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You Annoyed Me at Hello: Why Kids Still Need to Learn Manners

You Annoyed Me at Hello: Why Kids Still Need to Learn Manners | reNourishment | Scoop.it
A perplexed parent asks the Emily Post Institute how children should address adults in an age of informality...
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reNourishment
Nourishment for mind, body, spirit and environment
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Welcome to re:Nourishment Digest

Welcome to re:Nourishment Digest | reNourishment | Scoop.it

It’s about real food and nourishment of the body, mind and spirit. It’s about nourishment of our relationships with others and our relationship withour environment. It’s about nourishment of the planet we live off of and live on. It’s about renewal and rejuvenation—getting things back to the way they should be.

 

As Life and Health editor for Vision.org, I am constantly seeking out, reading and researching articles that reflect those ideals. The collection of articles in this digest are related to that search. Some may be somewhat speculative but I hope you find them to be food for thought and nourishment for the mind. 

 

To read a story in its entirety, simply click on the headline. If hese topics are of interest to you, click the "Follow" button in the upper right corner. Come back often and see "what's news"—both here and on my blog, reNourishment.org.

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These People Turned an Abandoned Stable Into Their Dream Home - Village Green Network

These People Turned an Abandoned Stable Into Their Dream Home - Village Green Network | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Here's an inspiring story about turning an old dilapidated shelter into a gorgeous off-grid home. Full of great ideas!
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Working with the sun, water, gravity and nature, appreciating and building upon the knowledge of the farmer who sited the original structure, these two created what may be the perfect home. The brilliance of the project unfolds as the video progresses.

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Life and Health: Mothers' Milk: More Than Meets the Eye?

Life and Health: Mothers' Milk: More Than Meets the Eye? | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

I attended a symposium on the safe production of raw milk recently at Chico State University and was fascinated by the presentations of each of the speakers. A common theme relating to health is that raw milk has undeniable health-promoting qualities that we don't yet understand. Dr. Bruce German,  a well-respected, widely-published researcher (one that I've quoted in other articles) and founder of the International Milk Genomics Consortium, detailed ways that raw milk is responsible for all human life on the planet. One of his associates, Dr. Danielle Lemay, was also at this meeting. Some of her words inspired this article about a surprising quality of human milk. Click through to read more!

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“Expired” food is good for you: A supermarket exec’s bold business gamble

“Expired” food is good for you: A supermarket exec’s bold business gamble | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Trader Joe's' former president wants to sell you the food that other stores throw out. Will it work?
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Last September, a major report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School squashed the long-standing myth surrounding “sell by,” “best by” and “use by” dates on food. It revealed how those dates, which are mostly unregulated and surprisingly arbitrary, tell the consumer next to nothing about how long a product will stay fresh. Yet 90 percent of Americans are under the mistaken impression that they do – and that they are inviolable – causing us to needlessly throw away food.

The problem, however, begins even before such food reaches people’s refrigerators: It’s against most supermarkets’ policies (including that of Trader Joe’s) to sell food once it’s aged past these mystical dates. Dana Gunders, who co-authored the NRDC report with Emily Leib, sees Rauch’s project as the logical next step in freeing us from the tyranny of date labels. “Just the fact that he’s doing it, I think is a huge proof point to indicate that what we’re calling ‘expired food’ is in fact still good to eat,” she told Salon.

Rauch isn’t the first to look at the vast storerooms of perfectly good produce, bound for the trash heap, and see an opportunity. Stanley’s organization, Lovin Spoonfuls, also serves the Boston area, and New York’s City Harvest, to take a prominent example, has been “recovering” surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants and redistributing it to food pantries and soup kitchens since 1982. And as Rauch himself pointed out, a number of high-end retailers already repurpose their unsellable produce as hot, prepared food.

But Rauch’s focus differs from that of other nonprofit organizations, which are mainly concerned with fixing the broken link between excess food and empty stomachs. For example: Stanley’s ultimate goal for Lovin Spoonfuls, she said, is to put herself out of business – in other words, to solve hunger. “We must never forget that food’s not only a commodity,” she told Salon; more important is its role as a life force. But like it or not, our culture does treat food as a commodity – as something to be coveted and indulged in. Rauch sees that as an advantage.

