I hope you’ve had an enjoyable Easter break, one that brought rain where it was most needed and glorious sunshine if you were holidaying in the great outdoors. As a kid growing up in Western Australia it was almost a given that Easter would be wet and, remarkably in these hot dry times, this year it happened again! I know there are some very happy farmers out West while the campers return home sodden.

Sometimes I think we need to pinch ourselves to realise just how lucky we’ve got it in our beautiful country. A friend who’s recently returned from several years in big city China spent the break in country Victoria. When she posted a photo to her Facebook page of fallen gum trees and a stony riverbed on her hike to a popular waterfall, a Chinese friend expressed her envy at having nature’s beauty at her doorstep.

And we do! Just this morning, I braved a chilly start so that I could soak up the serene stillness of the river walk close to my home. Five minutes in the car, a free parking spot, beautiful leafy parks along the way, friendly smiles from fellow walkers, several of them Chinese tourists, boats in perfect reflection at their moorings, scullers gliding by with seeming effortlessness, clean crisp air. A perfect start to the day.

And then home to breakfast, which I can enjoy without the least pang of guilt. And, more importantly, knowing I can trust my eggs to be healthy because I know they’re local and free range, really free range! The quality of our produce - meat, dairy, seafood, eggs, fruit and veggies - is undeniably something else we take for granted and now as prices rise we’re seeing just how much it is valued by people in those countries where the food chain can’t be trusted. When did you last eat crayfish for just one crazy example? Grass-fed beef is so much better than something from a poor beast in a feedlot but now it’s a weekly treat, not a staple, because overseas markets have discovered our secret.

We could rail against it and many people do. Or we could recognise our bounty that’s always been there for us and welcome the emergence of a new boom for Australia - quality fresh food. For some time China has been talking about investment in food overtaking the fading mining boom and it’s gathering speed. So let’s show our producers we value what they do and pay that bit extra because, as other people are showing us, nothing is more important than the food we eat.

It’s a viewpoint I know resonates with Peter Dingle PhD who has been urging us all to eat fresh, natural and, frequently, raw food in these pages for quite a few years now and this month is no exception. When overwhelming research is showing that many diseases can be reversed with diet and lifestyle changes yet all Western societies are besieged by what he calls a “pandemic” of chronic disease, something has to change. That, says Peter, can only be achieved by a whole new holistic way of thinking - away from “bandaiding” sickness to embracing wellness. Read about it in “Overcoming Illness”.

We’ve got plenty more to challenge your thinking this month too - David Arenson’s thoughts on “Spiritual Capitalism” that some might find uncomfortable while those who value authenticity will applaud; Olivier LeJus questioning whether carpal tunnel syndrome really needs surgery and a provocative contribution from valued reader Frank Schenk.

As a final thought, it's ironic isn't it that the oldest medical system of all, the holistic approach, is now being hailed as the "new" saviour for our ailing population. It begs the question: 'Where did we go so wrong?'

Enjoy your month!

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.