In Search of Balance (2016) Movie Script

The 'Net of Indra';
the metaphor of Indra's
jeweled net asks us
to envision
a vast net that,
at each juncture
there lies a jewel;
each jewel reflects
all the other jewels
in this
cosmic matrix.
Every jewel represents
an individual life form,
atom, cell or unit
of consciousness.
Each jewel, in turn,
is intrinsically
and intimately connected
to all the others.
Thus, a change in one gem is
reflected in all the others.
Hundreds of thousands of people
have died unnecessary deaths.
The question is, why?
Most of what I treat in my
office is chronic disease.
We are living
in an environment.
Our bodies are ill-prepared
for a lot of disease results,
probably about half of disease
you see in the hospitals
is due to living
in an environment
we are not prepared for.
But perhaps the most
startling part is that
many of these chronic diseases
could have been prevented.
Chronic disease
is all the ailments from
heart disease, diabetes,
to depression,
that are just chipping away
at our quality of life.
Make rounds in
a modern hospital
with me in the
medical ward sometime
and just make a note of
each patient as you go through
which of these patients
would actually be there
if they had lived in
the natural environment
compared with our
modern environment.
These chronic diseases
seem to be moving ever
further town
in the age bracket
to the point where I am
seeing more-and-more children
with diabetes and heart
disease, morbid obesity.
Experts call it
Over the past decade childhood
cases of type 2 diabetes
have increased ten-fold because
of rising rates of obesity.
The immune systems in
modern people specifically
in the developed rich
countries are trigger happy,
they are doing crazy things,
attacking their own tissues
like attacking the brain so then
you have multiple sclerosis.
All of these are situations
where the immune system
is doing things it
should not be doing,
and in developing countries
it doesn't do these things.
So something has changed in
the rich developed countries
which is causing
our immune systems
lose the control
that normally stop them
from behaving irresponsibly.
The medical profession is
now actually the third leading
cause of death
in the United States.
People didn't understand
why when we get antibiotics
it causes many problems,
not only that but each cell
in our body has mitochondria
that has been
before bacteria.
So bacteria is the fabric
of all the living systems.
So we did so many mistake
on our gut bacteria.
As we have less-and-less
infectious disease
we have more-and-more
chronic disease,
but even conditions like
multiple sclerosis
and depression had our thought
had some microbial involvement.
And so it may be, as we have
conquered infectious disease,
some of the strategies
like antibiotics
have been either eliminating
beneficial microbes
or providing the growth
of harmful microbes
that are contributing to these
chronic diseases in ways
that we are just beginning
to understand.
Most of it relates
back to our lifestyle.
So to the foods
that we are eating,
the highly processed foods
with lots of sugar
and very low nutrient,
to the fact that we experience
a huge amount of stress
and that we are disconnected
from our communities.
I am starting to discover
also to the fact
that we are disconnected
from the natural world.
We gradually killing
ourselves off.
People have to start realizing
that we are connected,
I mean, including the creatures
of the earth, including plants,
the land, at some point it
will come back and bite us
if we don't start
changing our ways.
Actually it's starting
to bite us already.
I love to garden
without gloves.
My name is Dr. Daphne Miller
and I am a family doctor
and a nutrition explorer.
-- and, I feel like
I wear gloves enough
in my medical
and why should I have
to wear them in my garden
where everything
is so wonderful
and where there
is a kind of microbes
that I want to be
connected to, so --
Agroecology is the
science that provides
the basic ecological
principles for how to study,
design and manage agrosystems
that are both productive
and natural
and that are
socially-just and
economically viable.
We can get
behind that, right.
Agroecology goes beyond
a one-dimensional view
of agroecosystems.
At the heart of the agroecology
strategy is the idea
that an agroecosystem
should mimic the functioning
of local ecosystems.
But the word 'health'
has not come up once yet.
The key agroecological
strategy in designing
a sustainable agricultural
is to reincorporate diversity
into the agricultural fields
and surrounding landscapes.
How about human health?
No, no, no
health here, okay!
I am pleased to introduce
our next speaker,
Ms. Daphne Miller.
She will be talking about
diverse farming system,
diverse diets.
She is a family
physician, a writer,
and associate professor in the
Department of Family Medicine
at the University of
California, San Francisco.
I wanted also to add this
sentence which I like myself,
Ms. Miller approaches
medicine with idea
that opportunities
for health
and healing are found not
only in the medical system
but in such unexpected
places such as home kitchens,
school gardens, community
organization, spiritual centers,
and natural trades.
Thank you.
We are hitting a wall,
and we know that pills
and surgeries are not making
cadent in the rates of diabetes
and heart disease
that we are seeing.
The most important thing
to understand is that
there is no one answer.
Health is something that needs
to be engaged with everyday
throughout the day in dozens
of little choices that we make.
The bad news is that
it's complicated.
On my 48th birthday
I had a really bad headache.
it was determined
that I had a disorder
called Neurosarcoidosis.
They started treating me
with prednisone, with steroids.
I tried to watch TV,
TV was too slow,
so I finally had to bring in
my laptop and that was the only
thing that was, you know,
fast enough that I could feel
because these drugs
just had my brain go --
A 106,000 Americans
are killed every year
from side-effects
of prescription drugs.
This is not drug errors,
this is not illicit drugs,
and this is actually
just compliant to drugs
given in hospitals.
And the steroids were great
and that the symptoms
that I was having went away and
within maybe two weeks of going
on these massive
dosage of steroids,
my appetite was back
and I gained somewhere
in the neighborhood 30
or 40 pounds in two weeks,
because I was eating
like a teenage boy.
What I didn't know at that
time was that prednisone
can lead to diabetes.
So I began a course of
medication for diabetes.
