The curious case of H. Pylori

There is a tiny bacterium residing in the gut lining of about two-thirds of all adults on the planet, called Helicobacter Pylori. Research strongly  suggests that this bacterium may be central to the cause of 80% of all stomach cancers – yet this dangerous invader is mostly left untreated  until it creates serious problems.

One of the oldest debates in oncology is whether cancer is one disease – or many. It is quite easy to see who benefits from cancer being about 200 separate diseases – with many complex and expensive drug, radiation and surgery regimens.
Many advocates of a ‘unitarian’ theory of cancer have literally been put out of business as their theories oppose the interests of ‘big pharma’. One famous example is that of Royal Rife – who used an energy device to emit vibration at the mortal oscillation rate (MOR) of bacteria to great effect in the 1950’s. His laboratory mysteriously burnt down and he was dragged through the courts for the rest of his stressful life.

 

Recent research at the University of Michigan (Michael F. Clarke MD) suggests that a unitarian theory of cancer based on the actions of malignant stem cells may not be far away. For much too long the only refuge of a bacterial etiology for cancer has been the complementary and alternative medicine movement, which still suffers ridicule from orthodox practitioners for even asserting the possibility of such theories.

 

Yet the World Health Organisation now recognise H. Pylori as a carcinogen that may be as dangerous as tobacco and other pollutants. There are a range of gastric diseases that have H.Pylori centrally implicated:

 

‘It has been found that at least 90% of those with duodenal ulcers, 70% with gastric ulcers and 50% of those over the age of 50 test positive for the presence of H. Pylori. Indeed about 30% of all people in the UK are probably infected with the bacteria’.
(healthforyouonline)

 

H. Pylori is a ‘new strain’ bacteria that has adapted itself to the harsh environment of the human gut. Until 20 years ago it was undiscovered. This clever little critter protects itself from digestive acids with an antacid barrier, and protects itself from the human immune system by burying itself in the gut lining, causing inflammation and local irritation. It also produces an enzyme called catalase that protects it. All in all it plays havoc with the digestive processes of about two-thirds of the people on this planet with a knock-on effect to a whole panoply of human discomforts and dis-eases.

 

Its still not known for sure how people pick up this bug but researchers think it may be found in water supplies, infected people’s saliva, flies on food or contact with infected fecal matter.

 

A couple of years ago I experienced the worst physical illness I have ever known. I even called a doctor in the middle of the night, the only time I have ever done this. My guts around my upper stomach became severely inflamed and this extreme discomfort put me out of action for a whole week. Couldn’t eat, sleep etc. At the time I put this down to the stress caused by UK government legislation – a war of attrition over 12 months where the Child Support Agency made a wrongly assessed ‘attachment to earnings’ effectively terminating my college lecturing career. Classically stress is considered to be one of the causes of gastric discomfort, especially ulcers, and the stress I experienced may well of ‘prepared the ground’ for this invasion.

 

Over time I cut out wine, coffee, acid-forming foods but with little improvement. I visited the doctor’s who endorsed these decisions, told me to go out walking more often to aid digestion and to his credit mentioned that ‘there is a nasty little bug called H. Pylori going around’ – which started this strand of research for me.

 

Normally doctors will not treat H. Pylori until it provokes serious gastric illness, and when you see what orthodox medicine prescribes for this treatment its no surprise. At least two anti-biotics, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and a stomach lining protector. Although this prescription may be effective it is also expensive, complex and has unwanted toxic side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting – meaning that many people do not finish the course (patient noncompliance) and remain infected.

 

The doctor did not prescribe for me – just told me to cut out acidic forming stuff – which I did, and come back later if it didn’t go away, which I didn’t. I started to experiment to see what would bring relief from the continuing symptoms – gastric discomfort, acid reflux, bloating, poor digestion, wind and inflammation. Cutting out wheat based products was most helpful in the short term. Taking live bacillus in yoghurt and occasional probiotics helped too.

 

Just by -coincidence- I found out that Pistachio nuts seemed to relieve the discomfort. It was no surprise when I found out that Mastic Gum, which comes from a related tree called Pistacia lentiscus is a classic remedy for gut inflammation that has been in use for thousands of years. There is increasing evidence that shows Mastic gum to be effective against H. Pylori, with a range of therapeutic effects on various gastric dis-eases. There have never been any undesirable effects attributed to the use of mastic gum. Since chewing this gum I am now completely relieved of gastric discomfort.

