Michael Pollan on Deep Agriculture

I’ve been a big fan of Michael Pollan for a few years now, ever since he wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This talk sheds light on a new topic of Michael’s coined Deep Agriculture.

Kevin Kelly from the Long Now Foundation summarizes what Michael means by Deep Agriculture :

  • Resolarizing: First a post-modern food system should be “resolarized.” Right now it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to manufacture 1 calorie of food on average, and 55 calories to produce 1 calorie of beef. If any industry should be solar-based it should be food, which was the “original solar economy.” Instead, right now “we are eating oil.”
  • Relocalize: Governments should reward farmers for diversifying away from monocultures. Pollan gave a few examples of where this has worked at scale. They should be rewarded for growing cover crops with the benefit of reducing erosion. Rewarded for returning animals to the mix. Rewarded for the amount of carbon they sequester in soil. Rewarded for halting urban sprawl by keeping farmland intact.
  • Revive: We need to revive the healing power of foods.

PIONEER IN FUNCTIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.

After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.

In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.

He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."

In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.