We tend to medicalize health,
we tend to really think of it
within the purview of what we
can do that's either a drug
or a surgery or some kind
of chemical intervention
to make us feel better,
and in fact we know
that there is many, many
other things out there
that have everything to do
with creating this balance.
I mean,
I am really thankful
that Western medicine
saved his life
because, you know, definitely
it was going downhill fast.
But at the same
time, you know,
prednisone caused terrible
side-effects that is --
it's just one of
those things that --
It was like those
old '40s and '50s movies
where somebody saves your
life and now they own you.
This is where I pay you off.
The hubris of thinking
that we could simplify
this complex system,
put it on a pill, we should be
surprised if that ever worked,
if a drug company
came up with a pill
that had the
benefits of broccoli,
I mean, they would be
making billions of dollars
because it's
just so clear-cut.
So, our reductionist
approach is doing very little
in the phase of this epidemic
of chronic disease.
Reductionism means
taking a system
and reducing it into
its component parts
as if the whole was
just the sum of its part
so we can take
any single part out,
you know, get the same
effect as a whole.
Such processes do not
really occur in nature.
One of the first
ones was Descartes
which basically said you cannot
study nature in its complexity,
you have to study
in its parts,
and that's when the
transdisciplinary nature
of knowledge
was divided
into commodities
or disciplines.
The second
influence was Darwin.
Darwin, although he came up
with the Theory of Evolution,
he emphasized the
survival of the fittest,
which means competition,
the cones that are successful
competitors make it,
when it turns out
that in nature
there is much more
and collaboration and
covariation than competition.
The traditional
linear model,
the pharmaceutical
company model is,
let's identify
one probiotic,
they would be put into this
extremely complicated system
which is equally
complicated to our brain
and that will
cure disease.
In the modern system's view not
the right way of looking at it.
We see now that we don't
live in a linear world
that A causes B causes C.
What in fact we live in
is a complex network.
It's a complex system
where everything is related
to everything else,
it's that kind of thinking,
the science of complex systems
are adaptive complex systems
that determine our future.
What you need for a complex
problem is a complex solution.
One of the things that
we have done is that
was really important to us
was we started a garden;
when we got the house that
was one of the first things
that we did and started
growing our own food.
It's kind of something
that's become more integrated
into our lives, it tends
to drive a lot of things,
like we look at some of the
food in the grocery store now
and just go,
I don't want that.
You know, I want
tomatoes from my garden.
I started really thinking
about how I eat and what I eat
and started
to refine that.
I grew up outside of Buffalo
and a friend of mine
who grew up there too she
calls it 'The Land of Meat.'
A meal is meat with
other things around it.
Have salad as a meal, you like
having a side dish as a meal.
It was harder to avoid it
than it was to just take it in.
You grow up, you
don't question it,
when you get married
and meat has some bad
effects on your body.
My life then was really
very much about my work
and eating as conveniently
as possible.
Food is emotional and it's part
of, I don't know, who you are.
That was the running down.
Gotten down to
where I am about -
around 210 or so
and that keeps me going.
My blood sugar level has
been in the normal range now
for actually probably
couple of years.
Does that mean that you
don't have diabetes anymore?
I no longer have
diabetes, so --
So you are not taking any
medication for your diabetes.
No, and before I was
taking daily medication
or twice daily medication
for my diabetes.
What we were taught
in medical school is that
you can't reverse diabetes that
was really what we were taught,
that it was kind of like a
runaway train, and once it was,
you know, the breaks
were off, it just --
it was never coming
back to the station,
and you really have disproved
that and I just find it amazing,
and you are not alone
but it's something
that's very inspirational
for other people to know that
that can happen.
My life, especially
in the last ten years or so
has been about trying
to establish routines
where I could
be comfortable
and focus on what's
really important to me.
If the revolution
continues the way
it's gone the
last five years
I think we will have to
see some dramatic changes
that dietary interventions may
have a much bigger of influence
I think in medical care;
both prevention
of diseases
but also treatment
of various disorders.
Yeah I kind of think
of it too as that's money
that I don't have to spend
going to the hospital
or something else later.
It's a part of my
insurance plan.
Hi! I am Daphne Miller.
Oh hi! Nice to meet you!
Thank you!
All right! We had
an epidemic of diabetes,
epidemic of
nutrition-related problems
and I show up at Harvard
and there is only one M.D.
in my nutrition program
and that was me
and I was absolutely shocked.
I had a couple of people lower
their cholesterol over 50 points
in 10 days.
If you can lower your
cholesterol 50 points
in 10 days,
why would you want
to take a statin drug
that's known to cause
liver damage, muscle damage,
memory loss and -- I mean,
now there are lawsuits about
Lipitor causing diabetes.
Why would you want
to take that stuff
if you can
do it naturally?
And by the way the side-effects
of doing it like that is, well,
your blood sugar gets better,
your blood pressure gets better
and you might lose
weight if you are --
well, you will lose weight
if you are overweight.
Here in the United States,
the number one killer is diet.
So what we eat
determines our lifespan,
our health span in terms of
both disability and mortality.
I went from -- close to 300
pounds with a 42-inch waist
down to about a 190
with a 34-inch waist.
Blood pressure was probably
one of the biggest things
that changed.
I was diagnosed
because both my blood
pressure numbers
were completely
off the charts
and that almost
changed immediately.
It also changed my pallet.
A lot of the food that's
actually available right now
in our supermarkets or in our
restaurants didn't taste good,
I had to go out and find
or grow the type of food
that my body
wanted to eat.
In less than - I would
even say 9 months,
completely changed
how I look, how I felt.
Now people who have
seen my whole life,
it didn't recognize me, and I
was often accused of being on
drugs because the amount of
weight that I dropped down
and my body just
completely changed.
The native people
have just about the worst
health in the nation.