 

So as I-m writing this article I am chewing small pieces of mastic gum and have adopted this as part of a preventative ‘yearly spring detox’ for internal parasites. It has a nice woody taste, not unlike the smell of sandal wood or cinnamon. In Mediterranean countries mastic gum has been used for centuries for preventing tooth decay, healing mouth and skin ulcers, controlling diabetes and reducing cholesterol levels. Some African sources even attribute aphrodisiac qualities to this most useful of substances – natural chewing gum !

 

So here we have a natural remedy that may prevent several forms of cancer and gastric illness. It is a remedy that has been in safe use for thousands of years. Its such a shame that the simple remedial action of ‘chewing gum’ is now replaced by synthetic alternatives that have removed the very reasons why humans started chewing gum in the first place. The chewing gum you buy in shops is made mainly from gum Arabic and a load of chemicals to make it sweet.

 

When you are spring detoxing this year, don’t forget to get a small packet of mastic gum (about 25gms) and chew about a gram a day for two weeks if you have gastric discomfort.

 

Source material from:
http://www.modernherbalist.com/products/mastica.html
http://www.health4youonline.com/health_supplements_mastika_natt4444_nat81096.htm
http://www.worldwidehealthcenter.net/articles-81.html
http://www.cancerdecisions.com  (The Moss Reports Newsletter)

 

Please note that this article does not replace the advice and treatment of your medical practitioner.

Earth Future

Futurists speculate about the fate of our earth and as a fan of science, science fiction and ecology it’s fun for me to project some of our present planetary scenarios forwards. This article extrapolates the theories of James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia Hypothesis and Thomas Berry, an ecologist and writer.

Resurgence magazine recently quoted Thomas Berry:

  • the glory of the human has become the devastation of the earth
  • the devastation of the earth appears to be our destiny
Given the amount of progress we are making towards dealing with the problems of global poverty, global warming and pollution, the new diseases and the general destruction of our environment, it seems that Thomas Berry may well be right.
Our economies are so caught up in the act of planet wrecking that the future is uncertain at least. Presently our economy is stealing it from our grandchildren. Our financial systems have billions invested in ‘futures’ that do not exist. Our economy has a fatal flaw, that of using ‘capital assets’ (the earth’s resources) as income. It seems very few of us are willing to give up the profligate waste of resources and pollution that modern consumerism dictates in the name of economy.

James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis suggests that the life on earth itself creates a self-balancing mechanism that promotes optimum conditions for us to exist, but within finely defined and fragile boundaries, which we are presently transgressing.

The Gaia Hypothesis

 

postulates that the physical and chemical condition of the surface of the earth, of the atmosphere and of the oceans has been and is actively made fit and comfortable by the presence of life itself. This is in contrast to the conventional wisdom which held that life adapted to the planetary conditions as it and they evolved their separate ways’.

 

In his book ‘Gaia, A new look at life on Earth’, Lovelock points to the only previous scenario known where the earth has been polluted by its inhabitants. At one time the planet was inhabited by anaerobic bacteria, which excreted oxygen as a waste product that Lovelock describes as ‘the worst atmospheric pollution incident that this planet has ever known’. What happened here is maybe an indication of what’s to come.

 

‘When oxygen leaked into the air two aeons ago, the biosphere was like the crew of a stricken submarine, needing all hands to rebuild the systems damaged or destroyed and at the same time threatened by an increasing concentration of poisonous gases in the air. Ingenuity triumphed and the danger was overcome, not in the human way by restoring the old order, but in the flexible Gaian way by adapting to change and converting a murderous intruder into a powerful friend.’

The pollution of the earth by oxygen was a ‘fatal catastrophe’ for most of the life forms then present, but a few survived by adapting. They became oxygen breathing life forms that evolved, into us, and the many other oxygen-breathing life forms that presently inhabit our earth.

So taking this history into account, if we believe that the pollution of the planet is inevitable and is in fact part of our ‘destiny’, how then do we act to survive? The lesson here may be to convert the ‘murderous intruders’ of waste, of poisoned air, impure water and food, the new and virulent bacterias and viruses into ‘powerful friends’, by adapting and using them as a source of nourishment and life, by finding it within ourselves to convert poisons into nectar and live off the waste products of others. This means enhancing our abilities to be creative, to transform and to self-heal.

