Holistic Resources and Alternative Therapies Directory

725 West Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana
Hart Rock's Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts
Pain Reduction, Stress Relief, Wellness Support, Ho'oponopono, Classes, Workshops, Attunement for Children and Adults
Patricia C. Coleman RSMT Small Business Wellness Support - Bloomington, IN
'I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.' Mahatma Gandhi - Prayer for Peace
Scarlett Winters, N.D. - Natural Approaches to Healthcare


I’m a smart man. I have surrounded myself with a very beautiful group of girls who tirelessly landscape my yard, provide rich compost for my garden, dispose of my kitchen scraps, handle insect control around the house, keep me company, and even make me a fresh breakfast each morning. These highly productive females in my life are not actually human. They are chickens, though I affectionately refer to them as my lovely lady lumps.

I consider my small flock of backyard chickens to be one of the best investments I’ve ever made – even though they cost very little time, energy, or money. If you are interested in having a harem of hens in your life like mine, below is some insight about how to get started.

Read the complete guest article from Creek Stewart it covers most aspects of raising chickents, though not from an organic perspective is privides great insight to people considering adding chickens to the family.

In the Garden

In the US, an average meal travels about 1500 miles over a period of 7 to 14 days before it reaches our tables. With consideration for peak oil, the cost of fuel, health related cost from toxic petroleum based farm and garden chemicals which will continue to rise as the non-renewable resources are depleated, and with consideration for occuring climate shifts, our food system is not sustainable.

To get a look at the previous abundance of our food systems prior to the current big agricultural system, visit Local Food News.

For sustainable gardening resources visit the IHHN's Gardening Resources.

For conservation watering information and products visit Water Your Landscape

The Indiana Holistic Health Network Directory (IHHN) is the most comprehensive directory of holistic and alternative wellness practitioners in Indiana, Nearby Ohio, and Kentuky.

Quilter's Comfort Tea Logo
Quilters Comfort

Visit us in Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe, Bloomington, IN

B.J.'s Heart Art, Chi Gong (Qigong) Yoga and Reconnective Healing
Local Food Bloomington

Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana

National Gardening Association Says Its Time to :
~Spray Fruit Trees With Dormant
~Plant Trees at the Right Depth
Plant Cole Crops in the Garden
~Start Warm-Weather Seeds Now
~Fertilize and Repot Houseplants - READ
Global World Wide Wave of Action - Days of Peaceful Demonstration
Global Map Directory
TESC helps provide vision for sustainable local food systems

carbon nation "a climate change solutions movie {that doesn't even care if you beilieve in climate change) is an optimistic and inspiring look at people and their relationships to how we care for the environment. - DVD

Back Yard Hive an alternative approach to beekeeping using the holistic Top Bar Hive system and the use of Bee Gurdian Methods. DVD

Freedom Indiana

Is a statewide bipartisan coalition of businesses, faith leaders, civil rights and community organizations, and individuals united to defeat HJR-3, formerly HJR-6.

This anti-freedom amendment duplicates existing law and would permanently ban all protections for same-sex couples and their families and remove existing protections for unmarried Hoosiers.

Stand with us, and sign the petition to defeat HJR-3!

Bloomington Community Supports Wellbeing of

PRISM Youth Community is a new group formed in Bloomington for LGBTQ teens and allies. "An inclusive space for teens celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions." Our goal is to create a "safe, supportive and affirming space" for teens and their families. Meetings take place every Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at 803 N. Monroe St. Bloomington, IN (Monroe and 11th ST). If you know anyone that wants to attend, all they have to do is show up (although they can definitely contact Laura Ingram ahead of time if they have any questions :-))

A sample discussion topic at Tuesday's group: "How to respond" We'll be talking about what you can do when someone says or does something offensive, rude, or disrespectful. Want to join in on the discussion or for more information? Message PRISM Youth Community on Facebook or e-mail prismyouthcommunity@gmail.com

In addition to weekly meetings for youth, there is also a group for parents/guardians and other adult allies that meets weekly.

Contact Laura Ingram

Fracking: The New Hormone Disruptor

Fracking is a hard thing to love. On one side of the fossil-fuel drilling technology, you have industry bigwigs promising it's safe. On the other side, there's a growing number of nonindustry-funded scientists saying, "Hold up! We're seeing some major problems."

The latest bad news for fracking supporters? It's tinkering with our delicate hormonal systems, setting up our children for birth defects and infertility. READ

What Is a "Hormone Disruptor" Anyway?

'Hormone-disrupting chemical' is becoming an everyday term. But what does it really mean for your health? By Leah Zerbe

It seems like not a week goes by without a study linking a common household product—or its ingredients—to one serious health problem or other. Whether it's BPA in cans causing heart attacks and cancer or fake fragrances in personal care products inducing early puberty in girls, the deluge of what's harming us can be depressing. But all of these studies underline one important fact: Chemicals are introduced onto the market before they're adequately tested for their long-term impacts on human health, and many of them are harmful hormone disruptors. READ

On January 10, 2013, HB. 1196 was introduced to the Indiana House of Representatives to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Dan Forestal and Robin Shackleford and has been assigned to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the bill summary, HB. 1196:

“Provides that, beginning July 1, 2014, any food that is offered for retail sale is misbranded if it is not disclosed that the food is or may have been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2014, a food that is genetically engineered or a processed food may not state or imply that the food is natural. Establishes exceptions to the disclosure requirements and prohibition on stating a food is natural. Requires the state department of health (department) to administer and enforce the disclosure and labeling requirements. Allows the department to adopt rules. Establishes a Class A infraction for violations. Allows the department or a person to seek an injunction for a violation.”

Indiana Right to Know GMO educates the public about the effects of genetically engineered foods upon health and environment and supports legislation to label genetically engineered foods so that consumers may know what they are buying to feed themselves and their families.
If you have any information on GMO Labling in Indiana, Contact us.

Farming's Bitter Pill: Has the FDA flouted its own evidence about the safety of farm antibiotics?
Posted by Animal Welfare Approved on January 28, 2014

A damning new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals that our Government has been ignoring the very real risks to public health from routine antibiotic abuse in intensive livestock farming.

