Another Independence Day has passed us by.
My regular followers know that July 4th has special meaning to us as a business. Afterall, I started this business because I recognized that our poor health and our poor economy are directly related to the freedoms that are disappearing from US society. Freedoms that are being eroded away by so many policies and regulations that the average person had no say so in how our land is managed (or mismangage), how our food is grown and distributed, where our kids attend school, what they learn there, which drugs/vaccines we are required to inject ourselves with, and how we care for our health. It is my greatest hope that our efforts to illustrate the connection between health (healthy soils, healthy people, and healthy economies…) and freedom, and to provide tools for building better health will be instrumental in catalyzing a shift towards a more free world. Afterall, freedom is contagious.
This year, I did not prepare my usual “Liberty Edition” of our newsletter. Life got in the way. In June, my brother Tom passed away. He had struggled with chronic disease for more than 35 years. Since Tom was an explosives expert who often spent the 4th of July setting up fireworks on Rattlesnake Island for the Fireworks Display at Elephant Butte Lake, it was a difficult year to celebrate.
Death by Diet and Lifestyle.
Tom’s death, like so many of ours, was due to a combination of bad choices and limited options. He lived in a town some call a food desert. A community with very little access to healthy food. As Tom’s disease progressed, I could see that job stress and poor nutrition habits were wearing on him. Now from time to time, Tom did go on spells where he tried to eat better. On one such spell, he told me I should listen to “That tape: Dead Doctors Don’t Lie.” He said it explained why we should not rely too much on medication.
I had no idea where to get the tape, but the name was catchy enough that 20 years later, when Glen Schultz shared the same title with me, I was interested. Glen said it was the most widely distributed nutrition lecture in the world. By that time, I was already looking for ways to make good nutrition more widely accessible in our community, so indeed, I was open to it. In fact, after hearing Dead Doctors Don’t Lie, I joined the company Dr. Wallach founded (Youngevity) and included the affiliation in our company.
But Tom only listened to the tape. In fact, when I had the opportunity to speak at a conference along side Dr. Wallach this spring, I invited Tom to come, but he was unwilling to take time away from work. He said, however, that he still had the 20 year old tape, and still listened to it from time to time.
In his last months, Tom fought hard for his life. Like so many who deal with serious illness, Tom also saw his freedom vanish. He lost his job. He went into debt with medical expenses, he lost his ability to drive.
He saw several doctors and halted bad habits he’d dealt with for years. But he turned to prescription drugs before he had dealt with his nutritional deficiencies. It is my personal belief that if he had dealt first with the deficiencies, my brother would be alive today.
The Thing About Supplements.
Unfortunately, Tom bought into the same mistrust that many of us have about supplements. Tom believed that if he ate right, he shouldn’t need supplements. And in a perfect world, that is true. Tom lived in Soccorro, NM, where our family has had ancestors for at least 500 years. But our ancestors ate food that was grown near there, on land that had been replenished by flood waters from the Rio Grande. They ate food that had been hunted in the mountains nearby, or traded corn for buffalo jerky that came from animals who migrated along thousands of miles of prairie to the east. Minerals were continually being recycled. Even when the bison were replaced with beef, the open range allowed for nutrients to cycle.
Tom thought that because he ate beef, beans, chile and corn tortillas like our ancestors did, he should be healthy. But the beans, corn tortillas, and chile he ate were not coming from the same land. Today, dams keep the rivers from flooding, most food is grown far from home on chemically treated soils, and most beef comes from animals that spend the last weeks of their lives eating corn and standing on manure piles in stockyards.
While I do believe Hippocrates was right to say, Let thy medicine be they food, and let thy food be thy medicine, the fact is, most of what we call “food” today would not be recognized as food by Hippocrates. To stay well in a world of nutrient depleted, manufactured foods, it is necessary to supplement your diet.
Food is to Freedom as Life is to Liberty
Like Life and Liberty, Food and Freedom are interdependent. Food is essential to life. And liberty, freedom, is essential for allowing us to pursue those efforts that help us secure food, housing, healthcare, and all that is essential to life. When either our food (and the natural resource base from which food comes) or our freedom are infringed on, physical and mental health decline. When I think of my brother, I remember how strongly he felt that “they,” those who write the laws, define what gets printed on the ballot, and dictate the rules the rest of us follow, had inhibited his ability to run a business. In our last years together, almost every conversation we had centered on the loss of freedom in the United States. Tom was troubled by the number of people he saw daily who fed their families on money from the government. He was bothered by the hours he worked each week, just to pay Uncle Sam. So in Tom’s memory, I put together the graphic above. It is a summary of ideas we shared-I can’t say I’ve captured Tom’s thoughts here but I can say the ideas were inspired by our discussions.
But the loss of good food and the loss of civil liberty go far beyond my family and my grieving for Tom. You see, I believe that the daily struggle for life and liberty has intensified in the last 20 years. I believe this struggle is associated with the rise in chronic disease, the decline of our economy, the decay of our environment, and the growth of food insecurity. I believe the rise in violence, made evident by school shootings and global fighting, is a response to the tensions felt as this struggle intensifies. In fact, I am so certain that efforts towards better health, good nutrition, and a better living environment can end our legacy of deaths due to chronic disease and chronic violence (and can work more effectively than more gun laws and more safety regulations) that I consider our mission at End-O-Fite Enterprises LLC a mission of peace and prosperity. By partnering with theYoungevity network, we can expand our mission, joining hands with and international community that is making good nutrition, good food, better soil, less chemically dependent environments, and equal income opportunities accessible. Is this the only solution? No. Is it the perfect solution? I’ve been in life sciences too long to believe that perfect exists. Is it a powerful solution? Yes. No war is won with a single fighter, or even a single squad. Rather, I believe each of us who seeks a better world is drawn towards the tools that are best for us. If you are drawn to learning more about the way we are using Youngevity and other tools to help us build healthy food networks, reach out through our contact page, or join one of our events. We will gladly answer your questions.
Now, About the Graphic
What I have described there is an ideal which I have never seen in the real world. A friend of mine once said we should each strive to “reach for the stars,” because even if you only make it to the clouds, you’ll still be at the top of the world. So to the readers who will dismiss the vision as impossible, I challenge you to simply imagine what the world would look like if we were simply closer to this vision than we are today. What can you change in your own world to take you more in that direction? What is keeping you from implementing that change?