At its best the healthy human body is already a self-healing mechanism but it has very specific needs. When the integrity of our nourishment sources is breaking down we need to take positive actions to reinforce our ability to transform and heal and you will find much discussion and many techniques for this here at the StarFields Network.

Hegemony in education

Our educational system is presently a mess. Governments have long lost sight of what education actually is and it is mainly replaced within formal ‘educational provision’ by systems of indoctrination. Just how has this come about?

An educational system which exclusively aims to transform people into commodities for consumption on the labour market must treat them in turn as passive consumers. The curriculum will consist of objects to be possessed in the form of facts and skills rather than objects of thought: situations, problems and issues which are capable of challenging, activating and extending natural powers of being“. [1]

So where has the system become lost? Why is the educational system still based around pedagogy? Knowles gives us a historical context for pedagogic transmission. He states the Greeks invented Socratic dialogue as an aid to learning, where a member of the group would pose a question to be explored by the ‘group mind’.  The Romans were more confrontational and developed polarities in argument which we can still see in our political and educational systems today.

Starting in the seventh century in Europe, schools began being organised for teaching children -primarily for preparing young boys for the priesthood – hence they became known as cathedral or monastic schools. Since the teachers in these schools had as their principal mission the indoctrination of students in the beliefs, faiths and rituals of the Church, they evolved a set of assumptions about learning and strategies for teaching that came to be labelled as ‘pedagogy’……This model of education persisted through the ages well into the twentieth century and was the basis of organisation of our entire educational system“. [2]

It saddens me that the following extract from Lindemann (found in Knowles) was written as long ago as 1926:

We shall never know how many adults desire intelligence regarding themselves and the world in which they live until education once more escapes the pattern of conformity. Adult education is an attempt to discover a new method and create a new incentive for learning; its implications are qualitative not quantitative. Adult learners are precisely those whose intellectual aspirations are least likely to be aroused by the rigid, uncompromising requirements of authoritative, conventionalized institutions of learning“. [3]

In a book called ‘Free to be Human’ the author claims we are held in ‘powerful psychological chains’ which severely limit our capability to see:

This is a book about freedom, and above all about the idea that there is often no greater obstacle to freedom than the assumption that it has already been fully attained. While in the West few individuals today suffer physical restraint by the state, we are still constrained by powerful psychological chains – which in many ways are far more effective, if only because they are so difficult to perceive.
Free to be Human shows how the same filter system (corporately controlled mass media hegemony) distorts our understanding of many personal, ethical and spiritual issues, ensuring that we remain passive, conformist, confused and uninformed – and willing to accept the irrational values of corporate consumerism. David Edwards argues that, in order to counter this continual process of disinformation and disempowerment, we need to master the arts of ‘intellectual self defence’ and so become able to challenge the deceptions of a system that subordinates people and planet to the drive for profit
“. [4]

David Icke, much ridiculed because of his far-fetched claims, asserts in his book ‘The Robot’s Rebellion, that the system has no intention of educating people, it exists to turn out fodder for the system, ‘to become the next generation of robots’ [p.185]. Although good teachers exist within the system and attempt to lessen the indoctrination they are in the minority and subject to the limitations of increasing government control.

This is their [the government’s] way of finding some illusion of security in a mythical 1950’s utopia in which everyone had their place and everyone knew what it was. This back to basics policy when applied to education, puts an emphasis on ‘talking at’ teaching, and expansion of tests and exams and, to quote one former Education Secretary, a return to teaching a fear of God. Give me strength“. [5]

Icke has found many enemies because of his non-conformist stance. The Church in particular admonishes his viewpoint that ‘God is within us all’ rather than some external force, and the media leapt on this to twist his message into a claim that Icke claims he is ‘Son of God’.

Icke claims that he has been viciously marginalised because his message opposes that of the status quo and that all non-conformists are turned into ‘folk devils’ by the system. Icke’s arguments are suprisingly convincing even given a tendency towards sweeping statements, and the conspiracy theory he outlines is a popular one echoed in the media by many movies. ‘The truth is out there somewhere and they’re keeping it from us’. Icke’s demonisation demonstrates that the historical connection between Church and State still has influence. An easy disclaimer to the conspiracy theory is to claim that the person expressing it is just paranoid, to which any self respecting paranoid would reply, ‘It’s not that I’m paranoid, they are plotting against me’.

