Nathan Weaver, a student at Clemson University, was trying to figure out how to make it safer for turtles to cross highways. What he ended up finding was that turtles will never be safe because the human heart is dark, and there will always be drivers who intentionally run over or try and aim their vehicles at the defenseless reptiles. Wait, what? No. That can’t be? People are good and only have road rage toward other drivers. Right? Nope. The AP reports:
Weaver put realistic-looking rubber turtles, no bigger than a saucer, in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Then he got out of the way and watched as over the next hour, seven drivers intentionally ran over the turtle, and several more appeared to try to hit the defenseless animal, but missed.
Oh, what’s that sound? Faith being lost in humanity? Sounds about right. Weaver, as the AP reports, recorded one in 50 drivers actually ran over the dummy turtles. That ratio isn’t exactly alarming, but consider how long it takes turtles to cross the road and becomes plain to see that road-crossing for turtles on any semi-busy road means guaranteed death. That doesn’t even take into account people trying to hit the turtle and missing. So this is just an anomaly, right? Maybe people in South Carolina really don’t like turtles for whatever reason?
Everyone must read the article below. Most women are unaware that there are dangerous substances in their make up, such as lead in many lipsticks. Lead is not good for you in any shape or form.
There are other unsafe substances in many skin care products including shampoo…not to mention the flouride and sweeterners found in toothpaste.
I would urge women everywhere to look for a great source for quality organic skin care products.
Lead in Lipstick: 10 Worst Brands, Better Alternatives
Could a pretty pucker be the kiss of death? According to Reuters, about 400 lipsticks recently tested by the FDA contain traces of lead. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics ran its own tests on 33 red lipsticks and found that one-third exceeded the FDA’s limit for lead in candy. Lead levels have gone up since then.
The FDA pushed back in its latest report stating that: “Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities. We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern.” However, Stacy Malkan, of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics disagrees. “We know that ingestion of lipstick happens,” she told Reuters. She also points out that lead accumulates in the body over time.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is particularly concerned about lead exposure for children and pregnant women. The CDC’s Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention recently stated that there is no safe lead level for children. Lead poisoning causes a wide range of problems from low IQ and slowed grown in children to memory loss, mood disorders, and miscarriage in adults.
The FDA found the highest levels in lipsticks made by Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), L’Oreal (L’Oreal, Body Shop and Maybelline brands), and Revlon. The lipsticks containing the most lead (measured in parts per million) are:
1. Maybelline Color Sensational, Pink Petal (7.9 ppm)
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Volcanic, (7.0 ppm)
3. NARS Semi-Matte, Red Lizard (4.93 ppm)
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection, Ruby Remix, (4.92 ppm)
5. Nars Semi-Matte, Funny Face (4.89 ppm)
6. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Tickled Pink (4.45 ppm)
7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor, Heroic (4.41 ppm)
8. Cover Girl Continuous Color, Warm Brick (4.28 ppm)
9. Maybelline Color Sensational, Mauve Me (4.23 ppm)
10. Stargazer Lipstick, #103 (4.12 ppm)
California, which has the nation’s most stringent laws about lead in consumer products, has imposed a safety limit of 5.0 ppm for lipstick. If you are concerned about contaminants in your lipstick or other cosmetics, the Environmental Working Group rates over 1000 cosmetic lip products on its searchable database. Because there are thousands of lipsticks on the market, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says its impossible to test every one and the best thing you can do is support an outright ban on lead. However, here are 11 products they have found to be lead-free.
You might look at EnerHealth Botanicals‘ skin care line. It is completely organic.
I felt I had to comment on this article by Lisa Collier, itself a commentary on an article that appeared in the New York Times very recently. As always there are a plethora of opinions on whether yoga is really good for you. My experience, and mine is personal, is that yoga, when practiced wisely and when learned from a well trained teacher, is not only safe, it is potentially transformational in its benefits, if practiced diligently. It offers much more than just the physical exercise, which is very beneficial in itself. It also offers techniques that bring you a very good feeling of calm and peace, something so lacking in our modern fast paced world. What’s more it also has a side to it that works with the breath, using it to greatly improve your lung capacity. When you look at the ten well known codes of conduct in yoga; the Yamas and Niyamas, you find concepts that you will find in all of the most revered spiritual texts of the world. However, when yoga is mindlessly practiced as a sport instead of a transformational practice, in a spirit of competition rather than self development it can indeed be dangerous. It is at once dangerous and transformational. All depends upon how you approach it and who you learn from.
