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Archive for the ‘ecology’ Category

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information! (TM)

In today’s uncertain economic future, when you may be hit with unemployment or reduced income on top of struggling with diabetes in your family, then this Gardening for Diabetics series is important for you!

Not only will you be able to eat more fresh, healthy, low glycemic, pH alkaline food, but for the techniques which I have shared in parts 1-4, you will not need much money to get your garden started.

These simple gardens can make a huge, positive change happen in your life!

The following 2 techniques (aquaponics and aeroponics) which are  explained today require more equipment, so I will not give lots of information – there’s plenty to get you started at specialized sites online.  But I wanted to introduce these ideas to you because both are very effective methods. In fact, aquaponics has been practiced in Asia for centuries, if not millennia.

Biochemically, you need to constantly detoxify your body if you have diabetes, and the best foods to do this with are organically-grown, low glycemic vegetables e.g. leafy greens and other alkaline foods like papaya, sweet potato, seaweed, avocado and more.

I have written about alkaline foods (look in the Title Archive, link above).

You only want to feed your family healthy food —  for the least amount of money — so having your own garden IS the way.

It’s an idea needed to make global and personal change. We need to start growing our own food, or at least a decent portion of it.

In other parts of my series, you have seen people are beginning to use sunny windows, rooftops, reclaim vacant land (with permission), encouraging their city to make community gardens and more.

The “food miles” involved in producing your food and dragging it an average of 1,400 miles in the US,  is untenable in today’s world and in all future scenarios.

If we persist in using this flawed system, food prices will become astronomical. Get out of the loop  and become independent, now!

There’s a link below to an Aussie report as an example of how much can even be home-grown on an apartment balcony, let alone what can be done on a roof or a backyard.

If you are lucky enough to have a yard, then you can make miracles happen, even if yours is a tiny plot of land.  Maybe you will even sell your fish and produce as a Southern California family has been doing (for more than a decade) in a small but intensely efficient garden.

Their current production record is 6,000 pounds of food from their 1/5 acre yard garden!!!! Yes, you read that correctly!

Links for these encouraging sites are at the end of my article. And, be sure to notice that these techniques will help with America’s and the global fresh water access crisis. There’s not enough fresh water now in most parts of the world. Water conservation is critical. These gardening techniques require the least water.

All of this is good self-help and good parenting because is also the route to return to Health and fight Obesity.

Many young people are pre-diabetic or even have Type 2 diabetes, long regarded as a disease of middle age and beyond.

No-one can afford to sit around still thinking that somehow expensive medicines are the answer. They are not.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD and other health professionals with open minds have consistently shown that the proper diet of healthy foods, alone, can improve and even reverse Type 2 diabetes, and increase quality of life for type 1 diabetics.  Type 2 diabetics were able to reduce and in some cases even eliminate their medication.  Start gardening and eating all your produce, so you may have these results, too. Just do it!

Now on to the 2 techniques for today.

___   Aquaponics will produce LOTS of FAST, healthy food! And, as it is an ecologically sound system, you will not really need outside supplies, once it is properly set up, and you learn how to run your unit efficiently.

The end products will be that you will produce are:

___   either freshwater prawns, tilapia fish or arctic char fish to eat

___   also organic fruits and/or  vegetables.

Your diabetes diet plan will be filled with accessible, low-cost, healthy food. You will not even have to buy fertilizer. And, if you keep plant seeds, then you will not even have to buy plant seeds next season, but I think you will buy some, as you want to try new vegetables and fruits.

You can learn how to properly prepare home-harvested seeds for storage — check Seedsavers Exchange. One version of aquaponics is barrel-ponics.

___   In my reading about these systems, I think Aeroponics is the most technical, requires the most equipment and cannot be sustained without buying commercial products. But, it is a very effective way to grow food. For sure.

If you have a couple of hundred dollars to spend on a trial, then you could buy one of the tiny countertop units like AeroGarden. Just look for the official website, and see their authorized retailers. Theirs is a small but well-made system.

Do NOT have anything to do with Earth Solutions Farm-in-a-Box.  It is exorbitantly priced and when investigated by others online, the reviewers said it used materials toxic to the fish as well as being shoddily made.

LINKS:

Balcony Garden in Sydney, Australia Once established, this garden takes only 10 minutes of care a week!

BarrelPonics

Free download: The BarrelPonics Manual

Food for Fish – BioPod Plus and she is an Aquaponics – acknowledged expert

Ebb and Flow – Aeroponic or Aquaponic Text and Video: Hydroponics on a Toronto Balcony

For genetic biodiversity it is important to grow no hybrids. Use heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties, only. Get them at: RareSeeds.com
and SeedSavers Exchange Catalog

Raising Fish in the City

Dervaes Family Garden. Southern California’s celebrated home-gardeners. and Path to Freedom, Dervaes Family

Zero Power Aquaponic System Remember to only use food-grade plastics and NO PVC!

Brix Meter and organic BioVam Method. A Brix meter is needed for any garden, as it measures carbohydrate plant content to tell you exactly when your crop is “ripe”.

