Health Risks from Pesticides, More Reasons to Grow Your Own

Pesticides are not good for you. Shocker, I know. They’re also not good for the environment.  They shouldn’t be banned, but use should be more limited than it is, and eating pesticide-laden food should be avoided when possible.  You know what’s a great way to do that? Garden! So here’s some scary factoids about pesticides in US foods, and some tips on growing your own for some of the worst pesticide culprits.
Continue reading “Health Risks from Pesticides, More Reasons to Grow Your Own”

End of 2013 Charity!

I am giving $290 to charity by the end of 2013.  Help me decide how to spend it!

Earlier this year I saw the One Percent Foundation.  I didn’t feel like joining a ‘giving circle’ but I pledged to donate 1% of this year’s money to charity. I’m behind by $290, so what should I do?

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Feel free to add your own suggestion in the comments.

We’re Dying Young in America

We’re sicker for a number of reasons. Not one single factor is to be blamed for the problem,” Jacoby says. “One of the reasons is we are eating bad. We are being excessively exposed to junk food… We have more pollution because of biofuels that are really, really bad for you.”

via Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America – Leah Sottile – The Atlantic.

It’s hard to think about, and hard to speak about. My friends are sicker than our elders, and sicker than our contemporaries across the pond. Staying home might be the most dangerous thing. There is a reasonable chance I will become seriously sick for a long time, just living life normally. I try to be healthy – at least sometimes – but I know I don’t fully succeed. It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle; the components are many, not stressing severely, not eating processed foods, eating & drinking in moderate amounts, exercising regularly. That’s hard to acknowledge, but it’s not really everyone else’s concern.

My mother teaches kindergarten in Central California; the kids in her class are likely going to be in the same boat as me, and perhaps even worse off. We aren’t doing anything to produce healthier kids, or a healthier next generation. When does it become everyone’s concern?

For many years, Americans have been dying at younger ages that people in almost all other wealthy countries. In addition to the impact of gun violence, Americans consume the most calories among peer countries and get involved in more accidents that involve alcohol. People living in the U.S. lose more years of their life before they reach 50 due to alcohol and drugs compared to all the other nations in the study. In general, Americans had the lowest chance of surviving to 50

via Report: U.S. life expectancy lowest among wealthy nations due to disease, violence – Michelle Castillo – CBS/AP
So if you want to raise a child in a healthier environment that has to start with local policy & culture at home, or.. you know, move to a country better for your kids.

The Secret Language of Plants & The Highest Frontier

“It turns out almost every green plant that’s been studied releases its own cocktail of volatile chemicals, and many species register and respond to these plumes.”

” the science of plant talk is challenging long-held definitions of communication and behavior as the sole province of animals. “

The Secret Language of Plants | Simons Foundation.

Plants are sometimes depicted as active cooperative agents of a gentle and friendly nature.  That is not so.  Plants actively compete, kill one another, and even these studies say eavesdropping may be more accurate than talking. Continue reading “The Secret Language of Plants & The Highest Frontier”

Cabo Pulmo – Cabanas, Snorkeling, Corona Commercials

Part 2 of Baja Vacation

Dive shops in Cabo San Lucas often include Gordo Banks & Cabo Pulmo. Gordo Banks is a deeper location known for hammerhead sharks several kilometers offshore. Cabo Pulmo is a 2 hour drive from Cabo San Lucas, the last 30 minutes of which are on a dirt road. The diving takes place in the Marine Park , but there are a few restaurants, a few bungalow spots, and several dive shops on the beach. The reef offshore has abundant marine life… here is a video of some from our dives.

The beach kept turning into a Corona commercial, so we decided this is where we’d come next. La Palapa sits on the beach with delicious tacos, fragrant garlic-drenched fajitas and cold beer. The beach is sandy, the reef is good looking and the swimming is easy.

As I said, the view kept turning into a Corona ad..
As I said, the view kept turning into a Corona ad..

We stayed in a cute adobe cabana about a 2 minute stroll from the beach with Cabo EcoAdventures.

Fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving tours run regularly. We didn’t take the snorkeling tour, instead just swimming out to the reef about 30 feet offshore. During low tide the reef tops peak out where the waves break in the above picture; it was easy to swim around and see abundant fish. I’d probably have taken a few of the guided snorkel trips if we were there longer.