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Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing
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Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  936 ratings  ·  110 reviews
What can good farming teach us about nurturing ourselves?

Family physician Daphne Miller long suspected that farming and medicine were intimately linked. Increasingly disillusioned by mainstream medicine's mechanistic approach to healing and fascinated by the farming revolution that is changing the way we think about our relationship to the earth, Miller left her medical of
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by William Morrow (first published March 19th 2013)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got to hear Ms Miller in person before I read her book. That the woman speaks passionately of both "tilth" and "chi" warms me and all my microbes.

I remember once being on a church committee for health and envisioning bringing a farmer to speak to us. The doctor on the committee was livid: what would any farmer know about health? We go with Ms Miller to a kind of no-man's land, where that doctor on the committee and no doctor has gone in recent times, to a place between two fields of inquiry. I
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
For anyone with an interest in holistic health, the book is a must read - especially if you're general outlook on life is a Cartesian divide and conquer approach. The text is a well researched, powerful reminder that much as we would like to consider things as discrete and removed from the world, the truth is not that simple. Life is relative, and as such, health is relative as well - whether is be cancer, allergies, or wrinkles - each benefits from looking at the "problem" within it's environme ...more
William Torgerson
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been interested in sustainability and nutrition for several years and it's this book that finally got me over the hump to planting my first garden.

I learned about the idea of a biodynamic farm where all parts depend on one another. It was especially interesting how Daphne connected the process of how soil is healthy to ways in which the body can achieve health.

Glad to be referred to

The structure of this book worked well in that there would be a section about farm life and
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book and my heart is racing with excitement because I know that it will influence me for the rest of my life. I've been doubting my career path because I'm applying to medical school but I'm also incredibly passionate about sustainable agriculture and deep ecology. This book was the perfect fusion of these interests and gave me an unprecedented hope that there are like-minded doctors in the world who are pushing for healthcare to rise above the reductionism that plagues mode ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Miller does an excellent job making connections between healthy, holistic farming and ranching practices and personal health. She has a very accessible style. She is more of a guide or partner exploring a very interesting subject than an MD. who claims to have all the answers. She is neither a whistle-blower or a know-it- all. I enjoyed the way she approached each chapter. She visited a farm, stayed a while, let the reader get to know the farmers and ranchers and then made connections with resea ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Another book with a lot of potential and a strong message but one that falls well short of the mark.

In essence, a primer on holistic health and farming. The message is eat/consume local goods from small scale farms/businesses and don’t over rely on typical western medicine (Ie. pills).

Mostly anecdotal and really preachy, without too much data to support her claims (despite a long bibliography - perhaps there are not enough studies?).

The book could have been shorter and more to the point, but
Susan Peterson
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, e-book
I give Miller's goals five stars. I give her attempt to relay some crucial insights about health, medicine and the natural world four stars. I give her writing three stars. And I give her ability to keep her writing focused on her goal two. The ideas she is trying to flesh out here are important. I wish the book had done them justice. ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gives you a case of the Aha's

Being plant based, I went into this book skeptical because I knew it supported animal agriculture, even if on a humane level. But I found the bigger picture and information extremely valuable.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
This is a very interesting look at how we should be approaching health - treating the whole being not just the "disease" and how the foods we consume and the environment we live in impacts our health. Well worth a read! ...more
Christine (Tina)
Wow! Now to find a physician who practices "medical ecology" to begin the true path to wellness! Everything written in this work makes good, simple sense. And, yes, we focus too much on anti-aging & not on beauty, which is unproductive, ridiculous, and a waste of time! We need to think more about our connectivity to nature in order to be physically, mentally, and spiritually whole. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, 2019
I read the first couple of pages, was unimpressed, and set it aside for a while. Picked it back up again and within a few paragraphs, the book suddenly became extremely interesting and engaging. Great information about health, soil, interconnectedness, and lots of other biological and ecological ideas coming together.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. The only part where the author definitely lost me was when she started the shameless plug for Bobbi Brown cosmetics, when I felt like I was reading an infomercial. At least she disclosed that she got a package of a lifetime supply of Bobby Brown make-up. Ugh. After all the rest of the book, this one part was so strange and out of line. And, the sad thing is when an author begins on one line of discussion and then interrupts for a commercial break, one can't help but won ...more
Jillian (PidginPea's Book Nook)
{ I received an ARC of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. }

I was honestly not in the mood to read non-fiction when Farmacology arrived in my mailbox, but my attitude turned around right away, as I quickly found myself completely wrapped up in this book. Farmacology is a very interesting read about the power of farming, gardening, and nature in general as it relates to our health. There are chapters on holistic farming practices in locations including chicken farms, vineyards, herb
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Totally share her beliefs. Great idea for a book. Got a little bored though.
Tristan LeBlanc
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so exciting to read. I want to read all her references, and go to all the farms.