Rauch, a capitalist first and foremost, is looking for a market-driven solution to food waste. The store is a nonprofit, but after an initial round of funding gets it started, he intends for it to be self-sustaining. And he expects that supermarkets will work with him, “not just because it’s the right thing, not just because they feel bad about throwing it out. All those are true, but also because it’s an underrealized asset”: There’s a federally enhanced tax deduction on the books for restaurants and grocery stores that donate their surplus, which allows them to recover up to 50 percent of their lost margin.

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The art of gliding: Stemme S10-VT - FT Wealth - Life & Arts Video - FT.com

The art of gliding: Stemme S10-VT - FT Wealth - Life & Arts Video - FT.com | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Unpowered flight offers a rare opportunity to soar far away from everyday pressures. But flying without an engine carries its own problems.
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Impressive design, with a range of 750 nautical miles (and even more if you catch some good thermals!). This efficient aircraft opens up a world of possibilities that were just a dream last time I took to the air in unpowered aircraft. (Yes, it's been a few years.) Worth a watch—and a place on my wish list!

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Four Food Additves to Avoid

Four Food Additves to Avoid | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Food additives can have a major impact on  our health, and we as consumers are starting to do our own research on what is in the food we eat. A recent blog post I wrote for the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation may be helpful for those wanting to learn more. Here's a "taste" of what's there . . . click through to read the whole article.  Food additives have been a part of our diets for thousands of years. Ancient peoples used vinegar, salt, spices, herbs, and honey to help preserve foods and add flavor.  These safe, natural additives have been used for centuries by traditional societies around the world.

However, the advent of chemistry as a modern scientific discipline coincided with the industrialization of food production in the 1800s, and artificial food additives were introduced. Mislabeled, adulterated foods and dangerous chemical preservatives (such as formaldehyde) and coloring agents invaded store shelves and home pantries until thePure Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906.

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Infographic: The Healthy Farm | UCSUSA

Infographic: The Healthy Farm | UCSUSA | reNourishment | Scoop.it
A Vision for U.S. Agriculture
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Explore the sustainable, science-based future of American agriculture with this interactive "healthy farm" graphic.

 

We know that we need to find better ways to grow our food and treat our environment, and repair the damage done through decades of monocrops and CAFO feed lots. It's sometimes hard to visualize anything other than what has become the norm. So here is an interactive graphic to help us understand what can be done through agro-ecological agriculture, which we hope is the wave of the future. But in many ways it looks a lot like the past. Take a look.

From the graphic: Healthy Farm Principles

A healthy farm practices sustainable agriculture, which means it must do three things well:

Productivity. A healthy farm produces food in abundance.Economic viability. A healthy farm is a thriving business that provides a good living and fair working conditions to those who work on it, and contributes to a robust local and regional economy.Environmental stewardship. A healthy farm maintains the fertility of the soil and the health of the surrounding landscape for future generations.

To meet these goals, farmers use an approach to agriculture that focuses on four qualities that characterize the healthy farm:

It is multifunctional, recognizing that productivity, while indispensable, is not the farm's sole objective. As well as providing food, the farm also performs important social, economic and environmental functions.

It is regenerative, using methods that constantly improve the fertility of the soil, foster biodiversity both within and beyond the farm's boundaries, and recycle essential nutrients.

It is biodiverse, incorporating a wide variety of crops, land use choices, and options for raising livestock and poultry.

It is interconnected, seeing the farm as an integral part of the landscape that surrounds it, not an isolated production facility.

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Say Hello to the 100 Trillion Bacteria That Make Up Your Microbiome

Say Hello to the 100 Trillion Bacteria That Make Up Your Microbiome | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Medicine used to be obsessed with eradicating the tiny bugs that live within us. Now we’re beginning to understand all the ways they keep us healthy.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Hundreds of bacterial species call each of us "home." In sheer numbers, these microbes and their genes dwarf us. It turns out that we are only 10 percent human: for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes — including commensals (generally harmless freeloaders) and mutualists (favor traders) and, in only a tiny number of cases, pathogens. To the extent that we are bearers of genetic information, more than 99 percent of it is microbial. And it appears increasingly likely that this “second genome,” as it is sometimes called, exerts an influence on our health as great and possibly even greater than the genes we inherit from our parents. But while your inherited genes are more or less fixed, it may be possible to reshape, even cultivate, your second genome.