According to the NRDC's new report, Playing Chicken With Antibiotics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-whose key remit it to protect public health-permitted the nontherapeutic use of 30 medicinally important antibiotics, including 18 rated as "high risk" to human health, on industrial farming operations despite knowing this could pose a direct threat to human health through the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. It makes truly somber reading for anyone concerned about future public health-and the independence of our Government agencies from vested corporate interests.

The NRDC obtained the internal FDA documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, which include safety reviews of 30 drugs in the penicillin and tetracycline antibiotic classes carried out between 2001 and 2011-drugs that are considered important to human medicine. According to the NRDC, the FDA's internal scientific reviews found that 18 of the 30 antibiotic feed additives could pose a "high risk" of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through the food supply. The documents also reveal there was inadequate data for the FDA's own reviewers to determine the safety of the other 12 drugs, so their safety still effectively remains unproven. In addition, the FDA reviewers concluded that at least 26 of these feed additives did not even satisfy the safety standards set by FDA back in 1973. Based on the findings of the FDA's own scientific reviewers, the NRCD claims that it's unlikely any of the 30 drugs would be approved as new additives for nontherapeutic livestock use under current FDA guidelines if they were submitted today. Continue Reading

Oregon's Isolated Plantings of GM Wheat Has Consequences
By Dan Flynn | June 6, 2013

The isolated genetically engineered wheat plantings found in an eastern Oregon field have caused Asia to suspend new shipments of Western White wheat, spurred at least one federal lawsuit against St. Louis-based Monsanto, and brought on multiple investigations in a mystery that may never be solved.
The mystery that needs solving involves how Roundup Ready wheat got into the Oregon field more than a decade after trials in the state ended with a company decision not to go forward with it.
Did it grow from seeds left in the ground or from drifting pollen? Since the discovery, Monsanto has not been silent. Oregon was one of 16 states where Roundup Ready trials were conducted, but apparently not any near this field. In a statement, Monsanto said seeds only remain viable in soil for up to two years, and pollen usually only moves about 30 feet from its source.

Connect with Food Safety News

Battling India's Monsanto Protection Act, Farmers Demand End to GMO
" By Paromita Pain
Occupy.com, August 19, 2013
Straight to the Source
For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

On August 8, thousands of farmers and activists from across 20 Indian states demonstrated in New Delhi against the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill, and demanded an end to GMOs in India. 53-year-old farmer Jaswant Sainhara, standing with his son, proudly held up a placard that read, "Monsanto, Quit India."

August in Delhi is among the hottest months of the year, with temperatures ranging from 40 to 45 degrees Celsius (104 to 113 Fahrenheit). Yet under the sweltering summer sky, the people whose voices rose together that day knew they were not fighting for their justice alone, but were fighting for the basic human right to safe food.

India seems to have awoken to the dangers of GM crops. In a recent move, the courts here rejected two patent appeals by biotech giant Monsanto, dealing a sizable blow to a company that recoups its research investments in large part via patents.

Monsanto wanted to patent its "Methods of Enhancing Stress Tolerance in plants and methods thereof," and "A method of producing a transgenic plant, with increasing heat tolerance, salt tolerance or drought tolerance." But both the Patent Appeals Court and the Intellectual Property Appellate Board rejected the company's claims, saying they involved no "inventive steps" as required in the Patents Act of 1970, and that they offered a "mere application" of already known science.

For the many farmers protesting the GM poisoning of their fields, crops and their very livelihoods, the courts' decision was a significant victory and validation for India's food growers. Sainhara, for example, said he didn't really understand what GM crops were all about until his son - who had been educated through a local NGO - explained to him how GM food and seeds worked.

All Hail Hungary: Country Bravely Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn - AGAIN
" By Christina Sarich
Nation of Change, August 22, 2013

Straight to the Source
For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

More than 1000 acres found to have been planted with genetically altered maize crops have been destroyed in Hungary. Standing up to the biotech giants of Monsanto, Dow, and BASF, the country has boldly banned GMO seed. Peru has passed a ban for at least ten years on GM foods, along with Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Austria with their own bans, as well as many other countries. We can only hope more will follow soon.

Hungary's Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, Lajos Bognar, has made sure that the genetically modified crops don't spread - he says that 'the crops have been ploughed under but pollen has not spread form the maize.'

When checking the fields for GM crops, Hungary found Pioneer Monsanto seed among crops. Many farmers did not even know they were using GMO seed, so the search and destroy will likely continue. It is not surprising that so much seed is being planted without farmer awareness since Monsanto's acquisition of Seminis way back in 2005 allowed them to corner more than 40% of the seed market. They now own many seeds and seed varieties.

In late May of this year another 500 hectares (more than 1200 acres) of GM crops were burned after their discovery in Hungary. The aggressive manner in which this country is trying to derail Monsanto's plans to overtake even organic crops with hybridization due to pollen spread by wind and pollinators including bees and butterflies is not only necessary but valiant. This isn't the first few times that GMO crops have been destroyed. They have also been burned in previous years when found out. Connect

Questions to the Editor

What motivated you to create the Indiana Holistic Health Network? There is often some need to satisfy something beneath every aspect of creation. What was yours? Karen L., Washington

I was going through a period of personal change percipitated by what has been labeled as environmental allergies. I was in an extreme gathering mode, seeking many different information avenues to find help for myself. It was obvious from the beginning of my search for holistic health and wellness that there was nothing in my town or the state that linked wellness practitioners, service providers, health and wellness resources, etc.

I believed that many people could benefit from the information I gathered if it were put in one place. I was very sure nothing existed to offer people connections to alternative support after months of search, I began to organize, plan, then build. I thought that it would be a wonderful thing and that the health and wellness community would come together. Once the Indiana Holistic Health Network was launched, I began getting calls from other communities wanting suggestions and tips for creating similar networks in their communities. We all seemed to believe that health and wellness is essential to sustainable communities and toward peacemaking. Now there are networks like this is many places.

