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Many of us should be celebrating a major victory that concerns the condition of the foods we purchase. The organic community within the United States has won the right to ban GMO crops, despite the current Federal laws. The U.S. Court of Appeals has made it possible for States to ban GMO crops from ever being planted. This is a step forward for the organic community who gained a small victory when President Obama and the Senate proposed a bill titled the DARK Act, which stated that GMO food growers had to label their products. This mandatory act would allow companies like Monsanto and Bayer, two years to make the adjustments. Now communities can bypass this bill and state that there will be no planting of GMO crops whatsoever.
In 2000, Monsanto convinced the government that their food engineering had no negative affects on the food itself, and introduced no foreign bacteria to the crops. Later on, Monsanto was proved wrong about this statement. Though some biotechnology engineers found a way to hide the cancer and Alzheimer’s causing agents in Monsanto products, the proof isn’t really necessary anymore. At present, the still pending DARK Act or any other legislation, like the Plant Protection Act, can’t stop the prohibiting of the banning of the planting of GMO crops.
Farmers are celebrating the fact that they know there is no farmer who wants genetically engineered seeds. They know that pesticides are a part of their genetic makeup. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is aware that most of our crops are being controlled by the biotech engineering corporations. At present, approximately 90% of our crops, such as; corn, sugar beets, alfalfa, and granola, are GMO products. Monsanto and Bayer are being stopped in their tracks by the Court of Appeals, and inhibited greatly in their quest to ruin the entire natural, healthy environment.
The Court of Appeals has labeled the GMO crops as “Franken crops”, and realized the destruction that could be caused if ultimately, Monsanto and Bayer were allowed to continue the planting of these “Franken crops”.
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Whenever someone tells you about a new superfood, vitamin, or supplement, it’s always best to research the item before using it to avoid risk of injury, illness, or death. Stamping “Healthy”, “Organic” or “Natural” on something doesn’t make it fit for human consumption, although marketing companies might try to convince you that’s the case.
Earlier this year, the Food Standards Agency (UK) and the European Food Safety Authority released a warning regarding raw apricot kernels (whole or powdered), which are sold as a “healthy” food containing B-17 (purported to guard against cancer or prevent its spread). They stated, “We advise that bitter apricot kernels including the powdered forms should not be eaten. This is because a naturally-occurring substance in the kernels changes – after people eat the products – to cyanide.”
Basically, apricot kernels carry amygdalin (a glycoside found in many other fruits including apples, peaches, and plums), which turns into cyanide when it reaches the intestines. That’s right – by eating this “healthy” snack, you’re ingesting poison – and at an alarming rate. Thirty kernels is considered a lethal dose, and the recommended serving size on a regular package is between 12-15 kernels. If someone ate two servings of kernels a day, they could die.
Of course, the symptoms – which include nausea, insomnia, and headaches – could be misconstrued and indicative of many other health problems, which could then lead to misdiagnosis and possibly, death.
So what about grocery store items that contain apricot kernels, such as jams or pastes? Luckily, these are alright to consume. While apricot kernels are sometimes used as flavoring, the foods containing them are safe to eat because the kernels have been processed (typically with heat) and the amygdalin has been eradicated.
By Kaitlin Cone
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“Food feeds both the body and soul – there are clear reasons to eat a balanced diet, but there are also reasons you cling to your mom’s secret chicken noodle soup recipe when you’re sick.” -Michael Mena
With cold and flu season upon us, it is no surprise people are scrambling about in a dozen different directions for a cure, a preventative, or at least a soothing aid when the sickness descends.
However, perhaps the easiest (and tastiest) way to combat germs and bacteria is to eat a balanced diet of natural, healthy foods. That’s easier said than done, you might say, but keep reading and you’ll find that these meals are simple, cost-effective, and packed with nutrients that will do their best to stave off those pesky illnesses.
What vitamins, minerals and spices are best suited to do battle with the cold and flu? Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website (and others) indicates that Vitamins A, B, & C, the mineral zinc, and spices garlic and tumeric are the best when it comes to preventative care.
Where can these be found? In a plethora of foods including beef, tuna, salmon, chicken, (and chicken broth), sweet potatoes, beans, and dark, leafy greens. Adding onions and garlic or tumeric to the dish will also increase its immune-boosting power. Combining these foods in savory dishes will not only ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need, but will prepare it to fight against disease.
