Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Story of Stuff - Ch.1: Introduction

There's not much more to say. See my previous posts: On throwing it all away and On how our stuff owns us and check out

Saturday, December 8, 2007

On the progress of disease:

I came across an article in Time recently: “Why Breast Cancer is spreading Around the World,” by Kathleen Kingsbury (Time, October 15, 2007) “Plus: A Guide to the Latest Treatments,” the cover package promised.

From the data presented in the article, it is clear that breast cancer rates have risen along with the adoption of western lifestyles and diets in developing countries, yet with a bizarre sense of arrogance, the article focuses on the deprivation of the women of these countries because they don’t have access to modern medicine and equipment. Oh, those poor women who don’t have our advances! Ironically, they didn’t have cancer that needed treatment until they assumed our “advances”: processed food and high-stress but sedentary lives.

Though it supposedly sets out to reveal truths, science often has a dizzying ability to obscure them instead. The researchers who were consulted for this article apparently reported that the reason for the skyrocketing rates of breast cancer in developing countries is that improved public health allows women to live long enough to be susceptible to breast cancer. Several of the women described in the article are 40!

Aren’t the scientists, doctors and even journalists here missing something that is exceedingly obvious? If we could let go for just a minute of our manifest destiny to be the smartest and best, we might see the incredible opportunity here to turn back the clock on this modern disease. Rather than modern medicine for a disease brought on by modern life, isn’t it possible that the cure for all of us lies in a return to the traditional practices and diets that allowed people in undeveloped areas of the world good health before they began following our example?