Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

More Natural Remedies For Winter Ills

December 11, 2013

This post by Rodale is a compendium of natural cold and cough remedies. The only caveat: there are brand names used that I would NOT recommend. For honey, use raw and wild (less pesticides, and all the enzymes intact). For salt, use any bulk salt that is natural (Himalayan pink, sea salt, etc.) because they don’t contain additives (like anti-caking agents).  For black pepper, get certified organic: not sprayed, not irradiated.

here’s the link: http://www.rodalenews.com/natural-cough-remedies?cm_mmc=TheDailyFixNL-_-1529492-_-12112013-_-13_Natural_Remedies_for_Coughs_and_Colds_text

6 Tips for a Healthier Flu Season

November 11, 2013

OK, enough with the politics! Let’s talk about 6 simple ways to help make this flu season more enjoyable because you did NOT get sick:

Wash your hands. Yes, we all know about this, and many times we just don’t so it at all, or we do it in such a way that it doesn’t work as well as it can. So, according to the latest research (yup, folks research hand-washing) here’s the deal: first you wet your hands (and how bout turning off the faucet to save water), then you lather up (how about using a locally made soap, or if you must have liquid, Dr. Bronner’s is still the best; DO NOT use anti-bacterial soap…it is breeding antibiotic resistance bacteria and isn’t necessary), and now you count 20 seconds of washing your hands. Then and only then do you rinse. This gets rid of 99% of the germs. Or you can use an alcohol-based cleanser; follow their directions.

Gargle.  I love this one: every morning I gargle and if I’ve been exposed to folks who are sick I gargle when I get home. It really does work, and is rather fun…

Cut down on sugar. Notice that I didn’t yell at you to stop eating it….but seriously, when we eat sugar our immune system doesn’t work as well for several hours after ingestion. That’s kinda scary. So limit your serving numbers and sizes, and if exposed to sickness, don’t eat it at all. You can eat an apple, or a whole orange: the fructose is combined with fiber and other food chemicals and is good for us, especially if also eaten with a few soaked nuts and/or seeds.

Sleep. As in 7 hours MINIMUM. Every night. No excuses! If this is difficult, then get help. I’m not being facetious; all the research I’ve read is adamant about adults needing enough sleep. This is not just about evading the flu; adequate sleep helps us think and function better on all levels.

Take immune boosting herbs. Echinacea, astragalus, olive leaf, herbs and spices, tea tree essential oil, elder berry…there are many choices.  Have on hand Vitamin C and any of various combinations from your local natural food store (or you can always call me for a tincture or supplements, especially Epicor, a favorite immune modulator).

 Do something fun every day. This is the stress relief part of the list: relax, hang out, say no, say yes, put yourself first if you are tired. The light is waning, time to go inward, start a craft project, knit, amble, read for pleasure, go to a yoga class. You choose!

Happy Thanksgiving…and gratitude is healing.

 

 

Which Organic Companies Are Pro and Which Are Con…

October 27, 2013

Unveiled: GMO Labeling Opponents Come Out of the Shadows

October 22nd, 2013

Natural/Organic Brands No Longer Hiding Behind Lobbying Organization The Cornucopia Institute releases shopper’s guide: pro/con I-522 brands

Proposition I-522, a citizen’s initiative on the November 5 ballot in Washington state that would mandate clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages, has become the most expensive initiative campaign in the state’s history.  The high-priced battleground is pitting consumer and farmer advocates against multi-billion-dollar agribusiness corporations.

A number of new opponents to the GMO food labeling proposal were recently revealed following the release of their names by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a national business lobbying organization.  The GMA had been, apparently in violation of state election law, hiding the identity of its donors who had provided more than $7.2 million to fight the consumer’s right to know what is in their food.  The disclosure came shortly after Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit demanding the GMA reveal the identity of its secret donors.

With the outing of the GMA’s donors, The Cornucopia Institute has released an updated infographic detailing the financial expenditures of corporate and organizational supporters and opponents of I-522.

(click on the poster image below to view a quick loading larger version, and then click on it again for an even larger version)

(or click here to view a printable hi-res version)

I-522.poster.1023

(click on the poster image above to view a quick loading larger version, and then click on it again for an even larger version)

Ice Cream Olympics!

September 10, 2013

I may be vying for eclectic blog of the year…

This is an educational program about place, food security, local wisdom, nature-as-teacher, and just “plain” fun. The event, Ice Cream Olympics in the New Mexico Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, is a ‘sport” where kids of all ages make ice cream with locally-sourced flavoring ingredients in small balls that are “churned” via games.