Dr. Miller is a medical doctor who grew up the child of two urban parents turned (unsuccessful) farmers. For her, an interest in farms and an interest in medicine were linked - watching sick, suffering livestock as a child. She forgot this initial spark of interest until she picked up a book called The Soul of Soil - she was interested in "the detailed description of a soil ecosystem where the nutrient exch
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Key points for me:

- Sustainable farming is very important - sometime more so than organic farms because not all organic farming is sustainable and they deplete the soil of nutrients to supply big box stores
- Support your local CSA
- Soil quality is VERY important
- In one study breast fed babies had a more expansive palate than formula fed
- start them with fruits and veggies young they may love them forever
- minimize antibiotic and steroid use
- ear drops made of olive oil infused with mullein and
Polly Rosenstein
Apr 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was glad to see a scientist and physician write sbout things that many would consider a hoax if it had been written by someone outside of those fields. Miller talks of farming integrated with the soil and natural solutions to problems of produce as well as health. I found her explanations of many things considered to be folk medicine enlightening. I'm a firm believer in science, but I am not a scientist. I also believe there are many things that are true that science just has not proved yet. M ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you don’t think that human health and food have any connection, then this is the book for you because it’s a freaking education. It’s written by a family physician who travelled the country visiting a variety of farming/ranching operations and writes this book to show us exactly how the medical industry and the farming industry are not only connected but maybe even mirror images of one another. If we can understand how everything is connected, how diversity in the soil and in medical treatmen ...more
Steve Thorn
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think the most important principal that was reinforced by this book was the parallel between modern agriculture and modern medicine. Fixing specific, measurable parameters in order to boost production profits usually results in poor soil health. Instead, if we look at the soil as a living organism, increasing it's health will naturally result in increased and superior production.

Miller shows us a number of farmers who take this approach. Nothing earth-shattering, but it certainly reinforces t
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking.

I found this book very interesting. I like that this doctor went looking for a way to change the way she treats her patients...looking at the whole person and not just the part that ails them. Her connection between farming and healthcare are interesting and thought provoking and I am now looking for a doctor who thinks like an ecologist. I highly recommend you read this book for your health.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book. I’d checked it out from the library, but I will be purchasing a copy to have on hand. The perspective in this book is so fresh and timely. I have nothing profound to say, but do highly recommend it to others. We, as humans, are undeniably connected to the natural world. The author does an incredible job diving in to that concept with expertise and honesty about her thoughts during this learning process.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
Right up my alley! My mom always told us we never got sick because we were "farm kids" and I never really stopped to think what that really meant. This book dives into how humans and farms are more related than people realize, and how we can harness numerous health benefits by taking cues from farming systems. Extremely interesting, with lots of alternative medicine research to back up her findings. Loved everything about it! ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
What an important book that gave me lots to think about. During this past year I have been dealing with breast cancer while at the same time pursuing my education in horticulture and horticulture therapy. So much of this book resonates with me as I link my health and horticulture/nature together. I'm keeping it close at hand as I know I will go back and read chapters again. ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Similar to the views shared in some of Michael Pollan’s books, this book looks at what we put in our bodies and the global impact both environmentally and medicinally. I love that the author provides steps on what the reader can do that makes a difference. She breaks it down so it doesn’t seem so insurmountable.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting the way the soil and human body is similar and author was fantastic 👍

I was amazed to know how similar was a human body to the soil and how microbes help both and also how the food habits of pregnant mothers affect food habits of a baby.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was life changing. I would put it in the same essential reading category as "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Mad Cowboy" (two books that dramatically changed my worldview and view of the integrity of what I consume). If you care at all about your health (or even if you don't), READ IT. ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most well written, enjoyable, and informative books I have read in a great while.

Every page in this book is chalk full of useful, well researched, and eloquently described information. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great insights into how your health can benefit from the natural world. Daphne Miller deep dives into how maintaining good health can be enhanced by paying attention to where and how your food is grown.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
- "the professions of farming and medicine grew out of a shared goal: to sustain communities and individuals by supporting the workings of nature and intervening judiciously in the cycle of birth, death, growth, and decay" ...more
Andrea Forni
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much. “Medical ecologist” is the kind of doctor I will now search for, with my “personal health map” in hand - detailing my ecological health.
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Ever since a high school biology teacher informed me that clover produces a hormone similar to human estrogen, I have been fascinated by how our external ecosystem is linked to our internal one. I am a practicing family physician, author and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco and mother of two nature-lovers. I'm also a contributing columnist to the Washingto ...more

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“professions of farming and medicine grew out of a shared goal: to sustain individuals and communities by supporting the workings of nature and intervening—oh so judiciously—in the cycle of birth, growth, death, and decay.” 0 likes
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