Andrew J Green, writer
After a degree in Mathematics & Computer Science at London University, I worked in IT for an investment bank in the City Of London, working on trading systems for bond and foreign exchange dealers, including designing and programming computer systems for derivatives traders. An intensely analytical mind (which can be very annoying - ask my wife!) has been my main benefit from this background, which I apply to all subjects which I'm researching.
In the mid-1980s, I became heavily involved in animal rights and environmental campaigning, becoming the co-ordinator of London’s largest and most active local Friends of the Earth group. Not surprisingly, my commitment to this work came into ethical conflict with my career, leading to me leaving my job in 1989.
In a search for a more meaningful occupation, I then trained in herbal medicine, reflexology, massage and aromatherapy and began to learn about nutrition, organic food and natural health, which was to become a major focus of interest continuing to this day. I then set up a moderately successful reflexology and massage practice where I lived in South London. I met my wife, Mary-Clare, in 1990 and we were married in 1992.
My enthusiasm for environmental campaigning rapidly waned, as I realised that there was way too much 'us and them' in the whole approach. Thank heavens for that, otherwise I would have now found myself in conflict with the climate change obsession of all environmental campaigners! My relentlessly questioning scepticism of all quasi-religious ideologies has to include questioning this, which has now become what amounts to a belief system.
When I moved to rural west England in 1995, with my wife and one year old twin sons, I was able to enthusiastically put into practice all that I had learnt about organic, permaculture-based, vegetable and fruit growing and we are now almost entirely self-sufficient in vegetables and fruit, as well as having eight laying hens. The animal rights ideas rapidly disappeared - when you're growing your own food, you inevitably find that some small animals and insects are simply your enemies! So, with that foundation demolished, it wasn't long before we started eating meat again, after a break of many years.
Our sons (now aged 26) were home educated, which enabled us to have the freedom to undertake many long family backpacking trips to both Europe and the non-industrialised world, particularly the Middle East and Far East. Being predominantly low budget journeys, we were able to immerse ourselves in many foreign cultures, which has greatly enriched my life and informed many of my political and more general views and beliefs.
With the advent of the internet, I also found myself moving back into IT, running a successful web design business for many years, which has only taken a back seat in the past few years, as I started to concentrate on my writing.
Over the past 25 years, I have continued to learn about nutrition and natural healing methods. I have a passionate belief in the ability of natural healing methodologies to create optimum health and effect true healing and, as a result of these beliefs, none of our family is registered with a GP - we nearly always have enough knowledge to treat ourselves.
Mary-Clare and I are enthusastic opera and ballet-goers, including trips to ex-Soviet bloc countries, which all have excellent opera houses.
I am an experienced public speaker, have appeared on television and radio and have been invited to be the principal guest in a half-hour TV discussion programme – Renegade Inc – on the nationally broadcast UK TV station RTUK.
I am currently writing a book, Food Uncovered, about the realities of the global food system, how it is destroying the health of people and the planet and how we can take steps in our everyday lives to step away from this system, reclaiming our power over our own health and breaking the stranglehold of 'Big Food'.