Thursday, August 16, 2018

Roundup, Glyphosate, Cancer and You



Jurors have just given a  $289 million settlement to a man they say got cancer from Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, and many more cases are to come.

But how you are asking does that affect me?

Well it does affect you, it affects us all and yes you can do something about it.

First some further information on glyphosate. The man in the $289 settlement Dewayne Johnson had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which could be directly linked to glyphosate but glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor which disrupts our hormonal systems and creates many health issues  including testosterone processing, early menopause, cholesterol, obesity, onset of puberty, immune function, bone health and cardiac function and mental states.

 If you would like to understand more on the role of Roundup, and/or glyphosate and endocrine disruptors I would like to recommend the independent scientific studies of gmoseralini.org/en

The specific role of Endocrine Disruptors was something I felt was involved in my developing three separate breast cancer. Where I lived every public place and most designer gardens were obsessively sprayed with Roundup.



BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO???


1. STOP USING GLYPHOSATE

The first and most obvious thing is stop thinking you need Roundup or one of the other glyphosate infiltrated weedkillers to make your garden weed free.

Do not respond to the marketing hype. You don't need these weedkillers.

If you do need to spray something white vinegar or one of the many other natural homemade recipes on Google will do the job just as well.

Anything you use at your home adds to the glyphosate in our ground water and in the air we breath. With glyphosate now found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested the first step to stop this cancer causing build up in our bodies is to stop our personal use of products that include glyphosate.


2. EAT ORGANIC

Every time you buy organic you are supporting a farmer who is does not use glyphosate based products in the production of their crops. Sometimes this makes their food more expensive but there are always farmer's markets where you can buy directly from the farmer. 


Once you have eaten organic food other food will taste weak. There is nothing more special than the taste of a freshly picked organic tomato. 

 My local health food shop does not add profit on their organic vegetables. It makes their fresh produce on a par with the local supermarkets and supports these farmers and their efforts to create a healthier food system.

 If it is difficult to source organic food you can always grow your own.


3. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD

Growing your own food may seem overwhelming at first but it can be done anywhere. There is an amazing collection of great articles on Google which show you how to grow food in even the smallest and darkest of apartments, and then there are community gardens. For city dwellers these are inspiring places where food growing ideas and new concepts on food are shared. I was lucky enough to have one starting nearby when I moved to my sustainable house. What a lot I have discovered about food growing at this garden.


4. SAY NO TO GMO

High levels of glyphosate can be ingested when you eat GMO food. Over eighty per cent of Genetically Modified Crops are engineered specifically so they can be sprayed with glyphosate based herbicides and these crops use amazing amounts of glyphosate. These foods are  saturated with Roundup Residues.

In America more than ninety per cent of all soybean, and corn acreage is genetically modified. Canola is another common GMO crop.

Personally I don't eat soy, or corn and definitely do not use Canola Oil, but I would suggest you check that foods are labelled GMO free before you purchase. Restaurants of course are difficult because you do not know what you are getting, although I have a selection of eat out venues where I live that do not use GMO food and I stick with these.


5. AVOID WHEAT

You don't  need to be gluten intolerant to avoid wheat. It is now a common practice for nonorganic farmers to spray their wheat with glyphosate just days before harvest to dry off the crop for processing. The use of these pesticides so close to harvesting makes their presence in your wheat products stronger. Wheat products today are not the foods that were eaten by our parents or grandparents.


6, CREATE HEALTHY SOIL

Learning about healthy soil was one of the first lessons taught at my community garden. When the soil is strong and healthy the brix index in the plants is high and they are able to withstand predators.

Building healthy soil is a sustainable solution to eradicating weed killers such as Roundup. With strong food grown in healthy soils you do not need to use the quick fix spray and strong food builds strong bodies.


7. BE PROACTIVE

The more individuals stand up against the use of unnecessary and life threatening chemicals such as glyphosate the sooner they will be eliminated.

Petition your local school or council against the use of glyphosate.  We now know it is not safe in our environment.  

