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THE DUAL TASK OF PROTECTING PLANET EARTH AND HUMAN HEALTH

Mousab Kassem Azzawi
2020 / 10 / 20

In this lecture, we will discuss some of the main aspects of the interaction between the health of planet Earth and the health of the human beings who live within its ecosystem. It is always true that as an individual, you can choose to become mindful consumer of your food by excluding mainly red meat from your diet. You can also choose to filter your water instead of buying plastic water bottles. There are also changes that are happening at a larger level—both institutionally and nationally that you can participate in and support. When you make the right choices for your own health, you are also making choices that are right for planet Earth.

There are many steps that you can take immediately that will impact not only your own health, but also the health of the planet.
One of the first things that you can do is buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Over 450 pesticides and herbicides are used on nonorganic products. Nonorganic products may be irradiated, and they contain nitrates, which are carcinogenic compounds. Furthermore, the seeds of nonorganic products may even be genetically modified. Some genetically modified crops, such as those which have been genetically modified to produce internally certain chemicals that act as built-in herbicides within the produce, have definitely side effects on human health when they are ingested by humans.
Industrial farming practices keep using soil over and over again deplete it of its nutrients. However, organic farmers practise crop rotation, which gives the soil more time to replenish its nutrients and recover itself after producing crops. An added advantage of buying organic produce is to support organic farmers.
A 2006 study revealed detectible metabolites of organophosphate pesticide residues in children eating a conventional diet. Organophosphate pesticide is a neurotoxin for the brain and the rest of the nervous system. When these children were taken off of their conventional diet and placed on an organic diet, there were no detectible metabolites.
In addition to buying organic whenever possible, do your best to avoid eating meat and dairy as much as possible. These foods are high in saturated fat, which contributes to cardiovascular disease and generalised inflammation within the body. In addition, the industrialised increase of livestock worldwide had led to increased greenhouse gas admissions, which is mainly methane gas, as a result of the regurgitation process, which is part of how most of the domesticated animals digest their food. Methane gas is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. It is estimated that livestock worldwide is responsible for up to 51% of the total greenhouse gases emitted worldwide to the Earth’s atmosphere every year. The accumulation of greenhouse gases within the Earth’s atmosphere is behind the looming climate collapse catastrophe that could take hold of planet Earth in just less than eight years.
When you go to the supermarket, look for eggs that are free range. If you choose to eat poultry, look for poultry that is free range and free of antibiotics and hormones—especially if you have small children. Ideally, buy organic eggs and poultry.
If you choose to eat fish, make sure it is wild caught, such as wild sockeye salmon´-or-wild trout. The more fat that is on the fish, the more toxins that are in the fat. Fish stores in its fatty tissue the toxins that it had exposed to during its life course. The commonest toxins in seawater and most freshwater sources worldwide are mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nitrates, and aluminium.
In a study that was published in Science in 2004, researchers found that farm-raised Atlantic salmon had significantly higher levels of 13 toxins when compared with wild Pacific salmon. The study also measured toxin levels in the salmon chow, a mixture of ground-up fish and oil that was fed to the farm-raised salmon. They found a strong correlation between the toxicities of the chow and the salmon and concluded that the toxins were being passed into the salmon from their food.
Fish farms use chemicals as disinfectants to kill bacteria. They use herbicides to prevent the overgrowth of vegetation in ponds, and drugs—usually combined in the feed—to treat diseases and parasites.
Policy change plays a large role in changing the planet for the better, but individuals can also effect change very quickly. You can start by becoming vegetarian´-or-even vegan, because vegan food is the best food that you can eat for the planet.
Start figuring out which plastic bottles that you use contain BPA. If your bottle has a label, look underneath the bottle, and if you see the recycle number seven, it contains BPA.
In addition, most aluminium cans are lined with BPA, so whenever possible, filter your water and stainless-steel canisters.
Do not put hot foods in plastic because if you do, the toxins from the plastic will seep into your food. Instead, use glass´-or-porcelain. For the same reason, do not microwave plastic.
Plastic constitutes 90 percent of all rubbish floating in the world’s oceans. In some areas of the ocean, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton by a ratio of six to one. The truth is that, despite recycling, many of the plastic bottles that you use end up in the water.
The Pacific garbage patch is a trash vortex that spins around-;- it is a gyre of ocean litter that is located in the North Pacific Ocean. The exact size of the vortex is unknown, but estimates range from an area the size of the United Kingdom to one larger than the continental United States.
Not only is plastic bad for our health and for the planet, but plastic is also bad for animals. The albatross, tortoise, and many other sea animals, are dying because they are eating the plastic that human beings discard, including plastic bottles.
Each year, it takes billions of barrels of oil to produce the 359 million metric tons of plastic consumed worldwide every year, which includes more than 1 million plastic bottles consumed every single minute globally. It also takes three times the amount of water to produce a bottle as it does to fill it. Additionally, there is a high cost associated with the transportation of those heavy bottles which consumes a lot of fossil fuels and produce huge amounts of greenhouse emissions. We also should not forget the huge amount of carbon dioxide produced during the manufacturing process of each plastic derivative from oil, and the enormous negative effects of accumulated carbon dioxide as greenhouse gas on climate change.

Another simple thing that you can do to help yourself and the planet is to walk´-or-bike instead of drive. Walking can be classified as the safest physical activity and sport for human being-;- it can improve your weight, cholesterol, depression, and even .

In 1998, Denmark eliminated nontherapeutic antibiotic use in livestock. In the World Health Organization review of this intervention, a dramatic decrease in resistant bacteria was observed in animals, meat, and humans. In addition, eliminating the routine use of these antibiotics in livestock reduced human health risk without significantly harming the animals’ health—and even the farmers’ income did not suffer.
Hospitals usually burn all their waste in incinerators, and all of that material was being released into the atmosphere. This problem should be tackled by reducing the healthcare waste, mainly by adopting reusable equipment in our healthcare systems rather than the cheap single-use choices commonly used nowadays, which are mainly made of plastic.
In addition, there should be a collective work with hospitals worldwide to eliminate the use of PVC, which is a vinyl plastic that creates a wide array environmental and health risks. Health-care facilities around the world should switch to safer, more cost-effective medical devices that do not contain PVC.


There should be a universal global ban of mercury. The Philippines, Argentina, Mexico, and other countries all over the globe are no longer using mercury, particularly in mercury thermometers. However, the usage of mercury still a common practice in several countries.
It is always crucial and critical to remember before any action you commit in your life that that your health and your offspring health are intertwined with Mother Earth health and well-being.




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