When physician Daphne Miller visited farms across the country, she wondered how she could relate farming to treating her patients. In her new book “Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing,” Miller shares her experience at seven family farms and suggests that if people treated their bodies the way farmers treat soil, we would be a lot healthier and happier. She joins us to discuss ecological farm habits and its relation to healthy living.

Dr. Daphne Miller, family physician and associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UCSF; and author of "Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing"

  • Robert Thomas

    My experience with agriculture is limited to antecedents who not so long ago endured -50dF winters on sections in norther North Dakota and other places in the upper midwest. I’m trying to imagine my relatives in Bemidji contemplating the level of drama in the stress profile of their chickens.

    All agriculture is agribusiness, if pursued successfully.

    When indulging in this sort of thing KQED, perhaps unwittingly, threatens to transcend the self-actualization / self-parody boundary.

    • Robert Thomas

      More down-votes, please!

  • Scott Johnson

    The new book, “THe Lost Language of Plants” by Stephen Harrod Buhner is all about this topic. It is “Both poetry and medicine… absolutely brilliant.” according to Thom Hartmann. I have learned so much about the interrelated web of life on our planet from this book.

  • Cathleen Francisco

    IPM? That has been going on for decades. Why she chose Scribe to promote this “new” idea is baffling. And a vintner who did not know the benefit of rattlesnakes. Please. I wish she had done more research and maybe talked to vintners and growers associations. She would have found more vineyards than she could name that practice biodiversity and sustainable practices. Sounded more like a plug for Sribe. Old Hill in Sonoma would have been a better choice. Disappointed in her research.

  • victoria s.

    What is the title of the article Dr. Miller just mentioned about Biodiversity, allergies etc.,?

  • Blaine Johnson

    I would like to make a statement and get Dr. Millers thoughts on “organic” farming. The fact is that commercial organic farming uses more chemicals, pound for pound, than conventional farming does. The difference is that with organic farming, those chemicals are “naturally” derived. Organic and pesticide free are not the same thing.

  • Torri Estrada

    I would like to comment on-air that soils are central and farmers who treat the soil well are providing quality food and ecosystem services (clean water, air). However, as a sector, many farms and ranches are not focused on soil health, largely because the incentives are to “use” soil for increasing production and lowering their costs … measuring soil health is not been the focus for some and there are no incentives in the market that would help farmers improve soil health, including soil carbon. I agree farming and food production (including soil health) is a health issue.

  • lannaseuret

    Wahoo! This gives me the necessary edge to discuss integrated medicine with my Kaiser doctor. As a composter and soil remediator, I have long known the importance of
    the often microscopic “soil buddies” which take organic matter and
    create the nutritive bridge for the plants that live there, and have certainly practiced it, but a someone has to be open to a value and
    paradigm change to grasp these connections. Thank you Dr. Daphne Miller!

  • ra

    With all due respect, the tone and language here makes it all sound like SF hippie -stuff-. Do you really want your family doctor talking about how diabetes is a “social and financial” disease? I think i’d rather my doctor just put me on a low carb diet or something, thanks.

    It’s hard to describe just how off-putting all this dreamy squishy talk about non-specific “nutrients” and such was. WHAT NUTRIENTS?! if you’re deficient in some nutrient, supplement it. Done.

    I’m actually a proponent of a lot of what Dr. Miller referred to: integrated farming, probiotics, prebiotics, hygiene hypothesis etc. but the dreamy Gaia theory stuff is a huge turn-off.

    This isn’t primarily about kumbaya dancing in the fields with chickens who form social networks and imbuing the soil w/ love vibes or whatever she’s saying. It’s absolutely nice to be nice to chickens because we shouldn’t torture animals (even if we do eat them). However, this isn’t about dream magic and stories, it’s about measurable science and engineering, just BETTER and more refined science and engineering than what we did before.

    Another specific thing:

    2x for your eggs? You’re getting “four times the bang for your egg” ? Really ? So there’s four times as much protein in his egg than in a normal egg ? highly doubtful.

    And if you’re talking about vitamins (which you are) then 1 Centrum a day is going to be more than enough and i don’t have to pay twice as much for my eggs (not that vitamin deficiencies are a realistic problem in the US anyway).

    (apologies if i’m sounding aggressive… since i can’t actually engage in the conversation and challenge any of the statements a little frustration builds up. )

    BTW… did i just hear the phrase “things that make our hearts sing” ?

    I’m going to go social network with my kefir to chill out.

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