Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up (Paperback)
In Farmacology, practicing family physician and renowned nutrition explorer Daphne Miller brings us beyond the simple concept of "food as medicine" and introduces us to the critical idea that it's the farm where that food is grown that offers us the real medicine.
By venturing out of her clinic and spending time on seven family farms, Miller uncovers all the aspects of farming—from seed choice to soil management—that have a direct and powerful impact on our health. Bridging the traditional divide between agriculture and medicine, Miller shares lessons learned from inspiring farmers and biomedical researchers and artfully weaves their insights and discoveries, along with stories from her patients, into the narrative. The result is a compelling new vision for sustainable healing and a treasure trove of farm-to-body lessons that have immense value in our daily lives.
In Farmacology you will meet:
- a vegetable farmer in Washington State who shows us how the principles he uses to rejuvenate his soil apply just as well to our own bodies. Here we also discover the direct links between healthy soil and healthy humans.
- a beef farmer in Missouri who shows how a holistic cattle-grazing method can grow resilient calves and resilient children.
- an egg farmer in Arkansas who introduces us to the counterintuitive idea that stress can keep us productive and healthy. We discover why the stressors associated with a pasture-based farming system are beneficial to animals and humans while the duress of factory farming can make us ill.
- a vintner in Sonoma, California, who reveals the principles of Integrated Pest Management and helps us understand how this gentler approach to controlling unwanted bugs and weeds might be used to treat invasive cancers in humans.
- a farmer in the Bronx who shows us how a network of gardens offers health benefits that extend far beyond the nutrient value of the fruits and vegetables grown in the raised beds. For example, did you know that urban farming can lower the incidence of alcoholism and crime?
- finally, an aromatic herb farmer in Washington State who teaches us about the secret chemical messages we exchange with plants—messages that can affect our mood and even keep us looking youthful.
In each chapter, Farmacology reveals the surprising ways that the ecology of our body and the ecology of our farms are intimately linked. This is a paradigm-changing adventure that has huge implications for our personal health and the health of the planet.
About the Author
Daphne Miller, M.D., is a practicing physician, author, and professor of family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. For the past decade, her writing and teaching has explored the frontier between biomedicine and the natural world. Her widely acclaimed first book, The Jungle Effect, chronicles her nutrition adventures as she travels to traditional communities around the globe. A contributing columnist to the Washington Post as well as other newspapers and magazines, Miller holds a medical degree from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Brown University. She lives and gardens in Berkeley, California.
“A vibrant and important book. It is about so much more than just personal well-being; it is about the health of our food, our farms and farmers—the entire planet.”
— Alice Waters
“Farm as medicine. A must-read for anyone who cares about their health.”
— Mark Bittman
“Revealing and inspiring...a rewarding read.”
— Dr. Andrew Weil, author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and True Food
“In Farmacology, Daphne Miller expands the field of medicine from the classical boundaries of the symptom-cure concept toward a more complex and holistic approach that takes into account the tight balance between Man and Nature.”
— Carlo Petrini, founder of the International Slow Food Movement
“An eloquent call for better systems of sustainable agriculture and humanistic health care. . .a fresh, original, and utterly charming book.”
— Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of What to Eat
“[Daphne Miller is] such a fearless, intelligent, and charming guide on the food-filled journey between medical and ecological sciences that by the end of Farmacology you won’t just think that medical ecology is fascinating—you’ll wonder how we managed to live without it for so long.”
— Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved
“What does the practice of sustainable agriculture have to teach modern medicine? What are the links between soil health and the health of the people who eat from that soil?…A highly original and compelling work of exploration with large implications for our understanding of health.”
Miller’s journey begins in serendipity and remains alive to surprise…[The] web of associations…will surprise even those [who know] that healthy soils make for healthy people. It’s startling to think that few if any doctor-authors have attempted this hybrid of field work…patient case histories…and conversations with scientists.
— Acres U.S.A.
“Farmacology…explains how sustainable farms serve as a model for a healthy human body…Soil is the star of this story. Its vigor is clearly connected to the vitality of the plants, animals, and human beings it supports…Think like a farmer, and you’ll likely cultivate better personal health.”
San Francisco Chronicle bestseller
— San Francisco Chronicle
“Miller steps outside medicine’s orthodoxy to explore the connection between sustainable farming and healthy living…Working hands-on and also picking the brains of the farms’ operators, [she] observed farmers taking a holistic…approach…that she has found to be too often missing in the modern practice of medicine.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Sustainable agriculture and holistic medical practice find each other as soul mates…The issues raised deal with profound economic, social and cultural dilemmas…and Miller’s hearty, personable writing style makes it a good read for travelers, lovers of character studies and medical and farming professionals alike.”
— Lou Fancher, Mercury News
Some of Miller’s discoveries are simple, others groundbreaking, but all feel important for their medical implications as well as for what they can teach us about our connection to other living creatures... Miller... delves deep into the science, translating dense medical text into practical information.
— Orion Magazine
“It’s alternative living in a big way, whether you’re the field, the cow, the cultivated insect, or the patient of a type of physician [Miller] calls “medical ecologists.” Miller had fun, writes exuberantly, and wants to infect us in the best way possible with the spirit of these places.”
— Harvard Medicine Magazine