Hot controversy is raging in cyberspace about a New York Times article called “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” with medical practitioners and yoga devotees taking vehement stands for and against this popular workout. The article is being flamed on Facebook, and normally zen-like yogis are up in arms.
The Daily Beast quoted one yoga teacher describing the article as fear-mongering, while a yoga publication contended that The New York Times is trying to “wreck yoga” with an article that “cherry picks a few extreme events.”
The number of Americans who twist themselves into pretzel-like postures in search of mental and physical benefits has soared from 4 million in 2001 to 20 million in 2011. But is the exploding popularity of this ancient workout causing an epidemic of injuries and even disabilities? Or is William Broad’s article slim on science, as critics charge? Here’s a look at the debate.
Follow these 7 simple tips to manage your chronic pain
Is Yoga Harmful?
The article quotes a yoga teacher, Glenn Black, who advises “the vast majority of people” to give up yoga because it’s simply too likely to cause harm. Yet Black, whose clients include celebrities and prominent gurus, continues to train students in this supposedly dangerous activity, while warning that even celebrated yoga teachers “injure themselves in droves.” He cites two cases in which an Indian yogi broke three ribs during a spinal twist and a leading American teacher lost movement in her hip joints.
Black is also quoted as saying that clients often seek him out after being hurt in other yoga classes, due poorly trained teachers who have jumped on the yoga bandwagon and who push students beyond their physical limits, with increasingly difficult poses, such as shoulder and head stands.
Yet Black also acknowledges that he has no formal training himself in determining which poses are helpful or harmful for students.
Find out how stretching can ease your chronic back pain
Is there any scientific proof that yoga causes damage?
The article claims that many commonly taught yoga positions are “inherently risky.” As evidence, Broad cites a 1972 “article” in British Medical Journal reporting that certain yoga poses might cause stroke in relatively young people due to hyperextension of the neck, as can also occur during whiplash. However, the “article” is actually a letter to the editor and not scientific proof.
Broad also describes several bizarre case reports from medical literature, including a 28-year-old woman who had an apparent stroke after doing a yoga pose called the “upward bow,” leaving her with harrowing disabilities. That calamity occurred in 1973. Broad also reports that ER visits due to yoga injuries are “rising quickly,” with the Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting 13 such visits in 2000 and 46 in 2002 (the most recent year listed). That’s actually lower than the number of Americans struck by lightning each year (about 270).
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Numerous studies have shown both short- and long-term benefits of yoga, with research presented at the 2011 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine finding that people who practice yoga regularly have lower rates of joint pain, headaches, and stress compared to people who perform regular cardiovascular workouts or strength training. Other documented health benefits of yoga:
* Asthma relief. Several studies, including a randomized 2009 study of 120 patients, find yoga’s deep rhythmic breathing can improve asthma.
* Better sex. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that practicing yoga for 12 weeks improved women’s desire, arousal, satisfaction, and orgasms. Among the poses used in the study were triangle pose, snake, and half spinal twist. Doctors in India found that yoga outperformed medication in treating premature ejaculation in men.
* Non-surgical relief for shoulder injuries. A 2011 study by Loren Fishman, MD and other doctors found that a yoga-based maneuver (a chair-assisted headstand) can help people with rotator cuff tears recover—without surgery.
* Easing menstrual pain. Another randomized 2011 study reports that three yoga postures (cobra, cat, and fish poses) effectively reduced the severity and length of menstrual cramps in young women.
* Stronger bones. Another of Dr. Fishman’s studies found that a routine of 10 yoga poses helped improve bone density in older women with osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease that can lead to fractures.
Read more about how yoga improves your sex life
What’s the bottom line on yoga?
