Healthy for Earth, Healthy for Me PDF Print E-mail

Problem: Earth Health, Human Health


(contributed by Rakel Evenson)

Earth health? What does that have to do with our health? Turns out—everything! Though it seems new in the news, books, and articles, earth and human health being wrapped up into one really isn’t all that new. All food comes from the soil. All fruits and vegetables. All the meat we eat comes from animals that ate food from the soil. It does make sense that if the earth is healthy, it will produce healthy vegetation. If it isn’t healthy, it won’t. And then for us? If the earth is healthy, we are, if it isn’t, we aren’t. Seems simple, but it’s really complicated at the same time.

To learn about some reasons why earth and human health is so complicated, check out the webpage on oil use and food transportation. Also check out the webpage on why eating local is so important these days. To learn about some of the injustices in the food systems, check out the webpage on food deserts. To learn about a new way to think and imagine earth and human health as one, keep reading!

Well, what would make the earth and me healthy? New terms like ‘agroecology’ and especially ‘ecological nutrition’ begin to get at the point. There has to be a radically new thought behind “health” and the thought must include two co-dependent entities: the earth and humans. ‘Agroecology’ is about doing agriculture, or growing food, with sustainable methods that incorporate local skills and traditional knowledge. Check out these websites: and

‘Ecological nutrition’ is about being healthy in the whole body of creation—all animals and plants, which includes humans! Check out these websites: and

So agroecology and ecological nutrition are good starting points, but a whole new framework for thinking about earth and human health is also needed. We need to learn more about earth-human health. Tim Lang and Michael Heasman, who co-wrote the book, Food Wars: The Global Battle for Mouths, Minds and Markets call the new framework the “Ecologically Integrated Paradigm.” (EIP). What they basically mean is that they have a whole new way of thinking about health that incorporates what humans need to be healthy, what the earth needs to be healthy, and how that can all happen in governments and economies. From now on, instead of talking about earth health and human health, I’ll just say earth-human health, since it is one health.


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