Western culture has much to be proud of. Its attainments are without comparison. But we are living on borrowed time because there is a serious flaw at the heart of our philosophy that has opened us all to dangers.
The contradictions implicit in a conspicuous consumer culture are evident to increasing numbers of people. The shortcomings of an economic system that uses its assets (the Earth’s resources) as income, and then messes its own doorstep with pollution, are becoming plainly visible.
Globally at the moment there are problems facing the survival of mankind. Diminishing natural resources and increasing populations who consume mean that we are already fighting over what’s left (ie oil, water, forest) and exporting many of our problems to the environment for our children to sort out. In effect our present global economy is stealing a future from our descendants.
Our investment systems have used the capital assets of our planet as if they were income since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Our whole system of investing for the future is based on extracting and exploiting the capital assets of the earth to create income, without any regard to the future. It is a house built on sand. Any accountant, in fact most four year olds can tell you that if you use finite assets as income, and then spend it, you’re going to end up with nothing. We are putting little back into our planet except for our waste materials. This is utterly exploitative at a deep level and has resulted in an environment and economy full of danger.
The way our culture relates to this planet is not sustainable. Many people have compared our culture to a cancer spreading on the face of the planet, eating away at its resources without replacing, acting only for itself without reference to other species of life. In this context the disease of cancer mirrors a crisis in our culture.
Cancer is a side effect of a culture that values unrestricted growth at any cost. The whole idea of ‘magic bullets’ and ‘a pill for every ill’ are symptomatic of a shallow, high tech, quick fix mentality of a dominator culture expecting the world to be as controllable as a laboratory.
Two hundred years ago 98% of people worked on the land in some way, living in farms and villages. Pretty soon half of the worlds population will be urbanites. The intrusion of humans into remote places, combined with the high speed of global travel combined with high density living in cities creates conditions that are ripe for microbes, viruses, bacteria and parasites to flourish amongst us. Modern conditions make us more susceptible to communicable diseases than we were just 50 years ago.
Biological enhancement of crops, growth hormones in milk and meat, mercury in our mouths, colorants and carcinogens in food are commonplace. The foot and mouth epidemic, B.S.E. in sheep and cattle, bird flu, S.A.R.S., nuclear radiation and the de-naturalisation of our food are examples of how common sense is abandoned to profit. The ‘Precautionary Principle’ is too often being overlooked in the rush of science.
The genetic modification of food for example is still largely untested and many of its results are open to interpretation. Scientific knowledge of the processes involved is still at an early stage.
Little is known about side effects, how gene function is controlled, and gene transfer into other organisms such as bacteria in the human gut. The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that the potential adverse effects have not been sufficiently investigated and strongly recommend caution.
The United Nations’ safety body, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, has warned that the failure to carry out full health checks on GM foods could lead to toxic reactions, allergies and increased resistance to antibiotics. Experience has shown that genetically modified and organic foods cannot exist together because genetically modified crops will cross-pollinate with any others.
Contamination of the whole food chain has already occurred within a few years. Biotechnology companies that are facing opposition in Europe and the US are targeting less well resourced countries in the hope that genetically modified organisms will spread irreversibly before public opinion has time to intervene.
The common Western diet has become one based on convenience foods full of poor quality cholesterol, life-clogging trans-fats and processed sugar. Convenience often outweighs any considerations of nutrition or authenticity.
In addition to dangers lurking in our food supply, there are others waiting in the environment. Daily cocktails of synthetic chemicals, poisons, radiation and other stressors surround us. We find radiation from mobile phones and microwaves or toxic car fumes and aluminium and parabens in antiperspirant, rat poison in toothpaste, the convenience of chemical sprays or heavy metals and chemical effluents in the water and food. Slowly the sheer levels of non-natural substances have built up and now our environment is crammed with toxins we often consume unwittingly.
In a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.
We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…