If you look at
mortality statistics,
we were unfortunately double
the rate of heart disease,
double the rate of cancer,
double the rate of stroke,
this is in terms of mortality
for pure Hawaiians five times
the rate for diabetes.
So I actually went back
to the Bishop Museum
and started collecting
photographs of Hawaiians
in the old days
including drawings from Captain
Cook's artists back in 1778
and you saw slim
number one,
there was no sugar
and they didn't have
it back in 1778,
I mean that was
a western invention,
their main staples taro and
poi which is made from taro,
sweet potatoes, and yams,
little bit of breadfruit.
The change in the
diet, lifestyle,
eating processed food and
so much meat and so much fat
has contributed to the
obesity epidemic here,
and of course, all the diseases
that come along with it.
I remember when I was a kid,
you could count the number
of fast food places on one
hand on the whole island.
Now, there's fast-food
places on every corner.
We are faced with a society
that's already been brainwashed
to eat meat three times a day,
dairy three times a day,
taught that bean/meat
and chicken is health food,
which it is not.
We need
to educate people;
the healthiest way
is nature's way.
After all for
thousands of years,
we have been eating whole grains
and vegetables and beans
and animals were not fattened
up like they are today
or chemicalize;
basically, we are gradually
poisoning ourselves.
All you have to do is look
at the obesity maps in the US,
it's getting worse
and worse and worse.
We are just totally
been screwed over.
You've got this
junk-food industry
that's spending
billions of dollars
to get the young kids
to eat their shit.
By the time these poor
kids are 13, 14 years old
they got all kinds
of diseases, they got asthma,
they got attention deficit,
they got so much going on,
that is just
out of control,
and it's really,
really, really sad.
These remarkable studies in
which the progression of cancer
was reversed with the
whole food, plant-based diet;
progression of heart
disease, hypertension,
type 2 diabetes reversed
and cases even cured.
It's the complexity in the diet,
how those foods come together
and how those foods
interact with the soil
that really offers
us the real medicine.
Is there anybody who is in
the health field in this room?
Anybody working
in health at all?
Okay, I really am alone!
How many farmers
do we have here today?
Oh, a couple of
farmers, wonderful!
Well, to the
farmers in the room,
I look at you and me
as one in the same,
we are doing the
exact same work,
we're here to keep
people healthy
and heal our communities, and
hopefully by the end of my talk,
you will all agree with
me that that is the case.
I've got the kitchen
waste compost in here,
and down inside
there we have worms,
so the worms are eating up
the kitchen compost
and we are getting
a little bit of rain now,
so it's a drop
time to water it
and everyday we collect --
we collected this one already
but we get this
incredible worm juice
and we use it for
watering our nursery
and other plants
that are in need of help.
As far as obtaining
anything in the store,
nothing comes close
to how wonderful this works
at putting nutrients
into your plants.
Look at these coconuts,
man, they are only --
they are only four years old
and I am eating coconuts also.
Yeah, this is
quite the site.
It's to have a coconut tree
where you got to get down
on your knees to harvest.
Right there, there
were 16 coconut.
Nice view. So we get to watch
the whales every winter.
The whales park out
here, so all went along,
we get to watch the
whales breaching on here.
It's really beautiful.
They call me Ginger John,
that's what everybody
knows me by on the island.
Not only are they producing
the food that keeps us healthy
but they are protecting
the land and the soil
which is absolutely critical
to our own health.
Yeah. All right.
Good to meet
you too! Aloha!
This is your
property, uh-huh?
It's all of ours.
That's yours too.
You're standing here,
life brought you here.
You look fantastic,
so obviously it's --
68 years old and I work
circles around as 20 year old.
I was the vanguard
of the Hippie Movement
and somehow I got the
message to come to Hawaii
so I got here in 1967
ended up living on this beach,
the Canoe Beach on Maui
for two years with no clothes
and no money,
no blanket, nothing.
Getting disconnected
so to speak, connected.
I was laying on the beach
and thinking, you know,
you are going to die,
you better go in the town
so that you can do
something about it.
I was sitting and
about ready to fall over
and this old Hawaiian
lady came up to me
and saw that I was really
ill and just embraced me,
and asthma was drying
and I told her I was
bleeding from my lungs,
I couldn't eat,
I couldn't sleep,
and she said, well, when the
Hawaiians had lung diseases,
they ate noni and she
took me to a noni tree
because noni used
to grow everywhere,
and I started eating nonis
and I haven't stopped.
I have been eating
nonis for 50 years.
Now I am a grand-eater of noni,
I eat it every morning.
That's amazing!
So you were - you were
near death, it sounds like.
I have been near death
many, many times,
I have had just about every
disease you can think of
and I just lay down on the
ground and go through it.
I don't go to doctors.
I am sure John told
you all about taro
and how beautiful it is,
this is the only hypoallergenic
food in the world,
you can give this
to a baby, a day old.
If they have a milk allergy
to their own mother's milk,
give it to a baby and
it will sustain that.
That's the stuff.
My name is Connor Garrett,
I am from Naples, Florida.
I am living here on
Ginger John's farm.
I initially came here with
the intention to do so
and then move on, go back
to what I was doing,
but now I've become quite
involved in this lifestyle
and I don't really plan
I am going back anytime soon.
John is somebody who will
definitely blow your mind
in a lot of ways.
The tool is called the
hodad, my favorite tool.
No, he doesn't tend to farming,
it's not like gardening,
it's not anything in
a hoop house
where you're spraying
and you get to prance
around in the flowers,
you got to rip things
out of the ground,
beat the dirt off of them.
Here we go!
Good to see you!
I am, I am glad
you could make it,
I am glad
you could make it.
This is all yours,
this amazing estate here?.
Sort of!
Sort of!