Will you help us go from Monument to Legacy?

We are seeking $3650 to expand the education program to support:

  • Getting  local experts; the artists, educators and ecologists involved to co-create with local young people, student centered, curriculum aligned resources that engage with the intimate ecology of the natural world and the local agri / bio cultural traditions that have arisen from it.
  • and we want to do this with educational hikes, workshops and a youth produced digital archive and online radio program documenting the local (agri) cultural practices old and new of Taos County –  a vehicle for real world place-based learning.

To help us manifest the on-going educational part of this project, please go HERE to donate (tax deductible). Even just $5.00 will help. And the bonus: what we create will be offered to others to use in their/your locality!

And if you happen to be a New Mexican reader, our first FREE hike (led by yours truly: Edible and Medicinal Herbs) is this Saturday, September 14th at the Wild Rivers (The Chiflo Trail) in Cerro, NM, at 9:30 am (bring your lunch, hiking shoes, etc.) You can call me @877-286-2970 for more info and directions.

Close to the Tipping Point on GMO Food

September 1, 2013

Story at-a-glance

  • While California’s GMO-labeling campaign failed to pass by an incredibly narrow margin last November, Proposition 37 catalyzed an enormous amount of awareness across the US that is the beginning of the end of GMOs in the US
  • More people are now aware of genetically engineered foods than we could have ever reached through educational efforts alone, investing the same amount of money that we invested in Prop. 37
  • The tipping point of consumer rejection of genetically engineered foods in the US is almost here. Last year, the president of Whole Foods confessed that when a product becomes verified as Non-GMO or GMO-free, sales leap by 15-30 percent—a clear outgrowth of the Prop.37 campaign
  • Target’s brand will be non-GMO in 2014. Ben & Jerry’s will be non-GMO by the end of this year, and while Chipotle’s restaurants are working toward a non-GMO menu, they voluntarily started labeling in the meantime

For those of us working in the trenches for the past several years regarding GMO food, we may be seeing the proverbial light at the end of a very long and difficult tunnel. Monsanto stock is not a good buy, and that is cause for rejoicing. To read the entire article excerpted above, please go HERE.

Meanwhile, I wrote a few weeks ago that I would share info on bokashi, a fermented compost. I just got some video and photos from last month’s experiment, and as soon as I find someone to help me edit the info I will put it on the blog.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Intriguing Idea

August 14, 2013
Winds of Change
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have this message.
This is one idea that really should be passed around
*Congressional Reform Act of 2013
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/13. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
You are one of my 20+ – Please keep it going, and thanks.

A Bit On Biochar

August 3, 2013

ORGANIC TRANSITIONS

No Small Thing: Reversing Climate Change through Sustainable Agriculture and Biochar

For the past five years, OCA has been passionately talking and writing about how organic farming, ranching, and forestry practices can potentially reverse global warming and save us from climate catastrophe.

There were times when we thought we were preaching only to the choir. But now a growing number of leading food and environmental writers, including Michael Pollan and Mark Hertsgaard, are joining the chorus and educating the public on how we can use sustainable farming, ranching and biochar practices to exponentially increase plant photosynthesis and soil carbon sequestration on hundreds of millions of acres of farmland, pasture, and rangeland.

This Great Transition has the potential to bring our current greenhouse gas pollution down from our 400 ppm of CO2 to 350 ppm – the number scientists say we need to achieve if we’re going to survive. If we can achieve this, we can stabilize our dangerously out-of-control global climate. And in the process, we’ll dramatically increase soil fertility, biodiversity, and moisture retention.

As Pollan puts it, moving away from factory farms and industrial/GMO agriculture to organic no-till farming and rotational grazing  “gets us out of one of the worst aspects of environmental thinking – the zero sum idea that we can’t feed ourselves and save the planet at the same time. It also raises our spirits about the challenges ahead, which is not a small thing.”

Read Michael Pollan on agriculture and climate change

Read Mark Hertsgaard on how biochar, composting and biochar energy production can reverse global warming

I have a recipe for making this lovely compost, and will post it as soon as I can find the paper on my desk! Two WWOOFers  (workers on organic farms) are joining me this coming week, and we’ll be making this and taking photos, which I will also post. Last year a group of WWOOFers and I made some, which we added to a newly rejuvenated garden spot, and holy guacamole di it ever make a difference! HUGE gorgeous greens.

 

Time To Help Pass GMO Labeling Laws

July 24, 2013

We have two choices.