Seed Search Engine

Help Getting Seeds

Community Food Advocacy

BOOKS:
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholamew
Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier
Backyard Self-Sufficiency by Jackie French

THE REST OF THE SERIES:
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 1

Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2

Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3

Hydroponics with Safer Plastics Part 4A

5 Gallon Bucket Gardening Part 4B

Hydroponic Gardening Part 4C

5 Gallon Bucket Hydroponic Gardening Part 4D

Gardening in Rubbermaid Totes Part 4E

Please read the Titles Archive to find 3 years of posts to help you learn more about alternative ways to help your diabetes.

Please share this article with your friends, family and Web 2.0 sites.

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you desire to quote more than 2 short paragraphs of my article, then please write for permission at the About Me tab on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Diabetics need to monitor their Health very closely and cannot slip-by with little indulgences. Your diabetic diet plan needs to be in place 24-7, and that means eating PLENTY of fresh vegetables and a few fresh fruits! Many diabetics are having to make trade-offs between buying their medications and testing equipment and eating healthy food. Now, there’s a few more choices to keep healthy and organic food as the foundation of your diabetic diet. Keep reading.

Hydroponics is a form of container gardening. It uses soil and a water reservoir in the root zone OR it uses no soil and then requires nutrient solutions (not just regular water) in a reservoir. It is one of the easiest ways to grow anything, but for our purposes, this discussion mostly deals with growing vegetables, as 70% of every meal should be low-glycemic index vegetables, preferably raw or lightly-steamed. That’s true for a diabetic diet and just about everyone else’s diet, too.

Alkaline food, like most vegetables, is essential for helping to neutralize the overly acidic tissues most diabetics have. Big Pharma and their drugs just make you more acidic, so if you are taking the “usual” medications, this makes action on your part even more important. Detoxification and pH balancing is a daily need for you.

This time, the gardening lesson for diabetics is about using 5 gallon, food-grade plastic buckets OR Rubber maid 18 gallon storage totes, which are made from food-grade plastic. Do not use other totes, buckets etc. which are not known to be food-grade.

Also, please be aware of the danger posed to small children by deep buckets and totes and make sure that water reservoirs are unable to be accessed by children. 5 gallon buckets are required to carry drowning hazard labels — if yours is a used bucket, the label may be damaged or removed, but children have tragically drowned even when people are washing their cars with buckets. Just remember how curious small children are! This is a silent, senseless death. Be watchful and eliminate the risk while you are putting your containers together!

Here are some diagrams of the equipment and the process, and then written input follows. Use this strategy to eat organic food, which you have farmed, saving our planet with less use of gasoline to haul your food an average of 1,400 miles to your table. Be concerned for you and our planet, please. Double-click on the photos; this usually enlarges them.

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Everything used inside the bucket needs to be food-grade plastic, too. See my past posts in this series for the explanation of what that means and where to find it. Links are below.

In the middle photo, the large hole in the perforated, trimmed bucket lid is to insert a perforated yogurt container, perforated large water bottle bottom section or “net pot” (which is a perforated plastic basket in various sizes, purchased from a hydroponic supply store). Without this internal barrier lid platform, you need the over-turned plastic colander technique described below.

Either of these internal barrier systems prevent wasting a second bucket for the top-tier plant section, as many Internet sites have you waste in their designs. You would only need a full 2 bucket system for deeply rooted large plants, if ever.

Any of these smaller perforated containers let the roots actually grow down into the solution (or just water, if soil mix is above), over time. Meanwhile, the water or nutrient solution is brought up to the soil mix or “medium” of choice’s interface via the fact that the little pot extends to the bottom of the bucket, wicking up the moisture into the rest of the soil above.

Popular “mediums” for soiless growing (and then you must use real hydroponic nutrient solutions) would be made from: washed pea gravel, perlite, rockwool or coconut coir or a combo of these. The “medium” supports the plant, but heavy, large plants may still need to be “caged”, “staked” or tied to a trellis or deck railing.

Note: vermiculite is a forerunner of natural asbestos, so it is not recommended as a medium or in anything else.

As you can see from Gymgirl’s garden in photo 3,  she sometimes punctures the bucket lid to insert the plant; sometimes leaves the lid off completely (then the lid may have been used as the perforated divider between soil mix and water reservoir (as in photo 2). And other gardeners cover the soil (with hole for plant) and also the sides of bucket with a black plastic bag.

This “bag” technique is in order to save the bucket plastic from degrading from sun exposure. The plant’s leaves are NOT covered by the bag.

In winter the bag also warms the bucket’s soil, as black absorbs heat, for a winter garden.  Use a white plastic bag in summer when weather is hot, to lessen heat gain; the plastic bag also helps retain water in summer as it prevents fast evaporation from the soil (the lid, with a hole per plant,  would do this, too).

The containers in the illustrations above all use potting mix (made for containers). Do not use regular soil or “potting soil”.

The reservoir barriers can be made from the punctured, trimmed bucket lids or as I prefer, from food-grade 6″ or 7″ plastic colanders turned upside-down and trimmed to fit the BOTTOM of the bucket.

You will cut off the colander handles and snip the rim in a few places with cuts heading toward the center. This lets the colander flex as you put it into the bucket. The colander must rest on the floor of the bucket with it oriented as a dome.

The perforated barrier lets you use either medium or potting mix to anchor the plant.

