In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Raj Sundar. Raj Sundar is a full-spectrum family physician and community organizer. He hosts Healthcare for Humans, a podcast dedicated to educating others on how to care for culturally diverse communities so they can be better healers.
Questions and Topics
Can you give us a little background about yourself?
Why did you decide to start Healthcare for Humans?
Why doesn’t healthcare translate over to culture?
Often times we trim down treatment and approaches to patients into set protocols, once size fits all approach. When does that approach fail?
It almost seems like the bigger the healthcare system, the less culturally sensitive it is.
As a medical director, how can you help push healthcare in the right direction?
Blood Transfusion and Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Carly Newton & Lori Harada, who are both registered nurses working as managers at Terumo Blood & Cell Technologies. Carly uses that experience to educate Health Care Professionals on the most effective ways to prescribe Red Blood Cell Exchange. Lori leads a team of 12 Specialists who train and support their customers on the company’s medical devices. Lori is also a leader in the industry with more than 35 years of apheresis experience. We discuss blood transfusions, donations, the blood shortage, and current technology.
Questions and Topics
Can you give us a background about yourselves and how you got involved with Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies?
What is Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies?
What do they do?
What is the company goal?
Does Terumo do any R&D? What are they currently working on?
What is RBC and Plasma exchange?
What is apheresis?
Where does the blood go?
What is the full scope of components you can donate?
What patients or illnesses do the blood and its components help with?
What are some common misconceptions about donating blood, or where is the lack of education regarding donations or treatment?
Why do you think medical sales and pharmaceutical sales get a bad rep?
During the pandemic, how did things change for you?
Is there a nursing shortage in the United States? That is the question in everyone’s mind. But according to the American Nurses Association, more nursing jobs will be available through 2022. It is the fastest-growing profession compared to any other job in the US.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030 while employment opportunities are predicted to grow at 9% until 2026.
Learn more about nursing shortage by watching the full episode here 👇
00:00 Introduction 01:42 About the guest 02:32 Nursing school vs nursing 06:15 Changes in healthcare post-pandemic 09:26 How managers and nurse leaders can help nurses 14:08 Corruption in healthcare 19:51 Setting boundaries as a nurse 23:20 The powerlessness of nursing and where to file reports 26:29 Are nursing unions worth it? 33:20 Why hospitals hate unions 43:48 Is there a nursing shortage? 51:13 End remarks
The Together While Apart Project is a project made for nurses. Being a nurse in this pandemic is undoubtedly trying. We’ve been placed in a situation that most of us are unprepared for. No matter how good you are in your job as a nurse or anywhere in the world, the pandemic tested our strength, knowledge, skills, patience, and mental health.
As frontliners, we trudge on to battle like soldiers, fighting this invisible enemy to help protect the community and country we serve. It is why we are so grateful for the people who rallied and supported us, nurses, all the way. We thank the community for sending their help and for people like Deane Bower, artist, founder, and creator of The Together While Apart Project.
What is The Together While Apart Art Project?
The Together While Apart Project is a collaborative art project and fundraiser for the American Nurses Foundation, created in 2020 at the height of the ongoing pandemic. It features the fantastic artworks of 19 artists from across the country, representing nine states and coasts.
The painting represents Hope, Healing, and Light, the characteristics that Healthcare Professionals so beautifully epitomized in such a complex and unprecedented period. It also describes the love and support of all healthcare workers, especially nurses.
After its completion, the artwork traveled around the country for ten months. By June 2022, it finally found its home in the halls of The University of Virginia Medical Center, which now hangs in the lobby of their Main Hospital. It also received national recognition from the Smithsonian Institute, ChannelKindness.org, and NOAH (National Organization of Arts in Health), among many other well-known organizations.
The American Nurses Association has established a fund in the name of The Together While Apart Project as part of ANA’s Foundation and Wellness Initiative Programs to give back to all nurses. It will provide nurses throughout the country free services such as mental and physical wellness, job enrichment programs, and financial planning. The goal is to reach $20,200, where funds raised are already up to $12,000.
In light of this campaign, Cup of Nurses encourages everyone to help our fellow nurses. Let us all find a way to honor nurses and thank them for their tireless efforts in serving everyone during this pandemic here in our country and across the globe.
To learn more about this campaign and fundraising or if you would like to donate to this cause, click on the link below 👇
Soil degradation and retrogression are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of stable soil. So we think that soil degradation and human demise are the end results if this kind of soil condition continues.
Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to its natural physical state.
Soil is lost due to erosion from wind and water— for example, rivers washing upland or wind blowing dirt away.
Degradation is due to the replacement of primary plant communities by secondary communities. This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount and affects the formation of the soil.