Oregon's Isolated Plantings of GM Wheat Has Consequences
By Dan Flynn |

The isolated genetically engineered wheat plantings found in an eastern Oregon field have caused Asia to suspend new shipments of Western White wheat, spurred at least one federal lawsuit against St. Louis-based Monsanto, and brought on multiple investigations in a mystery that may never be solved.
The mystery that needs solving involves how Roundup Ready wheat got into the Oregon field more than a decade after trials in the state ended with a company decision not to go forward with it.
Did it grow from seeds left in the ground or from drifting pollen? Since the discovery, Monsanto has not been silent. Oregon was one of 16 states where Roundup Ready trials were conducted, but apparently not any near this field. In a statement, Monsanto said seeds only remain viable in soil for up to two years, and pollen usually only moves about 30 feet from its source.
Continue Reading


Medical marijuana may ease some MS; Little evidence for other complementary or alternative therapies
March 24, 2014
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
A new guideline suggests that there is little evidence that most complementary or alternative medicine therapies (CAM) treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the guideline states the CAM therapies oral cannabis, or medical marijuana pills, and oral medical marijuana spray may ease patients’ reported symptoms of spasticity, pain related to spasticity and frequent urination in multiple sclerosis (MS). The guideline states that there is not enough evidence to show whether smoking marijuana is helpful in treating MS symptoms. Read Article

(ed note- in checking past news, there have been supporting reports and those denying and some in between. Since most research is promoted by those with special interest and politics, it may be a while before the public sees conclusive information on this subject).


Awakening to Your Divine Self Oracle Deck - Renee Wilson

Inspirational Arts
Soil to Soil Sweaters: Investing in Local Wool- Sustainable Fashion
Honey and Bees
Workshops, Classes, Talks
Medicinal Marujuana In the News
Reiki Healing and Mental Health
Celebrations Traditional and New
But the most daring thing is to create stable communities ....... -Kurt Vonnegut

Editors Note

Once again more time has passed than intended for the newsletter. I only say that as life permits (until circumstances align this newsletter with regularity), the HEALING Crane will continue to return.

Often, I have been asked why do I do this. Why did I put energy into fashioning the Indiana Holistic Health Network and why do I continue with it. For the answers to these questions and others click here.


Patricia C. Coleman

Mental Clarity

As people get older, they start worrying about their mind and keeping it sharp. What are some ways people can improve mental clarity? The first advice I give is to stop worrying about it. The stress alone can have a deleterious effect on one's brain health. Beyond that, folks can avoid excitotoxins, get good nutrition, and make mental connections.

Of course, not worrying about it is easier said than done. We all know that stress is bad for us. It is bad for the brain, especially if you are stressing about the brain, because we have a tendency to find what we are looking for, even if its not there. One thing you can do is try not to multitask too much. Studies show that humans can do two things at once effectively, but if you throw a third pan on the fire, accuracy and efficiency diminish. Any more, and something is going to have to go. If you walk into a room and can't remember why you are there, remember that young people do that also. If your daughter walks in and you can't remember who she is, then start worrying. If you continue to be worried, going to a doctor to be evaluated can help you feel less powerless.

Excitotoxins are chemicals that excite brain cells to death. These include substances such as MSG, aspartame, and glutamic acid. They are commonly found in processed foods. Research suggests that people with a genetic tendency toward neurological disorders should avoid these substances. This also connects with getting good nutrition, since eating more whole foods and less processed food is considered better for one's overall health.

There was a study done on nuns that involved having them keep a journal. They found that the nuns who made connections between unrelated objects or situations were less likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who just wrote about their day without making connections. This suggests that teaching yourself to think outside of the box might be beneficial for the mind. One way to do this is to never stop your education. Learn something new every day. Then, think about how you can apply that learning to something you already know or about your life.

Below are some resources for intellectual stimulation at any age:


www.ted.com Talks on technology, entertainment, and design. Always great for a pick-me-up.

www.khanacademy.org Take online classes in math, physics, finance, or history.

www.youtube.com Look up how-to videos on most topics or subscribe to a station on a topic of your choice

www.gcflearnfree.org Want to learn to use your computer? Trying to figure out how to use Facebook so you can see your grandkid's photos? Take tutorials here.


People's University offered by Bloomington Parks and Recreation offers classes on arts and crafts, cooking, health and wellness, home and garden, writing and literature, music and dance, etc. They offer many low cost or free offerings and events throughout the year. Most are in locations within the Bloomington Transit system in order to be accessible.

Check out events throughout the year such as Senior Games in late summer and the Creative Aging Festival in May.

Scarlett Winters, N.D.
PO Box 8685
Bloomington, IN 47407
Facebook: Healthy People
Google +: Healthy People
Twitter: ScarlettND

Scarlett Winters, N.D., is an ANCB Certified Traditional Naturopath. She has been working in the field of natural health for over a decade. Her training includes crisis and bereavement counseling, Reiki Master training, and a Doctor of Naturopathy degree. She seeks to educate clients and the public regarding ways to experience vitality and health on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Editors Note: Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe, 725 West Kirkwood Avenue offers classes and workshops to assist individuals and small groups to mentally stemulating and artfully relaxing play.

Awakening to your Divine Self Oracle Deck

In mid-2013, Jill Chesrow, an artist in Chicago, had a vision. To see it through, she brought together 39 artists from across the globe - Fearless Sisters who had found one another through the teachings of Connie Hozvicka (DirtyFootprints Studio). Their collaborative journey has resulted in the Awakening To Your Divine Self Oracle Deck.

The Oracle Deck is a set of 44 cards + message booklet, created to awaken within the user their innate divine wisdom. Each artist created a spirit-led piece of art based off a word or phrase of their choosing. Every word was under the umbrella of the greater intention of the group (awakening the divine wisdom), but specific to the calling of the artist that chose it.

The resulting works of art were professionally designed and printed into the Oracle Deck. In addition, each artist also wrote a guidance message to accompany their card. These messages were joined together into a booklet to use alongside the deck.