As a non-conformist in today’s world though, its easy to think like this. As the government once again take control of our curriculum for an ‘upgrade’ many teachers must be considering whether it will be worth all of the effort. But now more than ever we need our education systems to turn out non-conformists who are able to think for themselves and question the irrational values of corporate consumer capitalism and find the alternatives that work.

1.    Eliot J. Action Research for Educational Change. OU Press 1992. p144
2.    Knowles M. The Adult Learner, A Neglected Species. Gulf. 1990. p28
3.    Lindeman E.C. The Meaning of Adult Education. in Knowles (above p.30)
4.    Edwards D. Free to be Human. Intellectual Self-defense in an Age of Illusions. Resurgence Books.1995 (blurb)
5.    Icke D. The Robot’s Rebellion, The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance. Gateway Books 1994. p 314

Earth and World Healing Meditation

I was walking down from Bob’s Enchanted Croft to Penpoll Creek, to check my kayak was alright, when this lady called Pam jumped out of the hedge and invited me to a party on her land to celebrate her husband’s, David’s birthday.

 

Before I knew where I was, I was involved in an Earth and World Healing Meditation in their cabin, which I reprint here with David Stringer’s permission because it was rather fun.

Earth and World Healing Meditation [1]

After such a seeming endless long dark night [2] of chaos, sacrilege and devastation,

Reeked across our planet by every Nation because of our blind human neglect

Of, for each other and all life, compassion through myriad wars and exploitation,

Of the precious soil, deforestation, global warming, near annihilation

Of untold species, we come to that brink over which so many into despair can sink,

So much to heal, so much harm to repair, we who, in these, our sacred sanctuaries, foregather

To dedicate our love and light and lives, to put an end to all further dearth and strife,

As, within this forest, consecrated to peace, to re-spread its sacred Light to within all men’s hearts.

Whereby we can all, at last, become a part of ways of life of non-violence,

Our lost primal Edens to restore, as made by our Creator, to last for evermore,

To remake, renew, Adam’s ancient covenant with Divine Creation, seeking enlightenment

To guide us along the paths of the restoration of wholeness throughout this and every nation,

To each do the little that we can do, to the spirit of all life’s sacredness true,

To be exemplars to all others till all living beings become as sisters and brothers

Again in one universal family in which all life forms respected be!

For our smallest action, according to how tis done, has its ripple-impact on all life’s karmic web

In time and space, causing either harm or good spreading the light or perpetuating night,

So may all that we do or think or dedicate with a prayer to our creator whose miracles we contemplate

So to bring blessings with all we do with our hands we who life’s interactions understand

Every plant or tree planted, sown or let grow, a microcosmic paradise to some creatures we know

Thus, millions of hands, guided by love can this our earth life heal wherever we move or be,

In our daily endeavors and lives till all for all shall become as paradise!

Let not this peace be but a brief respite from survival’s struggle’s terror stalked night,

But may it out from our sanctuaries flow out across the world to all we know

Who still the effects of harm we’ve done suffer and as we heal ourselves,

Even as we [3] heal each other empowered by the Great Spirits energy that flows through all the life that around, in us, we see!

Footnotes:

[1] I differentiate here between Earth and World, as while the former obviously refers to the billions of years old Planetary Creation, the latter no more than The Sphere of Men (Saxon – Wer-Old) no more than, at most, two million years old, and, once, but a tiny colony on a vast and infinite Creation, though those whose Consciousness is trapped inside its alienated-from-nature cities (Greek – poloi) and Politics can get mixed up in their mind-sets! This difference, in itself, can offer us help when we realise that our ‘destructions’ are an aberration, which can be healed and rebalanced by the former greater Infinite & Eternal Natural Sphere whence we draw all our creative powers for good or ill!

[2] Night can be interpreted, here on several different levels in body, mind, soul and Spirit, as either physical, ecological destruction, ‘dark attitudes of mind’ such as hatred, distrust, fear and prejudice of a ‘dark night of the soul’ as a cynical spiritual nihilism that can lead to more tangible manifestations of ‘evil’, an existential Inner Experience that could affect any one of us – again, ironically, a sign of hope, as if some can see the Light in darkness, so can others – indeed some only come to see ‘The Light of Guidance from Spirit’ once plunged into darkness!

