Wishing you joy, laughter, freedom and light in 2014.
‘Tis the season to make resolutions. A time to reevaluate our choices, to envision a hopeful future in which we move forward into more perfect lives.
Although it hasn’t always been this way, as the Atlantic magazine explains in a Dec. 31 article, many of us make resolutions around our health. If you follow any blogs, Facebook pages or tweets on the subject, this is the time of year when you’ll be overwhelmed with possibilities for a New Year’s cleanse or detox program. You’ll lose weight! You’ll have more energy! That brain fog? Gone!
Health is not about fitting into your high-school prom dress. It’s not about just not being sick. We all have our definitions, but mine, today, is this: Health is enjoying our minds and our bodies, connecting with individuals and community and place, and fully living a life animated with meaning and purpose. (more…)
You know the smell that’s left on clothes, furniture and hair after being around cigarettes? Turns out the chemicals causing that smell, dubbed “third-hand smoke,” offer a whole new kind of cancer risk. When cigarette smoke mixes with nitrous acid — a common household gas emitted by gas appliances and cars — it creates new carcinogenic chemicals called tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Some of this happens with second-hand smoke, but the process continues as the smoke settles. That means even nonsmokers are exposed, often through skin contact, and the exposure can persist. Time to toss that stinky sofa — and get serious about smoking outside. (Via Scientific American and the Contra Costa Times.)
Cell phones are becoming indispensable to many people around the world, but are they endangering your health? Not all the research is clear, but some studies find strong connections to cancers of the brain and saliva-producing parotid glands with extensive use over time. San Francisco and the state of Maine are considering warning labels on the devices. The simplest solutions still make sense: Use the phone less. Wear a headset. Carry it as far from your body as possible. And pay attention to radiation ratings when it’s time for an upgrade. (Via AlterNet.)
January is Radon Awareness Month. Who knew? But now that you do, here’s the scoop on what radon is, where it comes from, what it does and what you can do about it.
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas formed from the natural breakdown of uranium. The gas is found naturally in certain soils around Oregon and the United States.
Radon enters buildings through cracks in concrete floors and walls, and especially builds up in basements.
Decaying radon produces radioactive particles that can enter the lungs and cause damage, including cancer, over time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. (more…)
What’s new for 2010: organic Floriani red flint corn, green meat radish, Bolivian rainbow pepper, purple pac choy, ruby streaks mustard.
This is why I started gardening – I was awed by the incredible diversity of life I could sustain on my little corner of earth.
There were other reasons too. After my urban upbringing, I longed for the pastoral and bucolic ideal of self sufficiency and thriftiness. And certainly there were the political reasons: getting off the corporate food trough while promoting biological diversity and personal health.
But what really pushed me past reading and into action was a full-color catalog that arrived one Winter’s day. I saw purple carrots, speckled lettuces, striped snappy string beans, and a bright orange tomato that turned out to be an eggplant! If your vegetable education came largely from mainstream supermarkets as mine once did, you’ll understand my shock. Who knew there were purple potatoes, or that we could grow Thomas Jefferson’s beans or the Anasazi’s corn?
These days I’m a passionate gardener and my garden supports over 100 species. Here’s why you should tend a garden, even if it’s just a couple of plants: (more…)