Organic Gardening – Is it Really Worth It?

dsc_4785

I have noticed in the past few years a huge interest in organic gardening. I wondered the other day what motivates me spending at least an hour each day loving my garden. Well, here’s my answer.

Working with soil and seeing seeds sprout and then watching red bell peppers grow is simply fun. I also love connecting with the earth. Getting my hands dirty with soil and compost makes me realize that I am part of a bigger picture, and I love the feeling of giving back.

With the dire state of Big Agriculture these days, I feel that organic gardening is my response to a system that cares only about money. And they care NOTHING about my health, your health, or your baby’s health. We have only about 10 -15 years before our soil is completely deleted of any life-giving microbes.

Until that happens, our processed food will keep getting more expensive each year, as farm production goes down. You can only add just so much chemical fertilizer, insecticides, Roundup, and GMO seeds before Mother Earth revolts and says “NO MORE.”

One question many people have is “What really does Organic Gardening mean?” I searched for what I consider a clear and precise definition. It starts with the health of the soil.

Principles of organic gardening and farming

  • Principles of Organic Agriculture
    • The Principle of Health – “Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal and human as one and indivisible.”
    • The Principle of Ecology – “Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.”
    • The Principle of Fairness – “Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.”
    • The Principle of Care – “Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well being of current and future generations and the environment”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_organic_gardening_and_farming

 

 

Technorati Tags:

How Regular Table-Salt Causes Severe Health Problems

File:Salt & Pepper.JPG - Wikimedia CommonsMany of us use salt on our food, usually from a salt-shaker on our dining table. I know for years I didn’t give one thought to how healthy that salt was. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago when I took a very close look at Sea Salt, that I became much more concerned about the health issues of “ultra-white” regular table salt.

Because table salt comes from the same batch as vacuum-refined industrial salt, it is treated with caustic soda or lime to remove all traces of magnesium salts. These vital magnesium salts are not taken out because they keep the salt from flowing out of the dispenser spout, it is because they bring in more profits on the chemical market. Yet these magnesium salts are a very necessary part of the food salt and fill important biological and therapeutic roles. Further, to prevent any moisture from being reabsorbed, salt refiners now add alumino-silicate of sodium or yellow prussiate of soda as desiccants plus different bleaches to the final salt formula.

But since table salt, chemically treated in this way, will no longer combine with human body fluid, it invariably causes severe problems of edema (water retention) and several other health disturbances.

The fear of salt that we witness today and the virtual ban on consuming products with a high sodium content is a matter of serious concern to biologists. Salt-free diets can cause salt starvation, which is a stark reality of our modern world, but it is actually a starvation of macro-and trace minerals, a biological deficiency that refined sodium chloride alone cannot correct.  (Thanks to Jacques DeLangre :  Sea-Salt’s Hidden Powers)

What Is In Table Salt?

Commonly purchased iodized salts, available at super markets or sitting on the table of your favorite restaurant, have synthetic chemicals added to them. These chemicals include everything from manufactured forms of sodium solo-co-aluminate, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives. It may come as a shock, but most table salt is not only unhealthy, but can sometimes be toxic.

The natural forms of important iodine is lost when we manufacture salt. Without this natural iodine, the thyroid is severely harmed, leading to growth and metabolism issues. Because of this, the chemical-based salt industry began to add synthetic forms of iodine to their products.

Other salts add things such as processed white sugar and toxic MSG (mono-sodium-glutamate). And what about the color of table salt? Salt found in the natural world is not usually white. Table salt has been colored white with bleach. And where does this salt come from? Much of it is the actual flaky residue from oil digging. That is correct. Crude oil extract is one way we produce table salt.  For more information, please visit  Global Healing Center.

Sea Salt

Unrefined and unadulterated sea salt is not harmful in moderate amounts. Its benefits over table salt contrasts the immense differences between God’s engineering and man’s. The human body requires a certain amount of sodium for optimum health, and we could not live without it.