The bank owns some of it,
and my children owns some of it,
but this is
a family farm.
Can we have
a tour first?
You mean, the main
thing you want to do.
Yeah, let's have a tour
and then sit down --
I pity the man
that says no to you.
How many acres
do you have?
We've got about
100 acres of soybeans.
We just finished
this field Monday,
now this is the one we planted
after wheat that we dried --
And this was the one
we just planted and the one
that we are just finished
working on right now is,
we call early beans
that we planted in May.
Do you buy seeds from
Monsanto by the way?
Monsanto Technology Card.
My goodness!
So the genetic modification
allowed us to use
some simple applications of
a herbicide Roundup primarily,
it can kill everything
but the corn,
it can kill everything
but the soybeans,
our cost went down
and it's easier to farm,
and it's easier to maintain.
We just have like a
smallest fog of chemicals
we were trying
to pick out what to use.
So you have to make a cocktail
mixture of what to apply
to kill the weeds that
were chocking the crop,
Roundup took it all.
You can imagine that anything
that is engineered to kill off
bacteria in the soil is going
to do the same thing in our gut,
and pesticides and
herbicides do exactly that.
They work the same way
as antibiotics work.
They kill living things.
So we are standing at the side
of the center experiment
which is a hundred-year research
experiment looking at
the sustainability of
different agricultural systems.
And so there is this contrast
between managing soil
sort of like cookbook
style, following the menu
and you put in this and that at
this time, then you spray this.
So it's pretty much a --
you know a codified approach
that you might get
from an extension,
as opposed
to other farmers
who actually talk
about farming the soil
and they talk about having
a relationship with the soil.
They talk about doing
this much for the soil
as they are doing
for their crops.
They may even put more
emphasis on the soil
because they feel like
if they take care of the soil
then the crops are
going to do fine.
An organic farmer
grows soil, it's light;
a chemical farmer
grows crops.
So how do you put
nutrients back in?
So we will buy usually
commercial fertilizers.
It's got earthworm
in it, hey buddy!
You are on camera.
That's good.
So if my crops don't
do well it's not
because of what I am putting in,
it's because of the soil.
So we don't really
know where it sourced.
Okay. Does that
ever worry you
that you are putting
all the stuff on your field
from some foreign place?
No, it doesn't.
When you are locked into a
system that seems to be working,
it's really hard
to make the change.
The whole agribusiness system
has separated this whole,
and I think that's part of
what the local food movement
along was going on, how do we
make that connectivity to it.
And I don't know how
individually to bridge that gap,
I don't know how to do it.
I don't know
my consumer.
I have no connection
My farming style is
to grow the food crops
that have sustained
When I sit down and eat, 90% of
what I eat comes from this farm.
I really feel like
I am cheating.
So where do you
get your food?
I go to the
Clover Stores.
You go and shop in a
grocery store for food?
Sure! Every farmer does.
I know very few who
actually consume the food
on their own farm.
The average food that we eat
travels about 1,500 miles.
And a city like Rome,
for example, has to import
5,000 tons of food per day.
Can you imagine their fragility
of a system like that,
the consequences
of a system like
that it has on transportation
energy and greenhouse gases,
I mean, things have to change
and that's local agriculture,
and much of our local
agriculture is founded
in traditional
To feed a person
in a developed world
with commercial
we need about
12 barrels of oil
per year per person.
If we think about the moment
in which the world produced
its peak of oil that was about
5 barrels per person, per year.
There is not enough oil in the
world to sustain food production
under the conventional model.
It works because it only works
in its model part of the world.
Most farmers don't raise food,
we don't know much about food,
we know about product.
I see some sadness in
your eyes when I say that,
but I think it's a
legitimate statement
is that we just don't have a way
to connect with that aspect.
Organic farming receives in a
country like the Netherlands
about 10% of the funding
for agricultural research.
Now the Netherlands invests
in organic farming something
like $4 million per year,
a company like Monsanto
invests $900 million
per year in research,
and most of the governments
in the world invest
most of the money in
conventional farming.
When I harvest a weed, I can
put it under loan with USDA,
I can at least get three
quarters of its market value
the day I harvest it.
So this last sentence
of the sentence,
we have to stay inside
of the safety net.
What you are telling me
is that the government
is a lot more reliable
customer for you?
On the basic commodities
that we raise in this country,
the feed grains,
the wheat, the corn,
and the government through
farm bills has provided a way
to at least protect you
and have a marketing system.
Although the gap
of yields between organic
and conventional
is only 20%,
the gap in investment
and research is 100%,
and yet without research,
without funding organic farming
is pushing and coming closer
to conventional farming.
So the results, the progress
made per dollar invested
in research is huge.
It's a way of life,
you live like a peasant,
you work like a slave,
but you eat better
than any king ever ate.
And the important
part about that is
that is your
health insurance.
I don't have a health insurance,
I don't have social security,
I have this.
Another cemetery on the farm
over there on the hillside
and there's some Hentons
buried over there.
This is one of the --
well I figure that's my spot
about there at some point.
I am curious to hear
what happens with you
in the next couple
of years probably,
because I do
believe maybe up --
Hopefully you are going
to talk to my daughter
and she is going to have a whole
new approach on this, okay.
This is the generational shift,
this is going to change.
That statement about
not growing food,
that farmers don't grow
food was unbelievable to me,
that was amazing, I mean
I just wrote a whole book
about farmers
being healers
and that they had
the health of their community
as they serve
primary concern
and I think that
might be the case
where a small
subset of farmers
but from what Happy was saying
that certainly isn't the case
for the majority
of farmers.
I see this as the single
largest health issue
that is facing our country.
Can growing food
or growing products
be something that
is net positive for us?
Can it be healing?
Last Sunday we told you
about a WHO report
that listed several chemicals
as potentially cancer causing
including glyphosate found in
the popular weed-killer Roundup.