My card and intention was, "Breath Awareness". I created the piece over many weeks, letting my breath be the guide as I painted layer after layer. The image of the woman immersed in the greater breath emerged, and she still brings a smile to my face and depth to my breath each time I see her. I offer to those who draw the card to remember their breath, to allow their inhale and exhale to be their guiding force into their own wisdom.

There are many ways to use the Oracle Deck, and no right way to do so. A user may draw a card in the morning to use as guidance throughout the day, or perhaps ask a question and let the draw of a card be insight into a path. Because of the unique creative nature of these cards, this deck can also be enjoyed simply for the wide range of art and used for inspiration for one's own creative path.

The Awakening To Your Divine Self Oracle Decks are available for purchase at Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe and Quilter's Comfort Teas in Bloomington, IN (725 W Kirkwood). You can also purchase online through www.BeingBreath.com/Oracle.

Lisa Renee Wilson is an Awareness Artist who blends mindfulness, awareness, and creative practice with everyday life. She challenges and inspires others through her mixed media art, online writing, and occasional class offerings. Learn more at www.BeingBreath.com.

Blog: www.BeingBreath.com/blog
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/BeingBreath
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/BeingBreath
Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/Lisa_Renee

Simple Trick Removes Pesticides from Your Vegetables & Fruits
By Dr. Mercola

Howard Garrett, also known as The Dirt Doctor, has compiled a number of uses for vinegar, including recipes for both internal use and use in your organic garden, which I will share with you here.
"Vinegar is a wonderful organic tool that was discovered by accident 10,000 years ago when wine was accidentally allowed to ferment too long and turned sour," he writes.
"It can be made from many products, including beer, apples, berries, beets, corn, fruits, grains, honey, malt, maple syrup, melons, molasses, potatoes, rice, sorghum, and other foods containing sugar.
Click Here to read.

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey
Ultra-filtering Removes Pollen, Hides Honey Origins

By Andrew Schneider | November 7, 2011
More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn't exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.

The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled "honey."
The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies.
The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that's been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn't honey. However, the FDA isn't checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.

Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey - some containing illegal antibiotics - on the U.S. market for years.

Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.

Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.


Woody Hollow Farm, LLC of Ellettsville, IN sells raw, wild-foraged honey in the Bloomington Indiana area at Patricia's Wellness Arts Cafe and Quilter's Comfort Teas and area farmers markets. Their honey is never heated, and is drip-filtered to 200 microns. Woody Hollow Farm is a member of the Indiana Beekeepers Association

For All Seasons

REIKI for people and /or their companion animals. Information on herbs and resources. Services provided through home visits, community outreach, and distance sessions. Compassionate and affordable healing arts.
Contact - Rita Palazzolo


Carrots, Carrots, and More About Carrots!

I still recall the first time I heard a mother say to her lttle ones,
" this is a carrot - apple day" as she guided the two of them throught the open coop door. That was Tucson, AZ around 1977.

Following are a few web gleaned articles about delicious carrots. Some other time we will celebrate the apple.

Also, if you are interested in food, you will find much to explore in Food News.

As a child, I was always asking, "Why?" As I live and grow, I continue to receive answers to questions such as, What is a carrot? A carrot is a root vegetable. Which means that the part of the plant we eat grows beneath the ground. It is a member of the parsley family which is recognized in the long green lacy leaves. Carrots naturally come in every color: red, black, yellow, white and especially purple. Not orange! The Afghani were the first to cultivate carrots. They harvested roots with purple exteriors and yellow flesh. It is thought that sometime during the Middle Ages, the Dutch, through careful color selection, developed the bright orange carrot we know.


What Are the Health Benefits of Carrots?

By Dr. Mercola

Carrots are so common in the US that it's easy to overlook their potentially powerful benefits to your health.

Now a popular snack food to eat with dips or add to fresh vegetable juice, or as an addition to soups and stews, carrots have been valued since ancient times for their medicinal properties. According to the US Department of Agriculture:1

"Thought to be native to central or western Asia (likely Afghanistan), cultivated carrots first arrived in North America with the early Virginia colonists. Carrots are an important member of the parsley family, which also includes celery, anise, and dill.

Like many vegetables, the early history of carrots centered on various medicinal attributes thought suitable for curing a wide range of conditions and maladies."

The nutrients in carrots may provide protection against heart disease and cancer while helping to build strong bones and a healthy nervous system. Carrots contain falcarinol, a compound that may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms. The consumption of carrots has also been associated with a lower risk of heart attacks in women. Cooking carrots may help to boost their antioxidant levels and overall nutritional value

Beta Carotene and More: What Nutrients are Found in Carrots?

A serving of carrots (one medium carrot or ½ cup chopped) will provide about:

210% of the average daily recommended amount of vitamin A
10% vitamin K
6% vitamin C
2% calcium

The high vitamin A content, for which carrots are best known, comes from beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your liver. Interestingly, there's a reason why 'carrot' and 'carotene' sound so alike. The word carotene was devised in the early 19th century by a German scientist after he crystallized the compound from carrot roots.

Carrots also contain potassium, vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium. I generally recommend eating carrots in moderation because they contain more sugar than any other vegetable aside from beets,

However, when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, the nutrients in carrots may provide you with protection against heart disease and stroke while helping you to build strong bones and a healthy nervous system.

From Heart Disease to Cancer: What Does the Research Say About Carrots?

There's good reason to include carrots in your regular diet, as the science is very strong that they may help reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Heart Disease

Eating more deep-orange-colored fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In particular, carrots are associated with a 32 percent lower risk of CHD, leading researchers to conclude:2

"… a higher intake of deep orange fruit and vegetables and especially carrots may protect against CHD."

The consumption of carrots has also been associated with a lower risk of heart attacks in women.3


Antioxidants in carrots, including beta carotene, may play a role in cancer prevention. Research has shown that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer,4 while a beta-carotene-rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer.5

The consumption of beta carotene is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer6 while carrot juice extract may kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression.7

Carrots also contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It's thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it's been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.8


A deficiency in vitamin A can cause your eye's photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene may restore vision,9 lending truth to the old adage that carrots are good for your eyes.

