Monthly Archives: December 2010

She’s a Genius for Honey Bees | OnEarth Magazine

Here is a short, but great, interview with Marla Spivac from October 2010.  She won the “Genius Award” through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation earlier this year for her work with honeybees and her research into Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  Check it out:

She’s a Genius for Honey Bees | OnEarth Magazine.


S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

This bill intends to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.

There has been a lot of talk about this bill lately, some fearing that it could affect gardening in your own back yard.  This doesn’t seem likely (unless you plan on selling your produce), but if the bill passes the house vote and is signed by the president, the FDA will have an immense amount of power to regulate all aspects of food production and processing affecting not only huge agribusiness farms, but small organic farmers, farmers who sell raw milk, and even farmer’s markets.  Hypothetically, these small farms could be shut down by the FDA acting on “reason to believe” that the farm practices at a particular farm could make someone ill.   And, as consumers, would we be forced to buy conventional food or pay absurdly higher prices for organically grown produce?  Of course, we won’t know what the actual scope of the regulations will be until the bill is enacted.  I’m still learning what this bill is all about and welcome any insights people may have.  I did find a website that offers a lot of good information about S. 510.  Check it out:

My General Philosophy of Health, Healing and Herbalism

Our modern Western culture has turned our food, land, and health into economic commodities.  We know less about where our food comes from or how it is produced; we watch the land being destroyed by mining, chemical run-off, trees being cut down, concrete spread over, and development springing up; our connection to the earth is distant at best; even our spirituality is sold to us on Easter and Christmas.  We’ve lost knowledge about ourselves, about how to take care of our health, giving up the responsibility to prevent and care for our own illnesses to doctors and synthetic pharmaceuticals motivated by greed and money.  Heart disease, diabetes and cancers are rampant in our society today.  The imbalances we see around us and forced to be part of everyday manifest inside of us causing various dis-eases.  Everything is connected.  The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, our connection to the land and nature; we affect all these things and all these things affect us.

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Striving to Practice Western Herbalism

Herbalism is the oldest form of medicine practiced in the human world.  Findings go as far back as to over 60,000 years in an unearthed grave of Neanderthal man where eight species of pollen grains were found thickly spread around the bones.  Seven of these plants are still used today for medicine by the local people near the burial site in Iraq.  In fact, today, 80% of the world’s population still uses plants for medicinal purposes.  Fortunately, conventional western medical practice, or allopathy, in the United States, has begun to slowly acknowledge that there is healing to be found in the realm of herbal practice.  This may be because many have begun to seek out a less expensive healthcare modality with fewer or no side effects.

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Impacts of Food Production on the Earth’s Environment: Vegetarian Diet and Sustainable Agriculture vs. Non-vegetarian Diet and Conventional/Industrial Agriculture


The choice of diet has great impacts on environmental and human health.  Developed countries, such as the United States, tend to use the industrial vegetation and animal agricultural model, which depletes nonrenewable and renewable natural resources at an unsustainable rate.  This mode of producing and processing our food sources has many harmful side effects.  The use of fertilizers, pesticides, and burning fossil fuels contributes immensely to the pollution of our soil, water, air, the loss of biodiversity, and has a negative influence on the biological health of humans and many other organisms around the globe.

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