You can make it longer between waterings if you also include an external reservoir. See photo 1 diagram. Buckets can also be linked together with tubing and then all you need to do is fill the external reservoir. But the system still needs watching and you need to make sure the height relationships allow for the siphon action to work in all the tubing. Use black fish aquarium tubing as the safest choice.

In a totally hydroponic solution system, without soil, use the top of the 5 gallon bucket to have holes and net pots or perforated large yogurt containers, with a plant and medium.

As mature plants, the roots need to dip in the nutrient solution by at least 1 inch. At all stages of growth, the solution needs to be changed every 2 weeks.

The number of holes in the 5 gallon bucket lid or draped plastic bag depends on which plants you are growing and how many per area. For guidelines, please see the EarthBox site.

This means that sometimes, in future seasons,  not all the lid holes will be used. Make sure to securely cover all unused holes and the fill tube top with shade cloth, fiberglass screen or a piece of panty hose to prevent access by mosquitoes to lay eggs!

The sides of the 5 gallon bucket can also be cut to make a strawberry pot. See the link to the article, below.

In the protected colander dome (filled with soil mix or medium) or area below the perforated lid (with inserted yogurt container filled with soil mix or medium), the water reservoir meets the potting mix or medium above it and around it. This is how the bucket becomes self-watering, through osmosis.

A third watering system option is in 5 gallon buckets, the water or nutrient reservoirs can also be made from 4 side punctured clean juice bottles or milk cartons, lying on the bucket floor and connected by drinking straw sections, to the first jug which receives the  fill-pipe,  instead of using the colander. Soil or medium tucks around the perforated bottles.

In these illustrations, you should note that they used PVC pipe for the fill tube. This is NOT food-grade! Do not use PVC, some versions of which contain lead in the recipe.

Instead, use water bottles in a column as a fill-tube – either cut the bottom and top off  and fit together OR puncture the base (to insert the next, open, uncut bottle). Use these connected in series of PET / PETE clear, #1 (recycling code) 1 liter or 2 liter water bottles. The lowest bottle must have base cut off on an angle to let water come easily into the reservoir space.

Also, the fill tubes do not need to be this high above the soil, as in Gymgirl’s example. Note, look at photo 6 and see the placement that at the divider between soil and water reservoir, there is an “overflow” hole drilled and a cut-off drinking straw will help to keep it open. Double-click on the photo to see it larger.

The “overflow hole” can drain into a protected reservoir, as in the illustration above. Then disconnect and repour liquid when needed, this will also help capture rain water, to use later, rather than sit there and water-log your plants. To do this, the 5 gallon bucket has to be raised to help create the siphon effect. See the illustration.

You can also include a float stick in each bucket’s fill-tube to indicate fluid level there. It is critical to know what’s happening in the reservoir so you know when to add liquid! These should be available at a hydroponic supply.

These individual buckets can also be set-up to be watered in series, using aquarium tubing, from bucket-to-bucket, with a larger external reservoir and pump, too. You’ll find information on the Internet as to how to set it up, but I have tried to stay with the simplest system!

Barring adverse weather or you forgetting to keep the reservoir filled, you should get a fabulous return for your effort. These types of container gardens are far more efficient, and can bring in amazing amounts of food.

As a diabetic, I recommend that you always wear gardening gloves and proper shoes when outside. Diabetes tends to compromise skin and especially for feet, this can become serious, often resulting in impossible-to-cure infections, which require amputation. Sandals are not appropriate shoes.

As an example of what to add to the standard container potting mix – if you use the soil method – here is a recipe. The potting mix / perlite should last 5 to 6 seasons, but the nutrients will need to be added each season.

TO potting MIX only (not potting soil – which can still contain rocks – and not garden dirt), add:

___   Perlite to Potting Mix in a ratio of 60% potting mix to 40% perlite. Then add the items below.

___   2 cups fertilizer, any three numbers between 10 and 15. Most people use 10-10-10, but 14-14-14 is also possible.  Pour in a strip farthest away from your seedlings, so as to not burn any roots. See the Earthbox website for pictures of where to place your fertilizer strip depending on the organization and number of plants per container. Their diagrams are very clear.

___   2 cups  Dolomite Lime Pellets, mixed into the top 4-6 inches of your potting mix. Powdered lime turns into a concrete slab or rocks if it’s not mixed in well

___   2 tbsps. Epsom salts mixed in with the Lime, if you are growing tomatoes.

By gardening with potting mix or hydroponically, diabetics can garden more safely. And, the buckets can be raised so even those in wheelchairs can still garden and harvest the great foods they need in their diabetic diet plan. See photo 5 of the handicap accessible garden, above.

With the 5 gallon food-grade buckets, you can garden anywhere: on rooftops, balcony, concrete patio, deck, attached to fences etc. I hesitate to say “driveway” because there is still chemicals exuded from car exhaust and gasoline excreta, but people do garden on and near their driveways. I do not recommend doing so.

You may see hydroponic systems on the Internet using roof gutters or long sections of PVC plumbing pipe as hydroponic trays. Neither are food-grade plastic! I do not recommend them.

Other pre-made systems, like the EarthBox, use “recycled” plastic. You need to confirm what kind and if it is still designated as “food-grade”, if it ever was.

Many systems depicted on the Internet also use styrofoam as a barrier and place to insert perforated net pots. This is a styrene product and has been associated with cancer-causing chemicals, even though it has still been allowed near food. This needs to change, and you can do it for yourself; don’t wait for Government to ban its use next to food. We already know there’s a problem!

