In Search of Balance (2016) 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 'Diabesity.'

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 mechanisms 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 practice, 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 resource-conservative and that are culturally-sensitive, 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, farmers, 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.

Ultimately 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 complementarity 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 pre-diabetic 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 Hawaiians, 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?

Wow!

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.

Wow!

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.

Daphne?

Yeah. All right.

Good to meet you too! Aloha!

This is your property, uh-huh?

It's all of ours.

That's yours too.

Okay.

You're standing here, life brought you here.

Enjoy!

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 chemicals 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 --

Right!

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 whatsoever.

My farming style is to grow the food crops that have sustained civilization.

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.

Really?

Yeah.

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 agriculture.

To feed a person in a developed world with commercial agriculture 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.

Microorganisms 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?

Yeah.

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 according 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 transmission 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 environment.

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 beautiful.

92!

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!

Hello! 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?

Yes.

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.

Right?

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 interconnect, 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 interconnectedness 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.