Brain Health

Carrot extract has been found to be useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions and may offer memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits.10

Liver Protection

Carrot extract may help to protect your liver from the toxic effects of environmental chemicals.11

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Carrot extract also has anti-inflammatory properties and provided anti-inflammatory benefits that were significant even when compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Celebrex.12

Cooking May Increase the Health Benefits of Carrots

Carrots eaten raw are an excellent food, but there is some research showing that cooking them may actually help to boost their nutritional content. Interestingly, one study found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta carotene and phenolic acids than raw carrots, and the antioxidant activity continued to increase over a period of four weeks. Adding carrot peels to a carrot puree also boosted antioxidant levels.13

So while I generally recommend eating your vegetables raw or fermented for the most nutrition, carrots may be one case where gentle cooking, such as steaming, is preferred.

As for storage, keep them in the coolest part of your refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel, which should keep them fresh for about two weeks. Avoiding storing them near apples, pears or potatoes, as the ethylene gas they release may turn your carrots bitter.14

Fun Facts About Carrots …

The average American eats more than 11 pounds of carrots a year, usually the bright orange variety. But did you know that, until the 17th or 18th century when the Dutch bred orange carrots, most carrots were purple, yellow or white? The word carrot actually came from "karoton," a Greek word whose first three letters refer to an object with a horn-like shape.15 There are hundreds of carrot varieties around the world, and the US is the third-leading producer worldwide (behind China and Russia). In the US, most carrots are grown in California, Washington and Michigan.

Beware of Baby Carrots

Baby carrots, which are now one of the most popular carrot forms, were not invented until 1986, when a California carrot farmer created them to save some of the broken and misshaped carrots in his harvest.16 Baby carrots are not actually ‘baby’ carrots at all but rather are less-than-perfect carrots that have been shaved down to a smaller size. Not only are baby carrots more expensive than whole carrots, they’re also typically given a chlorine bath to prolong shelf life.

For this reason, I generally recommend purchasing whole carrots instead of baby carrots, and also recommend seeking to find organically grown varieties, as at one time carrots were part of the most heavily pesticide-laden produce list (although they have been removed in recent years). Looking for even more carrot nutrition information and lore? Be sure to read What Are Carrots Good For?

Dr. Mercola - http://articles.mercola.com/


Carrots are more than a tasty addition to almost any dish. They are also good for your body’s overall health, especially that of the skin, eyes, digestive system and teeth!

So if the sweet flavor isn’t enough, enjoy these 10 reasons to eat more carrots:

1. Beta carotene: Carrots are a rich source of this powerful antioxidant, which, among other vital uses, can be converted into vitamin A in the body to help maintain healthy skin.

2. Digestion: Carrots increase saliva and supply essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes that aid in digestion. Eating carrots regularly may help prevent gastric ulcers and other digestive disorders.

3. Alkaline elements: Carrots are rich in alkaline elements, which purify and revitalize the blood while balancing the acid/alkaline ratio of the body.

4. Potassium: Carrots are a good source of potassium, which can help maintain healthy sodium levels in the body, thereby helping to reduce elevated blood pressure levels.

5. Dental Health: Carrots kill harmful germs in the mouth and help prevent tooth decay.

6. Wounds: Raw or grated carrots can be used to help heal wounds, cuts and inflammation.

7. Phytonutrients: Among the many beneficial phytochemicals that carrots contain is a phytonutrient called falcarinol, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer and help promote overall colon health.

8. Carotenoids: Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which our bodies can use to help regulate blood sugar.

9. Fiber: Carrots are high in soluble fiber, which may reduce cholesterol by binding the LDL form (the kind we don’t want) and increasing the HDL form (the kind our body needs) to help reduce blood clots and prevent heart disease.

10. Eyes, hair, nails and more! The nutrients in carrots can improve the health of your eyes, skin, hair, nails and more through helping to detoxify your system and build new cells!

There are plenty more reasons to enjoy these crunchy, sweet root vegetables, so reserve a spot in your garden plot for planting some, or pop down to the local market to pick up a bunch!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/

Degradation of Our Agricultural System
by Richard Cartwright

How our dominant agricultural system is degrading the health of the land - and what we can do about it.

This is about holistic health. What can be more relevant, if we as humans are to experience a healthful existence, than to consider the health of the LAND itself, the land we live upon and from which we obtain our food. Unless, and until, we learn how to grow food without degrading the land used to grow it, we will have a limited existence upon this planet because we will destroy its carrying capacity, denying our children a future. Click to READ the article.


Quinoa (/'ki?nw??/ or /k?'no?.?/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds.
It is high in protein, lacks gluten, and is tolerant of dry soil.
Quinoa (the name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally "Qin-wah") originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archaeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.[2]

Similar Chenopodium species, such as pitseed goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) and fat hen (Chenopodium album), were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular.[3] Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in smaller quantities.
The nutrient composition is favourable compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and acceptable quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.[4]
After harvest, the seeds must be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

Like the potato, quinoa was one of the main foods of the Andean peoples before the Incas. Traditionally, quinoa grain are roasted and then made to flour, with which different types of breads are baked.

Almost all the current quinoa production is in the hands of small farmers and associations.

Faced with the challenge of increasing the production of quality food to feed the world's population in the context of climate change, quinoa offers an alternative for those countries suffering from food insecurity.
The United Nations General Assembly has therefore declared 2013 as the "International Year of Quinoa", in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have managed to preserve quinoa in its natural state as food for present and future generations, through ancestral practices of living in harmony with nature.

Information from Wikipedia


Credit: Rainforest Action Network

Environmental leaders are opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline which, if approved and built, would transport tar sands fuels through the Midwestern U.S. to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Pictured: A Rainforest Action Network anti tar sands pipeline protest in front of the Canadian Consulate in Chicago.

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What are "dirty fuels" and why are they so called? -- Bill Green, Seattle, WA

The term "dirty fuels" refers to fuels derived from tar sands, oil shale or liquid coal. Just like their more conventional fossil fuel counterparts such as petroleum and coal, they can be turned into gasoline, diesel and other energy sources that can generate extreme amounts of particulate pollution, carbon emissions and ecosystem destruction during their lifecycles from production to consumption.

