Urban Farms Creating Jobs/Economies for the Future

How we grow, deliver, and consume food around the world is built on a broken and ideologically incompatible system.  Farms exist to make a limited number of individuals obscenely rich.  Thus, everything that goes into the production of our food is built on a foundation of what makes them the most money, not what makes food more nutritious, accessible, and fresh for the public.

Urban farms are the answer to the agriculture industry’s inadequate and unsustainable hold on the world.  By taking control of how we grow our food and what is grown, we will have a say as to what the future will bring for the people of this planet, not the men sitting in their ivory towers.

Through the Cracks of Concrete

While there is no one source of the beginning of this revolution of urban farming, one can point to major examples of how it fills the needs of the most desperate places.  Detroit is a place that has been abandoned by its representative government, and so the people have taken it upon themselves to feed the community through urban agriculture.

This is no recreational project that was founded on pure convenience or the enhancement of flavors, Detroit’s urban gardens have sprouted out of a fundamental need for fresh produce that is as affordable as it is accessible.  There’s rows of abandoned lots, which were once associated with death and despair, which are now being used to grow food, jobs.

Investing for the Future

Unless you are an ultra-pessimist, one can’t help but look at a city like Detroit and see the potential for a rebirth.  The only way that is going to happen is to create new industry while strengthening the economy.  There’s nowhere else to go but up, which is also how the Michigan Agricultural Department sees it.  They estimate that tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in taxes could be created off of urban farming related ventures.

Not only that, urban farming can help reverse some of the damage that has been done to the communities of Detroit, with so much of the population that has been lost due to economic turmoil.  It’s certainly a long way before the city can even begin to speak about returning to normal, but rebuilding includes new growth, which urban agriculture can be the key ingredient for the future.

Promising Growth in the Field

The job potential for urban farming isn’t just limited to the labor and management positions, there’s a lot to be excited about in the technology industry.  Aquaponics are going to be in huge demand in the future for urban settings.  The oceans are becoming fished out at an alarming rate, so the ability to raise seafood in warehouses or rooftops is nothing short of a miracle.

Big agriculture may claim that many jobs will be lost that are tied to harvesting, transporting food across the country, however, those low-skill, low pay jobs will be replaced by skilled jobs that are more fulfilling and sustainable for the individual and society.  Lowered cost of living means less people on welfare and less people in danger of becoming food insecure.  Urban farmers know all about waste and how little resources are actually needed to produce extremely nutritious and bountiful yields.  Maybe, in a distant future, economies will no longer be dependent on private companies for feeding the populace.

 

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The Modern Revolution’s Founder

I founded a health and wellness company called A Well Run Life and started The Modern Revolution as a way to

contribute to

encourage

be a part of

the growing number of initiatives, ideas, experiments in the world rejecting the dominant, current way of caring for our bodies that has led to lifestyle diseases becoming so pervasive. I don’t want us to squander all the amazing advancements in agriculture and medicine and self-care by quietly allowing the

cheap

disease causing

poisoning

ways of delivering food and medicine to be further entrenched by those more concerned with profit than health. Never before in history have we had such a tremendous opportunity to teach other about how to raise food properly, cure illness without damaging the body, and create communities that produce the most delicious meals and healthiest lives.

I want to be a part of something important.

We need a modern revolution to employ all the knowledge and wisdom platforms such as these can so easily bring together.

 

Our English Cream Golden Retrievers: Gus and Winston

Last year, we lost a little St. Bernard puppy name Olympus 10 days after we got him – to the Parvo Virus.

He died right in front of me. I was heart broken.

I wrote about Oly in a Podcast called Puppy Love, you can find it here.

But, today isn’t for sad stories.

Today I want to introduce you to our 2 English Cream Golden Retrievers: Gus and Winston.

They have been healing, joy-producing and given us great belly laughs. It’s well documented and known, but let me add my voice to those who speak of the healing power of pets.