A few case reports from the 1970s hardly prove that yoga is inherently more dangerous than other types of exercise. In fact, many other sports have a far greater rate of injuries: Witness the millions of concussions that occur every year during football, soccer, and other team sports. To avoid getting hurt during yoga, Dr. Fishman advises finding a well-trained teacher and avoid overtaxing yourself as you gradually master the poses.
Unquestionably, overzealous students who are learning a new sport of any kind, including yoga, can risk injuring themselves if they try to do too much too soon. But given yoga’s many health benefits, with a few sensible precautions, there’s no reason why the 20 million Americans who practice yoga should give it up.
In this article by Pablo Paster learn the facts as to whether your paper recycling efforts are valid.
Pablo: I have a tough one for you: shall we recycle our paper? There are both the CO2 and the chemical aspects to consider, and there’s arguments against recycling paper in each case. Getting rid of the ink used on paper implies bleaching, and the chemical used goes on to pollute rivers. As for the CO2, growing a tree is a carbon sink but, in most cases, the trees are not replaced and the industry just clear-cuts the forest. Considering this, is it really a good thing to recycle paper?
For those of us that grew up with the book 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth, recycling is second nature. We never questioned recycling and were shocked when the Financial Times declared that recycling is utter rubbish and when Michael Moore proclaimed that he stopped recycling in Stupid White Men. But maybe they were right.
Recyclables often do not get recycled due to food contamination (pizza boxes and paper plates), low commodity values (glass), and lack of the required infrastructure (TetraPaks). Perhaps the act of recycling just lulls us into a false sense of virtuousness that enables us to consume more materials goods without the guilt, forgetting that Reduce and Reuse come before Recycle. So, is paper really worth recycling?
© Pablo Päster
How is Paper Made?
Paper production begins with the harvesting of trees, which are delimbed and debarked before being chipped into a steaming chemical bath to be turned into pulp. The chemical pulping process removes lignin, the “glue” that holds the cellulose together, leaving long cellulose fibers to be pressed into thin sheets. These sheets pass through large rollers that not only flatten the paper but interlock the cellulose and remove water. Finally, the sheets are spooled onto large rolls to be sent to a printing company or to be cut down to size as office paper.
To produce the bright white paper that companies have come to expect for their printers and copiers, the pulp is also “bleached,” a process which removes the remaining lignin. This “delignification” process was once done with sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) but was replaced by chlorine, which was often dumped into waterways.
Now the processes are performed with a combination of various chemicals such as chlorine dioxide, lye, oxygen, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, and enzymes.
How is Paper Recycled?
The paper recycling process begins with your recycle bin; from there it is transported to a sorting facility, and then to a paper mill. Paper is sorted into various categories including office paper, magazines, newsprint, paperboard and cardboard.
Because each successive pass through the recycling system shortens the fibers, cellulose can only be recycled four to six times before it begins to degrade paper quality. Therefore paper from each category can only be recycled into products of the same, or lesser quality. For example, office paper gets turned into office paper or magazines, magazines get turned into magazines or newsprint, etc.
At the paper mill, the paper goes through cleaning and screening, ink removal, which involves mechanical agitation in a water bath and a froth flotation deinking process, and bleaching with peroxides or hydrosulfites to enhance brightness. After that, the renewed pulp is turned into paper.
Since the early 1990s, great strides have been made in paper processing and global use of chlorine has dropped off significantly in favor of Elementary Chlorine Free (ECF) and Total Chlorine Free (TCF) processes. The practice of dumping untreated effluent into rivers has also been replaced with environmental best practices in most developed nations and some developing nations but many environmental concerns still exist.
Worldwide, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for 4 percent of all the world’s energy use. The pulp and paper industry uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry. -Earth Greetings
Global paper demand for paper and paperboard is expected to reach 490 million tons by 2020
What is the Greenhouse Gas Impact of Recycling Paper?
Thirty-five percent of municipal solid waste consists of paper products and paper recycling rates reached 63.4% in 2009, so 12.8% of new landfill waste consists of paper.
In the anaerobic (without oxygen) environment of a landfill, paper will eventually be decomposed into methane by microbes. Since methane is a potent greenhouse gas, the impacts are much greater than the equivalent amount of paper being turned into CO2 by microbes in the aerobic (with oxygen) environment, such as a compost bin. In fact, 1 ton of paper in a landfill will turn into 1.38 tons of CO2-equivalents.