"Because tar sands [have] more sulfur, nitrogen, and metals in [them] than conventional oil, upgrading and refining [them] causes a lot more air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions," reports the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental non-profit. "On a lifecycle basis-that is, extraction all the way through combustion-tar sands cause about 20 percent more global warming pollution than conventional oil," adds NRDC. "Oil shale and liquid coal are even worse, causing nearly 50 percent more global warming pollution and over double the lifecycle emissions of conventional oil…" Click to continue reading

Soil-to-Soil Sweaters: Investing in Local Wool
By Amber Turpin on February 13, 2014

Many of us will ante up the extra dollar or two for sustainable food, or food that we believe closes the gap between producer and consumer, knowing that where we spend our money has power. But how does that approach apply to the other things we consume?
I haven't stepped foot into a fast food chain in nearly 10 years, but my food values are easy to forget when there's a sale at The Gap and I want a ridiculously adorable pair of skinny jeans for my toddler.
That's why the story of Fibershed-a California-based project aimed at localizing clothing and reminding consumers of its ties to agriculture-is so important. What started in 2010 as one woman's personal effort to wear only clothes that were made, dyed, and grown from fiber within 150 miles for a year, has since grown into a movement. (There are now 17 affiliate Fibershed groups in nearly a dozen states, as well as several international locales.)
Fibershed's approach to connecting all of the spokes in the wheel of the supply chain, from farmers, to artisans, to consumers, has also resulted into a marketplace. Rebecca Burgess, the project's founder, has become somewhat of a DIY heroine, who continues to speak out about the plight to change clothing industry. READ more


Chinese herbal remedy as good as methotrexate for treating rheumatoid arthritis, study finds
Source:BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:A traditional Chinese herbal remedy used to relieve joint pain and inflammation works as well as methotrexate, a standard drug treatment that is frequently prescribed to control the symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis, reveals research. Furthermore, combining the herbal remedy with methotrexate -- the disease modifying drug (DMARD) most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis -- was more effective than treatment with methotrexate alone, the findings showed. Read Article

ISSN# 1552-9371
April 2014

Volume 4
Issue 2

Pardon our dust as we update the Directory

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You're Invited to Earth Dinner - Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014- Celebrate and honor Earth Week

Patricia's Wellness Arts Café, Quilter's Comfort and Ichiyo invites you to join us for a small pitch-in vegetarian Earth Dinner. We ask you to come prepared to talk about the food you bring, its origins locally and even its global roots and the journey to this table and if a grower, lessons gained from observing this food. Maybe you can re-create a favorite family dish. Find a way for every person in your home to help in the creation of the food you will bring to share.

I paraphrase here - "Acknowledge food as medicine for every body, heart and soul. When preparing real food, it is like a meditation. When preparing food with friends and loved ones, it is an even better meditation. Coming together around food is a beautiful way to say thank you for our sustenance and to spend meaningful time together."

When we gather, many people around the earth, will also be gathering to share food and discus it. We hope you will join us and share your food story with us.

Unable to be with us at the Cafe, host your own friends or family, or even a lovely contemplative time with yourself.

We will be hosting a small group of people. Please contact quilterscomfortinfo@gmail.com to get more information and to reserve your place at the table.

The Indiana Holistic Health Network invites your organization to reach out to health and wellness practitioners and service providers in Indiana by advertising with the IHHN. Our rates are very reasonable and your advertising support will help us share your resources with our members and all who visit our site.
Teas and other products - Small Batch Teas Certified Organic and Kosher! Quilter's Gold and Green Salve and "I LOVE ME" Cream, Retail Now Available!
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Pain Reduction, Stress Relief, Wellness Support, Ho'oponopono, Classes, Workshops, Attunement for Children and Adults
Patricia C. Coleman RSMT Small Business Wellness Support - Bloomington, IN

Reiki Healing and


The 11th Continental Bioregional Congress is tentatively scheduled for 2015.

A growing number of people are recognizing that in order to secure the clean air, water and food that we need to healthfully survive, we must become guardians of the places where we live. People sense the loss in not knowing our neighbors and natural surroundings, and are discovering that the best way to take care of ourselves and to get to know our neighbors is to protect and restore our bioregion.

Bioregionalism recognizes, nurtures, sustains and celebrates our local connections with: Land, Plants and Animals, Springs, Rivers, Lakes, Groundwater & Oceans, Air, Families, Friends, Neighbors, Community, Native Traditions and Indigenous Systems of Production & Trade.

It is taking the time to learn the possibilities of place. It is a mindfulness of local environment, history, and community aspirations that leads to a sustainable future. It relies on safe and renewable sources of food and energy. It ensures employment by supplying a rich diversity of services within the community, by recycling our resources, and by exchanging prudent surpluses with other regions. Bioregionalism is working to satisfy basic needs locally, such as education, health care and self-governance.

Reiki Workshops for Individuals and Small Groups - Levels I and II with Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts, with Reiki Master Teacher Rev. Patricia C. Coleman, Bloomington, IN .

Eco News on WFHB

Food Works - Middle Way House
Center for Sustainable Living, Bloomington, IN
Indiana Holistic Health Network Directory (IHHN) Directory Listings from holistic wellness practitioners, integrative therapist, alternative healing therapies, merchants, healing centers, herbal and garden resources, health related news and Events Calendar for Indiana, nearby Ohio, Kentucky and more.
The Writers Guild at Bloomington is an association of writers committed to mutual support and the professional development of their craft. Its mission is to foster interaction among writers as well as other artists, educators, and the Monroe County public, thereby enhancing the vibrancy of the arts and the writing community in the greater Bloomington area.

