Thursday, October 4, 2007

We, the consumers, are having an effect

In this morning's inbox was an article from the British eJournal, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in which the author, an Italian doctor, attempted to make sense of the "social demand for a medicine focused on the person." He sees a "trend reversal," where consumers are shifting demand from a symptom-based paradigm to "an idea of more general and comprehensive well-being of the person." It was a very short piece, ending with his fear that we will see "the citizens start pretending to be accurately informed in order to choose freely their own health program."

My first instinct is to laugh at that. I know quite a few "citizens" with better information than most doctors. But this comment shows we are on the right path--the power structures of allopathic medicine/research, Big Pharma, Agribusiness, and so on, have noticed that consumers are "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore." They are starting to do things that show they are scared, such make small concessions in their existing models (CAM initiatives and "greenwashing" of products are examples). As long as we keep pushing, demanding the real thing, eventually the whole system will have to change.

This is why we are bringing raw grass-fed dairy in from the northern part of the state, so that we don't have to put up with the mimic that is store-brand or Horizon "Organic" milk. And it is why we need to support our few local businesses that provide Real Food, such as Delicious Organics (tell Annie I sent you) and our one CSA, Bee Heaven Farm. By patronizing these businesses, indeed by oversubscribing them (Bee Heaven has sold all of it's available shares for this season, but they do keep a waitlist--contact Margie) we create continued demand. And there will be new farms, new sources, as we keep asking for them. If you live in other parts of the country, call a local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader to find well-raised food locally.

This is also why some of us do what we can to learn about herbs, homeopathy, and other modalities that were around long before "conventional" medicine was in existence. Just think, what most people think is "the way it is, the way it has always been done" (allopathic medicine, childbirth in hospitals, food "products") is really less than 150 years old. Younger than that, in most cases. In fact, in the early 2oth century, there were 100 homeopathic hospitals and 22 homeopathic medical schools! It was the rise of the American Medical Association that spelled the end for institutional homeopathy at that time--the same group that regularly tries to squash any "alternative" healing, and probably coined that marginalizing label (alternative to what? Forever taking toxic substances to "treat" but never cure? I'll take the alternative to that.)

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