How Your Food & Clothing Choices Impact Your Health & The Planet
“The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment ultimately you do to yourself." - Ian Somerhalder
Could changing what you eat and wear actually save the planet?
According to many experts, the answer is YES. And it’s not about being vegan, or about going naked. Real science shows that your daily choices about the food you buy and eat, along with the clothing you wear, can not only reverse the global epidemic of chronic disease, reverse aging, and revive economies, but that it can also help save the environment.
Every bite you take
We all know we are in an environmental crisis. And while eco warriors around the world have given up plastic, are planting their own gardens, and championing the cause, over 95% of the world’s population suffers with health issues, with one-third reported to have 5 conditions. 6 in 10 Americans have a chronic disease. And 94% of the people who died of Covid-19, had an average of 2.9 comorbidities.
At the root of most of the world’s health, environmental, climate, economic and even political crises, is what we put on our plates. Because of an entangled and government controlled food system, and our very own forks and decisions of what to put on it every day, we are casting a vote for the planet we want to - or don’t want to - live in with every bite we take.
Thinking about the complexity, infusion of money, and layering of consequential decisions, is enough to give anyone indigestion.
But think about it, we must do it. Because in a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it stated that humans affect about 70% of ice-free land on Earth, and that changing our diets could contribute 20% of the effort needed to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Food waste alone is an important contributor to global warming, producing 8% and 10% of global emissions. The production of factory farmed beef - which not only is cruel to animals but also is polluted with pesticides - contributes to 14.5% of global emissions, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
The reality is, industrial farmed crops and industrial farmed animals for food is a dirty business. It results in greenhouse gases and methane pouring into the environment, is resource-intensive, and is infused with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
According to a Harvard University publication, more than 34,000 pesticides that are derived from about 600 basic chemicals are registered by the EPA for use in this country. In addition, 85,000 more chemicals are regulated separately under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) to be used for our food supply and textiles.
The bottom line is, the environmental effects of the food system as it stands now, could increase 50% to 90% by 2050, “reaching levels that are beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity.”
But we can take a bite out of this genetically modified environmental crisis.
How we became disconnected
Degeneration of the planet and of humans is actually a “new” thing. There was once a time when humans worked with and respected the land they lived on. Focused on survival, they cared for the land, plants, animals and ecosystem to ensure that the planet would continue to provide the resources they needed.
Enter the industrial revolution, the invention and discovery of toxic chemicals, the industrial age, a shift in values and priorities, and a DIS-connection with nature and even our own bodies.
This disconnection is why we are in a health and climate crisis.
“What we do to our bodies, we do to the planet; and what we do to the planet, we do to our bodies.” - Dr. Mark Hyman, Best Selling Author & Functional Medicine Doctor
Vital organisms of which 75 percent of our food production depends—are being killed by pesticides and other toxic chemicals. We have lost ⅓ of our topsoil and have only 60 years before ruining the rest, due to existing industrial agriculture and animal farming practices. Big agriculture (and deforestation in order to make room for new farms) are responsible for between a quarter and half of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
And we’re just getting started. You may have read about the 8,000 toxic chemicals approved for use on clothing - proven to cause cancer and other life-changing illnesses, but what about the 11 million people that die from pesticides and the food and agriculture policies that are driving our global crisis?
What you eat and wear programs your body and mind with messages of health or illness. Similarly, what you eat and wear, programs the governments, corporations, and society as a whole, with messages of support or refusal.
Every bite of food regulates your gene expression, hormones, immune system, brain chemistry and your microbiome. And every dollar you spend regulates and sends messages for the world you want to live in.
Regenerative living - sustainability turned up
“I want to get old and wrinkly, and have multiple health issues as I age.” said no one ever.
Whether you are talking about your own health and body, or regenerative closed-loop organic and sustainable fashion like we produce at Nui, or regenerative agriculture - you are talking about replenishing and revitalizing what is there.
Nui is a brand based on sustainable values. The adoption of sustainable living is taking hold on a global scale, but we are still fighting a world with ever more pollution, sick and unhealthy people, biodiversity loss, and climate change.
Now is the time to not only sustain what we can, but in order to revitalize the world's badly damaged ecosystems and our own human health, we think it’s time to also talk about regeneration.
Regenerative living to be exact.
To adopt habits and systems in our own lifestyles and on a global scale - including everything from our own diets, agriculture, fashion, industries, and government policies - to limit the toll our behaviors and actions have on our bodies and environment, and make everything healthier in the process.
If we look to regenerative agriculture as a model for building into other systems, we can dissect the inner workings to simple steps that can be reapplied to other areas of our lives.
Regenerative agriculture practices to produce healthier food, is better for farmers, and because of that, is healthier for people and the planet. It’s a system that helps build more fertile soil, increase biodiversity, reduce soil erosion, isolate carbon, prevent drought, and more.
Rengerative fashion - like Nui’s organic and GOTS certified merino wool - is made in a closed loop, zero waste system. It’s better for you and your family, the farmers, growers, production workers, the environment, and disappears at the end of its use.
What if we lived in a world where people didn’t focus just on trying to fix broken systems, but gained a new perspective on how to start anew?
Here’s the thing, regenerative living is a commitment to living a healthier life, from the inside out. It’s a daily habit, and can start with what you put on your plate and how you dress your body everyday.
It starts with caring about how you feel. That seems like it should be so natural to care about how you feel, but with technology, the busyness of life, and the sometimes overwhelming daily stresses, it’s easy to forget to check in with yourself and reconnect with yourself and nature, as a way of reconnecting to what is truly important in life.
There are many ways to show more respect for the planet, and it starts with caring and respecting yourself. To appreciate the abundance of resources we naturally have and consume, and in gratitude for life, return those resources to our ecosystems. It’s a natural flow of life, and one we would like to see continue and become our future, healthy world.
Do you practice regenerative living habits? We would love to hear from our community, what regenerative habits you have for you and your family, or ones you want to incorporate. Keep the ideas coming, so we can inspire a new generation in a healthier and happier world.