LINKS:

strawberry 5 gallon bucket planter. Be sure to use day-neutral, everbearing plants.

University of Maryland Master Gardeners 5 gallon bucket PDF, excellent

Rubbermaid Tote with Food Container Reservoirs

Green Rooftop Growers

More About Plastics and Hazards

Earthbox – More Growing Instructions for Containers

Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3

Hydroponics with Safer Plastics Part 4A
Soda Bottle SIP Gardening Part 4B
Glass Wine Bottle Hydroponic Gardening Part 4C

Please share this article on your favorite Web 2.0 social site.
Learn more at the Title Archive tab — there’s 3 years of information on all kinds of ways to help diabetics!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please respect my copyright. If you desire to quote more than 2 short paragraphs of this article, please write for permission at the About Me tab, on the upper navigation bar, above. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

As the world’s fresh, potable water supplies reach critical levels, and as food prices continue to rise at record levels, everyone will be in dire straits, but especially diabetics.

It will not be just the financial push of having to find a way of paying these bills, but adding the costs of buying any diabetic medications and treatments that you require. Also, diabetics are famously thirsty, and pure water IS needed to flush YOUR system. Anything you can do to have access to enough clean, safe potable water and organic food is important to learn about.

That’s what I am doing with this series. This information is to encourage you to seek new solutions, literally.

I am continuing the discussion about SIPs. These are “sub-irrigated planters”. That is, they are planting containers, of food grade plastics (only) or recycled glass, which contain either potting soil and water reservoirs OR have “growth mediums” and nutrient solutions (a more official form of Hydroponics).

Last time, I shared how to make a small SIP from a 1 liter or 2 liter water bottle (recycle number on the bottom should only be #1 plastic i.e. PET or PETE).

This time, there will be photos of how another site suggests cutting used brown or green wine bottles (retrieved in quantity from restaurants, by prior arrangement) and then carefully and responsibly cut and smoothed into glass SIPs for seedlings and / or for a herb garden.

You can see those photos at: Making Glass Planters From Recycled Glass Wine Bottles.

In reading about this on the Internet, comments said that depending on the plants grown, you may need to reduce the length of the bottle neck or remove it completely, as the root mass must be able to move easily into the liquid below without being squashed or compacted by too small a space. The edge of the wider part of the bottle should be able to support the upper cut-off section.

In the glass SIPs which use soil, you will need a piece of landscape fabric or fiberglass screen to lay at the round opening to the neck. As the plants grow, their roots will go through the screen holes, so make sure that it is not too fine mesh.

Until the roots are long enough to reach the liquid on their own, knot the cotton string into the fiberglass screen and then dangle it into the liquid; this will act as a wick bringing moisture to the soil above.

If you use an official nutritive mix, then the protocol is different. First, the plant is not in soil; anchor it in rockwool cubes with a wick hanging into the solution or use one of the following with a wick hanging down into the liquid. Other anchors are: perlite, vermiculite, washed pea gravel, or one of a number of ceramic balls and beads.

The bottles’ lower sections need to be dark and opaque, in this process with real hydroponic food solution. So, cover the bottle bottoms with a strip of black plastic trash bag, cut to size. Make sure you hold onto the bottle well, as you move it; this strip will make it more slippery. It is necessary as light will stimulate the growth of algae in the nutritive solution.

You could also use matching-sized top section of clear PET #1 food-grade water bottles to have a a removable topper. This will be great for starting seedlings as it will make it’s own greenhouse. Be sure not to put this in a sunny window, without watching that the OPEN plastic bottle neck is able to remove enough heat before your plants “fry”. Otherwise, remove it to a bright, but not hot, area.

Using those food-grade PET / PETE bottles constructed the same way as described above for glass, means that you can have a lighter-weight, 1-2 year growing system.

This can even become part of a recycling effort in your community to make a community garden. This activism needs to start being put in place, not just in third world countries, but in the suburban yards and shared spaces of industrialized nations, too (even on fences across vacant lots).

This is a way to start using the plastics which otherwise end up in landfills (PET / PETE is the most-recycled plastic and people are still only recycling 25% of what is made!). This system, as long as it is not left in hot sun for long periods, helps feed anyone who walks by, if watering needs are addressed by the community. Many offices could recycle water bottles for this purpose.

Too much heat exposure even removes some hormone disruptors, like antimony and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, which are in PET. Glass is always safer than even “food-grade” plastic, period.

Don’t even consider the majority of other plastics, as they are usually not food-grade. Often PVC pipe contains lead.  (Read my explanations in previous parts of the series.)

Gathering and recycling 1,500 PET / PETE water bottles lets you build your own real greenhouse. See the PDF plans at: Build Your Recycled Bottles 6x8x6 Foot Greenhouse.

Gather the bottles from your community and meet your neighbors to make more of these to benefit schools, senior centers, churches, food banks and individuals.

The goal is to ensure people have ready access to prolific amounts of low glycemic and alkaline vegetables in order to regain and maintain their health.

Diabetics and children especially need this healthy food as the basis of every meal (at least 70% vegetables on the plate, as salad or lightly steamed). This is also the best way to curb the plague of obesity … which is beginning to be called Globesity … and to prevent pre-diabetes.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics benefit from large amounts of fresh, low glycemic index, pH alkaline vegetables.

