Welcome to Episode 9 of The Real Heal podcast where my guests are Dr. Zach Bush, triple-board certified physician and founder of the nonprofit Farmer’s Footprint, and actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr.
In this episode, we explore the connection between healing our planet and how it impacts our own self-care, we discuss our food system at large and the impact of GMOs, multinational corporations like Nestlé, and what happens when billionaires like Bill Gates get involved.
There’s a lot we need to do to heal our planet, but one of the most important is healing the soil. Zach dives into the benefits of regenerative agriculture and how it’s designed to bring life back to the soil. It’s an important practice because we’re losing about two tons of topsoil per acre of farmed land per year. That takes a big toll on our farmers, our food supply, and our economy. Without healthy soil, there’s no food. But it goes deeper than that. Soil also plays a role in sequestering carbon—unhealthy soil is speeding the climate crisis. From monocropping to all of the agrochemicals used we’re creating a dangerous environment for the ecosystems and our health.
I loved our discussion about what happens when people really connect with the earth and with food and how it’s grown. There’s such a beautiful spark that happens—especially for children—in seeing where our food comes from, in understanding the synergy between the soil, the water, and sunlight. It’s just magic.
The episode is also a great reminder that all of our choices matter—even the seemingly small ones. Ed shares memories of the early days of the environmental movement and how he was able to make a difference on a small budget. The same holds true today; there is a myth that living sustainably is expensive but it can be just the opposite. When we’re more mindful and deliberate in our choices, we tend to use, and need, much less.