Part 1: Food as Medicine – An Interview with Dr. Zach Bush

Part 1: Food as Medicine – An Interview with Dr. Zach Bush

Dr. Zach Bush is an American triple-board certified physician who focuses on internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice and palliative care. He currently runs a clinic in rural Virginia that focuses on plant-based nutrition and holistic health. Dr. Bush was recently interviewed on Acres U.S.A’s ‘Tractor Time’ podcast. In this three-part blog series, we reveal the thoughts of one of the most compelling medical minds working to improve human health today. 

You may be wondering: why are we featuring a medical doctor on a blog about sustainable agriculture? The reason is that human health is inextricably linked to what we eat, and what we eat is determined by the agricultural system, as Dr. Bush discovered. 

After spending much of his medical career prescribing specific drugs for specific symptoms, Dr. Bush found himself wondering if there wasn’t a more holistic solution out there to treat chronic health conditions. He decided to expand his viewpoints and perspectives to include what he calls the “extraordinary resources within the nutrition world”.

Dr. Bush explored the capacity of nutrients to act as a safe and non-toxic approach to cancer management, as well as the ability for dietary changes to reverse diabetes and auto-immune diseases. In 2010, he started a new clinic to teach people about nutrition and break their dependence on the pharmaceutical model that had been handed to them. 

“Many of these families coming from third- and fifth-generation poverty were showing me an incredible capacity to come out of chronic disease and their huge burden of cost to the pharmaceutical dependence and find this kind of independence through food and through growing food for their health and communities. It was a really invigorating time for me to realise that as deficient as I had felt as a physician with a toolbox of drugs, I was finding myself feeling really equipped and well-prepared to change people’s lives through the story of nutrition.”

However, over time, Dr. Bush began noticing that nutrition-based medicine at his clinic just wasn’t working as he had expected . In fact, some of his patients were just getting sicker. His observations led him on a journey to find out more about a dysfunctional and toxic agricultural system, and how the use of chemicals like glyphosate is:

  • Robbing crops of nutritional value
  • Accelerating the decline of human health
  • Destroying the environment
  • Paving the way for mass extinction.

“Within minutes of researching nutrient density in vegetables and fruit, you realise that we’re dealing with ten times less sometimes 100 times less in terms of nutrient density in our fruits and vegetables today than we had just 25 years ago.”  

In our next blog post, we’ll go into more detail about why this is the case as we look deeper into the relationship between the agricultural system and human health outcomes.  

The role of soil health and regenerative agriculture

In essence, Dr. Bush believes that regenerative agriculture can save the world by creating healthy soils that will sequester carbon, reverse climate change, produce highly nutritious food and create healthy humans. This philosophy is shared by many prominent individuals active in the agricultural market, including Graeme Sait, CEO of Nutri-Tech Solutions (Australia), which is represented in South Africa by Zylem. He constantly expounds this teaching in his popular seminars on sustainable and regenerative agriculture, which are hosted in South Africa by Zylem on average every two years. 

At Zylem, we know that soil health is the foundation for healthy, nutritious foods. Contact us today to find out more about our products and services that promote soil health:

Interested in listening to the full podcast? 

Search for “Tractor Time Episode 37: Dr. Zach Bush on Farming, Glyphosate and Human Health” wherever you get your podcasts.

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