 

Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford, suggests that we would do well to begin regarding the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants.” This humbling new way of thinking about the self has large implications for human and microbial health, which turn out to be inextricably linked. Disorders in our internal ecosystem — a loss of diversity, say, or a proliferation of the “wrong” kind of microbes — may predispose us to obesity and a whole range of chronic diseases, as well as some infections.

 

“Fecal transplants,” which involve installing a healthy person’s microbiota into a sick person’s gut, have been shown to effectively treat anantibiotic-resistant intestinal pathogen named C. difficile, which kills 14,000 Americans each year. (Researchers use the word “microbiota” to refer to all the microbes in a community and “microbiome” to refer to their collective genes.) We’ve known for a few years that obese mice transplanted with the intestinal community of lean mice lose weight and vice versa. (We don’t know why.) A similar experiment was performed recently on humans by researchers in the Netherlands: when the contents of a lean donor’s microbiota were transferred to the guts of male patients with metabolic syndrome, the researchers found striking improvements in the recipients’ sensitivity to insulin, an important marker for metabolic health. Somehow, the gut microbes were influencing the patients’ metabolisms.

 

Our resident microbes also appear to play a critical role in training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and not go nuts on, well, nuts and all sorts of other potential allergens. Some researchers believe that the alarming increase in autoimmune diseases in the West may owe to a disruption in the ancient relationship between our bodies and their “old friends” — the microbial symbionts found within.

 

These claims sound extravagant, and in fact many microbiome researchers are careful not to make the mistake that scientists working on the human genome did a decade or so ago, when they promised they were on the trail of cures to many diseases. We’re still waiting. Yet whether any cures emerge from the exploration of the second genome, the implications of what has already been learned — for our sense of self, for our definition of health and for our attitude toward bacteria in general — are difficult to overstate. Human health should now “be thought of as a collective property of the human-associated microbiota,” as one group of researchers recently concluded in a landmark review articleon microbial ecology — that is, as a function of the community, not the individual.

 

Such a paradigm shift comes not a moment too soon, because as a civilization, we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota with a multifronted war on bacteria and a diet notably detrimental to its well-being. Researchers now speak of an impoverished “Westernized microbiome” and ask whether the time has come to embark on a project of “restoration ecology” — not in the rain forest or on the prairie but right here at home, in the human gut.

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Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap

Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap @Worldcrunch Worldcrunch - Great stories from the world's best news sources
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Recycling used materials can take a more traditional aspect, for economic reasons for instance. When she returned to Switzerland after working for ten years in Africa, architect Barbara Buser from Basel architectural firm In Situ, rebelled against the huge amounts of perfectly good construction materials thatwere being wasted.

 

“It’s possible to build entire houses using recycled materials, their used aspect even adds charm to the structure.” Buser knows that in Switzerland this is still a niche market, tied to economic aspects more than innovation.

Only a few architects use this second-hand exchange or use recyclable objects. This is not because of legislation, because the same fire safety and security rules apply to new and used material, explains Thomas Muller from the Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects. On the contrary, recycling is encouraged in Switzerland through specific construction standards.

 

According to Muller, the reluctance of architects to work with reclaimed objects is the main reason why they are not used more widely. For architects, recycled materials causes artistic limitations, especially in the case of visible elements. And even though clients want to be alternative and innovative, are often hesitant of taking the actual step of building their homes with old materials.

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Free Water | Andrew Brown - FOCUS FORWARD on Vimeo

Free Water | Andrew Brown - FOCUS FORWARD on Vimeo | reNourishment | Scoop.it
FREE WATER is a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. View more Semifinalist films at vimeo.com/focusforwardfilms/semifinalists.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

The city of Tucson receives more rainfall than it uses annually, yet the city still imports the great majority of their municipal water via the Colorado River. Where does all that rainfall go? This short video touches upon ideas for harvesting rainwater in the city instead of sending it to the sewers.

