How two courageous Indian women are protecting their country’s food heritage from Monsanto

Featuring Dr Vandana Shiva talking about seed saving in India.

Fair trade revolution – a word from a farmer

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“In the past, all of the trees were cut down so that the planes could fly overhead and drop the fungicides on the banana plants. We used a lot of pesticides and insecticides and lost the wildlife and insects. It was terrible because we were interrupting lifecycles and affecting the whole ecosystem. Our health also suffered. I used to have problems breathing, aches and pains and marks on my skin. Everything changed for us when we entered El Guabo. Fairtrade bans most of the agrochemicals and moves toward organic production. Since we became fully organic we have felt it financially because we used to produce 1,500 boxes of bananas a week but now we only produce around 900 boxes. I think consumers should know this and appreciate that it really is worth them paying a bit more for organic bananas. For me it is worth sacrifices though because I live a healthy life here with my family. I also think Ecuador should be looked upon as the lungs of the Earth. We have the Amazon rainforest, the mountains and most people here live off the land.  If more consumers are willing to buy organic and Fairtrade bananas, then the impact we have here on the environment would be less and people would be able to live more easily.”

Abel Fairtrade farmer – Equador

Passage from The Fair Trade Revolution

Food Matters film free online last day!

This is a fantastic film if you haven’t seen it already be quick

Ginger Gem!

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Ginger is amazing its a..

Antiemetic – treats feelings of nausea

Antiviral – helps combat the common cold

Anti-inflammatory – many arthritis sufferers use ginger to help ease aches and pains

Antihistamine – helpful in the treatment of allergies

Antispasmodic – used to calm upset stomachs and provide relief from bloating, gas and diarrhoea

Anxiolytic – ginger may bind to receptors in the brain helping to reduce anxiety.

It also lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent blood clot formation.

Add some ginger to your meals or drinks, fresh ginger keeps well in the freezer then just grate it off as you need it. Once its been frozen its really easy to just scrape the skin off.

Try this hot ginger friction rub! it’s great way to warm up on a cold day. This rub stimulates the circulation and soften the skin.

15g fresh grated ginger or dried ground ginger

250ml water

3 teaspoons almond oil

2 teaspoons witch hazel

Method:

Steep the ginger in boiling water for approximately 20 minutes. Then mix 3-4 teaspoons of the ginger water with the almond oil and witch hazel. Massage directly onto wet skin while bathing, using a loofah or coarse cloth or brush.

Fragrance.. avoid it!

 

Choose personal care products whose list of ingredients doesn’t include the word fragrance as it is generally synthetic.  You’ll protect your hormonal system and that of your offspring by side stepping fragrances.  You reduce exposure to phthalates – a family of hormone disrupting chemicals found in all of our bodies but at their highest levels in children and in women of child-bearing age.

Phthalates are commonly used to make perfumes last longer and keep nail polish from flaking.  The chemicals cross the umbilical cord from mother to fetus and exposures are thought to be most problematic in the eighth – fifteenth week of pregnancy when the fetus begins to develop as either male or female.

Fragrance effects the planet too

Developmental changes in wildlife first alerted scientists to the hormone disrupting properties of chemicals in everyday products that found their way into their environment.  Alligators downstream from sewage plants were being born with deformities, panthers were suffering from abnormalities.

In lab tests phthalates in synthetic fragrances have found to alter sexual development and cause cancer in lab animals.

—- Do One Green Thing – Mindy Pennybacker

Organic Agriculture energy efficient

‘ The Cardiff researchers found that on average the organic production of raw food required 67% less energy than conventional methods of agriculture.  The argument that organic farming could not produce enough food is often brought up by the manufacturers who, unsurprisingly, want the world to stick to chemical agriculture and to use genetically engineered crops – especially those engineered to have a longer shelf life and to look attractive on the supermarket shelves.  But a paper from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley cites the results of many trials in various countries demonstrating that , in practice, organic farming yields are comparable with those from conventional chemical agriculture, so it seems likely that organic farming could provide enough food.’

An excerpt from Time to eat the dog – The real guide to sustainable living