This blog post may be seen as a bit complicated when viewing the world of food, health, and exercise. Yet they are all related, and we have been duped, used, and manipulated for many years by the food Industry, or food mafia. Yes, there are 10 million articles and experts and theories about health and nutrition, but one of my areas of expertise is statistics (I was in research for years). What are the top level increasing RATES of disease: Diabetes, heart issues, strokes, inflammation related illness, obesity, and cancer. These diseases are the ones most familiar to us. The common denominators are environmental and man-made toxins that we ingest in one form or another. We 'actively' eat preservatives, emulsifiers, 'additives', polymers (plastics), fertilizers from 'natural' gas, pesticides and many other polysyllabic chemicals in almost everything we ingest. The food industry uses the polite (and deceptive) word PROCESSED.
No, I won't go on a screed about the 'modern world' reasoning for chemicals to promote the sale of their rubbish. No, I won't address the “war crimes” of Frito Lay pushing the hard drugs of sugar and salt. I won't even dip into the discussion of industrial meats and how the lands are being used to feed them in a most tortured manner. No, I'm very much into what the immune system is, what it does and what we need to do for optimal health, and to avoid most diseases by having our micro biome be our medical defense system.
Let’s think about evolution, a very slow and meandering process. Our 'modern man' biology of the last 40,000 years went from a hunter gatherer diet to, about 10,000 years ago, an agrarian diet. We started to eat stuff that we grew, and therefore didn't depend on what we gathered in the wild, or getting lucky and killing some animal. So, this was a monumental shift in our dietary input, and it took thousands of years. A few hundred years ago we learned to salt fish, dry some meats and 'preserve' some foods in natural ways. Around a hundred years ago we went nuts with chemistry. We created 66,000 polymers (plastic) and dozens of pesticides that just killed everything indiscriminately, including people. The study of “food science” ran amok and Corporations discovered the gold mine of manipulating flavor, exploiting the psychology of hunger, and figuring ways to sell garbage as delicious. Humans have sensory organs that favor salts and sugars. Industrial food marketers used these inputs to turn poisons into profits. NO, this isn't a direct screed about the evils of corporate manipulation of food that is causing disease, killing people prematurely or mass food-related murderer, this is about you and what you can do for your health, and what the real back story is about the Earth Lifter...the Tool as a metaphor.
Invention involves connections. Nothing is done in a vacuum. Sometimes there are multiple connections and discoveries that blend like facets of a gem. I needed to somehow 'balance' a terrible accident with gardening by figuring a way to do something that now seems so obvious and correct. I wanted a tool to lift up potatoes, and I didn't think past that at the time. However, when I saw that I didn't have to place my spine in a tremendously dangerous position with my tool (which was also damaged), that was a bonus! I noticed that I was having fun and exercising, even though I was in between numerous operations, and not thinking about exercise. Suddenly I was able to move my body in a healthy manner and I was being productive at the same time. Wow.
Besides my hand problem, there is spinal disease, hip replacement, hernias, etc. …. I have not lived a gentle life.
What I discovered was not just a cool and satisfying way to pull up potatoes, something I needed for confidence and to feel competent again, it also allowed me to be able to perform many other tasks in our gardens. The ELT allowed me, as a basically one-handed person, to perform most tasks done by a healthy 2 handed person. It ENABLED me as a spinal and joint injured person to be active, functional and productive. This is the underlying MAGIC of this tool. I didn't have an excuse anymore for not doing what I love because, suddenly, there aren't obstacles. This revelation, that I can provide food for the family while exercising and being productive, and having FUN in the process, was an epiphany. Fun when you feel horrible and frustrated is great mental health medicine.
My plan was to make a personal tool, or something to overcome my health and body issues, my disability. When I thought about it (I also have a major background in health and engineering) I thought about the big picture - so many folks struggling with diabetes, obesity and conditions that can be resolved by diet and exercise - that maybe this was a metaphor from the heavens, maybe this tool could be the mechanism for others to have a healthy and productive routine as well.
This may sound grandiose but follow this reasoning - think BIG PICTURE health and what is required FROM and TO our body - good food and good exercise. What is good food? What is the main purpose of food? It is the nutrient fuel that our body requires for energy and protection. ALL foods flow to the intestines whereby the gut bacteria separates what is needed to be transferred to the liver and other organs, or sent into our blood system (yes, much more complicated). However, in the walls of our intestine is about 70% of our immune system and the bacteria in our gut feeds that system. The health of our immune system comes from the variety and quality of what goes down our throat and is separated by our gut bacteria. The more varied the input of quality foods is, the stronger our immune system works. Having whole foods and foods that don't have chemicals are what makes us healthy. Growing fresh food is actually a double dose of medicine. I'll discuss the human biome and healthy foods in an upcoming blog.
Almost as important as quality, growing whole, pure foods can provide an opportunity to exercise....we are animals, we evolved as creatures in motion. Yes, we have not acknowledged this fact in the last 100 years so today spend excessive money on exercise equipment, “health clubs” and sports activity. Most involve spending extra money, most are given up after a few months and most feel like hamster wheels, not productive, seeming like work yet not much is produced and with no residual rewards. Pulling up weeds with the ELT may be the future's Peloton Bike...much less expensive and much more versatile and, as a bonus, you get quality food when you finish exercising. “May food be thy medicine” is 2,000 year old Wisdom....wisdom endures and isn't a fad....it is Truth and Soul.