No one wants someone to have to fight a tough court battle while they are dying but what a courageous man to fight for a ruling that will alleviate the suffering of so many.

As I said before where I live the council is contracted to spray all public spaces with Roundup. Someone is making money from the suffering of others. Young men are still out there spraying without protection, people are still wondering why they are suffering from cancer.

This special court ruling is raising voices against this situation. I hope it will end soon.


8.  BECOME FURTHER INFORMED

I hope the concepts mentioned here are starting points for you gaining further knowledge on how to eliminate glyphosate from your life and the lives of those around you.

 This product  has already caused pain and suffering for too many people around the world. It is now time to look at new ways to farm living, healthy food.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Plastic Bag Ban and Other Ways to Stop Plastic Pollution


We live in a world of plastic pollution, overflowing plastic that can take over six hundred years to break down. Finally we are beginning to realize our world is polluted with plastic waste. It is everywhere and dramatic images are emerging of its impact on our oceans and aquatic creatures.

The endocrine disrupting BPA or bisphenol A is found in the plastics we use each day and leaches from these items at room temperatures and above. BPA  enters our soil and groundwater through landfill and the more plastic breaks down the more BPA is released.

One issue with BPA is it does not leave our body easily and as an Endocrine Disruptor it mimics hormones and binds to  hormone receptors. This binding to estrogen receptors is related to the development of estrogen sensitive breast cancer.

My personal interest in eliminating plastics started ten years ago after a third breast cancer when in my quest to eliminate endocrine disrupting chemicals from my life I began eliminating plastics.  

The disruption of our hormonal systems by  Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is also linked to other health issues  including testosterone processing, early menopause, cholesterol, obesity, onset of puberty, immune function, bone health and cardiac function and mental states.

Clearly an excess of plastic in our daily lives and environment is not good and unless each of us does our part the problem will only get worse.

Here are some ways I personally use to avoid plastics in my daily life. I hope these ways will also be useful to you.


1. PLASTIC BAG BAN

Love what is happening with taking your own bags to supermarkets. Yes they are banning the plastic shopping bags at my local supermarkets.

I personally find it a an exciting challenge and keep my own shopping bag in the boot of my car. Even if I forget to take it into the store I can bring things back in the trolley provided and put them into my bag when I get back to the car.

What a blessing for our planet without all those endless throwaway bags.




2.  GLASS CONTAINERS

Wherever possible I use glass. I refuse to buy items unless they come in glass. I search out glass containers in supermarkets. If everyone did this supermarkets would soon have to reduce items they sell  which come in plastic containers.

I find items packaged in glass are not more expensive but do tend to be made from companies with ethical concerns and these I do want to support. How can you produce a theoretically healthy food product and then package it in cheap plastic that leaches BPA. The two concepts are not compatible.

 I always recycle my glass containers or use them for storage. I remember as a child searching the sand hills near my home to find glass bottles. We were paid for returns and this money was much valued.


3.  BROWN PAPER BAGS

Fresh food items in supermarkets are an unending source of plastic wraps and containers. The logic of buying fresh healthy produce tightly packaged in BPA excreting plastics is far beyond me. However my personal motivation to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals needed a solution and I found it beside the loose white mushrooms, the pile of brown paper bags for mushroom packaging.  Armed with a small collection of these I only buy loose produce and put them into these brown paper bags, problem solved.

The brown paper bags can be recycled and used for a multitude of purposes including packing lunches. Who needs a plastic lunchbox when you have a brown paper bag.  Which brings me to wax paper. 


4. WAX PAPER

When I was a school girl we did not have cling wrap but we did have rolls of wax paper. This useful product was used to wrap our lunches and seal food items. It is even more useful than cling wrap as it can also line baking trays. Safe, clean and functional it really is a great, easy use product.


5.  CLAY

I needed a rice cooker but did not fancy the idea of BPA wih the steamed rice. Then I discovered clay rice cookers.

Not expensive they do all the things a plastic rice cooker can do except add endocrine disrupting chemicals.  


6. REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLES

Plastic water bottles are one of the worst polluters of our oceans but refillable water bottles are available in all good health food stores. You can find them in glass and metal but whichever you use you will be are saving the planet from pollution and yourself from yet another BPA source.


7. NO PLASTIC KITCHEN UTENSILS

I don't know about you but when I watch a cooking show and see someone using a plastic spoon I feel like screaming wooden spoon, wooden spoon. How do people in such public roles not know the advantage of wooden or metal utensils over plastic. This plastic issue is everywhere. Recently I needed to purchase a steamer, an indignant store attendant told me they only stocked plastic steamers and said she was unaware of any others. I gave her a short explanation of why I would not use such a steamer. I do hope she is now stocking other options.

Heat, cooking and plastic do not mix. Sometimes it feels almost impossible to avoid food and BPA exposures in our current environment. But let's change that, it has to change, we can create a healthier world.


8. METAL OR GLASS JUGS

So obvious but somehow so easy to overlook. Boiling water in plastic is just not good. Heat plus plastic creates BPA seepage. There is a rang of glass and metal jugs out there but do check the insides as even many of these jugs have cheap plastic parts that will be immersed in your boiling water.

It can be hard work to find the right jug or kettle but they are out there and the more people demand them the more the manufacturers will need to change their products. 


9. A PERSONAL MUG

A new trend emerging in inner city coffee bars is the buyer bringing their own personal mug.

What a great concept to avoid those take away plastic lined takeaway cups, another landfill curse.

I was recently at an event where ceramic cups were available but rather than load the dishwasher  takeaway cups were being used. Yes I did have my say and my cuppa was served in a ceramic cup. It really takes effort to get this planet to change.



10. PAPER STRAWS

Yes another goodie. Plastic straws are being fazed out and paper straws are back. So pleased about this one. Too many marine species have been damaged and hurt by these straws polluting our waterways. So good to be using straws that break down to compost.


IN CONCLUSION

I do hope these ten ideas are a starting point for you to stop the use of plastic and endocrine chemical in your life.

I know there are a lot of other creative ideas out there to help save our planet and eliminate plastic usage.

If you have any of these ideas please share them in the comments.  Lets work together to start creating a renewed and healthy planet.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Permaculture Perennials Tough Foods for Climate Change

The soft leaves of the Moringa Trees are so beautiful and graceful it seems wrong to eat them but their nutritional content is exceptional and they are seen by many as a new superfood

Sometimes the Moringa tree is called the “miracle” tree because of its exceptional  vitamin and mineral content. and just a few leaves or a tablespoon of moringa powder each day adds a nutritional boost to any diet.

They are also one of plants that will help us through climate change as they are so easy to grow in the toughest of conditions and give so much return.

This tree at the bottom of my garden provides a continuous supply of leaves which I eat raw in salads or with my evening vegetables, and it is also a delicious addition to cooked dishes.

What is more it is the tree that keeps on giving  as it is so easy to grow from the seed pods.

My friends and myself now have trees from my original mother plant.


Another tough permacultue plant that flourishes under all conditions is the Pigeon Pea.

I always have a few Pigeon Pea plants in my garden which is easy as they self seed.

The peas are nutritious and in the African Pigeon Pea which I prefer large.

With a few of these bushes in your garden you will never lack for protein.

Green  Pigeon Peas steamed or raw  are delicious and nutritious.

 Aa well as their protein they are also a good fiber source and contain vitamin C, several members of the B vitamin family including folate and thiamin and essential minerals including iron, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus.

In many cultures these peas are dried and used to make exciting dahl dishes but I am so busy eating them green I don't get round to that.

For future climate conditions this hardy food can provide a great protein source in its many formats.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Healthy Plants Healthy Soil

 
Healthy plants abound in healthy soil at my friend Rebecca's garden.

Her branches bend with bountiful fruit all year round and her open garden provides  inspiration for all who pass by or visit.

