Category Archives: health

Veganism vs Traditional Permaculture

A recent discussion on FB made me want to post it here.

I linked to a PBS Nova article about how veganism may not actually be the best thing ecologically for our planet moving forward. This debate is highly nuanced and I don’t think any one book or documentary can adequately capture the full range of items actually in play.

Here is the article. It was originally posted to FB by Robyn Francis, an australian permaculture teacher who may be one of the most experienced and seasoned permaculture educators left alive.

Link to article
This article supports one of the primary dogmas of permaculture which is that we need more perennial plants producing food, and less annual plants taking up space. Here is an article discussing this.

Dogmas of Veganism

After sharing this post, I had a comment from a friend. She asked if I had seen What the Health and Get Vegucated. I responded no, and that they were on my list, which they are.

Here is my response that I wanted to post, but didn’t.

I haven’t yet. I’m not talking about factory farming and eating poor quality grain fed stuff either, I’m more pointing at a holistic system that takes earth care into account.

This particular issue is something we discuss in permaculture design quite a bit. How do we use and heal land for best effect on humans animals and planet. Some of my work on permaculture can be found here Permaculture Salad and a local denver resource The GrowHaus if you want to check out what they are up to.

Soils need animals for soils to be maximally healthy. The planet has evolved for a long time with animals, and separating one from the other can’t work in the long term.

Annual plants are pretty tough on the earth. Killing all soil life before planing with a single crop  at a time. Followed by plenty of pesticides. This is one thing the people at The Land Institute are trying to address with perennial crops.

Almost as alarming as climate change is top soil loss. Top soil loss is happening at an alarming rate and if we don’t build soil actively, we are in trouble, and won’t have enough outdoor space to grow. Modern Agriculture that provides us with vegetables is a problem in this regard. See this Scientific American article on how we have a limited time of farming left on earth if we don’t make some major changes.

Some techy people are working on solutions with garden towers that won’t rely on soil, but the jury is out on if this will help take pressure off the earth enough for it to repair or be repaired to the degree it needs to for us to go on.

Eating the animals is a different kind of debate, as the article points to near the end.

This particular discussion is crazy complex, and I’m willing to be wrong, but from what I’ve studied, we do need a closer connection between perennial plants, animals and humans.

Food needs to be created more locally, and with more ethics. And we need to carefully have these discussions so that we don’t overstep what we actually know.

OK – end rant. More posts soon I hope. 

 

Aloe Vera Gel for Teeth (via Dr Weil’s blog)

Aloe vera gel can soothe burned skin, take the itch out of bug bites and help treat rashes from poisonous plants. It also appears to be good for your teeth. A study published in the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry found that aloe vera gel worked as well as regular toothpaste to clean teeth and eliminate cavity-causing bacteria. What’s more, the study showed that the gel isn’t as hard on the teeth as abrasive toothpastes so may be better for folks with sensitive teeth or gums. However, one of the authors of the study warned that not all aloe vera gel will work – you need the kind that contains the stabilized gel located in the center of the aloe vera plant and that hasn’t been treated with excessive heat or filtered during manufacturing. One of the study authors notes that such processing destroys or reduces the effects of some essential enzymes and polysaccharides. To find a good aloe vera tooth gel, the researchers suggested checking with the International Aloe Science Council to review the products that have received its seal of quality.

Plastic bottles

With all the hype in the last month about plastic bottles, I wanted to throw my two cents in the pot.

Sigg bottles from Switzerland is going to make a killing on this, because they are the best but expensive alternative to Lexan(no7) Nalgene bottles. I just bought one to replace my Nalgene, and it is good enough for now.

Other aluminum bottle companies can also make huge inroads here, if they take advantage of the current plastic phobias that are running wild. Kleen Kantene is one competitor in the market, maybe its time to have more competition? Some US based manufacturers?

Nalgene’s soft plastic bottles that were not victim of this scrutiny suck. I’ve used them for years, and they make the water taste gross, just like a leeching plastic bottle would. I don’t think this is a good route going forward either.

Maybe bio-plastics, or other substances could be made into bottles? Plastics engineers get yo shit together. I (maybe we) need something new, so I can be free of plastic paranoia.

Do the permaculture + organic types have any thoughts on this?

Update: 5-16-08: I purchased a Sigg bottle and a Camel Back BPA free bottle. Both are nice. Nalgene has responded very responsibly to the problem. You can check it out here. They clarify a few things that help in regards to this problem. http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/

Mike Adams – Health Ranger

I’ve been inspired by Mike Adams of http://www.healthranger.org/. He is a very healthy and active guy who is a professional health activist. Check out his site. I have found some very good stuff there, on what to eat, what not to eat. He has written a number of books, and hundreds of articles. Mike also has many free audio downloads if you have an interest in checking those out. I’ve been drinking the shake he has listed on there for about a week now and it makes me feel great, and full for at least 4 hours of the day. Check it out and hopefully you’ll be inspired to.