Volunteers in Medicine, Monroe County

Transition Skills - Folk School - Talk About It
Natural Approaches to Healthcare

Truvia (Rebiana) And PureVia Are Not Stevia
By: Bryan Marcel, Certified Personal Trainer

Truvia and PureVia are the latest sweeteners to hit the market from Coca-Cola (joint venture with Cargill) and Pepsico . They are both marketed as natural Stevia sweeteners. Truvia and PureVia are not Stevia. I must say that I am concerned about Truvia for several reasons. On August 17, 2007 the FDA sent a warning letter [1] to Hain Celestial Group stating that the use of Stevia in its Celestial Seasonings tea products was unsafe. The FDA stated that they had concerns about Stevia's "control of blood sugar, and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems". Then in August 2009 the "FDA has concluded that there is no basis to object to the use of certain refined Stevia preparations in food" . What this means is that Stevia, which is the complete compound consisting of steviosides, rebaudiosides and glycoside is unsafe, even though it has been in use for over 1000 years. But, Coca Cola's and Cargill's highly refined and processed Rebaudioside A (Reb A or rebiana), which is a single component of Stevia, is perfectly safe. Really? What gives? So the Rebiana A in Truvia and PureVia is now okay according to the FDA, but true Stevia is still not approved except as a "herbal supplement". I disagree, but I'll move on.
We have to look at the history of the companies involved. Truvia is marketed as "Nature's calorie-free sweetener". They claim it's all natural and made using natural processes. The Coca Cola Company has poisoned us for years with high fructose corn syrup, Splenda (sucralose) and the excitotoxin aspartame. Cargill, Coke's partner in this venture, has paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits for polluting our water and our air [2,3,4,5]. So if I understand this correctly, these two "model" companies woke up one day and decided that together they would change their ways and make a natural healthy sweetener, Truvia. Okay. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's look at what Truvia claims to be and what it really is.

Truvia has three ingredients. Erythritol, rebiana, and natural flavors. First, erythritol. According to Truvia, "Erythritol is a natural sweetener, produced by a natural process, and it is also found in fruits like grapes and pears". Erythritol is found in fruits like grapes and pears and a few other fruits as well. The amount of erythritol found in watermelon, melon, pears and grapes ranges between 0.0022 - 0.0047% by weight [6]. In order to "harvest" 1 ounce of erythritol you would need between 13 and 28 pounds of these fruits. Since there is no plant that grows and produces erthyritol in any sizable quantity it is made by a manufacturing process. Erythritol is made from a food grade starch (from genetically modified corn) that is broken down into glucose by fermentation with moniliella pollinis, a yeast. The glucose is then broken down into erythritol. It is about 70% the sweetness of sucrose, but its purpose in Truvia is that of a filler, a bulking agent. (Fructose also occurs in fruits. Read my article, "Fructose Makes You Fat And UnHealthy" to see how your body treats a sugar that has been removed from its source).

Second, according to Truvia, "Rebiana comes from the sweet leaf of the Stevia plant, native to South America. Dried Stevia leaves are steeped in water, similar to making tea. This unlocks the best tasting part of the leaf which is then purified to provide a calorie-free sweet taste". Rebiana or Reb A does come from the Stevia plant. But, according to FoodProductDesign.com, "While Reb A is derived from the Stevia plant, it is not the same as the Stevia that has been sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement". Reb A is simply part of the stevioside molecule. It isn't Stevia. Splenda claims to be made from sugar. It did start out as a sugar molecule, and then in a five step process three chlorine molecules were added. The end result not being anything remotely close to sugar. Truvia is using the same logic-stretching technique. Rebiana isn't the Stevia that you have heard about for years.

It is also true that the Stevia plant is native to South America. What they don't tell you is that 80% of all Stevia comes from China. I don't trust China to safely produce any food product. They have proven time and time again over the past several years that they cannot be trusted to make safe, quality products. There are also many genetically modified forms of Stevia being grown. Genetic modification alters the plant at the cellular level. It's not known what, if any, long-term health implications genetic modification will have. Europe has banned many genetically modified foods. Those that they do allow require labels informing the consumer. I have written Truvia asking if their Stevia is grown in China and if they use genetically modified plants. If I ever get a response, I will post it.
In the meantime it is safe to assume that their Stevia is grown in China and is genetically modified.

Truvia claims that the process used to make rebiana is "similar to making tea". Please define "similar". According to Coca Cola's U.S. patent application [7] method for purifying Truvia's rebiana is a 42 step process that includes the use of acetone, acetonitrile, metanol, ethanol (yes, the same that you put in your gas tank) and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol). The side effects of exposure to these substances ranges from suppression of the central nervous system to death. Now I don't know about you, but I personally don't use any of these substances when I make tea. It is curious though, that Coca Cola filed this patent for rebiana on May 21, 2007 and three months later (August 17, 2007) the real Stevia was ruled unsafe, but rebiana was approved. The "purification process" results in rebiana being 95% pure. Because of this it is about 400 times sweeter than sugar. Truvia claims that each packet of Truvia is twice as sweet as sugar. Let's do the math. Rebiana is 400 times sweeter than sugar. Truvia as a final product is twice as sweet as sugar. So 400 divided by 2 is 200. One packet of pure rebiana would then be the equivalent of 200 packets of sugar. Try this at home. Empty one sugar packet onto a plate. Divide the sugar on the plate into 200 equal portions. One portion of the 200 is the miniscule amount of rebiana in a single packet of Truvia. So what is in the rest of the Truvia packet? All ingredients are required to be listed in order of predominance. So the first ingredient in any food product is what that product has the most of. Then the ingredients are listed in descending order. With Truvia, the first ingredient is erythritol. Erythritol is mainly what Truvia is made of, followed by a very distant miniscule amount of rebiana, and in turn by even less natural flavor.
And that brings us to the last ingredient, natural flavor. Truvia's website says that "natural flavors are used to bring out the best of Truvia, like pepper or salt or any other spice that would be used to heighten the taste of food". The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines natural flavor as: "any product which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice … whose significant function in food is for flavoring rather than nutritional". Sounds very natural, but look closer. "Flavoring constituents derived" says what a natural flavor really is: The chemical equivalent of a natural flavor. Natural flavors are made in a laboratory. What the natural flavor is doesn't have to be listed because they are considered to be trade secrets. The only time that you will ever see "natural flavor" listed on a food ingredient label is when there are no real natural flavors. But it is resourceful for Truvia's to compare their natural flavor to pepper or salt. As a side note, an artificial flavor is the chemical equivalent of a flavor that is not from a spice, fruit, vegetable, etc, but also made in a lab.

