Everyone agrees on one thing and that’s something to celebrate. We are all done with 2020! Perhaps our biggest global test in decades, it still however pales in contrast to challenges humans have faced over our history.
Health freedom isn’t free, and the US in particular is paying a premium for its failing public health. Lulled into complacency, our eyes have been trained to view ill health as normal. Common yes, normal, certainly no.
Lifestyles for longevity can quickly seem complicated when we get into understanding the science behind health, but it need not be. We can all take “Clean and Simple” to the health bank every day. Clean food and simple habits unclutter the stress on our mind and body in many important ways. Greater health and freedom are the reward. It really is just that simple.
The chart below is a snapshot of popular foods sampled and evaluated by the FDA as part of their annual Total Diet Study that FDA began in 1961. US agriculture consumes over 1 billion pounds of pesticides annually, 18% of global use, 4 times higher than the rest of the planet. Pesticides now number over 800 as the industry finds creative ways to sell more chemicals while complying with the most relaxed regulatory standards in the developed world. Unfortunately, even EPA’s “safe” limits are surpassed every day by those eating conventional grown fruits, vegetables, breads etc. No one can possibly keep up with their chronic impact on human health and even more troubling, no agencies are even trying.
Individual choice matters. Thankfully, buying organic non-GMO is getting easier every day. The market is shifting fast. Consumers are literally sick and tired and unsure who to trust. Clean and Simple in 2021 is a very achievable consumer resolution with years of healthy returns.
Farmers Footprint is our preferred non-profit. Its mission is to educate farmers on uncoupling from GMO crops and pesticides and teach the science behind the latest no-till farming, crop mixing and crop rotation practices. Combined, these tactics result in more nutrient dense foods, more carbon capture through natural soil rebuilding and healthier profits for farmers. We all win! Check them out at www.farmersfootprint.us
COVID found its way to our family. Our college and high school sons experienced a couple off days, but otherwise a non-event thankfully. My wife Cindy’s experience was similar. Mine was more challenging, bed ridden for 10 days with fever, declining lung function and escalating heart rate, despite having none of the comorbidities that COVID takes advantage of. Ultimately Dr Zach Bush got involved and turned it around after a disappointing local ER experience. We are all back exercising daily, thankful for the genetic update that viruses deliver, and the natural antibodies.
On the global front, we’ve been tracking countries around the world and confirming trends we looked at in the spring. Environmental air plays a dominate role in virus life and travel distance. On the macro scale, any of us should quickly spot the obvious phase shift between northern and southern hemispheres, i.e. Australia’s winter spike occurs during Europe and North America’s summer and vice versa. At more discrete levels, we can follow latitudes and observe how northern regions are the last to spike. Many southern European countries have already peaked, while northern still have a few weeks to get through. Trends are rarely perfect and South Africa is showing that in spades with a summer spike.
In the US, it is almost pointless to look at national numbers, as our geography covers so many more miles and latitudes than our European counterparts. Travel within regions also complicates analyses, but underlying health issues raise know no borders. I plan to do a follow-up review in January for medical colleagues and will share a summary of those findings. Reality and the daily news feeds rarely agree but 2020 has seen this gap widen even further, leaving all of us living with uncertainty and more stress than is warranted.
Mind is at the heart of longevity, and 2020 has thrust many choices upon us. Some have used it as an excuse to let their health slide, while others have doubled down on protecting their health freedom. If you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of this important choice, it’s never been easier to find someone making renewed health a priority. Time to make a new friend(s)! Longevity tribes thrive on simplicity and a supportive community. Alternatively, don’t be shy about using your own success to inspire and mentor another. Be a tribe leader!
In the News Honored to be appointed Chair of the National Aging in Place Council effective 2021. NAIPC is a national organization of aging experts devoted to helping adults realize sustainable housing and serves as an education resource for both the industry and the public. If you have a family member who could use some help, this is the place to look. www.ageinplace.org
Interviews on our YouTube channel took an unplanned break at year end. In addition to stealing oxygen, COVID stole my voice too. We’ll return to the studio in January with Dr. Erin O’Leary and Chuck Hall, both inspiring people with years of success stories to share.
Gene Facts Humans are somewhat unique but in the grand scheme we are almost exclusively a product of our environment. This means our health “is” the environmental diversity in which we live. Current genetics tells us that our trivial 22,000 genes are servants to the massive and diverse abundance of genes that surround us and live in our microbiome. They dictate our health and instruct our epigenome through trillions of communications to us every second throughout our life. The environmental company we keep isn’t just important, it is essential to life itself.
It is foundationally important to understand there is no “us” and “environment”, there is only environment. It flies in the face of almost everything we’ve been told during our lifetime, and never going to be anyone’s corporate slogan. More important, it speaks to why long- lived societies have thrived on working with nature, eating clean and living a simple, purposeful and rewarding life. You can too!
Our best to you and your family this holiday season and may health, happiness and longevity be yours in 2021.