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Think of Italy and one thinks of food, but not many people think 'mountains.' Yet mountains remain a principle source of the traditional, handcrafted food production Italy is famous for. And nowhere is that more true than with honey production.
In the Middle Ages, roveja still endured as the staple diet eaten in the form of a "puls," which is an ancient Roman-style of porridge and consumed with a savoury sauce on top. Over time roveja was forgotten. By the 1990s only a few local people remembered roveja, and some found the plants growing in gullies or near streams.
Last week, an international team of researchers revealed how bacteria in the oral cavity may be able to withstand even the hardest toothbrushing. Their research showed just how stable certain species can be and suggested the cure may require a more ecological approach.
It's often said that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. But what about the grandparents of the natural world? Old-growth forests come to mind. They are structurally and ecologically diverse and often remain very stable for centuries, feature multi-layered canopies with various tree species at different stages of their life cycle.
This week the eyes of the world are turned towards Lima, Peru, and the UN climate talks known formally as the 20th gathering of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20). The road to progress in Lima is full of pot holes and is poorly illuminated. For Canadians, progress on the road to Lima passes right through Langevin Block, home to the Prime Minister's Office. To date this road has been blocked.
I worry a lot about how we don't understand nature anymore. Now I'm not talking about the value of nature or the importance of conservation. That worries me too, but what I'm talking about is the basic understanding of the plants and animals that co-exist with us. I'll call this nature literacy.
In terms of statistics, 12 per cent grew antibiotic resistance and became marginalized from others. Twenty-eight per cent of the population chose a wealthy style, happily living in their gated biofilms. Half of all the bacteria decided to take a middle-class lifestyle, choosing an easy nutrient source and never engaging in any extreme activity.
Like clockwork, when a new diet appears in the public, there is a mix of praise and scrutiny. Despite the information gathered on the benefits of the Paleo diet on the body, there has been far less focus on the effect of the nutritional guidelines on the gut microbiota, which is a driver of human health.
Fecal therapy is here to stay. With the number of options to treat acute and chronic gastrointestinal disorders shrinking, a means to not only treat but also cure cannot be disregarded. People may never get used to the smell of fecal microbiota therapy, but I know they'll definitely get used to the benefits. Let's rePOOPulate.