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Fermentation of the Future — International Milk Research

Fermentation of the Future — International Milk Research | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

        Traditional fermentation of raw milk into cheese, creme fraiche, yogurt, lassi and other dairy products is a form of natural preservation with many health benefits. The identities of the micro-organisms that generate medicinal molecules in raw milk dairy products are often known. Lactic acid bacteria are examples of important fermenters. They enrich milk with vitamins and also make small proteins called bacteriocins—antibiotics that work by perforating bacterial cell membranes. One bacteriocin, lacticin 3147, destroys the diarrhea-inducing germ Clostridium difficile. Other important fermenters include strains of Lactobacillus, Propionibacterium, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus. These fermenters serve double duty synthesizing conjugated linoleic acid, an anti-clotting and anti-cancer agent. (Curiously, aged cheeses contain less of this acid than cheeses with a short ripening period.)

           Moreover, bacteria that could have a hand in improved fermentation are being revealed all the time. One such strain is Lactobacillus helveticus BGRA43 which breaks apart key proteins as it ferments milk such that it imbues the milk with anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, and immunomodulatory properties.

           But in most cases, the enrichment of health-promoting substances was an unintended, and until recently, an unnoticed, side effect of making tasty foodstuffs that last. It isn’t always clear whether the chemicals involved survive digestion in the human gut and go on to do good things around the body. This point needs examining before fermentation science can be used to design healthier dairy products in the future.

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GreenWhey to open $28 million food waste-to-energy project using whey

GreenWhey to open $28 million food waste-to-energy project using whey | reNourishment | Scoop.it
The byproducts of cheese production will be converted into electricity, heat and fertilizer, as part of a renewable energy project expected to be completed this summer.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

"This is so much more than green electricity production," Norrbom said. "You help Wisconsin food processors become more competitive and you use their waste to create electricity. And then the waste heat off those engines, you're able to return to a local plant that they can use for their process heat."

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Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ: Scientific American

Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ: Scientific American | reNourishment | Scoop.it
The same brain regions that perform cognitive tasks may also provide social intelligence, according to a new study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

In the past, scientists believed that emotional intelligence and general intelligence were distinct, and books and movies are rife with depictions of intellectually brilliant but socially clueless nerds.

But Barbey and his colleagues wondered whether emotional intelligence and IQ were more tightly coupled than previously thought. To find out, the team used emotional intelligence, and intelligence tests drawn from 152 Vietnam veterans.

Barbey's team found that as IQ test scores went up so did measures of social abilities.

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Gina Stepp's comment, January 23, 2013 6:15 PM
Great minds think alike. I posted this same researc this morning (the press materials from the Urbana-Champaign site). There's a great video along with it--readers won't want to miss that!
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Agafia's Taiga Life | VICE United States

Agafia's Taiga Life | VICE United States | reNourishment | Scoop.it
In 1936, a family of Russian Old Believers journeyed deep into Siberia’s vast taiga to escape persecution and protect their way of life. The Lykovs eventually settled in the Sayan Mountains, 160 miles…
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

This video tells the tale of a remarkable woman who is truly living "off the grid" under conditions most of us can barely imagine. Everyone who dreams of homesteading needs to watch this. Seeing her tenacity and fortitude, along with a glimpse into the harsh reality of her everyday life, has given me much to think about since I first viewed this a few days ago. Who among us could survive as she has?

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Never Thought A Billboard Could Be Used This Way!

Never Thought A Billboard Could Be Used This Way! | reNourishment | Scoop.it

An innovative way to supply potable water in an area where there is only .51 inches of rainfall annually.

Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Lack of clean, potable water is the cause of disease and death worldwide, and some engineers at U-Tec in Peru have been working on ways to help. This U-Tec project may look like an ordinary billboard, but it is actually an innovative way to supply potable water to villagers in a desert area with almost no annual rainfall. Of course, it would only work where the humidity level is high enough, but perhaps this could be duplicated in similar areas and save untold lives. 

