Researchers have determined that the nation’s farmland is now 48 times more toxic to insects than it was just 25 years ago, and much of this rise in toxicity is being blamed on the widespread use of a dangerous category of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. Continue reading
There are over 70,000 food additives approved by the FDA, from artificial ingredients to genetically modified ones, and from “all natural” to GRAS — generally recognized as safe. Cosmetics and personal care products are even worse, with virtually no regulations on chemicals, and your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, and it ends up in the bloodstream, so add that to the 70,000 other food “criminals.” Continue reading
In the most recent news about neonicotinoid pesticides, it was reported that European countries have already decided to ban the continuous use of the pesticides because of the presented scientific evidences showing that they continue to endanger bees. Corporate farms in the U.S.; however, continue to ignore the petition associated to the banning of the pesticides filed Continue reading
With a name like “blister beetle,” the Coleopteran family of insects don’t sound like they do much for your health, but they could. U.S. researchers, in trying to find a way to battle cancer, have recently turned their attention to the blister beetle. It has long been used in traditional forms of medicine, and more recently, it has been linked to anti-cancer abilities. Continue reading
Some male crickets will apparently put the lives of their mating partners ahead of their own. When a mated pair is out together, a male will allow a female priority access to the safety of a burrow, even though it means a dramatic increase in his own risk of being eaten. That’s according to infrared video observations of a wild population of field crickets (Gryllus campestris) reported online on October 6 the Cell Press journal Current Biology. Continue reading
The tomato has been a symbol for genetically modified food for many years. In 1994, genetically modified tomatoes hit the market in the US as the first commercially available genetically modified crop. GM tomatoes have since disappeared.
This transgenic tomato (FlavrSavr) had a “deactivated” gene (Antisense approach). This meant that the tomato plant was no longer able to produce polygalacturonase, an enzyme involved in fruit softening. The premise was that tomatoes could be left to ripen on the vine and still have a long shelf life, thus allowing them to develop their full flavor. Normally, tomatoes are picked well before they are ripe and are then ripened artificially.
Tomatoes were the first genetically modified foods to come on the market. Today, they are no longer cultivated.
Puree made from GM tomatoes was once a success in Great Britain. The EU Member States, however, could not agree on approval. Continue reading
There are lots of ways to discourage the biting and stinging instincts of insects. Wearing DEET-based repellents, lighting citronella candles, and spraying essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus mixed with water all help. So does swearing off perfume and scented body lotions. But inevitably, we get bit or stung. When it happens to you this summer, consider these ways of relieving the itch, swelling, and sting.
It’s summer, so if you’re outdoors there is no escaping at least an occasional mosquito bite and the itch and swelling it brings. Lots of anti-itch creams are available over the counter, and if you’re really bothered you can get a stronger one with a prescription. Antihistamines also help stop the itch, but make sure it’s an oral medication, warns Dr. Leslie Baumann in her Skin Guru blog on Yahoo!Health. Topical antihistamine lotions can actually make things worse by causing an allergic reaction on skin that is already sensitive, she says.
Also, consider taking licorice, sold as an oral supplement and topical lotion and shown in studies to have cortisone-like effects, she says. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a sunburn soother. Continue reading
A recent study from scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggests that a strawberry a day (or more accurately, 37 of them) could keep not just one doctor away, but an entire fleet of them, including the neurologist, the endocrinologist, and maybe even the oncologist.
Investigations conducted in the Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) will appear in the June 27, 2011, issue of PLoS ONE. The report explains that fisetin, a naturally-occurring flavonoid found most abundantly in strawberries and to a lesser extent in other fruits and vegetables, lessens complications of diabetes. Previously, the lab showed that fisetin promoted survival of neurons grown in culture and enhanced memory in healthy mice. That fisetin can target multiple organs strongly suggests that a single drug could be used to mitigate numerous medical complications.
“This manuscript describes for the first time a drug that prevents both kidney and brain complications Continue reading
Alternative food sources in a world of shrinking resources are those that offer a diverse profile in terms of availability, nutrition and other important uses. Some food plants grow well in marginal soil, offer high nutrition, and have medicinal uses that could make them high priority in years to come. Easy propagation, tolerance of diverse growing conditions, multiple uses of its products, and beneficial nutrition would be earmarks of life-saving food crops. Another food source already utilized in other countries is insects. An online search for nutritious foods yields results such as broccoli, kale, avocadoes, bee pollen and others equally well-known. While these all-stars undoubtedly have a place in the pantheon of nutritious foods, a few other candidates could nose them out.
Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish or drumstick tree, is a miracle tree grown throughout the tropics that can nevertheless withstand frost and frozen soil. It propagates easily from stumps, seeds, direct sowing, cuttings or natural regeneration. It is drought-resistant and fast-growing. Continue reading
As people are turning away from chemical ingredients in everything from cleaning products to beauty products, they are also turning to chemical-free foods by growing food in their own backyards.
In order to keep your homegrown produce as free from harmful chemicals as possible while keeping crop-destroying pests to a minimum use natural pest control methods. If prevention doesn’t get the job done, try some home remedies first. As a last resort, you can turn to organic pesticide–just make sure all the ingredients are listed and they are all things you are not afraid to put on your food.
Preventing pest problems before they start is the best way get ahead of the problem (http://eartheasy.com/grow_nat_pest_…). You can do this by following some commonsense guidelines, such as pulling out any weak or already infected plants, building healthy soil to nurture strong plant growth, disinfecting tools after working on infected plants and minimizing breeding grounds for pests by getting rid of non-essential areas of the garden that might serve as a habitat. It is also useful to interplant and Continue reading
Mosquitoes make proteins to help them handle the stressful spike in body temperature that’s prompted by their hot blood meals, a new study has found.
The mosquito’s eating pattern is inherently risky: Taking a blood meal involves finding warm-blooded hosts, avoiding detection, penetrating tough skin and evading any host immune response, not to mention the slap of a human hand.
Until now, the stress of the hot blood meal itself has been overlooked, researchers say.
Scientists have determined in female mosquitoes Continue reading
This post is a divergence of our normal Alternative Health stories, but the wonder of this is just too good to pass up. It seems that ants can count. Normally ants find their way to their nest or food source, by secreting a scent along the track, and when it’s time to return, they sniff their way back. Much like leaving bread crumbs to find your way back to some location. However ants in deserts have a problem. Smells are blown away by winds. So how do they find their way back?
German scientists conducted experiments which show that ants “count” their footsteps. 236 foot steps to a food source and 236 steps back to the nest. Here is a link to an entertaining NPR radio story describing the experiment. This Blog’s fascination of lifestyle health encompasses the world around us, and all its inhabitants.