She is always renewing her soil whether it be with bales of organic sugar cane mulch, horse manure or her amazing compost created from everything compost able from her home or garden.  Nothing is ever wasted.

This concept of ongoing renewal is reflected in the strength and vigor of her food.

As we walked around her garden we were both surprised to fine a small bounty of early guava fruit. 

The Bush lemon tree on the left below and and the conventional lemon tree are also full of tasty fruits.

Yet Rebecca does not water. She relies on a deep layer of mulch to keep her strong soil moist.

She really has inspired me to work further on my own soil and she was even generous enough to send me home with two bales of organic sugar cane mulch which I will put on my soil to conserve water and enrich the soil. 

Walking around her garden and absorbing the many innovations she has added is one of the treats of visiting this special friend.

Mint is grown in a raised bed to stop it spreading.

Small chrysanthemums provide nurture for bees and pest management.

A recycled play pool provides a generous and delight bounty of nasturtiums.

 All flowers grown are great additions to a nutritious meal.

Thank you Rebecca for being a trail blazer who is showing us all we can live in a way that both honors and renews our earth. 




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Trees Bring Life and Healing


My trees give life. They produce oxygen, store carbon and protect my soil and wildlife.

I love to sit in my living area with my louver windows open absorbing their peace and beauty.

No matter my mood a few moments alone with my trees makes me feel restored and ready to face the world again.

I did not realize when I went on my planting frenzy when I first got my land I was in fact creating a space that would be so healing.

Many of the trees like the mango above I have grown myself from seed. It is exciting to see this year it has its first blossoms.

At first I lost trees because I put them where I wanted them to go. Gradually I learned to watch how they responded in different settings and many were replanted to met their needs..

Learning their water needs was also so important in how they grew.

One of my biggest surprises was how the fruit trees thrived under the larger trees at the bottom of my garden.  It felt like they were all working together to grow.

My research has now shown me that trees do communicate with each other through fungi in the soil and will even give out sugars to help smaller trees grow beneath them.

However this all works planting so closely together seems to have created stronger not weaker trees in this garden.

And Snappy, my Butcher Bird the unofficial king of the garden will agree with that. He loves his territory and will defend it fiercely. 


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Abundance Flows in Organic Community Garden

Abundance flows for all in the Organic Community Garden to which I belong.

I felt overwhelmed today with news of fires all around the world and needed to  walk around this shared garden to remind myself we can all work together to heal our world.


 What was once a mowed piece of park is now a thriving garden feeding so many, not just with food but with community and ideas.

Learning how to honor the earth does produce abundance.

The Okinawa Spinach above grows so easily through the harshest of weather conditions and is such a nutritious  and strong food.

So many examples of abundance all around, along with nurture and care of upcoming crops.

Individual creativity is also part of the shared abundance and I especially the love the garden below which is always full of creativity and life. In a process of renewal at present it overflows in summer with flowers and color that bring a smile to all who pass by.

Food can be healing but sharing the concept of abundance on our earth can heal us all on so many levels.



Monday, July 30, 2018

Health Supplements and Your Budget.

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Medical Tablets Pills Drug Health PharmacyIf the world was perfect none of us would need supplements but it isn't.

Although I have created as healthy a lifestyle as I am able to stay cancer clear I still take some supplements.

Vitamin D assists in breast cancer prevention.

A daily probiotic keeps my stomach bacteria good and healthy.

Magnesium, Vitamin K, Fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin  all aid my  bones.

I talk with my medical professionals about what I am taking and my doctor also gives me a vitamin B12 injection once a month.

But the cost of these all add up. Which is why I go to iHerb, in fact I picked up a parcel from them today at my post office box.

I love their wide range of products, the way they give you such clear information as to what is in each supplement and their reliable service.

I would not be able to afford what I take if I had not discovered iHerb which is why I am sharing them with you.

I don't what your health needs are but if you feel there are supplements that could assist you I do suggest you look at this site and the wide range of well priced options they have available.

With my budget I get quality supplements thanks to iHerb and they also offer $5 off $40 for new customers.