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Indigenous diets can help fight modern illnesses, say health experts

Indigenous diets can help fight modern illnesses, say health experts | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Traditional food consumed by rural communities contain nutrients that are lacking in high- and middle-income countries
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Indigenous food systems – gathering and preparing food to maximize the nutrients an environment can provide – range from nomadic hunter-gatherers such as the Aché in eastern Paraguay, the Massai pastoralists in northern Kenya, and herding and fishing groups including the Inuit in northern Canada, to the Saami of Scandinavia and the millet-farming Kondh agriculturalists in eastern India.

But the trait these groups share is a keen knowledge of how to eat nutritiously without damaging the ecosystem. "Indigenous peoples' food systems contain treasures of knowledge from long-evolved cultures and patterns of living in local ecosystems," says an FAO-supported study on indigenous food systems, nutrition, and health co-authored by Kuhnlein in 2009.

In recent years, grains such as quinoa, fonio and millet – long harvested by indigenous and rural communities in developing countries but increasingly overlooked by a younger, richer generation that prefers imported foods – have instead grown in popularity in developed countries.

Research, marketing and donor-funded financing have helped raise awareness of the ability of these high-protein grains to reduce cholesterol, provide micronutrients and lower the risk of diabetes. "Because of the many health benefits of these forgotten, or until [recently] unknown foods, valuing the wisdom of indigenous cultures [and] earlier generations is vital for reducing disease and inflammation." 

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Vitamin C: What it Does, Where to Get It, How to Supplement It

Vitamin C: What it Does, Where to Get It, How to Supplement It | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

The harsh winter of 1534 was challenging for explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew. Their ship was immobilized in Canadian ice, and nearly all 110 men were deathly ill. There was little to eat except what scarce provisions remained, and no chance of fresh fruit or vegetables. Twenty-five men died, 50 more were on the verge of perishing, and the rest were weak and worsening. From the indigenous people, Cartier learned of a traditional remedy. They ground, then boiled the bark and leaves of a specific tree, drank the resulting tea, and used the dregs as a poultice.

 

Luckily, there are easier ways to obtain Vitamin C than making tree bark tea!

 

Every crew member who drank the concoction recovered so quickly that Cartier declared it a miracle.

Today we understand that Cartier’s crew was suffering from scurvy, caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. The tree’s green leaves (or needles) were rich in the vitamin C that the crew so desperately needed, and the bark’s flavonoids enhanced the vitamin’s healing effects.

 

Two centuries after Cartier’s voyages, in 1742, British naval doctor James Lind laid the groundwork for the discovery of vitamins when, as part of a study, he prescribed doses of vitamin C–laden citrus to scurvy patients, and observed that they recovered rapidly. When the British navy later included lemon juice as rations for sailors, their incidence of scurvy on the high seas nearly disappeared.

 

Click through to read more about VItamin C!

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Water Storage key to climate change adaptation

Water Storage key to climate change adaptation | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Communities across the globe can build resilience to climate change by re-inventing old water storage strategies and investing in new ones, according to a new book by the International Water Management Institute.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Combining water storage and savings options often is the most effective way to tackle increasing weather variability, the researchers say. But communities need to weigh trade-offs and be wary of unintended consequences.

.

“Water is a scarce resource, but the reality in many river basins across the world is that it also is an inefficiently under-used resource that can be better utilized to offset climate change and ensure food security,” says Jeremy Bird, IWMI’s director-general. “But the challenge is complex and solutions must be tailored to local situations.”

 

For example, in Rajasthan, India – dubbed the Great Indian Desert – the state government is responding to an inefficient canal system by subsidizing farmers to make farm ponds. The ponds are filled from the Indira Gandhi canal system once a month.

 

Farmers can then draw water as needed. The storage strategy can be combined with water-saving technologies such as micro-irrigation. “Combining water storage and savings options is one of the most practical, immediate and cost-effective ways to respond to climate-induced water scarcity,” says Vladimir Smakhtin, IWMI’s theme leader on water availability and access.

