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Some Good News Re Health and Hospitals

If you’re dreading to read the paper (in print or online) because of the tsunami of bad news; here is a great respite:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/in-one-of-the-nations-unhealthiest-places-this-hospital-prescribes-fresh-food-from-its-own-farm-20161215

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New Data On CO2 and Plant Nutrition

Several years ago I was reading somewhere that nutrient levels in plants had declined over my lifetime (last 66 years). I thought it probably had to do with declining soil fertility, the over-reliance on the chemical additives of industrial agriculture rather than the regenerative practices of organic agriculture…..and maybe that contributes to declining fertility. Many food plants have also been bred to increase growth rate, pest resistance, or “shipability”, not taste or nutrition. Also, numerous species of fruits and  vegetables are picked a little before ripeness to keep them from spoiling en route to stores.

Well, here’s new data from scientific studies (what few there are) that shows that rising levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are negatively impacting plant’s nutritional profile; i.e., they contain less protein and minerals. And this is happening with WILD plants as well.

I consider this info crucial to the current debates on both climate change and public health. Please read and spread the word.

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511

 

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Amazing and Hopeful Article on “Aquaculture”

Every once in awhile I read about something extraordinary. This fisherperson is a pioneer with a vision not just amazing, but “grounded” in science, practical, and benefits many. Please share.

https://medium.com/invironment/an-army-of-ocean-farmers-on-the-frontlines-of-the-blue-green-economic-revolution-d5ae171285a3#.tac6jibxu

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Wood Stove Baking

A few weeks ago I was staring at my nightly fire as it was turning into coals, and wondered if I could “bake” in the wood stove, using it like an oven. I chose not to load another log that evening and instead pushed all of the coals to the sides leaving an empty space in the middle. I wrapped a homegrown squash in three layers of recycled foil. Then I put it in the center of the wood stove, closed the damper and went to bed. In the morning was a still warm, soft winter squash tasting slightly of wood and very sweet.

Click on images below for larger slide show view

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New Organic Egg Scorecard

Once the Farmers’ Market closes down for the season, and the local chickens take their (well-earned) winter  rest, one has to buy eggs at the grocery store. How do you tell which organic eggs to buy when most of them advertise free-range, and humanely raised? How can we get beyond the hype? Cornucopia’s Scorecard to the rescue! http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/

 

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It’s Complicated (and Amazing)

It’s been a longish hiatus since I last wrote, and teaching and gardening are boiling away on the front burners.

So much of what we’ve been learning in our class on anatomy and physiology is the stupendously intricate complexity of the human body. And that science is still figuring us out. New hormones, proteins, enzymes, etc. are still being discovered. Ways everything interacts is still being parsed. Really intelligent people can read the same data and draw very different conclusions. Our own journey affects how we understand the concept of being a human…

In studying the digestive system and now adding nutrition, we are learning not just the basics, but the basics from a variety of viewpoints. The concept of a “calorie” turns out to be incredibly “loaded” with politics, belief systems and which scientists/studies you trust. Who knew!? And hardly anyone except “radical granola types” pay any attention to the primary basis of all health: the health of a country’s soil. And yet studies are showing up even in the mainstream that state that our food today is less nutritious that it was even 50 years ago. When we “mine” our soil, and don’t “put back” the minerals and organic matter and healthy microbes, then the plants don’t have the same nutritional content  in their cells, because the soil is deficient. Add the GMO, herbicide and pesticide issues, not to mention processing whole foods to death, plus artificial chemicals….well, it becomes tremendously difficult to find quality food in an average supermarket.

And that, dear reader is the crux: quality of food is the basis of health.

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Traditional Foods and Fermentation PlayLab

If you live in New Mexico or southern Colorado, and want to learn more about traditional food preparation, including fermentation, please email me asap : irisherbal@yahoo.com, and I’ll send you the color flier and ingredient list. This super hands-on “workshop” is Saturday April 26th from 1pm to 4pm in Questa, NM. Come experience adult learning at its best.

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Do You Shop at Farmer’s Markets?

If you want to continue purchasing healthy, fresh , local produce from family farms, this issue is critical. It takes a few minutes, but essential to allow small farms the freedom to continue growing the best food.

 

FDA DEADLINE APPROACHING: Please Get Your Proxy in the Mail ASAP Your Voice Could Make the Difference in Saving the Family Farms Producing Our Best Food

http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/11/deadline-get-proxy-fda-rules-force-localorganic-farms-business/You can make a difference. Please help save our nation’s diversified produce farmers from potential ruin! The FDA’s proposed food safety rules threaten to ensnare many of the country’s safest farmers in a tangle of expensive, misdirected regulations that may force many of our best farmers out of business.

Download, sign and mail back to us the linked proxy-letter today! The public comment deadline closes in a few days.

Thousands of you have already made the effort to mail your proxy-letter back to Cornucopia for hand delivery to the FDA. If you have yet to do so, please act now.

If you have already mailed your proxy, let your friends know they can help too by sharing this message via email, Facebook, Twitter and whatever other options you use.

Better food safety oversight of factory farms and giant agribusinesses is needed – and appropriate – but it appears that the FDA and corporate lobbyists are using these food safety proposals to simultaneously crush the organic and local farming movements. Together we can defend those farmers producing local, fresh, safe and nutritionally superior food.

Cornucopia will hand-deliver the thousands of proxies we have collected directly to the FDA. But time is growing short. If you want additional background information, please visit our food safety page.

It is critical for the good food community to come together right now. We know you enjoy the bounty of nutritious, healthful food produced by our nation’s best farmers. Please help protect family-scale farmers and maintain this alternative in the marketplace. It is worth fighting for.

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Knowledge Is Power

GMO and You
We’re at a tipping point in the fight to label GMOs and prevent the overuse of their toxic herbicides. We need you to join us in the march to victory!

View and share our new video Demon Weeds! It’s the story of glyphosate-resistant weeds, a GMO herbicide, and the negative effects on the environment and human health.

It’s more important than ever for you to take action! Increased use of GMO crops is causing the herbicide glyphosate (an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) to be used in massive amounts. ANH-USA’s newest report shows that increased use of glyphosate can damage our environment, our economy, the livelihood of American farmers, and especially our health.

You deserve to know what’s in your food, and what kind of farming practices your purchases support. Take action now!

  • View and share our new video Demon Weeds!
  • Visit www.ANH-USA.org/gmo to take action and view our reports. They will give you the real information about GMOs you deserve.

Please take action todaythere’s no time to lose.  Our health depends on it.