Recycling, on the other hand, avoids these emissions, as well as the emissions from logging, raw material transportation and processing, and pulping. Recycling one ton of office paper reduces these emissions by a further 2.85 tons, for a total reduction of 4.23 tons of CO2. To put this into context, the average US passenger car emits 5.2 tons of CO2 per year.
While composting your paper is possible, this only cuts down on the landfill emissions but doesn’t offset the production of virgin paper. If you do compost, use paper and other ‘brown’ material like leaves in a 50:50 ratio with ‘green’ materials such as kitchen scraps and lawn clippings to maximize your compost’s performance. Of course, be aware of adding paper that possible contains chemicals from processing or printing, avoid glossy papers, receipts (which can contain BPA), and colored ink.
So, Should I Recycle Paper?
From a greenhouse gas perspective it is clear that recycling paper is the better choice.
From a chemical pollution perspective it is also evident that the process of deinking and peroxide bleaching has a lower impact than virgin pulp production with its mechanical processing, steam, delignification, and bleaching.
Unfortunately both virgin and recycled paper production require a lot of water (virgin paper requires 24,000 gallons per ton and recycled paper requires 12,000 gallons per ton), emphasizing the importance of Reduce and Reuse before Recycle.
© Pablo Päster
Deforestation is certainly another reason to recycle your paper. While it is true that most developed nations require replanting of cut trees, even where clear-cutting is practiced, there are many more impacts than simply the loss of trees. These include habitat loss, erosion, river and stream siltation, and impacts on local tourism. While replanted trees sequester more CO2 during their first years of rapid growth than old stands do, the replanting often favors a monoculture of species desirable for future harvest, rather than a more natural diversity of tree species.
So keep in mind: Reduce the amount of paper and other resources that you consume, Reuse them whenever possible (paper has two sides!), and always Recycle! Finally, when you must buy paper look for 100% post-consumer recycled paper to support the value of recycled commodities.
Pablo Päster has been writing Ask Pablo since 2006 and is Principal Environmental Consultant at Hara.
Though you might not want to believe it, this is true information. When you go to church next your pastor might just be encouraging you and your family to get vaccinated with all of the risks that can entail. Learn more and become informed! The following article appeared on mercola.com
Recently the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, held an invitation-only call.
The call was co-sponsored by the U.S. Health and Human Services, the Office of Minority Health, and CDC.
Conspicuously, the end of the invitation read:
“This call is off the record and is not for press purposes” – but it became public when it showed up on the HHS website.
Fortunately one of our staff was able to get on the call.
The focus of the call was on getting faith-based organizations to sponsor flu clinics with Walgreens.
Basically, they want to move inside your church, mosque or synagogue, and set up shop, with your pastor, priest, imam and rabbi on hand to convince you to get a flu shot.
As an example, they cited a priest who stopped in the middle of mass to roll up his sleeve and get vaccinated, inspiring the rest of his parish to line up behind him.
Talk to God, Get a Shot
The idea of holding out your arm and getting a shot in the middle of a worship service, with your pastoral leader urging you on, really seems to be pushing it. The reason they’re doing this, health officials said on the phone, is that they’ve found that non-traditional settings such as worship services can be highly effective in influencing people’s decisions.
Speaking directly to church leaders, Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership, said:
“As trusted messengers, you’re able to spread messages and help get people vaccinated.”
Zeroing in on minorities, particularly older adults, blacks and Latinos, health officials said churches, mosques and schools are places where barriers to vaccinations can be taken down, and these minorities can be convinced to get vaccinated. Besides hosting flu shot clinics, churches can also help by putting reminders in their bulletins, and by church members personally reminding others to get their shots, officials said.
They even went so far as to encourage the churches to pay people’s insurance co-pays so they’d be more inclined to get the shots. For those who simply can’t pay anything, there’ll be 300,000 free shots given out as part of the flu vaccine crusade.
Who’s Funding This?
The original concept of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, developed in 2001, was to help community leaders enhance the 1998 Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health.
