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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Seeds of Freedom

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The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost.  It’s time to change the story.

Seeds of Freedom (video)

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Water – What is the best choice anyway?

We all need water, all living things do.  Unfortunately a vast majority of us do not drink enough.  With so many beverage choices, it becomes difficult to make the right choice to quench our thirst.  However, water is the only truly suitable liquid for the human body.  The most common types of water choices include city water/tap water; bottled water; filtered water; and distilled water.  What is the wisest choice?  How much water should we have on a daily basis?  What are the various impacts of our water selection on our bodies?  You can read reports released by the associated press which states that bottled water is as polluted as tap water.

So, how much water should we consume?  The US government recommends drinking eight – 8 ounce glasses of water per day.  That equates to two quarts (1.89 ltrs).  This is not enough water for most people.  The average adult loses from two to three quarts (up to 2.84 ltrs) of water per day.  A person weighing 200 pounds (90 kilos) or more should drink at least four quarts/onegallon (3.78 ltrs) a day.  Based on those numbers, it is easy to see how woefully short most people fall with regards to their water intake.

The type of water we consume is very important and will have some variation depending on special situations.  It is important to note that our water needs to be cleaned in some way as the pollution in our fresh water is virtually global and unavoidable.  Industrial, agricultural, environmental, and pharmaceutical pollution is rampant and creates toxicity in our environment and bodies.  This means that spring water still needs to be purified as it must pass through polluted areas to get to you.  Mineral and sparkling waters are not usually meant to be our sole form of water as their properties are not always conducive to simple hydration.  Over 40% of the water sold in the United States is “purified” water from our municipal water supplies and sold to us by soda pop corporations.  Really, there is no major health problem with this, if you prefer paying inflated prices for filtered tap water.

Some health experts advise us to drink distilled water.  We cannot disagree more due to distillation process leaving the water’s pH level too acidic (5.8) and distillation leaves water with the wrong ionization, polarization, and oxidation potential.  High acidic content leads to stress on our body’s resources as the acidity is buffered to maintain a consistent safe blood pH, among other health concerns.  While it is true that we do not really gain minerals from drinking water, the absence of minerals in distilled water can actually act as a leach on the delicate balance of mineral supply.  Interestingly, many of the dangerous things we are hoping to avoid by drinking distilled water may actually be exacerbated by stilled water intake.

The best and safest answer is Reverse Osmosis.  Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a seperation process that uses pressure to force a solution through a membrane that retains the solute on one side and allows the pure solvent to pass to the other side.  It is best known for its use in desalination (removing the salt from sea water to get fresh water), but it has also been used to purify fresh water for medical, industrial and domestic applications.  RO can be teamed with many other purification methods but it is the RO membrane that will remove the really dangerous toxins.  RO water can be bought or you can filter it at home.  Whatever method you use, RO is the best filtering technique that ensures the safest possible drinking water.

In addition to addressing the health reasons, we would like to recognize the global economic and environmental impact of polluted public water systems and the plight of empty and discarded plastic water bottles.  We pay a lot to achieve clean water, and as we continue to pay even more for clean water, we further pollute our delicate fresh water sources.  Shipping and producing bottled water takes an enormous amount of petroleum, and surprisingly, it also takes more water to produce the water that is actually put into the bottle!  Every year, 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to produce bottled water.  Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the 89 billion liters of water consumed are consumed outside their country of origin.  That exportation increases the carbon footprint required to produce bottled water.  Additionally, hazardous chemicals like phthalates, antimony, arsenic, and other plastic and manufacturing derivatives leech into the water from the bottle.  In actuality, many bottled waters are simply untreated or carbon treated (for taste) municipal water!  In fact regulations on tap water purity are significantly tighter than those on bottled water in the United States and Europe.  Evidence of that is seen in a purity study done by the National Resources Defense Council on 103 different brands of bottled water.  The study showed that 30% contained synthetic organic chemicals and bacteria.  While it is expensive and energy-intensive to recycle the plastic, you must also consider the vast amount of these containers that end up in our waterways – rivers, lakes, and oceans.  Even scarier is that seawater by weight has been shown to have 6 times more minute, nearly invisible plastic particles than plankton.

In summary, we need to drink clean water!  While bottled water may be somewhat more preferable than tap water, RO filtered water remains the best choice for our health, our economy, and our environment.  If it is impractical to filter your own water, then commercial delivery of RO water will have a more positive environmental impact than buying cases of individual bottles.  Having 5 gallon bottles of water delivered and simply filling your glass or reusable bottle often can be the absolute best solution for any household.  Just look up Reverse Osmosis water companies in your city!

Dr. Josh Carter, Contributor

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

New Ways to Not Waste Time or Expired Foods!

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Perhaps you are one of those folks who tosses the potato when it starts sprouting without even thinking about it.  The fact is that the potato knows that it is time for it to reproduce.  It is actually letting you know that you could benefit even more from the investment you made when you tossed it in your shopping cart.  

Listed below are some tips on how to grow from some regulars we all know.  But for full representation and great ideas, pick up a copy of Grow it, Don’t Throw It!: 68 Windowsill Plants from Kitchen Scraps by Deborah Peterson. She walks you through all the specifics of growing 68 different things from your kitchen supplies. The book is packed with tons of helpful information!

