In the early 1970's, while living in rural Mississippi, I remember hearing my mother speak of a woman who had had incurable cancer, given chemotherapy, and sent home to die by her oncologist. She allegedly took an herb for several years and the cancer went into remission. Of course, I was skeptical, until I met the woman, then in her seventies, and appeared a picture of health. This started my quest at the nearby library, which did not offer much, to read about a more natural way of living.
By 1978, I had read every book available to me, there was no Internet or Barnes And Nobles, so I decided to open my own health food store, possibly the first or one of the first in the state. I made sure the store had a large library and opened it across the street from the state university in town, as, I had pretty much become ostracized by the local yokels, and students from afar were not only my market, but the only ones who did not consider me a pariah.
At that time, if people ate their natural yogurt, ate organically grown foods, took some herbs and natural vitamins and minerals, as far as our culture was concerned, we were all doing our part to help make the earth a more sustainable planet by not investing all our dollars into the huge agricultural lobby that used hormones in chickens kept in cages, sprayed pesticides indiscriminately, among other greed-motive profit makers that only served to make us sicker.
But times have truly changed. My store only stayed open for three years, but I learned a lot. As the years went by, I learned that I had to unlearn most of what I had learned.
Here are a few very important things I learned. Vitamins and herbs are basically useless, even if organic. Herbs are excellent for wellness, if prepared in tincture form in countries that have strictlaws in how they are raised (herbs from many third-world countries are still sprayed with dysentery-infected water doing more harm than good), and herbal capsules have virtually zero medicinal qualities, and even then they absorb pitifully in the digestive system, whereas tinctures start their work on and under the tongue).
Vitamins, even organic vitamins about the same as dead cooked food. The only process of producing vitamins and minerals that work are using a method called “flash-glanced"; where the enzymes stay alive. A few companies do make flash-glanced supplements, but only a few.
Finally, taking care of our bodies is no longer enough. Because we are all part of this planet, and the external environment affects our internal environments, organic household goods, bedding, cleaners, and yes, even our clothes, affect our immune system.
Sound fanatical? Good. I was called that by many doctors back in the seventies when Itold customers there is a good chance that ginkgo might help them to think better and st. john'swort might make their mood better. Now those same doctors tell their patients the same thing. (It is lonely being a little head of one's time), I humbly add.
No matter what we may think of Al Gore, global warming, and other issues, one has to admit, we live on a planet with a lot more people than when most of us were born. We had no idea how many people would be here and how limited our resources would become.
By doing just a little more, that is, not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, we can do ourpart to make the earth last a little longer and while we are here, the quality be better for everyone.
If we are not recycling, it's never too late to start. If you can't do it every day, start once or twice a week. Once in the habit, you'll enjoy doing your part.
Buy a few earth-friendly cotton tees. Did you know that cotton farming accounts for over 10%of the world's pesticide pollution? Besides that, they feel and look so much better (not to mention sexier) on the skin.
Buy just one organic household cleaner. You might find it works so much better than yourold stuff, you'll buy more. Going green is a behavior modification. I am not totally there yet but I am practicing. And the more I practice, the more I like it. And I believe you will too. It's a great planet; this place called earth. But it's in jeopardy and is reaching out for our help. Let's lend it a hand.
Rick London founded Londons Times Cartoons in 1997 which has evolved to become themost visited cartoon site on the Internet, luring over 3 million annual visitors. He is alsothe first cartoonist to “go green" with organic products at his Rick London Organics store;http://www.ricklondonorganics.info (The men's tees in his shop are produced by Bono of U2's company Edun Organics which he owns with his wife, Ali).