The partnership targets cancer screening, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and vaccinations. It also originally covered complementary and alternative health care options, although that type of care, which would include health measures other than vaccines, was not even listed as an option during this phone conference.
For at least 10 years, this collaboration of community-based volunteers, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups worked at a grassroots level in their respective neighborhoods, funded by Congress through various health care grants.
However, in 2010 the initiative took a turn with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which moved the initiative’s management to the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, paving the way for the federal government to fund and run projects like flu clinics right in your church.
Interestingly, flu shots were already covered by most insurance plans, Medicare and the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
But for some reason health officials have decided it’s OK to push the government into places of worship, mid-service, to sell and administer vaccines – and this no-press-allowed phone call reiterated that over and over again. I can only wonder which vaccine they’ll move into your church next, all in the name of “community health.”
The Secret’s Out – Flu Shots Are Hardly Effective, If at All
In February 2011, new research showed that 76 percent of white seniors get flu vaccines, with 68 percent of English-speaking Hispanic seniors getting them, and 64 percent of Spanish-speaking Hispanic seniors doing so. In the phone conference, officials emphasized that they want to increase flu vaccine coverage beyond those numbers.
But unfortunately, they neglected to mention the shocking lack of evidence supporting flu vaccines.
The truth is flu vaccines just don’t do what the CDC claims they do. I’ve written about this several times so far this year and the past few years, along with major news media like Time Health. Even the Centers for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) admitted on its website on November 4, 2011 that it’s time to revise public messages regarding this vaccine.
Specifically, what happened is that a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet revealed that flu shots provide only “moderate protection” against the flu, and in some seasons is altogether “reduced or absent.”
Specifically, the Lancet said the vaccine is about 59 percent effective. But when you break the numbers down statistically, what it really works out to is that the vaccine prevents flu 1.5 times out of 100.
That’s right. Using the Lancet’s own numbers, statistics show that the vaccine only works 1.5 times out of 100.
It’s a far cry from the 60 percent the CDC claims on its website, or the 70 to 90 percent it claimed before it changed the numbers this year. Some people call this lying with statistics, but any way you look at it the secret’s out: flu vaccine statistics just don’t add up to warrant pushing them in your church – or anywhere for that matter.
The Real Way to Good Health this Winter
Only the CDC, HHS and the Faith-Based Partnership Center can say why they’re pushing flu vaccines in churches in the wake of statistics like this. So instead of trying to second-guess them, what I’ll do is offer up some good ways to stay healthy this winter.
Ultimately it is the state of your immune system that determines whether or not you will get sick from being exposed to viral or bacterial organisms associated with infectious diseases like the flu.
The key to boosting your immune system, then, and making it a “lean, mean, disease-fighting machine” lies in your lifestyle habits — healthy food, stress relief, exercise, sleep, and safe exposure to sunlight, among other things. Artificially manipulating your immune system with a vaccine to try to stay healthy is not the same thing, nor does it produce the same kind of immunity and sought-after, disease-fighting result. It may actually make you less healthy in the long run.
Since numerous studies show that vitamin D boosts immunity, particularly vitamin D3, the first thing you want to do is make sure you maintain your vitamin D levels at 50-70 ng/ml year-round. The only way you can be sure of what your levels are is to be tested. For an in-depth explanation of everything you need to know before you get tested, please read my latest updates in Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.
While a supplement is OK, the best way to get your vitamin D is with safe exposure to sunshine, or by using a safe tanning bed (one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields). Other things that you can do include eating healthy, avoiding sugars and artificial sweeteners, exercising, and getting enough sleep. We also recommend that you take a product called Daily Immune Support throughout the cold and flu season to keep your immune system in tip top shape.
Other supplements that can be used as an adjunct to healthy dietary and lifestyle measures are:
- Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micronutrients. You can take several grams every hour till you are better unless you start developing loose stools
- Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil.
- Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response.
- A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system.
- Olive leaf extract: Ancient Egyptians and Mediterranean cultures used it for a variety of health-promoting uses and it is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder.