Healthy sea salts selectively make a body a hostile environment for pathogens, such as bacteria and parasites. Its specific toxicity to pathogenic life forms is why salt is such an excellent preservative, while leaving the healthy foods completely intact. Even mainstream medical doctors will admit these things when probed, but their institutionalized attacks upon salt continue unabated.

Sea salt naturally contains selenium, which helps to chelate toxic heavy metals from the body. It also contains boron which helps prevent osteoporosis, and chromium which regulates blood sugar levels. Sea salt is one of the few sources for safe copper ingestion, and copper helps the body to form new arteries whenever the main arteries become too clogged.

Small quantities of sea salt will actually lower the blood pressure of most individuals, because it provides the trace minerals that aid with blood pressure regulation. It can only stabilize the blood pressure when the industry-depleted salts are removed from the diet.

Mineral deficiencies are partly responsible for the rising obesity epidemic. Obese people are invariably malnourished, and their bodies are starving, because regardless of how much they eat, they are not getting the minerals and nutrients that they need. The processed table salts and conventionally grown produce are a big part of the problems. Continue reading this article by clicking on the photo below.

The Truth About Table Salt and The Chemical Industry

The dangers of table salt, and how sea salt can correct health problems.

It is my hope that this article has given you enough information to start using a high-quality Himalayan Sea Salt, and throw away your regular “table-salt.”  It’s also important to be aware of all the ‘toxic’ salt in many of the pre-packaged foods we buy. It is a wake-up call for many, to continue their investigation into healthier organic groceries.

Technorati Tags: ,

USDA Protects Corporate Interests – NOT Our Health

I received this alarming email today from The Center For Food Safety. I urge you to sign up to be able to receive their updates. You can always unsubscribe, if you want. You will be joining over 700,000 other CFFS members who are making a difference. There is no cost at all.  Sign up here: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org

I also have a Center For Food Safety app for my phone that shows me any updates. It has other neat features like alerting you to what isn’t really “healthy” in you local food market.  You can download their app at the Google App Store (android.)

Here is the email I received:

Think scientific research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unbiased? Think again.

Last week, Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, a decorated Senior Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), filed a whistleblower complaint accusing the federal agency of suppressing research findings that challenge the safety and efficacy of a heavily used class of pesticides – neonicotinoids.1
Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world and are extremely toxic to bees and other pollinators.

In March 2014, Lundgren served as an External Reviewer for Center for Food Safety’s report Heavy Costs, which revealed that neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments offer little benefit, do not increase crop yields, and cause widespread environmental and economic damage,2 and the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article featuring his research on neonicotinoids.

After that, Lundgren claims, “USDA managers blocked publication of his research, barred him from talking to the media, and disrupted operations at the laboratory he oversaw,” according to Harvest Public Media.3

“Within one week of these late-March press interviews and the release of the CFS study, improper reprisal, interference and hindrance of my research and career began in earnest,” said Lundgren, according to the complaint.4

Tell USDA this type of intimidation must be stopped – ARS Director Dr. Catherine Woteki should resign.

Dr. Lundgren filed a scientific integrity complaint in September 2014, describing these interferences with his research and the day-to-day operations of his laboratory and travel. In August 2015, less than a year after his scientific integrity complaint against the Agency, Lundgren was disciplined with a 14-day suspension over minor issues with travel paperwork and with an article submission to a journal.

While Lundgren is the first to file a formal complaint about the scientific integrity of research by USDA scientists, he is unfortunately not the first USDA scientist to be targeted for his “sensitive” research.

“Your words are changed, your papers are censored or edited or you are not allowed to submit them at all,” a scientist, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.5

Dr. Jeffrey Pettis — formerly the lead scientist at the USDA’s bee research lab and one of the world’s most respected honey bee researchers— was demoted from his position in 2014. In a letter6 to USDA Secretary Vilsack after Pettis’s demotion, America’s largest beekeeper organizations objected strongly, but say they were told by an ARS administrator that Pettis was demoted because he “had been falling behind on his administrative duties.”