[3] By ‘We’ I mean the entire human race, in all its generations, past and present, rather than those specifically gathered in our Healing Circles. We may, indirectly, in our own origins, have ‘benefited’ from the ‘poisoned fruits’ of ations and attitudes that have harmed both men and the Earth, as, for example, as a child, my comfort and security depended on the ‘Wages from environmental degradation’ on the fringes of a much-polluted town and city of coal mines and iron foundries (though this was hardly the choice of the toil-worn-out workers, our fathers and forefathers)! While I did not question, when young, the eating of slaughtered creatures as nutrition, this being made acceptable by the inherited habits of my elders, who were ‘good people’, so it would not be appropriate to be ‘holier than thou’ and seeing ourselves as somehow separate from the overall caste of out collective socio-economic and political dramas! This again offers hope in the sense that if we can change our attitudes and lifestyles from those that harm to those that heal and make whole, so can others.

David Allen Stringer (13.8.06)

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.universalalliance.org.uk

The Cut and Paste Generation

Cutting and pasting essays from the internet is a wholly rational response to an education system that is now an indoctrination system.
The word ‘education’ has its origins in the root word ‘educare’, meaning to ‘draw out and extend’. Modern education no longer does this. It imposes a curriculum on students that has its basis in making us look economically superior to the Germans. The purposes for modern mainstream education are built around economic objectives and are not about the development of human beings as individuals, their potential, values and identity in a changing world. Real education starts where you are, it is grounded in real, personal and lived experience. Real education gives you the tools to reflect on your own experience and make your own sense of it. It helps you to adapt to a new reality in the face of changing circumstances.

In contrast to this, much of our modern education is remote and distant from the real experience of students. It consists of predetermined material, often with extreme bias, which is tested by processes of examination, one of which is writing custom essay. Successful schools and colleges are now little more than ‘exam factories’, their main focus geared towards turning out the maximum amount of qualifications to secure future funding from the government.

A focus on industrial outputs has destroyed education in this country. In reality about 60% of the information we will need as individuals this time next year, does not yet exist. Yet we are still imposing on, rather than listening to our students. Where are the skills of learning how to learn in the curriculum, the skills of creativity, adaptability and versatility? Where are the skills of self-maintenance, of invention, innovation and self-motivation? These are essential skills for an economy that is now essentially bankrupt. These are the skills our children will need for the 21 st Century. We are imposing useless indoctrination on our students that has little to do with their lives and even less to do with the future we have made for them. Since it is the needs of our economy that is driving planetary degradation, nearly everything we are imposing on our children through a government led curriculum, is a preparation for a future that no longer exists. It is no wonder truancy rates in the UK are the highest ever.

Many of the students recognize this. They see schools and colleges as hurdles they have to jump on the way to a life. They know, at a diversity of levels, from ‘an uneasy feeling’ to real political insight, that most of what they are ‘taught’ is useless in the context of an economic system that is doomed to failure for committing the idiocy of using its capital assets as income. The students on the whole know that teachers and lecturers are so busy and stressed with the system that they don’t have a hope in hell of catching them cutting and pasting their studies. They want to get on with living their own lives, where in fact they learn far more than they do in the sterile centers of indoctrination and imposed conformity that our schools and colleges have become.

Current theory suggests that regurgitating material from one place on the internet is regarded as plagiarism but copying from ten is ‘research’. This is nitpicking when the whole concept of how we learn and the whole technology of learning has so radically shifted. Cut and paste is a rational response to a system that keeps on regurgitating the same old nonsense in a reality that has utterly changed.

Chemical Consumerism

Rachel Carson wrote a book in the 1960’s called ‘Silent Spring’, describing how the use of pesticides in our food production was not only destroying wild bird populations but was also a root cause for a whole host of human malaise, including cancer. Today we are told that our diet should contain at least five sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables without any reference to the quality of this food or its authenticity. But really this is not enough to promote health and research shows why.

Consuming poisons in our food is commonplace. Our present food choices contain discreet poisons, toxins and many health-damaging options. These are often the very foods that ‘look the nicest’. Much of our food is subject to mass-production techniques that fill it with dangerous chemicals.