 

The research was supported by Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE) research programs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

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Grandma's Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes

Grandma's Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Your ancestors' lousy childhoods or excellent adventures might change your personality, bequeathing anxiety or resilience by altering the epigenetic expressions of genes in the brain.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Epigenetics can explain so much—why some of us are predisposed to one trait or another. And now we know that what our grandparents did or experienced can affect us in ways we are only beginning to understand.

 

"Originally these epigenetic changes were believed to occur only during fetal development. But pioneering studies showed that molecular bric-a-brac could be added to DNA in adulthood, setting off a cascade of cellular changes resulting in cancer. Sometimes methyl groups attached to DNA thanks to changes in diet; other times, exposure to certain chemicals appeared to be the cause. Szyf showed that correcting epigenetic changes with drugs could cure certain cancers in animals. 

 

"Geneticists were especially surprised to find that epigenetic change could be passed down from parent to child, one generation after the next. A study from Randy Jirtle of Duke University showed that when female mice are fed a diet rich in methyl groups, the fur pigment of subsequent offspring is permanently altered. Without any change to DNA at all, methyl groups could be added or subtracted, and the changes were inherited much like a mutation in a gene. . . .

 

"According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories.

 

"Like silt deposited on the cogs of a finely tuned machine after the seawater of a tsunami recedes, our experiences, and those of our forebears, are never gone, even if they have been forgotten. They become a part of us, a molecular residue holding fast to our genetic scaffolding. The DNA remains the same, but psychological and behavioral tendencies are inherited. You might have inherited not just your grandmother’s knobby knees, but also her predisposition toward depression caused by the neglect she suffered as a newborn." 

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Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients — compounds that may reduce the risk of many diseases.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

"If we want to get maximum health benefits from fruits and vegetables, we must choose the right varieties. Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease,diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers.

These insights have been made possible by new technology that has allowed researchers to compare the phytonutrient content of wild plants with the produce in our supermarkets. The results are startling.

Wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a 'superfood.' A purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes. One species of apple has a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious displayed in our supermarkets.

Were the people who foraged for these wild foods healthier than we are today? They did not live nearly as long as we do, but growing evidence suggests that they were much less likely to die from degenerative diseases, even the minority who lived 70 years and more. The primary cause of death for most adults, according to anthropologists, was injury and infections."

What can we do about this? Here are some tips on what to look for in the grocery stores and farmer's markets.

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No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet

No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Health experts for the government say there is no good reason for many Americans to keep sodium consumption below 2,300 milligrams a day, as national dietary guidelines advise.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Until about 2006, almost all studies on salt and health outcomes relied on the well-known fact that blood pressure can drop slightly when people eat less salt. From that, and from other studies linking blood pressure to risks of heart attacks and strokes, researchers created models showing how many lives could be saved if people ate less salt.

The United States dietary guidelines, based on the 2005 Institute of Medicine report, recommend that the general population aim for sodium levels of 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day because those levels will not raise blood pressure. The average sodium consumption in the United States, and around the world, is about 3,400 milligrams a day, according to the Institute of Medicine — an amount that has not changed in decades.

But more recently, researchers began looking at the actual consequences of various levels of salt consumption, as found in rates of heart attacks, strokes and death, not just blood pressure readings. Some of what they found was troubling.

 

One 2008 study the committee examined, for example, randomly assigned 232 Italian patients with aggressively treated moderate to severe congestive heart failure to consume either 2,760 or 1,840 milligrams of sodium a day, but otherwise to consume the same diet. Those consuming the lower level of sodium had more than three times the number of hospital readmissions — 30 as compared with 9 in the higher-salt group — and more than twice as many deaths — 15 as compared with 6 in the higher-salt group.

 

Another study, published in 2011, followed 28,800 subjects with high blood pressure ages 55 and older for 4.7 years and analyzed their sodium consumption by urinalysis. The researchers reported that the risks of heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure and death from heart disease increased significantly for those consuming more than 7,000 milligrams of sodium a day and for those consuming fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day.