See the photos below as a permanent record of some of these projects, in case the original sites remove the articles.

Seriously include children and grandchildren in growing foods. These food skills are for survival and have nearly disappeared in two short generations!

This is fundamental and needed knowledge for every generation. Learn more: Help Kids Learn Gardening!. Don’t leave them at the mercy of Big Agriculture – those corporations rarely act responsibly for the land and their products are usually not grown organically or in harmony with Mother Earth.





Read more in the Titles Archive, on the upper navigation bar.

Please help spread this article to your favorite Web 2.0 community site. Thanks.

REFERENCE:
America’s Freshwater Crisis
America’s 10 Thirstiest Cities Some of these will shock you!
Starting Seeds Hydroponically in Rockwool

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please respect my copyright. If you desire to use more than 2 short paragraphs from my article, please write for permission at the About Me tab, above. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Diabetics need LOTS of fresh vegetables, and some fresh fruits. Even in season, these cost a lot for people on small food budgets. So, whether to save money OR to know exactly how and where your food is grown (carefully and without pesticides), then you need a garden.

In fact, everyone needs to garden. No excuses! If you are in an apartment without a balcony, there are now many solutions. If you have a balcony, there are great new choices! If you have a patch of ground, there are several ways to increase it’s yield. And, if you are lucky enough to have your own yard (or a plot in a community garden), then you can behold the bounty of Nature big-time.

This is a busy fortnight for me, so I’ll be making this a series and will add more posts over the next few weeks. But, the gardening season has started, so you need to, also!

All of us have a major problem unless we follow through on this project. In this era of food illiteracy, financial insecurity, possible societal insecurity, when climate change is impacting food prices too, it behooves you to act for your own Health and survival by planting a garden.

Now is the time. The season has begun in most of the Northern Hemisphere, and if you are in the far North (or in autumn / winter in the Southern Hemisphere), there are still projects you can be doing to bring fresh, nearly free, clean, wholesome food into your diet.

Everyone needs fresh, raw food (and veggies lightly steamed or gently roasted, when cooked). Fruits need to be whole and kept at minimal levels for diabetics. The emphasis is getting at least 6 vegetable portions a day of lower glycemic index vegetables and 2 fruit (including one citrus or Vitamin C source – like kiwi) – no juice.

Each meal, fill 2/3 of your plate with a variety of vegetables and you are well on the way to Health, with a teaspoon of olive oil and a piece of protein the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.

So, let’s tackle the steps to making a garden in this series. This is not rocket science. It’s not hard; Nature knows HOW. All you have to do is to start and support the natural process.

If you only have window/s in your apartment:
___ you can still grown an amazing amount and variety of fresh food in any window, even in highly concentrated places like New York City
___ learn a lot more at http://windowfarms.org
___ learn what one window farm can grow!
___ Plants that have been grown by this method include —
Fruiting Plants: okra, cherry tomatoes, scallop squash, small cucumbers, beans, strawberries, peppers, peas, Japanese eggplant.
Leafy Greens: arugula, bok choy, broccoli rabe, kale, chard, radicchio, watercress, chives, various microgreens, and many varieties of lettuce.
Herbs: rosemary, cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, mint, and sage.
Edible Flowers: nasturtium, violets, and marigolds.
___ start gathering 1 liter soda pop bottles from friends, family, co-workers (who already have this nasty drinking habit). Don’t start drinking soda pop at all — any version. Just become a new source to recycle some bottles.
___ If you have multiple windows, then use the sunniest ones, but be aware in bedrooms, that at night, plants will use your oxygen and release carbon-dioxide, so don’t close your door and do have fresh air coming in. It’s better not to use bedrooms.

___ alternatively, you can also use grow-lights and or hydroponic solutions. Search for these terms and you will find lots of information.

___ all groups of residents can learn to grown sprouts, indoors. Make sure that you and anyone who touches your sprouts and sprout bottles wash their hands after bathroom and other dirty chores. Sprouts need to be eaten raw to get their best enzymes and nutrition, but they must be kept fastidiously clean to be able to eat them raw. Sprout-growing is a very easy, inexpensive, relatively-fast way to get healthy raw food in any season.

If you only have a small balcony or patio area:
___ in the sunniest part of the area, start a vertical wall of plants using a system like the one at Wooly Pocket
___ use a pottery urns called strawberry jars. Their pockets, as well as Square Foot Gardening principles, with taller plants in the least sun-blocking position, will help you grow a lot in a small space.
___ use a specifically-designed food-grade 5 gallon plastic pail to grow food. Do not use paint containers or any plastic other than designated food-grade. Restaurants may allow you to get their 5 gallon food grade containers for free or a small charge, instead of them recycling them. Learn more at: Video – 5 gallon garden

FURTHER REFERENCES:
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3

Please share this article on your favorite Web 2.0 social site.
Learn more at the Title Archive tab — there’s 3 years of information on all kinds of ways to help diabetics!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright and write to me at the About Me tab (upper navigation bar, above) if you want to quote more than 2 short paragraphs from my article. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I missed posting last week (for only the 2nd time in 3 years) as my Mum was hospitalized. She’s on the mend, but it was a big scare.

