The most dangerous disease is not a virus, it is the extractive and polluting production system. HEALING is in a radical change of the productive and food paradigm.
Although it is not common knowledge in the disinformation media nor does it appear in the voices of governments and businessmen, it is known that the best way to grow up healthy and strong, and consequently to deal with the viruses and bacteria that proliferate every year, is to have a properly nourished body-mind.
Sadly, under the world's hegemonic food system, that's no easy task. Apparently they want us sick, asleep and submissive. Therefore, due to how “under-eaten” we are, we are a population that is malnourished on a mental and physical level. Where can we look for the solutions?
And it is that the world system of Agroindustry that the governments promote (and that implies monocultures, clearings, massive use of pesticides, fuel and feedlots) evicts the field, mainly for the production of transgenic soybeans and corn; and it keeps us confined to big cities by eating, at best, ultra-processed and, at worst, not eating. Not to mention the millions of liters of pesticides with which we are poisoned in the countryside and in the city every day.
Each year, more than 3 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition or related causes. 80% of these cases, and in their most acute forms, are concentrated in only 20 countries in the world, specifically in Africa and in some areas of South Asia. And then, in this world turned upside down, and in a country as rich in land and biodiversity as Argentina, the kids are starving.
Rather, they let them starve. Just so far this year, at least 13 children have died from malnutrition, the absence of an adequate health system and the lack of such a basic commodity as clean water.
In this world turned upside down, in the Argentina of Agribusiness and Supermarkets (which have been forged and deepened by all the political administrations of the State) it becomes very difficult, for most of the population, to produce, market and consume healthy, safe and sovereigns.
A no less important issue to take into account is that the agro-industrial system is responsible for between 44% and 57% of the greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change.
And what effects does this climate change have on public health? Well, let's talk about viruses and bacteria. Climatic changes, with warmer and longer summers, milder winters and the annual increase in rainfall can favor that some organisms such as mosquitoes and other arthropod vectors expand their habitat, with the possibility of introducing diseases in areas where they did not exist before.
By taxonomic groups, the most dependent on climatic factors are viruses, bacteria and fungi and those least dependent on protozoa and helminths or parasitic worms. By route or vector of transmission, the pathogens present in soil, food and water appear to be the most sensitive to climate, particularly humidity and temperature.
But the most time-dependent pathogens are those transmitted by arthropods, particularly sucking insects such as ticks and mosquitoes, most of the genus Aedes. Only in Argentina did dengue cases increase exponentially.
Assuming that the official data are real - and we know that they do not reflect the number of cases that the communities report - in total, infected people exceed 1,200, and there are already 680 cases of autochthonous dengue in 13 jurisdictions. A report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) detailed that in 2016, when there was also a dengue pandemic, 79,455 infected by this virus were registered, of which 10 died.
For all that has been said, and knowing that we can go much deeper, it is clear that Agroindustry - a fundamental pillar of the capitalist / extractivist system - is responsible for hunger, malnutrition and the deterioration of the health of peoples, the proliferation of pests and diseases, and the main origin of climate change that, in addition to causing natural disasters and humanitarian crises, causes the strengthening and mutation of viruses and bacteria.
However, the global movement for Food Sovereignty and the growing development of Agroecology - driven by peasants, indigenous people, professionals from academia and dignified science, and by movements of conscious consumers - grow day by day to show the outputs to the mentioned problems.
It is our task then, to continue building more spaces to achieve the desired and necessary Food Sovereignty, not only to feed the world, really; but to be healthy, combat climate change and with it the different epidemics and pandemics.
Food Sovereignty -which implies cooperation, local and sovereign production, and equitable access to quality, nutritious and poison-free food- is the only viable way to stay healthy, strong and united. At the same time, it is the solution to the socio-environmental problems that threaten the health of the Earth and of all living beings.
And it is finally one of the ways of practicing Good Living, a way and an opportunity to collectively build new systems of life whose economic regimes are guided by equity and by harmony between human groups and nature. This requires subordinating economic objectives to this last premise and, as Gudynas suggests, “consider nature as a subject with rights, and move towards a biocentrism that accompanies human rights and expands citizenship and justice: “environmental for people and ecological for nature”.
By Yanina Gambetti