We love them.

They love us.

Like having our 5 children, it is hard to imagine life without them. I am going to tell you about them from time to time. They crack us up. Maybe they will crack you up too.

Should you be interested, you can follow their pictures on Instagram here.

Naturopathic Medical Principles in The Modern Health Care Revolution

We believe that the current, dominate health-care system has become a sick-care system.

However, there is a very bright shining light in the current health care landscape: Naturopathic Medicine.

Naturopathic Medicine defines itself with very specific principles. Treating the root causes of illness, rather than masking their symptoms is paramount to the entire philosophy. As I am sure you have heard, there have been cultures whose doctors were to teach you how to stay healthy. Those doctors were paid when the people in their care remained healthy rather when the slipped from the state of health in to a state of disease.

The Modern Revolution wants you out of the current health care system all together. But, should you fall ill, we want you to seek out a naturopathic physician.

Naturopathic Medicine follows these natural laws:

The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:

Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat; Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.

Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.

Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.

Our Medical Director (and my fiancé) is Naturopathic physician Dr. Maggie Garvin. Her practice is named On Being Well. Please let me introduce you to her now:

Top Successful Urban Farms in the World

Researchers predict that a total of two-thirds of the globe will live in urban developments by 2030.  The sci-fi pictures of major metropolis hubs are starting to become reality.  We just hope self-driving cars become the standard by the time we reach that realization, because I’m not sure the world can handle even more terrible drivers on even more crowded roads, but I digress.  We’re here to talk about how we’re going to feed all these people that are stuck inside these cities of concrete, glass, and metal.

The only viable solution to this urban growth is urban agriculture.  Thankfully, we have some brilliant minds who are hard at work to show us that we don’t need to dedicate half the planet’s land to farming just to feed the booming population, we have all the space we need on our rooftops and cityscapes.

Don’t believe it?  Here’s a few places that prove urban farming is more than just a fad, it’s a way of life (and living) for their communities:

1       Food Field, Detroit, Michigan

If you need proof of concept, you don’t get any more real than Detroit, when it comes to a population that wants and needs the means to be self-sustaining and has limited resources to choose from.  Food Field is a project that has transformed an abandoned elementary school lot to a fully-fledged urban farm.  This is a direct reply to the corruption, abuse, and neglect the residents have received from both corporate and government entities.

Food Field provides fresh foods to community residents and local restaurants with the help from volunteers.  This is an example of a community that is taking matters into their own hands to help create something better for themselves and their future.  Food Field is also building up their infrastructure to help raise fresh seafood via aquaponics systems.

2       Sky Greens, Singapore

Singapore doesn’t have the luxury of having large swathes of their country dedicated to agriculture, like many countries in the West.  It is because of this, that the average person only eats about 7% locally grown produce.  Sky Greens is changing the way Singaporeans eat by building highly efficient, compact, and healthy vertical gardens.  These vertically stacked urban farms waste no water, as it is distributed evenly throughout each layer of produce.

Sky Greens is able to produce 5-10x the amount of produce, per-capita of land, while using less water and less energy.  This is obviously one of the most promising solutions to urban farming for the future, producing healthier and accessible food for everyone.

3       The Delaney Community Farm, Denver, CO

This small farm allows everyone the opportunity to access fresh produce, no matter what their income or social status.  They supply produce for approx. 500 families via Community Service programs and Federal cooperation for WIC families to obtain fresh food in exchange for just an hour of work every week.  This farm acts as a valuable resource to the community, not only with the food they harvest, but also with their teachings of how to farm and cook healthy at home.

 

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism Treatment in Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, and Acupuncture

Thyroid problems are extremely common. In fact, half of all people will experience some type of thyroid problem at some point in life. The most common two forms of thyroid malfunction are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In each case, the body isn’t producing the optimal amount of hormones. A part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, heart function, the digestive system, muscle control, development of the brain and  bones. While mainstream medicine treats thyroid dysfunctions with drugs, other therapies can often successfully restore balance to the thyroid without using synthetic medications or resorting to surgery.

Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common thyroid problems. It involves overproduction of hormones, and results in symptoms that include sudden loss of weight, fast heartbeat, profuse sweating and emotional disturbances, including mood swings. One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is called Grave’s Disease. This is a autoimmune disorder in which the immune system begins attacking the thyroid, resulting in too much hormone production.

Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is the opposite problem. The thyroid is producing fewer hormones than it should. An under-active thyroid causes symptoms like fatigue, sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffiness in the face, hoarseness, and muscle weakness. Other symptoms can include symptoms that mimic depression, memory problems, and trouble thinking clearly. Many people find that treating hypothyroidism results in an elevated mood.

Thyroid Treatments in Ayurvedic Medicine

Many problems with the thyroid are addressed in ayurvedic medicine by avoiding foods that are heavy and/or sour, and by eating foods like rice (specifically old rice), cucumber, sugar water, and barley. Dr. Sandeep Krishna says that three types of yoga can also helpful: pranayama, matsyasana, and halasana. He also recommends dandelion leaves and flax seeds for hyperthyroidism. For hypothyroidism, he recommends foods naturally high in iodine and avoidance of foods that slow the metabolism further like cabbage, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach. Charaka, the founder of Ayurvedic Medicine, wrote that goiter only happens to those who don’t drink enough milk.

Thyroid Treatments in Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine views problems with the thyroid in terms of a Yin/Yang imbalance. Complete treatment will typically involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy. These treatments work together to restore balance to the imbalanced thyroid. Different herbs are used depending on whether the thyroid is overactive or under-active. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, hyperthyroidism is treated with herbs like Rehmannia (shu di huang), Dioscorea (shan yao), and Cornus (shan zhu yu). Kidney Yin Tonic (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan) Liver Cleansing (Zhi Zi Qing Gan Tang) and Heart Yin Tonic (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan). Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is treated with cinnamon (rou gui) and Aconite (fu zi), Kidney Yang Tonic (Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan), and formulas like Right Restoration Formula (You Gui Wan).

Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture

Acupuncture can restore balance in the thyroid and its hormone production levels, and help restore healthy energy levels, emotional well-being, and regular menstrual cycles.  Needles are placed on acupuncture points at the ear and at various points throughout the body. The exact placement depends on the root cause of the thyroid imbalance. Because the endocrine system regulates most of the body’s hormones, including the thyroid gland’s hormone production, the solution to rebalancing thyroid production sometimes involves addressing other organs, including the kidneys or the liver. Because the body is a complete system whose parts need to be in harmony with one another, acupuncturists work to restore qi, or life energy, balance throughout the body.

Homeopathic Thyroid Treatments

Homeopathic treatments for thyroid problems vary depending on the symptoms the patient is experiencing.According to Dr. Vikas Sharma, Calcarea Carbonica, Sepia Officinalis, Lycopodium, Graphites and Nux Vomica are the best homeopathic remedies for hypothyroidism. The exact symptoms are person is experiencing help to determine which remedy to use. For those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, these same treatments may be used, although there is no one go-to remedy for those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Treatment will be determined by the presenting symptoms. The most commonly recommended homeopathic treatments for hyperthyroidism are Lodium, Natrum Muriaticum, Lachesis Mutus, Phosphorus, and Conium Maculatum.

While allopathic treatments for thyroid problems generally include drugs and sometimes surgery, natural treatments for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism work with the body to restore balance without resorting to extreme measures like removing the thyroid. Treatments involving Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Homeopathy address the imbalance in more gentle ways, vie encourage the body’s systems to work together to facilitate healing and restore hormonal balance through foods, through natural plant-medicine, and by working with the body’s energy systems. Treating thyroid problems generally results in relief of symptoms and an overall increased sense of well-being.