Steve Solomon interviewed by Ronny Bagdadi
Hydroponic gardening is a productive way to grow all varieties of plants full of fresh flavor and vitamins with maximum yield. Inspired by the hydroponics exhibit at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida, Darrin Swank, his wife Jodi and their three children are the proud owners of Swank Specialty Produce, a natural hydroponic farm in Loxahatchee, Florida. Their vegetables, herbs and specialty greens are prolific, tasty, colorful and nutritious. A few of the many delectable edibles are young raab, arugula, red beet leaf, leaf lettuces, kale and micro greens which are flavor-packed, young and tender veggies used for eating and presentation.
New Scientist magazine says that rolling up your car windows while driving in heavy pollution won’t shield you from toxins. In fact, results from several studies show the pollution is likely worse inside the auto. Pollution levels were shown to be up to 18 times worse on the inside as compared to outside the vehicles. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide were two of the pollutants measured and found to be in significantly higher concentration inside the automobile compared to outside. Benzene weighed in between two and 18 times higher inside automobiles as compared to outside. Ventilation had little effect on reducing the pollution levels.
While many socio-ecologic problems worsened over the last thirty years, an ever higher percentage of the Earth's 6.6 billion inhabitants are waking up to the need to transform our ways of living, go truly green, make peace with ourselves and end the war on Terra. This beautiful, living Earth needs each of us to consciously contribute to personal and planetary healing. You are needed, invited and welcomed to play a part in healing and restoring the Earth to a state of health and vibrance. I offer the following perspective after 30 years of replenishing soils, planting gardens and orchards and teaching about the health of the biosphere.
There is no doubt that we stand at a cross road of evolution for the human being. Many of us have raised our heads above the smoke-filled atmosphere and started to dream beyond our current conditions. There seems to be decay in every part of our environment, yet there is an optimistic feeling among millions of the human inhabitants of our globe. Long before there was a Greenpeace, the physician, Hippocrates said: "That without careful use of our natural resources, there will be an end to life as we know it".
Currently in Sonoma County, California citizens are protesting that pesticides sprayed on vineyards wind up in residential areas, landing on people, pets, water, food and livestock. Pesticides often drift beyond property lines to poison the air of neighborhoods and schools. Depending on winds and the actual size of the particles, they can drift up to 50 miles off target. And those most likely to pay for California’s wines are its children. High incidences of pesticide-related illness, from headaches, rashes and diarrhea, to cancer have been documented in the area. Most farmers don’t want to use more than is absolutely necessary but small doses of pesticides don’t necessarily mean safe doses and there is no law protecting citizens from exposures to pesticides. According to present law, as long as the product directions written by the chemical company are followed, vineyard managers can be as liberal with poison as they see fit, even in an area where homes and farms exist closely together.
Organic food possesses a strong following around the world for many reasons, beginning with the conviction that it contributes to a more natural way of life. This is the central truth: organic farmers build healthy soil that yields healthy food. By harnessing the potential of biological processes, organic farmers actually improve the productive capacity of their soil over time, while protecting water quality and enhancing biodiversity.
April 20, 2010 his study was just routine," said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of U.S. soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.
Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family-operated urban homestead located in the heart of Pasadena, California. Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a major freeway, the Dervaes family has steadily transformed an ordinary 66' x 66' city lot into a lush, organic and sustainable micro-farm teeming with butterflies, edible flowers and even chickens, ducks and goats! This modern, electronic-media savvy family are neither anachronistic farmers nor Luddites: they chronicle their homesteading lifestyle on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. They also run several websites and business ventures online: Dervaes Gardens sells produce locally, Peddler's Wagon for eco-goods, Freedom Seeds sells non-GMO and open-pollinated seeds and the nonprofit Dervaes Institute and community outreach programs support their pioneering lifestyle while educating the public. Healing Our World salutes this inspiring family for taking a stand and walking the talk.
For years, health professions have pushed fluoridation as weapon in preventing tooth decay. Now, with revelations of an apparent cover-up of evidence from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine – of a study linking fluoridation with elevated risk of a fatal bone cancer in young boys – common assumptions about fluoride are finally being re-examined by the health care mainstream.
The electronic and computer expansion in our society has brought with it the steady increase of electro-magnetic, radio and microwave interference into our environment. This interference disrupts communications, causes equipment malfunctions, impedes test procedures, but most importantly, has reached levels of pollution harmful to living organisms, including Man.
In a world perceived as more constrained, like Russia, there is, often times, more freedoms of speech than in a corporate and media controlled nation like America. Russia’s top public health official, Gennadi Onishenko, recently reported comprehensive, definitive research results showing that cell phones are harmful to adults and even more hazardous for children. The study revealed that as little as two- minutes of use by a child would change that child’s bio-electric activities, creating both mental and physical instability for a minimum of two hours. This is a similar finding to the well—known Hungarian study establishing that cell phone use by children greatly increases their risk of developing brain tumors at later ages, specifically between 20 and 29 years. Onishenko also dismissed the false claims by phone manufacturers that these devices were not harmful by saying, "mobile phones cause insomnia, memory failure and high blood pressure."
After the Second World War, two unique developments occurred. First, was that many young men arrived home from abroad ready to join the work force. The second was that the oil industry was ready to launch new businesses born out of their product. This combination together with the need to rebuild an economy spawned the petro-chemical industry. Among the many bright ideas they had, the star was certainly pesticides. Farmers have forever complained about the loss of crops from bug infestation. “Voila”, the answer was poison that would kill these insects. Next came fungicides protecting the plants from fungus then herbicides preventing the growth of competing weeds. During this downward trend, business exploded and profits went through the roof. Amazingly, there were no clear minds that asked the obvious question “if this kills bugs, does it not kill me?” With the lack of universal education and the rigorous and exhausting workload that most people bore they were willing to listen to the so-called experts (scientists in the pockets of industry) who pronounced these poisons as safe. Now, in the next century, the casualties are rising and the concern is stupendous. There are millions of unnatural and man-made pollutants saturating our entire environment. All legitimate biologists and concerned scientists unshakably state that they are the cause of increasing health concerns.
City water is closely regulated for some health hazards and is very unlikely to contain dangerous biological contamination. It is, however, almost always treated with chlorine to reduce the microbial count. Chlorine combines with such organic compounds as natural methane gas (from decomposed material) in water, to form organochlorine compounds. The most common are the THM’s (trihalomethanes), such as chloroform. These are carcinogens. They also give water an unpleasant taste and odor.
The Rate of breast cancer has been rising steadily since the 1940s. Many researchers and activists are asking whether exposure to carcinogens in the environment – including some of the 75,000 synthetic chemicals released since World War II – could be responsible, a 1985 study in Preventative Medicine found that breast cancer rates in New Jersey – Where 21 counties have hazardous waste disposal sites – were the highest in the country.