Today, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and my other Mother is in danger, too! Our planet just cannot continue to sustain the damage we inflict upon her. Just like many human children, for a period of time, we are immature and disrespect our parent(s) and turn our back on their innate Wisdom. We’ve been doing this with our Earth Mother, and we continue at our peril.

As the two largest countries, India and China, now seem to be producing massive numbers of diabetics and pre-diabetics, as they reach for now-proven ecologically unsound pathways to prosperity, Mother Gaia will suffer even more when 1/3 of humanity (2 billion people in these countries) want and get “more” regardless of the ecological consequences.

As the dubious notion of a global economy has American’s food being “imported!” from countries all over the world and massive factory-farms at home, we see huge rises in toxic chemicals in our food supply (especially from Chinese grown foods, a huge new source and percentage of foods used in America). We used to grow our foods, in our own more-regulated soil. What happened?

Well, you can learn more in a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) movie called Food, Inc. which explains about 6 corporations control America’s food supply and that they are rapaciously extending their reach and their grief into other countries, seeking to control their food supply, also. This monopoly has to be regulated out of existence, as we did that of the tobacco companies, which also had products which only harmed our Health.

This corporate food-supply rape campaign has already begun in India, and there, 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide, leaving their families destitute and letting their land be gobbled-up by the corporations. The ordinary farmer overseas cannot pay for “modern” seed or equipment and then an otherwise capable independent businessman goes under. This is serious.

And, in China, the ecological damage is tremendous and largely unregulated. Staple food items are now being brought from China, foods which we would normally think were still being grown in America. Meanwhile this cheap, poor, often-toxic food is being brought to our shores — talk about a national-security issue!

It was bad enough that the Chinese do not regulate the methods and ingredients in their toy production, but food goes way beyond that in posing a danger for all of us who use Chinese food products. And, their air pollution is heading for North America, daily.

Both India, and especially China, argue that we had our chance to become “prosperous”, so they should be able to also. But, what’s spurious here is that governments, scientists and all of us had to find out that “industrialization”, as we practiced it it in the 19th and 20th centuries, had major consequences and that it is a flawed system that must be changed for the planet and all Life to survive.

Belching coal plants in China; open-pit mining (anywhere) and its release of unacceptable quantities of certain minerals (like mercury and cadmium) into the landscape; nuclear power; deforestation; lack of habitat for plants and animals as well as lack of riparian habitat to protect water sources have massive repercussions on every continent.

When food is toxic, not only does it put us at risk for a slow or fast death, but it impairs our health so the quality of our days is severely curtailed. Poor, toxic food creates psychological and physical impairment. Toxins are walled-off in fat cells — the more toxins, the more fat cells needed — the obesity crisis, the pre-diabetes crisis, the diabetes crisis stem largely from this (and the poor nutrition in this food as well as poor food and activity choices by the individual only seal the deal).

The illusion is that our food-chain is inspected, safe and healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth, except food from organic, sustainable farms, with good practices.

Please watch – Food, Inc. This knowledge from Dr. Michael Pollan, PhD and other experts will change your life and it is imperative and critical for your health, and especially children’s health. It will only be freely shown from April 22 – 29, 2010.

Also, see the short preview of DIRT! – The Movie

In one of these two movies, I don’t remember which, an expert stated we have only about 120 years’ window to save the planet from the devastation it has sustained since the Industrial Revolution (started in the 1800’s) and from factory farming (started in the 20th century).

The problem is he didn’t say how much was left of his projected 120 years, but I suspect we have very little time left to save Mother Earth — I’d say a max of another 20 years, if that, as my guess, when I see how fast the change has been in the last 40 years!

The problems build on each other to a tipping-point, where Life cannot be sustained and our weather has permanently become hostile and clean water (or even water, at all) will be more precious than gold.

We have to get our priorities right on a personal, local, national and global level. You cannot depend that your “leaders” will do this for you. They have had decades of strong signals that our industrial life was unsustainable. Yet, they did nothing. You have to start being an active advocate!

Since I was married, in 1969, I chose a different path than most people of my generation and the 2 that followed.

I was never a hippie, but I understood we had to take care of our Mother Earth and I have. I kept oodles of clean recyclables in our garage, for decades, until there were recycling programs; I supported the fledgling organic farmers and organic food companies (many of whom have been quietly bought out by the big demons – Unilever, Heinz and many more); I was aware of the need to reduce my carbon footprint and never leave the house on errands unless at least three chores can be done in that area of town, and preferably more than that, and on and on. Our garbage can is rarely more than 1/3 of its small capacity; we compost food waste and return it to excellent soil.

All this is not to pat me on the back, it’s to say, that even among my family, I have not been able in the past 40 years to change THEIR attitudes and THEIR ways. I’m worried. They represent the best, most-educated people. What are the rest of you open to? Is the handwriting on the wall enough, now, for you to change to help the planet?

For your Health and for the Health of our most-precious Mother, please change. Then, spread the word!

Please share this article and others in my archive on your favorite web 2.0 site. Thanks.

Best to all — Em

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you want to quote more than 2 short paragraphs of my article, please write to me for permission (at the About Me tab) on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Some big-time news hit this week which I just had to talk about, so I’ll “save” the discussion of Balance in Life for the next week or so.