  • farming techniques where animals are treated like units on a production line and routinely prescribed antibiotics such as Tylosin, Enroflaxin and Nicarbazin
  • proven toxins and carcinogens such as Acrylamide, Iprodione, Aldicarb, organophosphates and organochlorines reaching even into the most common foodstuffs like coffee, chips and crisps, cakes and biscuits, farmed carrots and potatoes
  • biological enhancement of crops, regular fungicide spraying, growth hormones in milk and meat, mercury in our mouths, colorants and carcinogens in food are commonplace – recent study in the US found 66 different carcinogens just in childrens’ food, the ‘average’ new born baby in the West has two hundred industrial chemicals in its umbilical cord the day it is born
  • brain-stopping hydrogenated oils, coronary-inducing fats, nutritionally valueless but ‘pretty’ meals encased in toxic plastic

But consuming chemicals unwittingly, very often ones the body cannot process, is just one aspect of how the multinational chemical companies, or ‘big pharma’, steal our health to promote their own toxic ‘cures’, engendering a whole range of modern diseases based on low immunity thresholds.

Added to this wholescale attack on our immunity through industrial chemicals, there has been a decline of between 25% to 75% in the levels of key mineral nutrients in farmed vegetables over the last 60 years. Much research shows that a lack of key minerals in food leads to human diseases.

Modern industrial farming practices destroy the symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi found surrounding the roots of organic and wild plants. This soil dweller helps to increase the nutrient absorbing area of the organic plant’s root system by secreting enzymes that break down organic matter and help the plant absorb more nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi are wiped out by soluble phosphates in particular, a prime ingredient of many chemical fertilisers and this prevents the absorption of minor nutrients and minerals into the plant and hence into our diet.

As if this two-pronged attack of discreet poisons and mineral depletion isn’t enough in today’s toxic world, recent research shows that there is another aspect to farmed food that may be at the root of the widespread increase in cancer in the Western World. Many ‘natural’ foods contain chemicals that protect us from attack.

In cancer, a cell, or group of cells, loses touch with where it is in the scheme of things, its ‘synergy’, and starts replicating for itself. The word synergy comes from the Greek ‘sunergos’, meaning ‘working together’. Synergy is the interaction of two or more agents, that produces a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects, in this case – us. All the cells in a healthy body, work together to give us life. They exist as unique individual cells in their own right but also have a higher function, contributing to the life form of which they are part. Every one of the two thousand billion cells in our bodies has as many working parts as a passenger airliner so it is quite usual for some of these cells to suffer damage. A healthy body is equipped to deal with them.

We all have the potential for cancer. Even a healthy body carries about 10,000 malignant cells and a fully functioning immune system will remove them. But what do cells get that change them, click them out of the whole ‘synergistic’ system of our body to become selfish and self-replicating?

Some doctors refer to this simply as ‘insult’. What happens when you insult a cell so often it gets upset? Just like you or I might do – it gives up on the host and sets out for itself. Our consumer chemical culture is presently rich in ways for us to insult our cells and stress them without us even realising.

The cancer growth begins when a malignant cell remains in the body and its oncogenes, (controlling cell growth and multiplication) in a cell or group of cells are transformed by carcinogens. Cell insult often starts with ‘free radicals’, which are unstable atoms or molecules produced by the body as part of its natural defence against disease. Free radicals contain a negative charge that makes them highly reactive. As soon as they are produced they start looking for other molecules with positively charged particles. The reaction they have on meeting is called oxidisation, and this reaction can have a harmful effect, damaging the D.N.A. inside cells or cell membranes and opening the door for cancer growth if the body does not eject them. In cancer, the oncogene switch can’t ‘turn off’ and the cells replicate out of synergy.

This ‘switching mechanism’ is at the heart of much modern cancer research. Our bodies’ cells contain an enzyme called CYP 1B1 that is inactive until it is triggered to protect the cell from cancer. Often this trigger fails to operate, allowing the cell to replicate ‘for itself’ and form a cancerous growth.

Research by Gerry Potter, head of the School of Pharmacy at De Montford University in Leicester and Danny Burke at Aberdeen University School of Medicine have developed a drug, presently undergoing clinical trials, that triggers the enzyme to protect the cells from mutation.

