Joseph T. Birch was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. He excelled at football and won a sports scholarship but lost it in his freshman year when he suffered a serious injury to his knee ligament that required extensive surgery. He was educated at Harvard and majored in social relations but did not finish his senior year as he chose instead to manage an ever expanding business he started to earn part time income. Being constantly short of spending money and with a love of mechanics, Birch began to assemble used bicycles from spare components and discarded frames in the spring of 1965. His first used bike shop was in a rented $20 per month garage in Cambridge. His small part time business thrived requiring him to hire several mechanics. Soon he outgrew his rented garage, so he rented a retail store on River Street in Cambridge for $130 a month and began to sell new bicycles in addition to used bikes. He called the business The Bicycle Revival. The company, to Birch’s great surprise, was hugely successful and eventually expanded to 17 stores including two in Florida, one in New Hampshire and two in Philadelphia that his brother Bob managed. Birch made more money than he could imagine and he and his wife bought a beautiful home in Lyndeboro, New Hampshire with over 200 acres of mature timberland which he determined to log. In 1972 Birch accepted an offer to sell his bicycle business to an Italian racing bicycle company called Portofino International. They made him an offer he could not refuse!
After the sale was concluded, he left Cambridge for his home in New Hampshire and entered the logging and lumber business. The following year, his mother’s autoimmune diseases increased in intensity to the point where she was in such pain and discomfort that her quality of life was nearly ruined and she became depressed. All his life, Birch’s mother was his best friend and the love they shared was exceptional. She worked for him in his various enterprises as an accountant and kept an eye on the money. She told him that she had seen specialists and all they could do for her was give her steroid drugs and painkillers and essentially could do nothing to prevent the underlying cause which they really did not understand. To this day, it is fair to say they still don’t understand the cause of 100 or more types of autoimmune diseases. From his university days he knew people from the Harvard Medical School and he went to them thinking they would know more than his mom’s physicians, but to his surprise, they did not and confirmed the same dismal prognosis. Birch really didn’t want to hear this pessimistic assessment so he began an intensive research effort that lasted more than six months. He wanted to fully explore the dynamics of autoimmune diseases. His mother suffered from numerous autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, irritable bowel disease and depression. Birch was determined to see if his mother’s physicians overlooked something that could improve her condition. He did indeed find studies that gave him the knowledge to devise a protocol that could and did cure her ailments. It seemed like a miracle seeing her psoriasis gradually disappear and her joints stop swelling and causing her such pain. Her depression left her within the first few weeks of treatment and after three months, all that remained of her psoriasis was a dried up patch on her elbow that you could almost not see. He cured her of all the symptoms with a non-allergenic diet and nutritional supplements and fish oil. She was able to get off her medications and when she stayed on the diet, she was fine but when she went back to eating foods that were delicious but harmful for her condition, the autoimmune symptoms can raging back. She learned how to manage her condition and eat only a small amount of the allergenic foods that hurt her. She loved for example her whiskey high balls as she called them and despite the side effects, she continued to be a little unfaithful to her special diet that kept her symptoms suppressed. All in all she lived out her life in good health for the next 9 years when she suffered a stroke that nearly killed her and she lived the next 6 years as a semi-vegetative state.
Over the years, Birch helped perhaps a dozen people suffering from various autoimmune diseases. He would only work with those who were serious about staying on the diet and taking the supplements. Some people just want to ‘swallow a pill to cure their ills’. This is not how one cures chronic diseases like autoimmune diseases, cancer and heart disease. It requires serious effort and discipline to actually cure a person and not just mask the pain or lower the inflammation with steroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Years passed and four children and nine grandchildren later, Birch met a friend of his daughter who suffered from many of the symptoms his mother had. His name was Josh and he was a very intelligent and serious person who when he learned about the success Birch had in curing his mom, wanted his help. Josh was a dedicated patient and did everything asked of him by Birch and the results were remarkable. They devised a wellness scale of 1-10 with ten being pain free and feeling perfectly healthy and 1 being near death agony. Josh was averaging 3.5 on the wellness scale when they started the treatment protocol and within two months, he was averaging an 8 rating! Josh had for years suffered from migraine headaches and he was able to go off all his medications. For 20 years Josh had suffered from his autoimmune ailments and migraines and the monthly cost of the various drugs he took was over $500! Things were going really well for Josh and getting better by the week when he suffered an emotional trauma and the related stress level suppressed his immune system and set him back so much that he had to go back to the steroid drugs temporarily. This demonstrates the importance of keeping negative emotions to a minimum as stress hormones like cortisol annihilate immune competence and strength. To make a long story short, the successful experiment conducted with Josh convinced Birch that he needed to write about his research findings and this is what he has been doing for the last few years to try and help others.
In his career Birch owned three sawmills and a pallet shop, managed as many as six logging crews at a time in addition to owning and running several sand and gravel operations. He expanded his logging operations and produced or brokered up to 50,000 cords of long length firewood annually. He came to be a legendary figure who defiantly called himself “Butcher Birch” because he was annoyed at a neighbor who called him a butcher for clear cutting approximately 15 acres for the view and to grow Christmas trees. In reality, Birch practiced very prudent timber management practices and has always been ecologically conscientious. Birch was interviewed for dozens of newspapers, magazines and television programs including an 8 minute documentary on The Today Show hosted by Tom Brokaw with Mike Barnacle doing the interview. In 1996 Birch began to limit involvement in logging, lumber and gravel and began to concentrate exclusively in residential land development that was an extremely profitable business. He formed a development company and developed numerous subdivisions including a 53 lot subdivision in Hollis, NH considered one of the most beautiful housing development in the region.
When the economic crisis of 2008 occurred and real estate crashed, Birch and his sons went back to logging and lumbering on their own land. They built 8 rental dwellings mostly with their own lumber. Birch and his sons Joe and Sam found the time to developing the technology to convert both solid waste and biomass into profitable fuel oil and synthetic gas products. This effort was started in 2006 but they increased the pace after the economic crash ruined the prospects of profitably developing their land holdings into residential subdivisions.
Birch and his sons also began researching and experimenting with technology they for the most part invented. The objective was to find the most efficient way of recycling various waste products and biomass into usable fuel products. Although Birch did not have a scientific background, his passion to develop a practical and innovative energy source from biomass or waste products, compelled him to immerse himself in the study of chemistry, mechanical engineering, the history of various technologies relating to biomass and waste conversion into fuel products. Birch and his partners are currently involved in a $13,500,000 prototype plant that will that will produce 24,000 gallons of fuel oil per day and 17,000 cubic meters of synthetic gas that will generate an electric generator that will be sold to private industries.
Birch has an active mind and has an avid interest in studying and writing about alternative approaches to conventional medicine. Fortunately, his two sons do most of the day-to-day management of the various family business projects and he can devote considerable time to his studies and writings. Learning about alternative medical therapies is Birch’s passion and love and there are few things in live he enjoys more than researching and thinking about ways people can regain their health usually caused by the patient’s horrible diet, and bad life style practices. He deplores that our health care regulators including the FDA allow so many toxic substances in our foods and drinks like the flavor enhancer MSG that destroys neurons and the fluoride put in the water supply that annihilates the beneficial gut flora so crucial in preventing fungal and parasitic infection and absorbing the nutrients from our fuel. Birch is financially secure and could be playing golf or enjoying leisure activities. However, he feels it is his destiny to do something of value to help people suffering from debilitating diseases and at 67 years of age, he is committed to publishing books on alternative cures for various chronic diseases so when his time comes to leave this earth, he can feel in his heart that his life made a difference to many people suffering because of the ignorance of their physicians who know so little about the healing properties of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.