The BBC reports diabetes on a massive scale has surfaced in China. The country has even more diabetics than India, by a wide margin. Both of these billion-person countries are surpassed, percentage-wise, only by the United States, and Asia is expected to be the source of huge numbers of new diabetics in the next 2 decades. Why does this still have to happen?!

The Chinese government is NOT doing what they need to educate people and to help them make responsible choices.

China faces this massive diabetes epidemic now, as almost one in 10 adults have the disease while most cases remain undiagnosed, researchers have said. With a society whose main carbohydrate (white rice) is a very high-glycemic substance and with little education about alcohol’s effects or smoking cigarette’s harm, this should have been expected.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the study showed diabetes was more endemic than previously thought, and the statistics suggest China has at least 90 million diabetics (double that of India), and that there are at least 150 million more (that would make nearly 25% of the population, and ahead of US % numbers). Then, there are those already in the pipeline as pre-diabetic, who are not being counted in China at all, yet.

What a catastrophe in the making!

Sociologically, rapid economic growth has affected public health, through urbanization from a harsh agrarian life; it has changed diets in a country where many previously starved. Affluence or factory jobs have led to more sedentary lifestyles than the energy expended by rural, agrarian workers, researchers said. And, frankly, the affluence and poor choices like increased alcohol and cigarette consumption in China just worsens everything tremendously.

These numbers represent a major public health problem for the authorities in Beijing.

Mainstream medicine likes to think that diabetes is a major factor in illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, but, as you know by now, I think they all have the same “root causes”:
___ pH imbalance in body tissues (too much acidity)
___ not enough energy expenditure and thereby inefficient metabolism
___ poor glycemic-range food choice and too much  “food” without nutrition
___ stress causing hormonal imbalance
___ ecological pollution causing cellular pollution.

Yang Wenying, one of the report’s 20 authors, who is head of endocrinology at Beijing’s China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said in the last 10 years “China’s economic development has gone from a situation of not being able to eat enough, of poverty, to having enough food and warm clothes, and doing much less exercise”.

The impact of China’s massive ecological pollution remains to be studied, but certainly the massive poisoning of China’s land will reap a bitter harvest. A person has to strive for an unpolluted system in order to be Healthy, and that may be impossible now potentially for generations in China. A decade of “development” at the cost of millions of lives. Poor choice in my opinion.

The International Diabetes Association reports that the United Kingdom has a very low incidence of diabetes among industrialized nations, with Japan following (but their incidence is expected to rise of the next decade more than the UK’s – so the gap will widen, again due to affluence and tantalizing non-native food choices).

Numbers of diabetics in India, China and the United States will all rise in the two decades, with America still leading the pack, by 2 percentage points – expecting 12% of Americans to be diabetics by 2030, unless our in-place education finally clicks in, and still-to-be-legislated laws start to protect the safety and nutrition of our food supply better.

Frankly, I think these numbers are totally unacceptable, and no country is going to be able to deal with a public health issue like that.

Education is the only answer, on a personal level, and getting predatory pharmaceutical companies and junk-food and processed-food companies out of our markets is the other.

We must:
___ “neutralize” the prepared food industry and personally return to (mostly) fresh or frozen, basic, healthy, natural foods which have not been stripped of nutrients

___ foster and support healthy, organic farming and the safety of our natural world

All of these endeavors are SO big in scope that governments must be engaged and organized and then, by carrot-or-stick, produce the legislation which promotes and protects Health.

For China, we must advocate on behalf of the Chinese people’s rights to freely access information on the internet. Even though Google has moved its “search” facility to Hong Kong, most people in China will not really be able to access it due to Chinese government firewalls. It will take years for the Chinese government to get diabetes education in place in China, even if it makes that a priority, when they could use the internet’s resources for those who have access and thereby, potentially save many lives.

Alternative, traditional Chinese medicine should also be relied upon to build up and support Health for all people and especially diabetics and pre-diabetics.

China needs to start investing some of its brain-power into research and investment in Health. It just is NOT innovative or doing its “fair share”.

That’s true and needed in all spheres of endeavor. So far, China has mostly traded and cashed-in on other people’s ideas using low-wage workers to undercut other countries’ abilities to produce items at fair costs.

Returning to the current issue, the Chinese study was based on a representative sample of more than 46,000 adults (aged 20 years or older) from 14 provinces and municipalities, so it is rather comprehensive in scope.

Last year, US research teams suggested that diabetes is becoming a global problem, and that more than 60% of all new cases will likely to occur in Asia.

Help change that! All of our children deserve a healthy future and parents who are healthy, too!

And, while we are in the midst of the Easter candy-frenzy, please don’t “hook” another generation on candy and non-nutritious “food”! One day, and it’s emphasis on fun, can have lasting repercussions. You know I feel the same way about Halloween. It’s imperative to teach children (and relearn it ourselves) to have fun disengaged from sugary or fatty foods. Your future and your children’s future Health is in your hands right now, day by day. Make a better Life.

Please read more of my posts in the Title Archive at the tab on the upper navigation bar.

Please share my articles with friends, family and around the web. Thanks!

Reference:
Diabetes in China

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to quote more than 2 short paragraphs, then please write for permission at the About Me page, above. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I have recently seen a few episodes of Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD Show, and I am using it as a jump-off point for this week’s lessons and discussion.