We sometimes forget. Coca-Cola, General Mills, and a host of other food giants know how to make their products without using genetically engineered ingredients.
They do it all the time. For consumers in other countries.

It’s only here, in the U.S., where the food and biotech lobbyists have Congress in their back pockets, that more than 80 percent of processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Those GMO ingredients are making Monsanto and Big Food rich. They’re making us sick. And the tons of herbicides and pesticides used to grow them are poisoning our soil and water.

Food manufacturers make GMO-free products for consumers in 64 other countries for one of two reasons: Either because consumers in those countries have demanded that GMOs be banned from their food supplies. Or because consumers have demanded GMO labeling laws.

In most cases, rather than label the GMOs in their products, food manufacturers have found alternative ingredients.

We can have GMO-free food, too. But only if we demand it.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the trade group representing Coca-Cola, Pepsi, ConAgra, Unilever, General Mills and hundreds of other food companies, recently circulated a letter claiming that consumers – that means you – have created an “unprecedented period of turmoil” for food companies. How? Simply by demanding that they label the genetically engineered ingredients in their products.

We have news for the GMA and all of its dues-paying members: The turmoil has just begun. We will not rest until GMOs are labeled.

The movement to label GMOs didn’t materialize overnight. It’s been in the works for many years. But thanks to the unprecedented outpouring of support last year for California’s Prop 37 to label GMOs, this movement – your movement – has finally gone mainstream.

Activists in Connecticut and Maine recently pushed through GMO labeling laws, though neither law can take effect until four or five other New England states pass similar laws requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs.

We’re gaining traction. But we need to win Washington State.

Half of the $46 million raised last year to defeat Prop 37 came from pesticide makers like Monsanto. The other half came from junk food giants like Pepsi and General Mills. The GMA alone raised $2 million to defeat Prop 37.  So far, the GMA is the largest donor to the campaign that aims to defeat I-522, the citizen’s initiative to label GMOs in Washington State.

We have two choices. Sit back and do nothing while the pesticide and junk food makers raise millions to defeat another big GMO labeling campaign. Or pull together to run a winning campaign in Washington State, and keep the GMO labeling movement strong until our demands are met.

We need to raise just a little more than $52,500 in order to reach our goal of $150,000 for GMO labeling by July 27, and earn a matching grant for OCA from natural health leader Mercola.com.

Will you help sustain the fight for GMO labeling by making a donation today? You can make a secure online donation, with a credit card or using paypal. Or you can phone or mail in your contribution. Click here for details. Thank you.

In solidarity,
                                                              Ronnie Cummins National Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund

P.S. – Donations to the Organic Consumers Fund, the 501(c) 4 allied lobbying and legislative action arm of the OCA, are not tax deductible. If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, please donate here  to the OCA to help continue our critical GMO public education campaign

Time to Grow your Own

June 11, 2013

Food! Plant breeding is geared towards maximum size, quick maturity, resistance to disease, firmness while ripe, a whole plethora of other factors but, surprisingly, NOT nutrition.

Story at-a-glance

  • Ancient wild plants provided an astounding level of phytonutrients that are largely absent from our modern cultivated fruits and veggies
  • Ancient farmers’ preference for sweeter, starchier foods led to many of the less nutritious staples common today, such as sweet corn
  • Bitter and brighter colored plants that were packed with nutrition have been largely replaced with sweeter, more muted varieties
  • Genetic modification is also altering the nutrition content of the food supply; a new analysis showed GM corn to be far less nutritious than non-GM corn

For the entire, fairly short and very informative article, GO HERE:

As I have been learning in my research, for the most robust immune system, and for maximum health, we want to eat ALL the flavors, All the colors, and MANY varieties. It really is time to grow heirloom seeds of greens you aren’t familiar with, varieties that are open-pollinated, and not just one kind of spinach or kale but 3 or 4 kinds. Our ancestors thrived on diversity; with the amount of toxins we are forced to breathe, eat or drink, we need to diversify as well. Bon appetite!

 

 

 

Essential Info On Rogue GMO Wheat

June 11, 2013

Story at-a-glance

  • An unapproved strain of genetically engineered (GE) wheat has been found growing on a farm in Oregon. The finding now threatens US wheat exports as many countries do not permit the importation of GE wheat
  • Japan has canceled orders for US wheat in response to the findings. Other major wheat importers are monitoring the situation, and the EU has ordered member states to test imported wheat for contamination
  • The House Agricultural Committee will soon vote on an amendment that would lend support to a potential nullification of states’ rights to label GMOs. Your urgent action is needed!

For the entire article, which is REALLY worth reading: GO HERE.


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