Jacqueline Pearce-Dickens, Managing Director, Whole Health Agriculture has said: “We are delighted to join Eating Better and whole-heartedly support their mission to prioritise fair and sustainable farming systems. For decades farmers have been under pressure to produce an abundance of cheap food which has negatively impacted on the health of the soil, crops, animals and ourselves. The West’s high consumption of low welfare, high input meat has contributed to a rise in chronic disease and unsustainable farming practice. We believe that a better understanding of the links between the way that we farm and human health is part of the solution to these challenges.”
Whole Health Agriculture origins
Whole Health Agriculture was founded by Lawrence Woodward OBE, founding chairman and former director of the Organic Research Centre.
Lawrence has said: “‘Health’, to quote Lady Eve Balfour, ‘whether of soil, plant, animal or man, - is one, and indivisible.’ This is undeniably true. Yet very few producers farm and grow for health as a priority output – even organic ones. Do we even know how to do it? We are not clear on how and why some farms and holdings ooze ‘health’ so much it smacks you in the face and others don’t – even when they seem to be doing the right things.
I set up Whole Health Agriculture to build on holistic principles and practice to ‘make health infectious’ and to join the dots between farming, food and health. We are passionate about encouraging farmers to put ‘whole health' at the centre of their farming ethos and practice, and as an organisation we endeavour to engage farmers, citizens and health practitioners to join us to effect change within the food and farming industry, and within the health sector.”
What is ‘whole health’?
Sir Robert McCarrison carried out the very first experiments to demonstrate the effect of nutrition on the causes and management of disease. He found that the diets of the healthiest people were ‘for the most part, fresh from its source, little altered by preparation and complete; and in the case of those based on agriculture, the natural cycle – (waste to soil to plants to animals/man) is complete.’
Completing the ‘natural cycle’ ensures ecological soundness, resilience and biodiversity, i.e. whole health.
Whole Health Agriculture works to:
- raise public awareness of the benefits of holistically produced food
- develop innovation and best practice in ‘whole system’ farming methods
- engage and empower holistic farmers and growers
Whole Health Agriculture aim to change how food is perceived, produced and raised
They want people to begin to ‘join the dots’, to see that our health cannot be separated from the health of the entire ecosystem; from the air, right down to soil and everything in between.
Whole Health Agriculture are currently working with farmers to build knowledge of non-toxic alternatives to antibiotics in livestock. Alongside this, they are developing case studies on the methods and practices of farmers who achieve vibrant, holistic health.
Whole Health Agriculture are also on the steering committee of the Real Food Campaign, set up by the British Holistic Medical Association.
If you share the aims of Whole Health Agriculture. Why not join with them or contact them if you feel you could contribute to their current work areas.