This is going to deal with YOU! – Dr. Oz wrote a famous book series of the same name – from one “end” to the “other” end, euphemistically.

What we eat not only impacts us, but our environment, too. Especially if you have doubts about this, then read: Your environmentally responsible choices.

Your knowledge or ignorance seriously impacts your Health every bit as much as what you eat, whether you de-stress, how and how much you exercise. Believe it.

Having 2 new babies in the family (one 10 months old; one 3 weeks old) I am thinking a great deal about the environment all of us have created for them, and which impacts all of us! It’s been changing the quality and length of our lives. We have to change!

I have been responsible all my adult life — long before “environmentalism” became a household word — yet I am frustrated that we have NOT stemmed the chemical tide, and that too few in the ensuing generations have done enough (or are doing enough) to help our planet and all life, including us!

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is the chemical used to make hard plastics (in the USA, it has now been banned from baby bottles, finally). It is also used to line food cans (it’s in the shiny coating) and on bottle caps in things like juices, spaghetti sauce and apple sauce. It is also used to create carbonless receipts (so if you are a cashier, be concerned).

BPA has been proven to raise the risk of breast cancer in rats and even the turtle-paced US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has raised an alarm about the potential harm BPA can cause. Connecticut banned its use in children’s products (it is in toys, as well as bottles and plastic dinnerware and utensils).

Ninety-three percent of us already have BPA in our bodies! We will have to deal with it. But, until then, we excrete it when we go to the bathroom, sending the chemical into the environment.

And, many of these man-made chemical pollutants are Endocrine Disruptors! These chemicals alter the actions of hormones in our body. This can hurt us in 2 ways: 1) they can block our hormones from acting as they normally would, and 2) they can act aberrantly e.g. like hormones triggering effects like early onset puberty in children, before normal adolescence. And, remember, insulin is a hormone!

The medication we take also ends up in our water supply in 1 of 2 ways. We secrete it in our urine (that we can’t control), but many of us also flush unused medication down the toilet.

This ignorant action contributes MASSIVELY to the rising amount of pharmaceutical pollution found in our water supply. In 2008, the Associated Press found that dozens of pharmaceuticals end up back in our water supplies, and eventually, in our tap water.

That’s because water treatment plants are designed to neutralize biological hazards, such as bacteria, but not pharmaceutical pollutants such as antibiotics; they get through the system. Scientists are now finding bacteria in the wild which are not only resistant to antibiotics, they can actually live off them! This bodes as a serious assault on our future ability to use these medications for infections — it’s much more serious than these bugs just being “antibiotic resistant”, as if that weren’t bad enough (caused by over prescription and not taking the whole course of the prescribed medication, which leaves thew strongest, most-resistant bacterium to stay alive and breed later).

Steps to take:

1) Remove all sources of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in your home. Example: I am reducing even further my use of canned goods, and I will make sure that I keep all bottled goods upright, at all times in hopes the food won’t contact the cap area. I made crockpot beans, drained them, froze them in a single-layer on a cookie sheet and bagged them. Beans are a major canned food for most people as they “don’t have time to cook them” — but you can overcome this by using a crockpot. Do it!  And. choose frozen and fresh produce instead of canned.

2) Do not use any plastics with the recycle triangle numbers 3, 6 or 7. You can usually find the embedded symbol on the base of the plastic object.

3) Do not expose your children or grand-children to Bisphenol-A in toys, baby bottles, dinnerware or cups! Chances are anything “old” had it in it. Buy new, but only if labeled BPA-free. BPA is used to “strengthen / harden” plastics.

4) Do not use plastic for your water bottle or cutlery or cooking tools. For water, spend the money for a Stanley stainless steel thermos (as long as it’s not made in China now) or a Sigg SAF Aluminum bottle (even though aluminum has issues, too).

Before 2008, Sigg was secretly using BPA, so be aware of this and the rest of the industry’s bottles status by reading Metal Water Bottles and Health.

5)  Never heat plastic in the microwave (even if it says it is microwave safe) — I do not microwave any food anymore (and haven’t for 20 years). I stopped when I saw scientific articles about how microwaves transformed the molecular structure of milk! If it does that, it does it to all foods.

6)  Dispose of unused medication by contacting your pharmacy for information about ways to return it for disposal (the industry is just beginning to offer it) OR ask your local hazardous waste disposal unit (county, city) when and how to get it to them to deal with.

7) Avoid parabens and phthalates. Read labels. Avoid items with artificially-produced fragrances. These are bad for the environment and YOU!

Many alternative medical practitioners and scientists believe that obesity is also a case where your body is “walling off” toxins by using a fat-cell package. So the more toxins you have in your body, the more likely you are to gain weight, even becoming obese. This partially explains the current global obesity epidemic as world-wide pollution is rampant.

Now that you’ve got the word to dispose of some majorly bad things, we’ll talk about getting more good things into your Life, next week. Balance. Balance. All in balance, for a better life.

For more great articles, see the Titles Archive on the upper navigation bar.

Please share my article far and wide to help your friends and family learn more about these important issues. Put them on your favorite Web 2.0 social site, too. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please ask permission to use more than 2 short paragraphs from my article. Respect my copyright. Contact me at the About Me page, on upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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