- Medicinal Mushrooms and greens formulas as well as immune building herbs
Educate Yourself on Vaccines
Now that the government is moving into the most sacred area of your life – your place of worship – you need to be informed more than ever about vaccines and your rights when it comes to vaccine choice. The best place to learn this is from the National Vaccine Information Center. There, you’ll find resources that’ll tell you the ingredients in vaccines, their possible side effects, and the information you need to make intelligent, informed decisions about vaccinations.
This is important because when it comes right down to it, the only one who can protect you is YOU. Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level. The laws are made at the state level. That means you must be vigilant in watching BOTH state and federal moves and programs – programs like this one that want to interrupt your church service to give you a vaccine.
One way to keep abreast of what’s going on at a state and national level is to sign up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org, where you’ll get access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. This portal will also give you up-to-date information and call-to-action items that you can use.
And finally, I encourage you to visit the following NVIC web pages, where you can learn even more:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Reworking land to benefit the community. Denver school turns abandoned field into thousands of pounds of produce
I had written before about how we might choose to use public lands to grow our foods, such as portions of parks, your church’s immense lawns etc. Here is my previous article on taking back the land;
In this great article from Denver Colorado’s Doug Schepman a 7News reporter you will see a perfect example of this.
DENVER – Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation.
“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground. Lots of salad greens and root vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers,” said Megan Caley, the programs and outreach coordinator for Sprout City Farms.
“Kids are eating healthier,” said Frank Coyne, lead partner at the Denver Green School. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.” Each week during harvest season, the farm produces 150 pounds of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that end up in the school’s cafeteria.
Third-grader Justin Acosta said since the farm was built, he’s eaten more vegetables during lunch,
“Because it makes you healthy, it comes from the farm and we grew it together,” Justin said.
Building on the concept of community gardens on school grounds, Sprout City Farms created this project to introduce students to new foods and to show students where food comes from.
“One of my favorite parts was when we were digging the potatoes, and it’s just really interesting to put my hands on the vegetables and stuff,” said third-grader Stella Overby.
In addition to learning about agriculture, the farm helps teach other lessons as well.
“There are 180 kale plants here and they are in rows of three. So, we need to divide up 180 into three different groups,” said third-grade teacher Kartal Jaquette, who took his class outside to the farm for a math lesson.
“We wanted to be able to connect the outside world, the real world, to what’s happening inside the classroom,” Coyne said.
“It’s been extremely gratifying to see the kids out here. They are in constant awe and amazement of how food grows, and when they get to touch and really see how it happens, it’s a huge experience for them both educationally and emotionally,” said Chad Hagedorn, the farm manager for Sprout City Farms.
The farm was built at no cost to the Denver Green School. Sprout City Farms raised more than $20,000 for the project. Nearly half that amount came from “community supported agriculture” contracts, in which people pay a lump sum to receive fresh produce from the farm on a weekly basis.
The farm staff hopes the success at the Denver Green School inspires similar programs at other public schools.
“It’s a very replicable model and it could spread like wildfire throughout the state and country,” Caley said. “To turn this [land] into thousands and thousands of pounds of vegetables for the cafeteria is such a great use.”
In this great article by Dr Willliams learn more about why probiotics are so important, but why just taking a supplement is not all it takes. J. E. Williams, OMD, FAAIM
For the natural health conscious, probiotics factor high on their list of supplements. And, most of these people know that probiotics, or friendly bacteria that live in the gut, play important roles in digestive function, including assimilation of nutrients from foods and supplements. However, the beneficial functions of probiotics do not stop at a happy gut; they also support a healthy immune response. This is because probiotics inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria by producing organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and unique natural antibiotic substances. In turn, these process and neutralize toxic compounds.
There are studies that illustrate the effectiveness of probiotics in supporting a healthy immune response. For instance, a Scandinavian study has shown that those who supplement with probiotics before surgery are less likely to have postoperative infections. In fact, the use of antibiotics to treat all hospital-based infections decreased for those taking probiotic supplements. Furthermore, a healthy gut in which there are robust probiotic populations prevents colds and flus. A study in China showed that school-aged children who supplemented with probiotics suffered from upper respiratory infections 34% less than children who did not.