It is directly related to human activity.
What is Soil?
The definition of soil is “The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the Earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.” .
Soil is one of the world’s most needed resources. We think about animals and this idea of going “plant only” but don’t understand that this might not be the best thing for ourselves and our environment.
When was the last time, if ever, we thought about soil health? It isn’t something that comes to mind as necessary, even when we think about human survival. Ask yourself what do humans need to survive? Water and food.
Water is found in natural bodies of water, but where do you get food from? Soil is required for plants, animals require plants, and as humans, we need to eat animals and plants.
The Soil Profile
As soils develop over time, layers (or horizons) form a soil profile. Most soil profiles cover the earth as two main layers—topsoil and subsoil.
Soil horizons are the layers in the soil as you move down the soil profile. A soil profile may have soil horizons that are easy or difficult to distinguish. 
Most soils exhibit 3 main horizons:
A horizon: humus-rich topsoil where nutrient, organic matter, and biological activity are highest (i.e., most plant roots, earthworms, insects, and micro-organisms are active). The A horizon is usually darker than other horizons because of the organic materials.
B horizon: clay-rich subsoil that is often less fertile than the topsoil but holds more moisture. It generally has a lighter color and less biological activity than the A horizon. Texture may be heavier than the A horizon too.
C horizon: underlying weathered rock (from which the A and B horizons form).
Some soils also have an O horizon, mainly consisting of plant litter accumulated on the soil surface.
The properties of horizons are used to distinguish between soils and determine land-use potential.
What is in the soil we use?
Soil contains air, water, minerals, and plant and animal matter, both living and dead. These soil components fall into two categories.
In the first category are biotic factors—all the living and once-living things in the soil, such as plants and insects.
The second category consists of abiotic factors, including all nonliving things—minerals, water, and air.
The most common minerals found in soil that support plant growth are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen gas. Other less common minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The biotic and abiotic factors in the soil make up the soil’s composition.
The most significant component of soil is its minerals, accounting for about 45% of its volume. The most common ones are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. While the less common ones are magnesium, calcium, and sulfur.
Water is the second essential component of soil. It makes up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. It is vital for transporting nutrients to growing plants and soil organisms and facilitating biological and chemical decomposition. Soil water availability is the capacity of a particular soil to hold water available for plant use.
Organic matter is the next primary component found in soils at levels of approximately 1% to 5%. This matter is derived from dead plants and animals and has a high capacity to hold onto and provide the essential elements and water for plant growth. An organic matter has a tall “plant available” water-holding ability and CEC, which can enhance the growth potential of soils.
Gases and air are the following essential component of soil. They make up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. Oxygen is necessary for root and microbe respiration, which helps support plant growth.
Carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas are also crucial for belowground plant functions like nitrogen-fixing bacteria. If soils remain waterlogged (where gas is displaced by excess water), it can prevent root gas exchange, leading to plant death, a common concern after floods.
Microorganisms are the final fundamental element of soils. They are present in the ground in high numbers but make up less than 1% of the soil volume. An estimate is that, one thimble full of topsoil hols more than 200,000 microbial organisms.
Earthworms and nematodes are the largest organisms found in soil. The smallest are algae, fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria. Microorganisms are the primary decomposers of raw organic matter. Many decomposers eat up organic matter, water, and air. This is to recycle natural organic matter into humus, rich in plant nutrients .
Nutrient Depleted Soil
Nearly 99 percent of the world’s daily calorie intake can be traced back to the soil. The plants and animals we eat require soil to grow. Soil is vital for human survival, yet modern farming and agricultural practices quickly destroy it.
Worldwide, one-third of the Earth’s soil is at least moderately degraded, and over half of the land used for agriculture has some soil degradation.
Due to intense, mismanaged farming, soil nutrients are declining.
Nitrogen stores have decreased by 42 percent
Phosphorus by 27 percent
Sulfur by 33 percent.
Plants require these nutrients for photosynthesis, enzymes, protein synthesis, and more to grow optimally.
As a result of declining soil fertility and selective breeding, the nutritional contents of some fruits, vegetables, and grains have also been compromised.
In a 2004 study using USDA data, 43 garden crops were analyzed to compare nutritional content in 1950 versus 1999. Some nutrients were unchanged, but calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C were lower in 1999 compared to 1950, ranging from a 6 percent to 38 percent drop .
The protein content in corn declined from 30 percent to 50 percent from 1920 to 2001, while the starch content increased .
The magnesium content of vegetables and wheat has declined by up to 25 percent. There are trace minerals in vegetable crops. Minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, and nickel, have decreased over the last decades. Toxic minerals like aluminum, lead, and cadmium have increased .