Their research led them to look at nature and they found natural phytoestrogens in grapes and red wine that seemed to trigger the enzyme, named resveratrols. Further research led them to find fifty compounds with a similar action in ripe fruits and vegetables, which they called ‘salvestrols’.

When a fruit or vegetable is ripening it is prone to attack by a whole range of fungi and rotting agents. Healthy plants have evolved a defense to this attack by generating salvestrols to fight off the fungal attack. When we eat these plants we also eat their salvestrols, which in turn trigger our own cell defense mechanisms. When a plant is routinely sprayed with anti-fungals it never gets a chance to develop its own salvestrols for defense and to that extent becomes useless for our own immune defenses.

So really our governments’ ‘five a day’ crusade, without specifying organic or wild foods, is just another ‘papering over the cracks’, a superficial, knee-jerk reaction to issues of healthy and sustainable living that works in favour of the machinations of chemical consumerism.

Learn English in Cornwall

Eco-linguistics meets biodiversity in my language school in the ancient Cornish capital of Lostwithiel. I am a Cornish person with a life-long love of Cornwall and a deep concern for green issues. My business involves offering a year-round combination of residential and non-residential language courses. I also provide organic vegan and vegetarian Bed and Breakfast.

 

My Language Teaching Business

My business is ethical, intentionally holistic and sustainable right from the core.

My residential ‘Experience Cornwall’ course is designed to stimulate awareness of the Cornish culture, landscape and environment and to offer a language learning experience. Traditionally, this has been the English language. I now offer this course with a Cornish language component.

The Cornish language is a fragile and endangered language. As both a Cornish person and a professional language teacher I am passionate about protecting, promoting and nurturing the Cornish language.

I believe that linguistic and cultural diversity is important in the same way as other aspects of sustainability and biodiversity.

The aim of my business is to maximise a concern for our cultural inheritance with a concern for our landscape. This is what makes my small business so special and so unique.

Energy in my Business

I focus on running my business in the most energy-conscious way possible. Following an energy audit in 2004, I made significant changes to the way I manage my home and my business. I continue to keep a careful watch on issues of energy use. I am improving in small, steady steps. For example, I now use a green tariff for my electricity through Southern Electric. This is based on hydro-electrics in Scotland. I have recently joined a scheme with Southern Electric in relation to my gas supply. In this scheme, called Power 2, trees are planted to balance out the CO2 that my gas heating produces.

Regarding catering, I provide vegan and vegetarian food for my B&B and residential courses. It is an established fact that a vegetarian, and even more so a vegan diet uses less of the earth’s finite resources than a carnivorous diet. I feel that this is one of the most significant ways in which I support the environment. I am a member of the Vegan Society, which campaigns to promote more ethical and sustainable lifestyles.

Processed or convenience foods are not used. Local food is sourced wherever possible for homemade meals, saving food miles and extraneous packaging.

Even the vegetable water here gets re-used as part of a totally integrated approach to a holistic, green lifestyle. Every piece of waste is carefully sorted into the recycle bins for paper, tins and vegetable waste. This is composted and goes to nourish the plants, indoors and out.

The few plastic or paper bags that find their way into the house are delivered to local shops for re-use, but usually a ‘Farmer’s Market’ cloth bag or a bio-degradable, jute bag is intentionally carried for shopping trips.

Resources and the control of waste are managed by not buying into excess or waste at any level. Again this is part of a holistic approach to managing finite resources. This integrated system is central to the ethical basis of my business.

No chemical products are used for washing, washing-up or bathing. The bath water is recycled to nourish a jungle of potted plants and flowers adorning the front of the building. In fact the use of Tea Tree shampoo actually helps to keep the plants free from pests and diseases. The plants outside attract wildlife to a town centre area and even Hummingbird Hawk Moths have been enjoying them this year.

Mebyon Kernow, of which I am a life-long member, supports the development of indigenous enterprise, which is environmentally acceptable and inwardly invests. Thus it favours the development of small-scale, local tourism initiatives.

In line with this, wherever possible I use local services or those nearby in preference to those further afield.

For example, the local Farmer’s Market is a regular source for local products. Local foodstuffs are also delivered to me via Riverford organic vegetable box scheme (which has its own environmental policy).

