy work, that for many of our readers, this will be their first instance of learning of the good doctor, or her famous Budwig Diet.  Her bombshell findings were first published in the early 1950's.

She published 5 papers total in her career.  None of them in any prestigious journal. Only 3 of them relating to this topic.  Hardly Nobel Prize worthy.

Anyone want to make a bet as to when major networks like Fox News and ABC News are going to cover this story?  We're betting never.  They're team players.

Everything You've Been Told About Cancer is a Lie

First and foremost, cancer is not merely an outbreak of tumors.  We know the establishment treats them as the same, but it would be a waste of time and space to go there.

"The establishmen" at least in the developed world, does not treat all cancers the same.

We have more important things to discuss in this article than cataloging their (often intentional) stupidity and incompetence.  For now, we'll simply state that perpetual treatments (creating life-long customers) is the overall goal, instead of curing. 

This is just evil.  To assert that physicians are purposely not curing their patients because they want life-long customers?!  WTF?!  really?


You see, a dead patient is not profitable, nor is a healthy patient.  The money is made somewhere in the middle ― patients who are alive ― barely.  Cancer is essentially a modern man-made disease.  There is evidence of it existing in ancient history, but cancer was extremely rare in ancient history, except in cities with cases of mass poisoning (again a man-made disease). 

Cancer was extremely rare in ancient history because people didn't live long enough to get cancer.  It's hard to get cancer when you're dying of infectious diseases because antibiotics and immunizations haven't been discovered yet.  That's the major reason.  The other reason is that our world is more polluted than it was but over all, the lower life expectancy is a far greater factor


Now, cancer is expected to strike one person out of every three, and this rate is rising rapidly.

one out of every three is probably an underestimation.  If you live long enough, all of us will get cancer.  In fact, most people over the age of 70 have some form of cancer and they just don't know it and they will most likely die of some other process - usually heart disease - before the cancer becomes a problem


The Unholy Cancer Trinity

Toxins, radiation, and acidosis are the unholy trinity of cancer.  The combined damage from toxins, radiation, malnutrition (often caused by pharmaceuticals), and illness leads to acidosis, which is the final stage of this misunderstood condition.  When a person's body chemistry becomes acidic from the aforementioned factors, then his blood's ability to retain and carry oxygen is severely diminished.  Healthy individuals have a blood oxygen level of between 98 and 100 as measured by a pulse oximeter, but cancer patients routinely show around 60. 

People do not walk around with a pulse ox of 60.  If your blood oxygen level is at 60 you're in the ICU, barely conscious and probably going to die soon.  All cancer patients and non cancer patients that walk around and can say their own name correctly have a pulse ox of greater than 95

Oxygen is replaced in a cancer patient's blood with wastes such as carbon dioxide.  The oxygen starvation caused by acidosis leads to the formation of tumors as cells must mutate to derive their energy from a fermentation process. 

Uh, no.  Cancer is not caused by hypoxia.  If that were the case, we'd see lots of cancers in denver.  This theory was debunked DECADES ago.

Normal cells obtain energy from oxygen, but oxygen-starved cells must mutate to using a type of direct sugar fermentation, which is really the body's self defense.  Of course, this is not as "clean" as oxygen-based energy, and the waste products of fermentation build in the tissues causing even higher toxicity.  Eventually the entire immune system is debilitated by the process of cleaning these wastes, so that it can no longer cope with the removal of unhealthy cells.  This allows the cancer cells to multiply and spread unchecked to create the symptom of tumors, which is in the latter stages of this process.

All the above was proved by Dr. Otto Warburg, and he won the Nobel Prize for it in 1931.

Yes he believed this theory and espoused it in the 1930s.  Prominent physicians and scientists also believed that smoking was good for your health in the 1950s


Funny you've never heard about it, huh?  Are you still walking for the cure?  Don't worry, we felt horribly suckered when we learned too.  Meanwhile, the industry is still murdering people for profit, while "searching for the cure".

The secret to beating cancer is that life-giving breath of God ― oxygen.  Technically, it is not that simple, but it is almost that simple.  The real trick is getting the oxygen into the deep tissue cells, and getting them to "eat" it again.  Dr. Budwig's regimen is just one of many for stimulating that.

