Elements of Nature: How Natural Forces Shape Human Health  By  cover art

Elements of Nature: How Natural Forces Shape Human Health

By: Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar
  • Summary

  • "Elements of Nature: How Natural Forces Shape Human Health” is a monthly podcast series about how nature influence our health and wellness, and affects our flourishing. Each episode is focused on an element of nature – earth, water, wind, fire, thunder, ice, force, time, flower, trees, shadow, light and moon – and how they regulate the rhythms of our lives and enhance wellness, health, and resilience. We discuss how sleep and sunlight regulate our mood and fitness, how air pollution of natural domains impairs our health and increases our the risk of chronic disease, and how green spaces and vegetation affect our moods, attention, and immunity. We will explore the many and sometimes magical mysterious nuances of nature and learn how, if we pay attention to nature, we can all live a more healthy and harmonious life. Each month we talk to an accomplished scientist, a professor, or a renowned author with expertise in studying the relationship of each element of nature with human health and wellness.
    © 2023 Elements of Nature: How Natural Forces Shape Human Health
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  • 12: Food - Patrick Holden, CBE
    Jul 6 2023

    In this episode, Aruni talks to Patrick Holden, CBE  a UK organic dairy farmer, campaigner for sustainable food and farming, and co-founder with Anthony Rodale of U.K. The Sustainable Food Trust and U.S. Sustainable Food Alliance. 

    They discuss how Patricks  interest in farming were sown during his London childhood. Holden kept a variety of animals, ranging from mice and rabbits to budgerigars and myna birds, and would spend hours in his back garden studying the amphibians that migrated to the ponds he had dug as a boy. 

    And about in n 1971, aged 20, Holden when he spent a year in the San Francisco Bay Area and how he was strongly influenced by the green movement that was gathering momentum at the time. As a result, Holden returned to the UK and worked for a year on an intensive dairy fam in Hampshire before studying biodynamic agriculture at Emerson College (UK).

    Holden then joined the back-to-the-land movement in 1973 and, using the knowledge gained from his childhood, studies and experiences in California, formed a community farm in Bwlchwernen, Wales. After the community dispersed, Holden continued to run the farm now known as Holden Farm Dairy - now the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales. Enterprises have included an 80 cow Ayrshire herd, the milk from which goes to produce Hafod, a cheddar style cheese; oats and peas; wheat for flour milling; and carrots which he grew for supermarkets for 25 years.

    Alongside farming, Holden’s other work has included the development of organic standards and the market for organic foods, founding British Organic Farmers, trustee of the Soil Association, and director of the Soil Association (1995-2010). He is also a patron of the UK Biodynamic Agricultural Association and The Living Land Trust, as well as an advisor and participant in the Prince of Wales Terra Carta initiative. 

    In 2010, Holden founded the Sustainable Food Trust, an organisation based in Bristol, UK that works internationally to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems. Key activities of the organisation include influencing government policy on sustainable agriculture; advocacy for true cost accounting; development of an internationally harmonised framework and metric for measuring on-farm sustainability; campaigning for the re-localisation of supply chains, including small abattoirs; and linking healthy diets to sustainable food production.

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    45 mins
  • 11. Climate and People's Health - Dr. Sharon Friel
    May 30 2023

    Sharon Friel is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Health Equity. She is Director of the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse, and the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Previously, she was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019, and Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on the Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2008. In 2014, her international peers voted her one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health. Her interests are in the political economy of health equity; governance of the social, commercial and planetary determinants of health inequities; climate change, food systems, trade and investment. Her 2019 book “Climate Change and the People’s Health” highlights the importance of addressing the global consumptogenic system.

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    42 mins
  • 10. Breathtaking - Dr. Alison Kenner
    May 16 2023

    Alison Kenner is an associate professor in the Department of Politics, with a joint appointment in the Center for Science, Technology and Society. Professor Kenner's research is concerned with human-environment relations in late industrialism, particularly how people inhabit their homes, think about and experience environments, and work to create change in the world. Working in the traditions of experimental and collaborative ethnography, Kenner’s research tacks between political economy, everyday life, and the infrastructures that underpin both. Her first book, Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), documents how care is materialized at different scales — from medication use to mobile phone apps and environmental policy – to address the U.S. asthma epidemic.

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    41 mins

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