Now in an interview for an
upcoming French documentary,
a Canadian scientist has been
caught in an Erin Brockovich
like moment when he
is asked to defend
that chemical against links
to cancer rates in Argentina.
Take a look.
Do not believe glyphosate,
in Argentina it's causing
increases in cancer.
You can drink a whole quart
of it and it won't hurt you.
Yes, do you want to drink
some, we have some here?
I would be happy to actually,
not really, but --
Not really?
I know it
wouldn't hurt me.
If you say so,
I have some glyphosate.
No, I am not stupid.
Uh okay, so it's
dangerous, right?
No, but I know people
try to commit suicide
with it fairly regularly.
Tell the truth,
it's dangerous.
It's not dangerous
to humans, no, it's not.
So, are ready to drink
one glass of glyphosate?
No, I am not an idiot.
Even though this may look
disgusting to most people
because this is really
kind of dirty looking,
I know that the microorganism
living in here
is the most
beneficial on earth,
and so, I am not afraid
to take a big drink of it,
and super-probiotic,
had a little bite to it too.
And this is essentially the
food for the microorganisms
when I put
them out there,
and this one
is much better.
For two years I was trying
to grow taro in these fields
and I have been growing
taro for about 40 years
and I never had a problem.
I couldn't get a crop
to really grow.
I was getting
really discouraged,
and then I heard about Master
Cho and Korean Natural Framing.
It's kind of designed
for peasants like myself.
And all these
different things
when combine in
the right proportions
make the microorganisms thrive
and bring them back to life.
are inside of us.
They are on our skin,
they are in our lungs.
They are really what connect
us to the world around us.
Nothing was growing, there
wasn't an earthworm here
and he had almost reintroduced
that fungal network
into his soil here and the
results have spoken themselves.
Indigenous microorganisms
are basically probiotics
for agriculture.
IMOs are made by farmers using
the materials from that land
and then fermenting it and
putting it back into the land
where it can help the plants and
the fungi and all the above --
soil and everything
that's there thrive.
Nice! If you have totally
white mole like this,
it's an excellent IMO-1
that we cultivated.
From this stage you would
collect all this into a jar
and add equal amount
of sugar to the rice
and so that way
we will move it to IMO-2.
We planted
the red lettuces,
I was spraying them with
the Korean Natural Farming,
and then I guess,
when I wasn't paying attention
I forgot the one at the end.
Then I came back and
the other red lettuces
are four times the size
of the other red lettuce
and they were all
planted on the same day
except for the front
half of the row
received Korean
Natural Farming nutrients.
Four inches deep that this
tester can get into the ground,
so this is a
conventional practice.
So this is six inches,
I have about eight inches
deep in an organic plot.
So I have scattered
IMO for last season
before we planted
tomato in here.
You can see that
I get to a deeper level
in this soil compaction.
Now we can see
how deep it gets.
So this is 12 inches,
I have it about 14 inches.
So from four inches in
the conventional practice,
eight inches in the organic,
now we have 14 inches
in Korean Natural Farming.
When you have a
commercial plant,
you have a very
small root system
because they
are drug-dependent
so the roots don't
have to travel.
There is nothing for them to
go out there for, it's dead,
it's a dead zone and they are
just living on these chemicals
that have been fed them.
If you're farming
with microorganisms
you're doing
a biological farming
and you have a good population
of microbes in the soil,
the root systems will grow
very far out hundreds of feet.
Korean Natural Farming, what
farmers are doing is recognizing
that the microbes that are there
on that farm and in that soil
are really critical
to the lifecycle of the farm
and to the health
of the plants,
and to the health of the
people who eat those plants.
I have a degree
in Computer Science
and decided
to learn how to farm.
With all the techniques
you can pick,
Korean Natural Farming is
like right on with the kids
because every single
thing you use is edible,
and so with the kids I don't
have to worry about them
getting poison on them
and eating it or like getting
in dangerous situations.
They just -- everything they
can eat if they spill it,
it's not a problem you know,
it just goes into the ground
and makes things better.
Now right here you
are probably looking
at 6 billion microorganisms
in this little chunk here.
What Ginger
John is practicing
is basically
complexity medicine,
you know,
or complexity farming.
Can you see that
white on your film?
That's the microorganisms
going to work here.
The ones with the
microorganisms were flourishing,
they were twice
as large, very green,
the cups are full of roots,
so right then we knew,
wow, what is this magic?
In here is an IMO pile here.
The first time that I started
applying my IMO to the land
and I am dumping it out,
I had this incredible
feeling of sovereignty
that I was
free in myself
from the need of spending
hard-earned money on anything
that was being shipped
over across the ocean
from the mainland.
A plant will put
out a stress signal
that it's lacking
some kind of nutrient.
It can be like boron
or magnesium or calcium.
The fungus that is attached
to the roots of the plant
will sense that imbalance,
it can actually send a signal
to an area that's rich and
it will bring that to the plant.
Some of them live
in the rhizosphere,
in the root
of plants.
Root of plants is extremely
complex environment
because there are many,
many organisms living there.
Some of them can operate,
some of them compete,
so they have to develop
in order to survive
extremely sophisticated
social intelligence.
Very much like human
in social intelligence,
just more advanced.
So it gave us an idea
what are the features
that characterize
social intelligence.
Then I found that
our own bacteria,
the bacteria that
I discovered fall in this list
under a deviation
above the average.
So they are like Einstein.
They have special circuits
to process the information
and even engage in decision
making, looking at the desert,
the social bacteria
like enormous soil
on the integrity of else
because all these bushes
that you see here are
connected underneath,
so all these things that you see
around has its one big natural.