The first dish is of course the perennial favorite, chicken soup. Consisting of chicken stock or broth, chicken, vegetables (onions, celery, carrots, and whatever else you fancy), and either noodles or rice, this dish is a hearty staple that not only provides relief to a sore throat, but also keeps you hydrated and provides much needed amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
The second dish is vegetarian chili, comprised of a tomato base, black beans, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes (a replacement for meat). The sweet potatoes provide Vitamin A, the black beans give us antioxidants, and the garlic shares the benefits of its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
The third and last dish is curry – particularly curry with tumeric, which is both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. If you don’t like curry or if it’s difficult to find in your area, you can try mixing tumeric into the following: eggs, leafy greens, or roasted vegetables like cauliflower, squash, and zucchini.
Be prepared this flu season by putting together some easy, nutritious meals with natural ingredients – the benefits are bountiful.
By Kaitlin Cone
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If you’ve ever considered going to therapy, the options can be a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re going for physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual reasons, there are dozens of possibilities open to you, depending on the area where you live, available time, and resources.
While research is currently underway to back up the claims that alternative and complementary therapies do indeed have merit for a host of ailments, many types have been used for centuries, although of course they have evolved to be of best use in the modern world.
Acupuncture is perhaps the best known alternative therapy in this list, as it traveled to the West and found popularity here first. It is widely used for physical and mental ailments. Acupuncture is the practice of placing needles in the skin, stimulating the tissue in order to boost the immune system, alleviate pain, or improve sleep. People with anxiety issues and depression have also found relief through acupuncture, according to UC San Diego’s Center for Integrative Medicine. If the thought of needles makes you nauseous, however, you could try these other forms of acupoint therapy: massage, cupping, or heat therapy.
Hypnotherapy is becoming more and more common in the West as time goes on, though it is difficult to find in some regions, prompting many professionals to offer their services via phone or internet. Some hypnotherapists have also begun including technology in their sessions, such as headphones and light glasses. People searching for help with addictions, weight loss, insomnia, and phobias have found relief with hypnotherapy, and it can also be used to alleviate physical pain or teach relaxation techniques, to great effect, as noted by Melinda Beck in The Wall Street Journal. Once you experience hypnotherapy and learn some techniques, it is also possible to self-hypnotize when needed.
Reiki is perhaps the least well known alternative therapy in this list, though it is rapidly gaining popularity after efforts to back up its claims, such as The Touchstone Process. It is a hands-on method of therapy, though different from massage in that it is purported to carry life-force energy from the therapist’s hands to the client’s body. With this intention, the body begins to release stress and relax, entering into a state of well-being that enhances the health and energy of the body. This therapy too can be self-applied as required, after some initial training. Reiki has been used to help with depression, stress, physical pain, and relaxation.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (abbreviated as CAM) has included these three therapies in its fold as popular and successful forms of alternative therapies for years, and with the growing legitimacy from medical professionals and research, they will most likely become a standard of treatment in years to come.
By Kaitlin Cone
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Scientists Find Cause of Excessive Overeating of Deserts — New Organ Found in Body Called ‘Desert Stomach’
A second stomach has been found in the body by researchers working over the holidays.
Researchers around the globe are hailing a new discovery this week: the body, once thought to have only one stomach, actually has two, particularly during holiday seasons.
Researchers are not the only ones celebrating the news. Laymen everywhere, before plagued with guilt about what they had thought was overeating, are now relieved to know that their second, third, and fourth helpings of dinner and desert are actually a normal response to an empty second stomach, which is most active during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Many things are still not fully explained with regards to the new organ. Among these is its actual location. Sometimes it seems to lie near the regular stomach, filling up and causing a deformation of the stomach area. But, according to the researchers, it is actually possible to push the desert stomach down in the body. They noted several subjects pushing the desert stomach down into their leg, which they referred to as seeming “hallow” before shifting the stomach.
The researchers modestly downplayed their achievement:
“We, like all scientists, stand on the shoulders of giants. Our work would not have been possible without the work of eminent scientists of the past … those who discovered stomach number one.
“Also, this could not have been achieved … I stress, could not … without the work of home cooks everywhere, who provided the material needed for our research. A great thanks to them.”
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Air pollution now kills around seven million people every year globally. Factoring in the other costs of air pollution, including human health, building and material damage, and crop losses, the total annual value of pollution removal by U.S. trees at $86 billion.
According to a recent study on trees and health:
“We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.
“We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.”
“Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses from the Ontario Health Study. Results from multiple regressions and multivariate canonical correlation analyses suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions (controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors).”
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We all know local business tends to be much healthier than chain stores. We know this isn’t 100% all-the-time true — there are chain stores that promote health, and local stores that don’t — but it is generally accurate.