Despite what these studies show, simply adding a probiotic supplement is not enough to stay healthy if you have low levels of probiotic species or imbalances of friendly to potentially harmful bacteria. Normalizing probiotic populations requires time and the right ingredients. First, you need a product that contains active, live probiotic species. If you haven’t had a stool test, where you can find out which species you need to supplement, a broad spectrum of probiotic species is best. Second, you need enough of them. On average, 5 billion active organisms are sufficient. However, if you have low levels (determined by stool testing), you need more – at least 25 billion, twice daily. Thirdly, they have to get past stomach acid and the upper intestinal digestive enzymes, which can destroy bacteria on contact. No one has tested the absolute best time to take probiotics, but my clinical experience suggests that taking them immediately before meals helps move them past the stomach and through the small intestine faster. Others say between meals; but, though I did recommend that approach for many years, I now question whether it makes good sense to have live bacteria sitting in the stomach for hours – exposed to a bath of gastric acid. For practical purposes, taking them with food makes sense, too.
To help build strong probiotic colonies, you also need the right substrate of fiber and prebiotics, a category of nutrients that support the growth of healthy microflora. The most commonly recommended prebiotics are inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS). They can be taken as supplements but are also found in foods like chicory root, garlic, onion, and other fruits and vegetables. Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and dairy drinks (like kefir) are good sources of prebiotics. Getting enough soluble fiber is also important. You need at least 20-25 grams daily, and more if you have digestive concerns.
Malabsorption of sugar causes the wrong type of fermentation in the gut with symptoms of gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea or constipation. It also disrupts colonization of probiotics and favors potentially pathogenic microorganisms like yeast and fungi. It is well known that lactose can cause this effect, but other sugars, including sucrose and fructose, cause similar problems. When attempting to recolonize the gut, cut back on the simple sugars, or better yet, eliminate them entirely for a few months.
KEY POINTS FOR PROBIOTIC REPLACEMENT THERAPY
- Take a probiotic product containing live species.
- Take enough: 5 billion for general health, up to 50 billion for replacement.
- Take just before or with meals.
- Provide enough fiber and prebiotics.
- Cut back on all sugars.
- Eat a wide range of fermented foods.
- Be regular by taking them daily for at least one year.
The probiotic product you take needs to guarantee precise identification of species and number of units. Advanced probiotic manufacturers use DNA-based technology and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to identify bacteria types. The combination of viable bacteria that adhere to and colonize the gut with a low sugar, high fiber, plant-based diet is necessary in repairing the gut. Getting the right bacteria to recolonize your gut is not easy. It takes time, up to a year or longer to make progress. However, your health depends on it, and it will be worth the time and effort for improved immunity and digestive health.
Your Question of the Day: Do you take probiotics? If so, what kind?
In this article from Activist Post, Anthony Gucciardi informs us of some great successes in the GMO battle, with countries and counties standing up against the GMO juggernaut. A case in point here in the USA, Colorado’s Boulder County was the latest health freedom hotspot to stand up against Monsanto and genetically modified produce, with Boulder County advisory committees announcing plans to phase out GMO crops on open space in pursuit of sustainable and ethical farming practices.
The county joins a long list of other political bodies that have banned, condemned, and even uprooted GMO crops across the globe.
Both the Food and Agriculture Policy Council and the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee of Boulder Country voted 5-4 to phase out GMOs in an economically viable way. The transition proves that it is possible to be environmentally conscious, preserve the health of citizens, and still maintain economic stability.
Genetically modified corn has been growing on around 16,000 acres of cropland owned by the county for around a decade. In 2009, public concern over the consequences of GMO crops sparked public debate within the county. Citizens demanded that GMO crops be banned after 6 local farmers asked permission to plant sugar beets that were engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup.
Nations Starting to Ban and Uproot GMO Crops
Hungary has gained international recognition for their bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto,destroying all Monsanto corn fields littered with GMO crops. The nation destroyed 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, which are banned in the country. Many of the farmers were actually shocked to find they were using GMO seeds, which are resulting in extreme environmental consequence.