It's super fun, it's almost --
like I am way too scientific,
at first I was like, no, that's
a heavy stuff, no, it's real,
it happens, and it's
part of healthy soil,
and you will never see it
in commercial agriculture.
One of the things I have been
studying is Soil Biology
with a 400 power microscope
and with that I am able
to see the beneficial fungus
and bacteria, and very quickly
quantitatively decide
if I'm doing it
right or not.
All throughout this sample of
the beneficial microorganisms
I am finding nice fungus
and I am finding much
more of biodiversity.
They are the ones who
are harvesting nutrients
from the soil and passing them
on to the roots of the plants,
we are then passing
them on to us.
Scientist has now
discovered important clues
about the role of
so-called Good Bacteria.
A new study in the journal
'Nature' finds that people
without certain microbes
are more likely to be obese
and to have diabetes or other
serious health problems.
The fascinating thing about
the human microbiome
is that we now realize there
is an entire organ inside of us
that until about
five or ten years ago
nobody even thought about
and all the medical
theories about health
and disease have been
made without that organ.
Its massive cells weighs
about the same as your brain
but it has more genes,
more cells,
arguably more connections
and more complexity,
and replacing physiologically
world-defined roles,
we are just beginning
to understand
what all
those roles are?
It's not an insubstantial organ
because it has composed
of 100 trillion cells,
these are ten
times more cells
than an entire repertoire
of human cells.
There is so much excitement
about it because it turns out
that most about genes are not
human genes but microbial genes.
There is something
going on inside of us
that is very
exciting, mysterious,
and people are now
shifting their attitude
towards understanding this,
implicating the microbiome
in virtually every
function of the body.
They are doing
all kinds of things.
We have no idea what
they were involved
with until very recently,
everything from affecting
how we process our diet
to how we respond to different
drugs even to things like
how we resist different
kinds of diseases.
One of the more intriguing
things about the microbiome
is its possible role
in human obesity.
Millions of microbes that live
in the guts of slim people
could be turned into
potential fat fighters
to help the nation's
obesity epidemic
to a new study.
They have taken stool material
from lean and obese twins
so they are twin humans,
and if you take the stool
from the obese twin
and give it to a mouse,
that mouse will become fat,
and if you take the
stool from a lean twin
and give it to a different
mouse, that mouse stays thin.
What's really important about
that is that the two mice
they eat the same,
they exercise the same.
So the only factor that was
different was the microbiome
that they receive.
They are not just sitting
there as inactive bystanders,
they produce many chemicals
that are very similar
to the neurotransmitters
that are brain users,
they talk to
our immune cells,
they talk to various
cells within our gut.
The reason that has truly
caught the imagination of people
is this idea that we are
host to all these creatures
and those internal bacteria
we are discovering
or maybe as important as our
own DNA in our own-selves
when it comes to determining
our mood, how we process food,
how our immune
system works.
When I was a kid
I was a huge germophobe.
One of the things that
we learned is, you know,
most of them aren't germs,
most of them aren't bad.
So if you eat a little dirt
it's not going to hurt,
we are, you know, introducing
diversity to ourselves
and that diversity especially
as children is so important
for helping our immune
system develop properly.
So now I'm not so worried
about touching door handles
or getting
my hands dirty,
because I know that I'm just
increasing the diversity
of my microbes, that's
pretty good for my health.
Having a dog is one of the
best evidence-based things
that you can do in terms
of reducing the rates
of allergies later on.
There is much our inheritance as
the genes in our chromosomes are
and yet much of the way we live
in our days we seem to be trying
to stop transmission of
mother's microbes to the baby.
We need to transmit the
microbiota to the baby.
Everyone assumes that
breast milk is sterile,
but not only is it not sterile
there is a biological mechanism
to ensure that it is not,
and there are organisms
being picked up from the guts,
transported in the blood
and put into breast milk.
One has to guess that
those are the organisms
that is quite difficult
to get from the maternal gut
into the baby's
gut in other ways,
and mother's milk
contains a succession
of interesting polysaccharides
produce the different stages
during lactation which
act as a growth factor
for the organisms that need to
be developing in the baby's gut
at each stage after birth.
So we do seem
to be trying to block
this essential
of the microbiota
in the next generation.
We come out
the regular way,
as you pass through the
birth canal you are coated
with particular set of
microbes from your mother
whereas if you are delivered
by C-section instead,
you miss out on that
inoculation and essentially
what you pick up is good
microbes from other people
or possibly from dust
flushing around in the air.
One of these things are
limiting the transmission
of the microbiota which is part
of the family's heritage,
part of the genetics
of the family.
The reason why this
is important is because
if you are delivered
by C-section
you have higher rates
of a whole lot of diseases
with immune complications
including asthma, allergies,
atopic disease,
even obesity.
They really determine
who we are.
The bushes you see around is
a colony of many microorganisms.
We have also the colony
of any microorganisms.
The art was part
of the science
and the science
is part of the art.
The coloring started not
really just to make art,
but for us to capture
different features
in different motives
in the pattern,
because it seems like many
secrets are hidden there,
so each time we do new
experiment we find new patterns
and I keep like
a child, wow!
Complexity of the pattern
reflects the fact
that you have
distribution of task,
you have these dots
on the colony that you see.
There are tens
of thousands,
hundreds of thousands of
bacteria that connect together,
they hold hands
and they dance together,
they circle around, and they
pave the way to the colony
to move on hard surfaces.
When you have a complex pattern
when the environment changes
and in the soil
the environment changes
they can change the shape,
change the mix,
make up of the colony and
adapt to the new conditions.
This is mother nature, it's
the microorganisms in the soil
and that's what makes all
of the globe one big organism.
Restoring this
and rejuvenating
back to growing your own
beneficial microorganisms
and reinoculating them
into the environment
is really the only way to turn
the page into heal our forest,
to heal our ocean and the
systems that keep us alive.
