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Are your clothes safe? Alina Bartell, of The Natural Clothing Company advises on fabrics, chemicals, and organic clothes. Dr. Joe Alton, MD on learning emergency medicine "when help doesn't come". Woody Tasch helps develop local food with "slow money".
All interviews and music by Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock
Recorded at the Mother Earth News Fair at Puyallup Washington June 1-2, 2013
This time I've picked three of the most intriguing interviews. Each seemed at first like a small problem, and each guest - all feature speakers at the Fair - takes us much deeper, into the industrial and financial mess - and out again with practical things we can do.
Alina Bartell surprised me. I mean, do we really need "organic clothes"? Our discussion went from the poisoned fields of Asia and Central America through the industrial fashion machine that feeds the store shelves. The Earth and the workers are damaged at every step.
"Organic" clothing means more to Alina than just a lack of chemicals when you buy it, although that's important too. She started her search for safe clothing after her son developed difficulties. Alina and her husband moved to the country, changed to the purist possible foods, and their child improved.
I'll be frank. At first I thought Dr. Joe Alton, and his wife "Nurse Amy" were kind of fringe characters. Having met Joe, and listened to his story, I've changed my mind.
Their basic premise is our fragile and high-priced medical system (at least in the United States) may not always be there when you need it. Just think of the three days or more in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. You couldn't call 911. No ambulances were in service, the hospitals were closed. What if a loved one had a huge gash from blown debris? Would you be helpless?
Woody Tasch is a man who worked the finance industry, and then reevaluated his life. He wanted to stimulate the growth of local food-sheds, with local finance. That developed into his book "Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered." Now it's a movement.