HEALTHY BITE: Why a Localisation Movement is so Important

Welcome to another Healthy Bite. This week on the podcast, we released an eye-opening episode with environmentalist Helena Norberg-Hodge. Helena outlines even more than you may have even thought about, as you wonder where our food is produced, whether our manufacturing is in our own country, whether you're buying your food from a local farmer, whether you are supporting regenerative agriculture and the regeneration of soil, and so much more.

Join me as we discuss more about globalisation and the localisation movement.

Why a Localisation Movement is so Important

Now, this week’s episode with Helena Norberg-Hodge is entitled Local Futures. That is, in fact, her organisation and something that she has felt passionate about and has been working on for almost 40 years.

Local is Important

I think one of the things that we must have learnt from this pandemic is that the local is so important. There are so many reasons why that is true. Helena outlines even more than you may have even thought about, as you wonder where our food is produced, whether our manufacturing is in our own country, whether you’re buying your food from a local farmer, whether you are supporting regenerative agriculture and the regeneration of soil, not just the sustainability of a sick system, but actually, the regeneration, keep difference there between sustainability and regeneration. 

All of these are about local, thinking locally. We’ve also been reminded of just how important real people are. While we’ve had friends and followers in the thousands all around the world, I think what we’ve come to realise is the power and the importance on a very human scale of human interaction and I think we’ve all missed that — that freedom, that joy of connecting face to face and giving each other a handshake, a hug, a kiss, connecting physically with people locally. But this issue is much bigger than that. 

Actually, yet we are the 99% of the world population that all feel the importance of that need to engage with. It’s a theme that we’ve covered since the very beginning and that is if the change has to come from anywhere, it has to come from the ground up from all of us at a local level because the change from above is dominated by big pharma, big banks, big fossil fuel industry, big agriculture, big tech. 

The narrative that we have is dominated by big media. Those six areas — pharma, media, banks, tech, oil, agriculture — are dominating the narrative. We as individuals need to change that narrative.

Helena, together with Damon Gameau, had put together a wonderful eight-minute video that is very powerful and we’ll have links in this blog, in this Healthy Bite, and also to her episode. We’ve talked we promoted that last week as well. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it, it is called LOCAL: A Story of Hope. It’s time to remember that the real economy is the living world. And it’s interesting to consider what we need to do. 


This whole period of globalisation, which has occurred over the last certainly and look, it’s been going on for five or 600 years and they make reference to the beginning of this globalisation effort was colonisation that occurred in in the late 1400s, which essentially disrupted local communities, enslaved millions of people and tried to centralise and dominate global resources.

As Damon Gameau says in this brilliant short video that I’m referring to, a healthy world is one that fulfils the needs of those individuals without damaging the environment or nature. We certainly, while so many people have benefited from this. I mean, we can argue we all have to some degree, we have what we’ve often referred to on this blog as seemingly cheap food and seemingly cheap products. If you’ve been following this blog to any depth, then you will know that actually, the seemingly cheap foods and products come at a very high price.

Our health, the number of preventable chronic degenerative diseases that are dominating our world today and causing unnecessary death and suffering or suffering and death in that order is largely a product of the fact that our food has become a commodity and health care has become a commodity and it’s become a big business. It’s interesting to see this pandemic and the lessons we are learning from it and how the science in medicine is dominating our approach to this.

It’s interesting when I read an article this morning, I not only got the email that shared Helena’s wonderful short video, but I also read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald, or it was on the weekend, actually, and I thought, wow, this is interesting that these are actually connected.

COVID-19 facts under pressure

Let me share it with you and then I’ll make the connection. COVID-19 facts under pressure. We need a reopening we can trust. This is from Alexandra Martiniuk, who is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Sydney and an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto. You might say, well, what’s the connection between this and Local Futures and LOCAL: A Story of Hope?

Well, let me first read this to you. “Responding to pandemics is highly political.” I’m quoting from the article now. “Is it possible that the facts are being selectively reported and distorted to match political motivations?” Now the article goes on. I’ll have links to it. But she then goes on to say, “Just as the public debate about climate change is not only about the science, the public discussions and debates about COVID-19 are also about values, culture, and ideology. Facts are under pressure. There are increasing calls for transparency around the data and decision-making by New South Wales leaders as we march towards this new path of the pandemic. Transparency builds trust.”.

Indeed it does and then she goes on to say, “In epidemiology and we’ve all become very familiar with the word ‘epidemiology’ in this current pandemic. We use the term reporting bias. It includes time lag, bias, and selective reporting bias, suppressing some findings and sharing others, also known as cherry-picking. It is a real threat not only regarding COVID-19 but also to the climate change debate. Reporting bias can distort the full picture of scientific evidence. It can threaten the credibility and can also result in avoidable harm.”.

Now, if you had listened to a podcast, well, a podcast coming up is with Dr Martin Whitely, who talks about overprescribing madness and how our mental health system in Australia is affected. And if you’re wondering how overprescribing madness, COVID-19 facts, and Local Futures are all connected. 

The common denominator lies in what Alexander Martiniuk said is, “Transparency about data and decision-making reporting bias, cherry-picking the influence of big oil, big banks, big pharma, big ag, big tech, big media in controlling the narrative.” It’s so interesting to see how this whole narrative around COVID-19 has emerged and the significance of this to the topic we’re covering today.

Public Health

If public health was the number one priority, then everything that would improve public health would be transparent and based on data and would inform our decision-making and that’s an issue that has been a focus on this podcast right through this pandemic and in fact ever since we started podcasting, and that is to promote the most important thing, and that is you taking control as an individual and improving immune function.

Because one thing we know for sure, and I’m not anti-vax here at all. I’ve had my vaccination. What I’m saying is if public health was our number one issue, then everything that was influencing our immune function and improving public health would be out there on the table for us all to enjoy. But that’s simply not the case.

In fact, almost any mention of immune function is seen as some kind of conspiracy or an anti-vax attempt to undermine public health policy, whereas nothing could be further from the truth. It’s why we’ve spoken to people like Dr Richard Cheng, Dr Andrew Saul, Dr Thomas Levy, Dr Carolyn Dean, Professor Ian Brighthope, and anybody else on the podcast that has promoted something which will improve health. And that’s almost every other guest that I’ve ever had on the podcast. But I digress.

I mentioned these things because it is all part of the same narrative, and that is food and health. And our lives have become commodities. And as Damon Gameau said, “A healthy economy is one that fulfils the needs of all of its citizens and does no harm to nature.”. Now, that is what I would call. 

Well, what Allan Savory would call a holistic context. And if every decision was ever made by governments, by corporations, by regulatory bodies, or by individuals had that overlying holistic context, then our local future would be ensured not just for this generation, but for generations to follow. And that is why thinking local, local future, our futures are local. 

The sooner we embrace that, the healthier and happier and more fulfilled we will all be and the better off our world will be. I would really recommend that you have a listen, not only to this week’s episode with Helena Norberg-Hodge but also follow her initiatives and support at Local Futures. I hope this finds you well until next time


This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.