If organic and local is not available as a first option, then Fairtrade products are bought locally from Mountchase Pharmacy, Watt’s Trading, Carley’s or the Co-op – all of whom have environmental policies. Out of town supermarkets are rarely used.

When circumstances permit I will directly exchange work, for example French lessons in return for odd-jobs.

Thinking Global and Acting Local

In terms of the services I provide to the local economy, many of my language students are local. I teach people from age 2 to age 75. I teach language at Kaleidoscope Nursery (2 – 5 year olds) and teach French to individuals, couples and groups of all ages from my home.

In a true-hearted application of ‘Think Global – Act Local’, purchasing of products and services is always sourced to a local level. Again these choices stem from an ethical centre to the business of Learn English in Cornwall demonstrating my belief in and commitment to supporting and growing as part of a self-sustaining local economy and community. I also guide my visitors to access and use local resources wherever possible.

I make the most of my space at Learn English in Cornwall by creating multifunctional space and mixing residential and business use. For example my office at the top of the house doubles as my bedroom when guests are staying. Alternating language holidays and B&B also helps me make the best use of available space in procuring an income for this business.

I have a strong and developed sense of who I am, my values and my place in the community and local culture. I express and bring together my interests in caring for people, the unique place of Lostwithiel, Cornwall and the planet through the work I do.

I was born into a Cornish farming family. My father was a farmer and miner. My uncle, Nelson Tamblin, was the World Horse-ploughing Champion and was described as ‘the poet of the soil’. My mother is a nurse, as are two of my sisters. My brother is a farmer, and my other sister grows plants for a living – all in Cornwall. My great-aunt Sophie was a teacher in Lostwithiel in 1893 and two of her sisters were gifted linguists. So I have a sense, in all that I do, of following in a strong family tradition.

I am presently completing my dissertation for a Masters Degree entitled ‘Contemporary European Culture: Language, Literature and Society’, with a dissertation on the Cornish Language. In addition I am having regular one-to-one Cornish lessons myself. I see promoting Cornish as involvement in cultural activity at a community level – a local language for local people. It is also a way of bringing our past into our future.

I enjoy sharing my strong sense of self, of Cornish identity, of European and global kinship with my students. I involve them in all sorts of situations, discussions and activities within my community. I am sensitive to issues of disability and aim to be as inclusive as possible in the services I provide.

I promote environmental awareness at the level of my local community through my Experience Cornwall courses, which include at least 15 hours of field trips a week for both my English and Cornish courses.

An integrated involvement with community at this level creates community dialectic. A whole range of discussion and exposure to green thoughts occurs as experiences and ideas are exchanged at a local and then global level.

For example this is the experience of one student: ‘I am doing what I do now just because of my experience with Julie in Cornwall, where I understood that getting in different cultures and different languages was something that I really adored‘. This student is now working in the field of international development and co-operation.

At the heart of what I do lies my desire to build bridges, both locally and internationally. I passionately believe in and am constantly working towards building a more peaceful world through cultural exchange and friendship ties at a local community level.

I have no employees. Instead I employ a whole range of carefully selected, local subcontractors as described above.

I choose people to help me run my business who I believe are ethical themselves and share similar values. However not all of the people who have helped me to develop my own green business have necessarily been green themselves. They may have simply been trustworthy, local and willing.

Each step that I have made has been carefully discussed with my subcontractors and I have explained the reasons for my choices. I hope that through this process I may have been modelling for others how I face and overcome issues of budgets and ideologies.

For some subcontractors there has been a learning element in being part of this process with me. They had to confront their own practice because here was somebody doing it differently. I encouraged my subcontractors by telling them that I saw them as part of my ‘Green Team’ and that I would be happy to promote them amongst other local green businesses. I also told them that one day I would publicise their help to me. I believe that this helps us to support each other in going forward.

On the positive side I have achieved much over the past 5 years. A recent upgrade in both leaflets and on-line marketing has helped me focus on the core sustainable objectives and mission for my business. I am now feeling very happy and looking forward to the future. I am especially pleased that I am able to combine my concern for our endangered physical environment with my passion for our endangered language in the shape of the small but unique professional and educational business venture at Learn English in Cornwall. I am equally pleased to have just been highly commended in Cornwall’s Sustainability Awards, taking third place for ‘Cornwall’s Best Small Business’.