The current agriculture methods produce higher yields but deplete and erode soils. Currently, industrial agriculture is destroying the soil. It is being destroyed at 100 to 1,000 times the rate where it is replenished. It is according to the United Nations estimates. According to their report, we only have 60 years left of harvest in many farming regions.
What contributes to soil degradation and human demise?
Many industrial farms grow one single crop, year after year after year. This kind of practice depletes the soil and contributes to carbon loss and soil erosion. Agricultural farms must include perennial crops, legumes, and forages in rotation. This returns the organic matter in the soil, prevents decay, and replenishes nutrients.
For example, legume crop residues can be converted into nitrogen by soil bacteria, reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers.
Additionally, monocropping can threaten food security. With a single crop species on millions of acres, one disease could potentially wipe out an entire food system.
Instead of using organic fertilizers, including crop rotations, cover crops, and manure, modern farms require massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers to grow crops continually.
Nitrogen-based fertilizer production has increased by 9.5-fold since 1960. Fertilizer production consumes fossil fuels in a very energy-intensive process, with non-negligible environmental consequences.
Not all the fertilizers applied are used up by the crops. Fifty percent or more of the nitrogen leaches into the environment. Many inorganic fertilizers destroy soil microbes that have roles in soil homeostasis.
Ammonia, nitrate, and other nitrogen residues make their way to groundwater, rivers, and eventually, the ocean. They reduce oxygen levels, increase algae growth, and damage or death to aquatic life.
Farms today till fields to remove crop residues, flatten the land, and generally mix up the topsoil. However, tilling reduces microbe populations in the soil, promotes soil erosion, and releases greenhouse gases. Today, 93 percent of the world’s cropland uses tilling-based methods for production.
Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides
Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides can help increase crop yield. By keeping weeds and harmful organisms under control. The benefits come with costs. And when this problem continues soil degradation and human demise is going to be our future.
Additionally, pesticide residues make their way into water systems and food. Many health problems have been linked to pesticide exposure, including asthma, neurological issues, and even cancer.
The most well-known herbicide is glyphosate, which is applied to crops for hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Glyphosate has profound environmental and health consequences, covered in this article.
Cows and other ruminants have the unique ability to convert grasses and other plants that are inedible for humans into nutrient-dense, edible animal products.
Best practices dictate that ruminants should rotate among different fields, allowing sections of grass to rest and regrow.
But when cows graze on the same land as in many conventional farms, it contributes to soil erosion. It lowers soil carbon reserves. Overgrazing contributed to the loss of about one-fifth of the world’s grasslands
Unfortunately, the importance of ruminant animals has been almost forgotten. Due to rocky terrain, hills, and climate, much of the world’s land isn’t even conducive for growing crops.
In contrast, cows, sheep, and goats can often thrive on these marginal lands. Yet these areas aren’t being fully utilized to raise ruminants for food and to sequester carbon properly. Instead, we have concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO, where grazing is limited, cows are fed grain residues from an outlying farm.
Unity Between the Human Body and Soil
Our body is from soil and water. Without those 2, there is minimal to no possibility of human life. The quality of soil impacts the quality of our physical, spiritual, and mental selves.
Think about evolution or spirituality – if we stem from one at one point. We were the soil or some component of it, so now we are forever bound to the ground. In that soil, there is life, and from that life, there comes bigger life. Not only does it help in a physical sense but spiritual sense too.
When you eat bad food, you feel sick. This sickness manifests physically, mentally, and even spiritually. If you have food poisoning, how do you move? How does it then change your thinking? How does it influence your beliefs? Soil connects to us.
We are treating soil like some infinite disposable thing. Now take a look at how some humans treat other humans? How toxic people in power treat people below them.
The word human stems from the word “humus” in Latin, which means soil. As translated to “living soil” – as in the ground needed for growth. Less and less nutrient-dense foods can lead to the shunting of human growth and function.
To learn more about soil degradation and human demise, watch the full Episode 96 in this video 👇
00:00 Intro 00:52 Plugs 02:08 Soil Degradation and Human Demise 07:25 What is soil? 09:54 The layers of soil 12:35 The essential life-building blocks in soil 16:43 Nutrient Depleted Soil 20:37 Soil Erosion: Monoculture 21:58 Soil Erosion: Synthetic Fertilizers 24:21 Soil Erosion: Tillage-Based Farming 25:19 Soil Erosion: Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides 27:35 Soil Erosion: Mismanaged Grazing 30:14 Unity Between the Human Body and Soil 35:20 Wrapping up the episode