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Industrialization vs Living Systems

Debra Redalia

Read more about trees as living systems at Mr Lilholt’s Science Town.

My personal orientation for many years (since 1987) has been to move away from industrialism and toward nature. Part of why Larry and I are together and have such a close bond is we both have an interest in this, and we can do it together. Last year at this time we started this Lifely blog to focus on this transition in particular, in our own lives and with others.

Industrialism and nature operate on two wildly different assumptions. I’m not against industry, it’s that the assumptions that underlie it are polar opposite to life. That said, there is a wonderful book called Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough that shows how life principles can be applied to industry. He could envision an industrial factory as a living system. This book was a great inspiration to me and I think everyone should read it.

The other day a friend and I were discussing supplements. I told her I wanted to get my nutrition from food and not from supplements. She said, "In a sense, you are saying you are going to wash your clothes by hand and not use a machine because it's more natural. If supplements can make life easier and improve your health, isn’t that worth considering?”

So first let me say that I have a washing machine and I wash my clothes in it. But to me the question of using a washing machine vs taking supplements are two entirely different things.

As far as supplements go, the supplement industry has largely been about isolating nutrients in the same way that industry isolates specific chemicals and elements. The supplement industry is an INDUSTRY. Supplements are nutrients broken apart by industrial processes, just like table salt is sodium chloride instead of the whole salt with all the minerals included.

Wholefood supplements, on the other hand, are whole foods that are dehydrate and retain their full spectrum of nutrients. One example of wholefood supplements is Touchstone Essentials Everyday Nutrition products, which are made on organic farms, not in factories.

A lot of the food I eat is organic from farmer’s markets. It’s not supermarket food. So I think I am getting more nutrition from my food than many people do.

And I am also eating more whole foods than most people do, so I think I am getting more nutrition because of that.

Our bodies are living systems within a living system of the Earth. Washing clothes by hand or a machine…clothes are not living systems, they are non-living matter. So there is no benefit to the clothing to wash it by hand. There is a benefit to not using a washing machine.

There is a benefit to our bodies to eat whole foods instead of fractionated nutrients. Our bodies are designed to utilize nutrients with all their co-factors found in food.

Ultimately, we humans need to find a way to fit our human lives into the larger life of the Earth in a way that makes a positive contribution to the whole instead of destroying the planet out from under us. That is what Lifely is all about.

Welcome to Lifely!

Quite simply, this blog is about orienting ourselves and our lives to Life, instead of orienting ourselves and our lives to industrial consumerism. Here we are sharing our own journey. You come too. Read more...

Debra & Larry Redalia
lifepartners + soulmates

For more than 30 years we have been delving into the nature and activities of life together. Indeed, this has been and continues to be the very reason we are together. With delight, we research, explore, observe, and even wake each other up in the middle of the night to discuss how life functions and how we can function as life—even while living in the modern world. We each are different from the norm, but we are different in the same way, so we have been able to think outside of the ordinary together and find the extraordinary workings of life.

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