Publication Date: August 3, 2021
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An associate professor of medicine at UCSF and a frontline responder to the COVID-19 pandemic teams up with the activist and bestselling author of The Value of Nothing to explain how colonization has made us sick and how decolonizing food and medicine can help us heal
The coronavirus pandemic and the shocking racial disparities in its impact. A surge in inflammatory illnesses such as gastrointestinal disorders and asthma. Mass uprisings around the world in response to systemic racism and violence. Climate refugees. Deaths of despair. This is the epoch of endless fire. Your body, society, and planet are inflamed. What is the cause? And how do we begin to restore our individual and collective health?
Boldly original and deeply researched, Inflamed takes us on a medical tour through our digestive, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. Unlike a traditional anatomy book, however, this groundbreaking work illuminates what ails us as a whole, mapping the hidden connections between our biological systems and the profound injustices of our political, economic, social, and ecological systems. Inflammation is connected to the ground beneath our feet, the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, and the diversity of microbes living inside us, which regulate everything from our brain development to our immune system. It’s connected to the number of traumatic events we experienced as children and to the trauma endured by our ancestors. It's connected not only to access to health care but to the very models of health that physicians bring to their medical practice.
Raj Patel, the renowned political economist and New York Times–bestselling author of The Value of Nothing, teams up with the physician and professor of medicine Rupa Marya to offer a radical new cure: the deep medicine of decolonization. If colonization is about dividing and conquering in order to centralize control of resources, decolonization is to heal what has been divided, reestablishing our relationship to the earth, our relationship to each other, and our relationship to our own bodies. Drawing on Rupa Marya's work with patients in marginalized communities and the scholarship on globalization that has made Raj Patel a rock star on the Left, Inflamed shows how a program for decolonizing food and medicine might work—and how it has the potential to transform not only our individual health and well-being but the world.
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