We also know that chain stores are growing business while local business is being put out of business by these chains (and in some markets by internet business to varying degrees). The reason: local businesses cannot compete when it comes to price with large chains due to economies of scale and other things large businesses have under their belt.
It is also the case that small businesses are increasingly taxed and regulated, making it harder for regular people to start them and run them. Because regular people can’t afford accountants and lawyers to take on this job, or spend the time to learn it and do it themselves because they are already too busy, its more reason there are less and less people able to do business on a small (or “regular”) scale.
This also means people who work in our communities have less and less money coming in each year, because their small businesses are doing worse or are folding, so they can afford to spend less in the community — including spending less on healthier food and living.
So we find ourselves in a downward spiral away from what is better for us and our communities, in order to save individually on commodity costs.
But some interesting math has been going around. In one community, this sign was put up.
Some related math, by Anthony Monshower II:
If 15% of the US Population spent $200 a year on local businesses, it’ll put $10,200,000,000.00 into local businesses and the local economy.
1,140,000,000.00 for Canada.
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A new study has found that women live longer in nature. The study, “Exposure to Greenness and Mortality in a Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study of Women,” collected health information biennially on more than 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976.
The researchers looked at what happened to those women and also accessed their proximity to green vegetation (using satellite data).
“Higher levels of green vegetation were associated with decreased mortality,” the researchers concluded. “Policies to increase vegetation may provide opportunities for physical activity, reduce harmful exposures, increase social engagement, and improve mental health.
“While planting vegetation may mitigate effects of climate change, evidence of an association between vegetation and lower mortality rates suggests it also might be used to improve health.
From the discussion in the report:
“In this nationwide study of adult women, higher levels of greenness around each participant’s address were associated with lower rates of all-cause, non-accidental mortality, regardless of adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, smoking, individual-level SES, and area-level SES. These findings were strongest for cancer, respiratory, and kidney-disease mortality. Results were consistent when focusing on the area immediately around each residence (250m buffer) versus a larger radius (1,250m buffer) around each participant’s home. Results were strongest when examining cumulative average exposure to greenness versus contemporaneous greenness, suggesting a larger benefit of chronic exposure to greenness for health.
“The association between greenness and mortality was not statistically significantly different by race/ethnicity, physical activity, smoking status, area-level SES, air pollution exposure, weight status, region of the US, whether a participant lived in a rural or urban area, or whether a participant moved over followup. Assuming that assumptions of the mediation analysis hold, our estimates suggest that a large proportion of the association between greenness and mortality may be explained through mental health pathways of depression risk and social engagement, which subsequently impacted mortality.”
The study: Exposure to Greenness and Mortality in a Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study of Women (link)
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Only 3 percent of people have the ability to see the number on the photo. Click on the image above (not on the social buttons but around them on the actual image) to make it bigger.
Can’t see it? Here’s some tips by Savannah Dunn on how to see it anyway:
1. Shake it!
( move it consistently back and forth)
2. Move you your device side to side
( move it towards the left side or the right side)
3. Move away
( Move your head father away from the screen)
( Look at the screen and then move your eyes away)( may take a few times)
And if that doesn’t work, try this one by Tim Swan: If you ever want to see what’s inside the lines were or the hidden picture or numbers just turn your phone sideways just a little bit until you can see the numbers really easy.
Apparently, unlike the ones where you have to “go out of focus” or see it blurry, this one works by beings seen with rapid eye movement.
Computer user tip from me: Just scroll up and down the page a little with the image there and you can usually see it. Or zoom way way out, so the image becomes quite small; that will often make the number appear as well.
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What is reflexology and how does it work?
The body is connected by nerves, and reflexology seeks to best affect the body by manipulating nerves in particularly areas, thought to be connected in a way that can be understood by looking at the images here.
in reflexology, the feet are correlated to their own sides of the body, and parts of the feet to all the other parts of the body along those sides.
Reflexologists manipulate the parts of the feet (or hands or ears) that correspond to the part of the body they want to effect. They seek to treat body maladies in this way.
Reflexology is an old practice, dating back to the Chinese and Egyptians, two of the earliest civilizations we have historical evidence of. Most modern reflexologists practice a form of reflexology pioneered by American Eunice Ingham.
Reflexologists don’t claim to be able to do everything and cure everything with their practice, but numerous health issues have seen beneficial results after those suffering received reflexology treatments. Top complaints that reflexology is sought for include: migraine, sinus problems, hormonal imbalances, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension and stress.
A further benefit of reflexology is that unlike much medicine and treatments like surgery, there aren’t usually negative side effects from the treatment.
Images: Kevin and Barbara Kunz
Reflexology information sources: Reflexology directory
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