Wrong again.  If you give cancer cells oxygen, they will grow like crazy.  Cancer cells do use glycolysis but that is only because they have outgrown their blood supply and do not get supplied all the oxygen they want.  If you give it to them, they will have explosive growth.  In fact, there is a treatment that is used to help with severe infections and wound problems called hyperbaric oxygen which is basically a way of delivering super concentrated oxygen to your body.  The number one contraindication to this treatment is if the patient also has cancer because we discovered that if you put cancer patients in hyperbaric oxygen, their tumor growth rate climbs



Most cancer cures (not treatments) involve adjusting the body's pH beyond neutral, and into an alkaline state.

No, most cancer cures involve catching the thing early and cutting it all out before it gets too big.

There's plenty more lunacy out there on the web.  Places like http://www.cancertutor.com
 
Emerson White
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There are lots of people who claim to have cancer cures, they all have one thing in common, they refuse to follow their patients to see how many die. The guy selling cottage cheese and flax oil, or the people selling Essiac tea, or the people who want you to breathe air. People have a huge incentive to say that they are curing cancer (even a psychological incentive).

It's important to remember that wild animals get sick, even before man started to change the environment significantly and in areas where he has not (like remote uninhabited valleys in the newguinea highlands) animals still get sick and still die. It's not a punishment that we are having for the advancements we have made (though the metabolic syndrome is) if we weren't getting sick this way we would be getting sick another way.
 
Jeff Mathias
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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Neoplasticity,

I certainly do not have the ability to address some of your more clinical responses however I find much of what you wrote appears to me to be disingenuous at best. Please contact healthwyze.org with your review of their article. I am quite sure they would be willing to have an open and transparent conversation regarding your responses to the article and I personally would be quite interested to follow the discussion.

Emerson White wrote:
There are lots of people who claim to have cancer cures, they all have one thing in common, they refuse to follow their patients to see how many die. The guy selling cottage cheese and flax oil, or the people selling Essiac tea, or the people who want you to breathe air. People have a huge incentive to say that they are curing cancer (even a psychological incentive).


Emerson,

I agree with much of what you wrote here; I would include "current medicine" from our developed world in this as well. Also I would note much like in permaculture one answer does not often fit all situations.

The thing is it seems to me if modern day science wanted to put much of these discussions to bed forever they would simply setup studies and do the testing. Prove it all wrong or inconclusive once and for all and move on. This almost never happens. Also the Amish have exceptionally low cancer rates, as do oddly enough many in the third world. And yet there appears to be little or no focus on either of these groups and what they may be doing. It is almost always about the cure, almost never about prevention.

The other thing that disturbs me about cancer research specifically is as far as I can tell the vast majority of the research has to do with curing cancer not with preventing cancer. However virtually all of the rest of our medical sciences try to deal with prevention first then curing. It appears that very few disagree that diet and environment are leading causes of cancer. So why do we continue to allow known cancer causing agents to be pervasive in our food and environment sometimes even to the point of legislating them to be there? To me it all still seems to point to money. There is little money to be made in healthy safe foods and herbal remedies that anyone can grow and use, but much to be made looking for that cure.

Jeff


 
                                
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neoplasticity wrote:
because lets say that there was a discovery at a company and they told their scientist, if you don't suppress this, you are fired.  if he published it, he would may so much more money from his speaking fees than that company could ever pay him.


I can't speak to a conspiracy to keep a cancer cure out of the hands of the public, but I do think it's a little short-sided to say that a scientist could report whatever finding they had without permission of the company they are working for.  The legal ramifications would be enough to hold many scientists at bay.  If they are developing treatments for any illness those treatments and medications are likely the property of the company which, especially in this day and age, can reserve the right to do what they wish with said product.  It would be nice if the world of scientific research and development could exist in it's own separate sphere away from the political and business concerns of human existence, but such is not the case.  When you think about how tobacco companies went to great pains to not only insert harmful chemicals in their products, but also hide the scientific evidence that proved those products were harmful to our health, it is not hard to make the jump that big pharma would sit on medical breakthroughs for profit.
 
Emerson White
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You think the legal damages would come within miles of the benefits? It would be a slap on the hand.
 
Ed Johnson
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http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/william_li.html

William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.

About William Li
William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting
 
Tyler Ludens
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ontario wrote:
Eating cancer-fighting foods


What are the cancer-fighting foods?

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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