On an ordinary
day out in a --
out walking in
the park or something
there might be maybe a 100,000
organisms per cubic meter,
but if you are out there
with your brush-cutter
on a summer's day
or if you're in a cowshed,
you're up to hundreds
of millions,
and so you are taking an
enormous number of organisms
from the natural
Our bodies
are not islands,
we're very, very
porous creatures
who are constantly
exchanging information
and exchanging DNA with
the environment around us,
and as we go on this
adventure to discover
what makes us healthy and
what keeps us in balance
that has to be part
of the equation,
it's sort of these
microscopic influences
that have a huge amount
to do with our well-being.
So there we are beginning
to have real evidence,
real hard evidence, the exposure
to the green environment
is doing things
to our immune systems
which is relevant to our
immune system's function,
which is therefore
relevant to human health.
The problem is we don't
live in either a natural
or an urban
environment anymore.
We live indoors.
To think that
we have evolved
with a contact
with nature
for tens
of millennium,
and to think that
moving ourselves
to a profoundly
official environment
have no consequences.
I think it would be willfully
naive to believe that.
As of 2008 more people live in
cities than in the countryside,
all around the world.
That's the first time
in human history.
It raises big questions
about the future of our cities.
It raises huge questions about
the future of the human race.
That means one or two things;
either the human species
will continue to lose whatever
connection the nature still has,
or it means beginning
of a new kind of city.
If you're interested in trees
and how they benefit people
and ultimately you
realize the trees
that give the greatest
benefit are in cities,
they are near the people,
the paradox of an urban society,
we get most of our interaction
with the natural environment,
in an urban environment.
'The Atlantic' did
an interesting piece
about this research
and they had a somewhat
provocative title,
it's 'When Trees
Die, People Die'.
Where there are trees, with
the nicest trees in urban areas
there are also the people who
tend to be whiter, wealthier,
they are educated,
they are more privileged,
they are going to people
who are going to tend
to have health
outcomes anyway.
I am trying to disentangle
that relationship,
it can be really --
it can be tricky.
The cold weather
nothing compared to
what the Emerald
Ash Borer can do.
This tiny bug is eating
its way through trees
and destroying landscapes
all across Western New York.
Let's see what happens when the
Emerald Ash Borer spreads out
from Detroit and see if there
are health consequences.
I looked at two
causes of death,
cardiovascular disease and then
lower, a respiratory disease.
We did see increased levels
of these two types of diseases
in counties that were infested
with Emerald Ash Borer.
There was a bigger impact
in wealthier counties.
If trees are good for you
and we know that those
wealthier counties
are going to have
more of them,
then killing those trees should
have a bigger health impact
and that isn't what we saw.
People who are at the bottom
end of the socioeconomic scale
and are not close to green space
are about twice as likely to die
in that five-year period
as they with people
at the top of the
socioeconomic scale,
as they get closer
to green space.
So this difference between
the top and the bottom
of the socioeconomic scale
starts to disappear.
Most people who talk in
the environmental movement,
talk about, you know,
the morality of it.
We have to protect nature
because it's the
right thing to do.
Well, I am an economist.
I study selfishness, and
what I understand is that,
you know, scolding people
do things ain't very effective.
The type of stuff I do in other
people is showing that looking
after a natural environment
is profoundly self-interest
and when you appeal
to people's self-interest
then that's
a different matter.
You know, if you can show
people this is really,
really in your best
interest to do that
then I think we are
going to see some change.
Nature deficit disorder is
not a known medical diagnosis.
Basically what it is, is a
metaphor to describe the harm
that comes
to the human species
when it doesn't have much
connection to the natural world.
And the way to show
that is not by saying,
this kid has nature
deficit disorder
and this kid exhibits
these symptoms.
You could do that but
what I would rather do
is look at all this
positive research
that's come out
and then ask,
if that's connected
to the natural world,
what happens when you take
the natural world away?
Shouldn't every
kid, and in fact,
I think every adult have
a right to the benefits
of being in
the natural world.
Really what it gets down to the
small choices about, you know,
we plant a tree here,
we preserve a part here,
that's what's going to really
make the day-to-day difference
in people's lives,
I believe.
I was in a hotel room
one day in San Francisco
and I picked up
one of those magazines
that you wonder where they
come from in the hotel rooms
and I was flipping through
it and I looked at the back page
and there was this
black-and-white photograph
of a little boy
on a beach.
He is running along and his
eyes are filled with life,
and the story next
to this photograph
said this little
boy had a problem.
He had the wiggles,
he couldn't sit still.
He was disruptive
in class.
The school finally
kicked him out.
The parents were
upset of course.
But they had been
very observant,
they noticed how a little
bit of time in nature
helped their little boy
calm himself and focus.
So for the next 10 years
they took their little boy
all over the great
western wilderness areas.
Now the kid
turned out okay.
The photograph
was taken in 1906,
the little boy's
name was Ansel Adams.
So here's a question.
What would have happened
if they had taken little Ansel
and put him in a chair
in front of a desk,
in front of a computer,
telling him to sit there,
take chess all day,
canceled recess,
which more-and-more schools
are doing, cancel field trips,
lengthen the school day,
lengthen the school,
and then given
him Ritalin.
Would we have the gifts of
nature that Ansel gave us?
Would we have the
political support
such as it is for the national
parks without his photographs?
How many little Ansels and
Anselets are out there right now
who can give us great
gifts in the future
if we give them the
great gift of nature now?
Kind of been slowly
peeling back the story
of what is
ailing Hawaiians.
Finally this afternoon we
started to get at a glimmer
of amazing hope for how
to heal by seeing these kids,
but reconnecting
to that land
and really understanding
how to grow things
and how to nourish themselves
and how to nourish the soil,
their soil can make
themselves healthy.
