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Farmer-Doctor, TV-Farmer

Posted May 28 2010 12:00am

Janet Helm at Nutrition Unplugged suggests that farmers are the new celebrity chefs . She’s right: a smart TV exec will figure out how to make composting, amending, planting, harvesting and scaring off predators primetime ready.

And that will help ignite more of the self-reliance I see everywhere these days. Including in health care.

Farmers, and the town square that is Santa Barbara’s Saturday farmer’s market (and I’ll bet many other towns too), are also part of a new health care team: social media friends, pharmacy aisle advisors, and your neighbors.

The people you meet while shopping for beets or berries can tell you what they’re good for, not just what to do with them. Some of that is home remedy, and some of it is folk culture, and some of it is Western science. People who want to look and feel better are taking all of it in.

Michael Pollan’s Food Movement Rising writes about how buying food from farmers directly affects them: “Someone buying food here may be acting not just as a consumer but also as a neighbor, a citizen, a parent, a cook.” And I would add, a health-conscious partner. And maybe, a patient.

Here is the MacArthur Fellow Award video of Will Allen, one of the most articulate and visible farmer-doctors on the scene today.

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