In a sad statement of our times, when 1/5 of our adults are taking psychiatric drugs with numerous side effects, it should make us question what the American Dream has become; a nightmare for many. Interestingly enough the same percentage of the working population is unemployed. The truth is, however, that despite the socioeconomic challenges we are facing nowadays, a cleaner healthier diet, growing your own veggies at home and taking enough B vitamins as well as sleep enhancing and nervous system relaxing herbs, can go a long way to keeping people off psychiatric drugs.
This video gives some insight into the gravity of this issue;
Here is an inspiring story of how a single woman transformed her home and yard into a tropical paradise. Never let anyone tell you you can not do it! Enjoy the article and video below. This article was featured on permaculture.org
You don’t have to know her street number to find Rosina Buckman’s place. All you need is the street name. Winner of the Edible Landscape Award from Australia’s Sunshine Coast Council in 2009, her garden spills out into the nature strip, bursting with plants.
Her driveway, once a barren front lawn, is now edged with strawberry runners, passionfruit vines, chilies and edible greens.
“Before we get started, I want to show you something that saved my life!” exclaims Rosina.
In front of us are a wheelbarrow, a piece of timber and a rather imposing cleaver.
I wonder if one of her chickens is about to have a very bad day, but no, this is Rosina’s new movable workstation and mulching system. With terrifying dexterity, she holds a palm frond in her left hand and chops furiously with her right. Pieces of the dried frond fly everywhere.
Visitors giggle nervously at the dangerous procedure, but thankfully all her fingers are intact at the end, and we title her Queen Chop-Chop.
Recently Rosina covered any remaining lawn on her property with hay mulch. Now the front garden is just as productive as her back yard. A mini orchard is on the left, and her kitchen garden, complete with a raised garden bed, is on the right.
She relocated the corrugated iron bed from the back yard to take advantage of the northern sun, and has been rewarded for the strategic move with plentiful supplies of tomatoes, bok-choy, mustard, chard, eggplants and lettuce ever since.
The tour moves on into the orchard, passing the “Trespassers could be composted,” sign on the way.
We dodge a swinging pendulum hanging from the archway (the largest New Guinea Bean I’ve ever seen!) and find ourselves face to face with fruit trees. Here, planted in the front yard, are a tangelo, lime, orange, and lemon tree, growing happily where once was only grass.
Rosina’s garden is an inspiring example of how abundant, productive and diverse an urban permaculture system can be.
It’s incredible what she’s squeezed into her 670m2 block; a banana circle; orchard; worm farm; two compost bins; and two chooks nestled behind the 2 x 6 metre shade house.
The chook pen is her pride and joy as she spent considerable time figuring out a multipurpose design, finally settling on a system where she divides the long, narrow run into two areas. During summer, she allows the girls to have free reign in both, and in winter she closes off one end and plants out the fertile ground with veggies.
And with all these systems she still has room for a pool surrounded by potted pineapples and sweet potatoes.
We can see the evidence of clever design in her compact system. She harvests water from the roof and has rigged up a flexible hose direct from her down-pipes into her swimming pool.
“I haven’t had to top up the pool with town water since I’ve installed that system,” she explains.
She also has a metal rainwater tank on the western side of the house where she collects her drinking water.
“I can’t stand the taste of chlorinated water. I never want to drink town water again!” she says.
And what happened to all that mulch produced by Queen Chop Chop? She’s combined the small pieces of brown waste (carbon) and green clippings (nitrogen) to form a pile approximately one cubic metre in size.
It’s so hot Rosina dares us to put our hands in — and steam rises when someone moves the organic matter. Because of the extra surface area produced by chopping the waste, microbes have more to feed on, and the resulting compost is ready to use in a matter of weeks.
Rosina has a passion for permaculture. It’s evident in her generous teaching (she’s toured all the Sunshine coast libraries giving demonstrations and talks), in her infectious laugh and especially evident in her garden.
Thanks for sharing your passion and excellent examples with us Rosina. We love you. Please keep your eye on those fingers, Queen Chop-Chop!
Enjoy the video here below:
Note: As it happens, Rosina is selling her painstakingly developed urban site. If you’re looking for a well-established permaculture property, this might be just the thing….
Rosina Buckman – Living Smart on the Sunshine Coast