 

There are physiological consequences of consuming little sodium, said Dr. Michael H. Alderman, a dietary sodium expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was not a member of the committee. As sodium levels plunge, triglyceride levels increase, insulin resistance increases, and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases. Each of these factors can increase the risk of heart disease.

 

“Those are all bad things,” Dr. Alderman said. “A health effect can’t be predicted by looking at one physiological consequence. There has to be a net effect.”

 

Medical and public health experts responded to the new assessment of the evidence with elation or concern, depending on where they stand in the salt debates.

 

“What they have done is earth-shattering,” Dr. Alderman said. “They have changed the paradigm of this issue. Until now it was all about blood pressure. Now they say it is more complicated.” The report, he predicted, “will have a big impact.”

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Free Water | Video by Andrew Brown

Free Water | Video by Andrew Brown | reNourishment | Scoop.it

FREE WATER is a three-minute video showing a practical way to capture rainwater for irrigation in the cities.

Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

The city of Tucson receives more rainfall than it uses annually, yet the city still imports the great majority of their municipal water via the Colorado River. Where does all that rainfall go? This short video touches upon ideas for harvesting rainwater in the city instead of sending it to the sewers.

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The Women Who Feed the World | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair Food

The Women Who Feed the World | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair Food | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people‚ where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food...
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

In many parts of the world, women traditionally have an important role in providing food for the community and for their families. They cultivate the soil, look after the seeds of traditional plants, and safeguard recipes of the local cuisine. Yet the situation of women farmers is too often a story of a denial of the fundamental and inalienable right to feed themselves. 

We tend to forget that the future of many developing countries is in the hands of women. According to FAO, if women farmers had access to the same opportunities and resources as their male counterparts, their productivity would rise significantly and the food security of millions of people would be improved. Our job is to support them, put their demands for rights at the center of debates on development, campaigns and actions of political pressure from civil society.

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Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease, Study Finds

Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease, Study Finds | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Until now, evidence that the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of heart disease was weak, and some experts had been skeptical that the effect of diet could be detected.
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Many studies rely on people's recollection of what they ate. But in this study, funded mainly by the Spanish government, the researchers actually checked people's consumption of olive oil and nuts with lab tests.

 

The researchers didn't set any limits on calories or give targets for exercise, but the results were still astounding.

 

The study was stopped early (after a median follow-up of 4.8 years) because the benefits from the Mediterranean diet were readily apparent. Overall, the people consuming the diets rich in olive oil (at least 1/4 cup per day!) or nuts had about a 30 percent lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause when compared to those on a low-fat diet.

 

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The ReUse People of America—Los Angeles

The ReUse People of America—Los Angeles | reNourishment | Scoop.it
“It has a lot of potential.” Such a simple sentence. Just a few short words, but those words began a …Continue reading »
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They ”de-construct” (instead of demolish) houses and other buildings, and sell the parts at great prices to people like you and me. According to their Web site, “TRP is able to salvage up to 80 percent of the materials and channel them back into the marketplace through donations and sales at its network of retail outlets.” Not only does this keep the materials out of the landfills, but it gives each of us an opportunity to use materials of quality and character that you simply don’t find at the typical home improvement store. Often these material are hand-crafted and would be out of the budget for a typical homeowner, like that massive NCC-1701 range hood.

 
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BPA Replacement Also Alters Hormones: Scientific American

BPA Replacement Also Alters Hormones: Scientific American | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Just like the controversial compound it's designed to replace, a chemical used in consumer products messes with the endocrine system, according to new research
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“People automatically think low doses do less than high doses,” said Cheryl Watson, a University of Texas biochemistry professor and lead author of the study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. “But both natural hormones and unnatural ones like [BPS] can have effects at surprisingly low doses.”

 

Laura Vandenberg, a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University who studies BPA, said one limitation of the research was that it used rat cells, but she was quick to point out the method is “extremely informative about predictions for a whole animal.”

 

The study “is a great first research step on BPS and, in my opinion, should be sufficient to say this is an estrogen and we don’t want it in our bodies,” Vandenberg said.

 

As its name would suggest, BPS has a similar structure to BPA, which has been used since the 1950s for a variety of purposes, including the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics.

 

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