And this spring, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a petition7 charging the agency with ordering many USDA researchers to “retract studies, water down findings, remove their name from authorship and endure long indefinite delays in approving publication of papers that may be controversial.”

Intimidation and harassment of USDA ARS scientists doing critical research on pesticides, genetically engineered crops, and our food and farming system cannot be tolerated.

USDA has serious influence over the President’s recent Pollinator Health Task Force. With pollinator populations plummeting, we can’t let scientists get silenced. Bees, beekeepers and ecosystem sustainability can’t continue to play second-fiddle to industry sales.

Rigorous, independent science is the basis for sound regulatory decisions. Giving special “sensitivity” to research that might harm priorities of pesticide companies, such as Dr. Lundgren’s, undermines scientific integrity at the USDA

Sign the petition to Secretary Vilsack demanding that Catherine Woteki resign as the USDA Chief Scientist and head of ARS!

Thanks for everything you do,
the Center for Food Safety team

Technorati Tags: ,

Homemade Sauerkraut More Beneficial Than Probiotic Capsules

Reposted from www.livingtraditionally.com

Raw, fermented foods packed with health-promoting probiotics have been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Sauerkraut is the probiotic king. It is the superior source of LIVE probiotics and enzymes, and due to its pre-digested state brought on by the fermentation process, these nutrients are highly bioavailable to the body.

Dr. Joseph Mercola sent a sample of his homemade sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the findings of probiotics saying, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”

This incredible discovery means that just 2 ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than a whole bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. One 16 oz jar of sauerkraut is equivalent to about 8 bottles of probiotics!

The numerous benefits of fermented foods are undeniable. They’ve been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Many people know sauerkraut as a traditional topping for a hot dog. But it is so much more than that.  Did you know that in the 18th century, sailors ate sauerkraut on long voyages to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency? Also, Chinese laborers building the Great Wall of China (more than 2000 years ago) ate shredded cabbage fermented in rice wine.

Sauerkraut is made by pickling cabbage in a process called lacto-fermentation. It’s rich in enzymes that aid digestion and promote nutrient assimilation. If you consume sauerkraut, it will help to boost your body’s ability to digest foods properly and also aids in the absorption of nutrients.
Some of the nutritive benefits of sauerkraut include:
• Vitamin B1, B6, B9, C and K
• Manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron
• A great source of dietary fiber
• An excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients
• Rich in indole-3-carbinol
However, not all sauerkraut is equal. Most conventional store bought sauerkraut does not have the same benefits as homemade does. This is because it is heavily treated and pasteurized, thus destroying the fragile bacteria that sauerkraut is known for.  Making your own sauerkraut is a great way to make sure you are getting enough probiotics.
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt

Directions

  • Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and set aside.
  • Core and shred cabbage.
  • In a bowl, mix cabbage with sea salt.
  • Massage with your hands for about ten minutes. Juices will be released.
  • Put the cabbage in a suitable fermentation container and pound down until juices come up and cover the cabbage, leave about 2 inches of space at the top.
  • Cover the sauerkraut with a plate. Place a glass jug filled with water on the plate to press it down.
  • Press down to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it.
  • Keep it at room temperature (covered with a towel).  Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature. It will ferment best in a cool, dark place at a temperature that is consistently 64 to 70 degrees.
  • Fermentation can take up to 3 weeks to a month. After fermenting, you can transfer it to the refrigerator.

There are so many different “lacto-fermented” vegetables and sauces that you can make at home. Use the same basic procedure. Salt is the magic ingredient. You don’t need or even want to use vinegar.

A wonderful resource that I use quite a bit is Cultures For Health. You can find dozens of recipes for lacto-fermentation on this website. They will open your mind to all kinds of different cultured food that are so good for your health. Some of the ones I like are fermented green beans and fermented bell peppers.

Technorati Tags: ,