Working with the kids has been
so powerful because showing them
that the earth is
alive at a young age,
really will impact
how they grow up
and are they going to be
going and buying Roundup
or are they going to be
going out to their soil
and realizing it's
alive and really feeling
that heart space connection
to caring for the land.
The kids here they need
economic opportunity
and through this
agricultural practices
where it's affordable to do,
where it's
environmentally sound,
I believe it will give everyone
in this area a great opportunity
to have a great life and
to provide for the family
and to be happy everyday.
Until you started doing this
natural farming and realizing
that the earth is alive it
changes your whole perspective.
It just made me so
much more conscientious
in every part
of my life,
brought so much more respect
to the whole systems,
they are naturally
there providing
such abundance already.
So I went to
the Marche region,
it's like a fantasy
land for agroecologists.
They have been farming
in these little plots
for hundreds of years
ever since the Benedictines
who were like
the original hippies,
who went there and started
to create these little farms
with their monasteries and
the soil there is very healthy
and it's very
92! You
are 92 years old!
Oh! Bravo, bravo!
It's also known for
being the place in Europe
that has the
most sanitarians,
people who are over
a hundred years old.
Oh, oh, fragile, I am so sorry,
I don't want to hurt the beans
Oh, I am sorry!
I am so honored.
She's moving faster
than everybody else.
Yes, yes.
How old?
Okay. This is how --
96 now.
-- you live to be 96.
Right here!
She climbs those trees?
Yes! Yes!
No! She climbs
that tree to get fruit?
Yes, for
taking the fruit.
Now it's finished,
the fruit.
Oh, they are all down
so she threw --
She threw down,
she threw down.
No more peach.
Okay, we don't have
to worry about her.
What I want to talk to you right
now is about what we have lost.
When we move away
from those little fields
in the Marche region
what are the health
things that we have lost,
because these are all parts of
argo-ecology, crop diversity,
perennials and native seeds,
traditional technologies,
soil vitality, community, but
what they really are is health.
You have a tumor
in your pancreas?
How long ago was that?
You had a pancreatic
tumor nine years ago?
Are they studying you
or are they from
the scientific standpoint,
you are a miracle.
Can you give us a
rundown of this?
Just give me
one second, okay?
Yeah, yeah!
Padre Giovanni
just shared stuff
that was incredibly
personal to him
and that I didn't get
the sense that he talks
about all the time and
it affected me very deeply.
He just got
so much of the crux,
what I am trying to understand
about those connections
between our bodies
and the earth
and he is just living
this every day.
For him it's his awareness,
it's his existence,
and that story about him
getting pancreatic cancer
nine years ago,
I mean, the life expectancy
from what sounds like he had
metastatic pancreatic cancer,
he had in his gut,
and everything is three to six
months and it's really amazing.
He said he did all
the medical treatments
but there was this
other side of what he did,
which possibly was the reason
that he's still with us
nine years later.
People talk about healing
the earth; the earth heals us.
Look around us
and see the beauty,
I mean, every sunrise and
every sunset, every rain shower
and every breeze and every
cloud is so magnificent.
I mean, what more beauty
could there have been.
Even when we are living
in a city on the 30th floor
of a concrete high-rise, we have
to start to think of ourselves
as part of an
agro-ecological cycle.
Only without mentality
are we going to actually
leave something for our
children and our grandchildren.
Thank you!
So increasingly instead
of saying "sustainable,"
I say, "nature rich."
What does a nature
rich city look like?
A nature rich future,
a nature rich yard,
built with native
species that bring back
butterfly migration routes
and bird migration routes.
What does that
future look like?
When you begin
to use terminology
like a 'nature rich city,'
people can see that in their
minds, and I can tell you,
particularly young
people resonate to that.
They want to go there,
they want to create that.
We humans are so arrogant
that we think the hypothesis
that we come up with,
actually have anything to do
with the complexity
of the world around us.
So 'ai' in Hawaiian
means to eat,
means food,
means reproduction,
and then 'na' is
in reference to the land.
So it's the land
that feeds us.
You are the servant
to the land,
so that land doesn't
only mean land,
it also means the ocean.
Everything in nature,
you are the servant
to nature in order to live.
There's a movement
that is sometimes called
the new agrarians.
These are often young people who
are dedicated to organic farming
near a city or in a city.
They are changing
their neighborhoods;
they are really dedicated
to creating a different
kind of food distribution.
The attitude that we are now
developing is a much more humble
and modest attitude
where we tend to say
we really don't
understand nature
but we will listen to it
in an unbiased way
and will let the wisdom
and the intelligence of nature
tell us how it's working
and how it's operating.
So we are really
starting to think about
how all these parts
not just to keep
the land healthy
and not just to
keep the air healthy
but also to
keep us healthy.
The big challenge
of life in general
is trying to find balance
and once you find it,
trying to maintain balance
it's not a goal that you
achieve and then that's it.
The balance is always
going to shift again
and then you'll have
to regain the balance.
It's something that's
constantly adapting,
constantly moving with
thousands of different variables
and that in fact is balance.
Almost everything is organized
in interconnected systems,
so simplest systems
to the most complex ones.
There is a natural law
that when systems organize
there will be one just
like the law of gravity.
You can say there
is a high intelligence
that used to design
to create the universe
by very beautiful simple
design that is scalable
that can be used in tiny
little networks of insects,
so ants talking
to each other.
There's two ways of explaining
it as an engineer
or as a spiritual person,
and I think at the moment
they are both equally valid.
Awareness of
is increasing
in leaps and bounds
as the new age of
globalization accelerates.
Our civilization has evolved
emphasizing the separation
into parts for too long
on this realization
of unbroken wholeness
our future may depend.