Apples- http://www.ehow.com/how_2135774_grow-apple-seeds.html

Tomatoes- http://www.ehow.com/how_5581958_grow-tomatoes-fresh-tomato-seeds.html

Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes- http://www.gardenguides.com/117543-plant-cuttings-potatoes.html

Green Onions- http://www.17apart.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-green-onions-indefinitely.html
http://tipnut.com/nifty-food-plants/

Leeks- same technique as green onions

Carrot Tops- http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/children-in-the-garden/grow-carrot-tops.htm

Pineapple (revisited) – http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/Pineapple/pineapple.htm

Romaine Lettuce- Same technique as celery

Cabbage- Same technique as celery

Celery- http://www.17apart.com/2012/02/growing-celery-indoors-never-buy-celery.html

Avocado –http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/09/09/how-to-grow-an-avocado-tree-from-an-avocado-pit/

Lentils- http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2009/02/19/how-to-grow-sprouts/

Pumpkin- http://pinterest.com/pin/98375573080950437/

Ginger- http://www.gardenswag.com/2011/12/5-foods-you-can-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/

Garlic- http://www.gardenswag.com/2011/12/5-foods-you-can-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/

Bonus: Bok Choy – http://www.17apart.com/2012/02/how-to-regrowing-bok-choy.html

What do you want to grow?

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Illegal Front Yard Garden

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I came across a story today with one of the most absurd laws I’ve ever heard.

In Drummondville, Quebec a couple, Josee and Michel put in an absolutely beautiful front yard garden.  The garden is their entire front yard and feeds not only them, but their neighbors also.  With cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, onions, brussels sprouts and beets, on and on – Michel lost 75 pounds and Josee lost 25.  It is a wonderful story of how anyone can eat fresh right out of their own front yard and lose weight to boot! 

Apparently the Canadian government thinks all of this is bad and have deemed the garden illegal.  Front yards can only have gardens if they are a certain yada yada size and don’t take up too much yada yada yard.  Whatever.  These folks are personally solving their food sourcing problems by walking out their front door.  No carbon footprint, no chemical lacing, saving money, sharing, getting outdoors… the list is absolutely endless on the benefits.

The couple have a blog.  Please visit it.  It is in French, so be forewarned.  They are actually seeking signatures on a petition to legalize their vegetable garden.  Sounds absurd…”legalize a vegetable garden.”  I’m appalled and I’ve signed the petition.  Won’t you too?

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A picture of a ladybug may be all that we will have left…

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You would be terribly wrong to believe that bugs don’t play a vital role on this earth.  With pollution, conventional farming practices, global warming… on and on… there is a terrible plague of our insects dying off.  The Ladybug Project was specifically pulled together because of the crisis in the ladybug population.  Think it is silly?  Learn about it.  Remember when you were a little one and would encounter a ladybug?  Your great grandchildren may never have that pleasure and our crops will never be the same.  There is a full news report here.  

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Soy – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

We’ve all been told of the health benefits of soy and have been encouraged to eat it.  Soy, the magical little bean that would solve so many of our health issues. Lately we have been told that soy is not the health panacea that we once thought.  So, what gives, where is the truth? Soy in the forms that we eat most often is a highly processed food possessing all the inherent problems that come along with foods that have been processed. Soy contains compounds that once thought to be helpful have been shown to be harmful to health in a processed form. We have covered processed foods and why they are not beneficial, so let’s look at soy and it’s nutrients and anti-nutrients.

Soy products contain phytic acid, also called phytates. This organic acid is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds and legumes, but none have the high level of phytates that soybeans do. These acids block the body’s uptake of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and especially zinc.  Soybeans also contain potent enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors block uptake of trypsin and other enzymes that the body needs for protein digestion. Normal cooking does not deactivate these harmful “anti-nutrients,” that can cause serious gastric distress, reduce protein digestion and can lead to chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.  Beyond these, soybeans also contain hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. These clustered blood cells are unable to properly absorb oxygen for distribution to the body’s tissues, and cannot help in maintaining good cardiac health. Hemagglutinin and trypsin inhibitors are both “growth depressant” substances. Although the act of fermenting soybeans does deactivate both trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin, precipitation and cooking do not. Even though these enzyme inhibitors are reduced in levels within precipitated soy products like tofu, they are not altogether eliminated.  Isoflavanones are the best known of chemicals in soy, and they can is some ways be useful to certain subsets of the population at later stages of life. They are however very damaging to younger people in that they alter hormonal balance and restrict brain development in infants.

It is also interesting to note that 85% of the United States soy crops are genetically modified and it is amazing that there is still no FDA required safety tests for genetically modified foods.  One study in rats who were fed soy and genetically modified soy showed that 8x the number of rats fed genetically modified soy died during the test as opposed to the control group.   Do you know where the soy you consume comes from?

In Asian cultures they tend to eat soy that is fermented (miso, tempeh,natto) and do not, amazingly enough, eat more soy than the United States.  Fermented soy is most likely it’s only saving grace because the fermenting process virtually eliminates all the bad nutritional aspects mentioned.

Bottom line… soy, like all food, is best in its natural, true form.  For most foods that would also mean raw.  However, soy has traditionally only been used in fermented form.  So eat close to nature, whole, raw and live, except soy which should only be considered in quantity after fermintation with live cultures.

– Dr. Josh Carter, Contributor

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Grow your own…Pineapples? It IS possible!

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Check it out!  A step by step on how to, in about six months have your own pineapples growing in your home.  Think the tropics feel so far away.  Not anymore!

WIKIHOW tells you…WOW!

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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