Truvia uses the word "natural" a lot on their website and packaging. Most people don't realize that with the exception of meat that the word "natural" has no meaning. I have shown you how Truvia is made. Truvia doesn't seem at all "natural" to me. You won't find Truvia in nature. Even with genetic modification you can't grow it. The Truvia website and packaging has been very carefully worded. They bend the truth and make inferences, but they never quite lie. People read their information and see what they want to see. Hence the use of pictures of Stevia leaves and all the "green" on the box and website.

Although the majority of this article is about Coca Cola's Truvia, don't count out their competitor PepsiCo. PepsiCo has entered into a partnership with Whole Earth Sweetener Company to jointly own and market PureVia, their version of essentially the same product. The difference is that PureVia uses dextrose, a simple sugar instead of erythritol as the primary sweetener. Whole Earth Sweetener Company is owned by the Merisant Company, the makers of Equal. Equal contains apartmane, a multipotential carcinogenic. So don't let all of the feel-good natural claims on their websites fool you. Truvia and PureVia are just another scam on the consumer. These products are marketed as Stevia sweeteners and they are anything but that. If you want Stevia, then look for Stevia extract or stevioside on the ingredient label. I think that real Stevia is fine in moderation. Erythritol is fine in its natural form in fruit. But when you take a component of a fruit, like erythritol, that makes up less than 0.0047% of that fruit and you make it the primary ingredient in your new sweetener, no one knows how the human body will react to it long term. (But our experience with fructose and high fructose corn syrup may be some indication.) This is not the Stevia with its 1000+ year history. Truvia and PureVia are new chemical concoctions that have no history and no track record. Besides that, these sweeteners totally miss the point. The goal is better health through a healthy diet. The best way to achieve that in regards to sweeteners is to keep it simple and reduce consumption.
Truvia and PureVia are just products designed to keep you consuming things that aren't any good for you under the premise of reduced calories. Use raw honey, raw sugar, and real Stevia sparingly. Leave the Truvia and PureVia on the store shelf next to all the other man made artificial sweeteners where they belong..

[1] http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/Enforcement
[2] http://enviro.blr.com/environmental-news/
[3] http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/
[4] http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2008
[5] http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/
[6] Tatsuji Shindou, Yoshiyuki Sasaki, Toru
Eguchi, Toru Euguchi, Kiyokazu Hagiwara,
Tomio Ichikawa. (1989).Identification of eryth
ritol by HPLC and GC-MS and quantitative
measurement in pulps of various fruits
Journal of Agriculural and Food Chemistry.
37 (6), pp1474-1476[7] http://www.google
Copyright, all rights reserved. Internet
redistribution authorized with this active link
present: http://www.BryanMarcel.com

Wild: What Is Sustainable

by Richard Adrian Reese

If you only have time for one sentence, hear this: Jay Griffiths' book, Wild - An Elemental Journey, is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. Wild is a celebration of wildness and freedom. It celebrates societies that work, societies that have complete respect for their ecosystems, societies that have survived for thousands of years without suffering destructive whirlwinds of mass hysteria.
Griffiths is a brilliant heretic and a proud one. Her book shows us what happens when madness collides with wildness. It helps us understand the dark injuries that destroyed our own freedom, and put us on the path to what we have become. It is 350 pages of full-throttle outside-the-box thinking, written with passion and eloquence. For outside-the-box thinkers, it's just awesome. For light sleepers, it might provide a life-changing wakeup call.
Griffiths was born in deepest, darkest England, a devastated island that was once a magnificent rainforest. She was blessed with the precious curse and gift of having an active mind. She excelled at asking penetrating questions that were not proper for young ladies (or lads) to ask. The wardens were not amused.
During her teen years, she hung out with fundamentalist Christians, but what they were teaching could not survive rational scrutiny, and her mind was highly allergic to blind faith. Painful clashes inspired her to run away. She abandoned the normal life for which she had been trained. "I lost a walled city but found a wildness and freedom. I never regretted it." Read the full essay

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In North America, the majority of such fuels come from Canada's vast boreal forest, to where tens of millions of birds flock each spring to nest. "Tar sands oil development creates open pit mines, habitat fragmentation, toxic waste holding ponds, air and water pollution, upgraders and refineries, and pipelines spreading far beyond the Boreal forest," reports NRDC. "This development is destroying habitat for waterfowl and songbirds that come from all over the Americas to nest in the Boreal."

Beyond impacts at the extraction sites, dirty fuels cause pollution problems all down the line. For this reason, environmental leaders are opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline which, if approved and built, would transport tar sands fuels through the Midwestern U.S. to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Refinery communities like Port Arthur, Texas...are already unable to comply with their air pollution regulations, so dirtier fuel is the last thing they need in their refineries," adds NRDC.

And while dirty fuels may reduce our reliance on foreign oil, they won't help reduce gas prices as they are so expensive to produce that gas prices would have to be higher than they already are in order for them to be profitable. "They also can't help with stabilizing gas prices in the case of a disruption to oil shipments because each new tar sands project requires huge infrastructure and capital investments, so it takes years for new tar sands projects to come on-line-it's not as though there is loads of spare tar sands oil just waiting to be put through the pipelines," says NRDC's Elizabeth Shope.

"The fact is, we don't need these fuels," she adds. "We can reduce oil consumption by increasing fuel efficiency standards, and greater use of hybrid cars, renewable energy and environmentally sustainable biofuels. What's called 'smart growth'-how we design our communities-is also a very important element in meeting our transportation needs.

"North America stands at an energy crossroads [and] we now face a choice: to set a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels, or to develop ever-dirtier sources of transportation fuel derived from fossil fuels-at an even greater cost to our health and environment."

CONTACT: NRDC, www.nrdc.org.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.


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