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Herm & HannaH's Herb Discussion / New Nicotine-free Website up and running
« Last post by Little Feather on August 10, 2017, 06:26:58 AM »



Many Smokes Herbal  Smoke Blends:    http://www.manysmokes.com/

People have dried and smoked plants throughout history for a wide variety of reasons. Social bonding, recreation, medicine, and spiritual ceremonies have all shaped the history and ritual of smoking herbs. Mixtures can offer a variety of effects from calming the body and mind, to encouraging dreams, to helping transition out of a tobacco habit, treating asthma, increasing sexual powers, focusing your attention.  Browse through our wide selection of blends and pipes.

We offer prompt shipment and reasonable shipping rates.  Feel free to e-mail me with any questions you may have:  Herm.NaturesPace@Earthlink.net


Our flavorful organic and wild-crafted smoke mixes are blended with care in small batches and contain no synthetic ingredients or tobacco. We’ve chosen organically grown herbs that are gentle, tasty, smooth, and inspire tranquility. Ideal for rolling your own herbal cigarettes or enjoying out of a pipe, our all natural loose-leaf blends are a great legal choice, and an ideal alternative to tobacco cigarettes.  We offer a fine selection of  reasonably priced pipes and accessories as well as  Organic culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and herbal tinctures and oils.   Many Smokes are produced by Nature's Pace Sanctuary, an income-sharing Spiritual Community in the Missouri Ozark Mountains
2
 Meet The Blogger

Bob Schneider

Bob has spent more than 40 years in politics, more than 20 years on the national level working in Washington, DC in a variety of roles. His policy areas of expertise are Foreign Policy, Defense, Appropriations, and Trade Policy. In his time in Washington, he worked on some of the most contentious issues to come before the Congress, and Administration. Semi-retired, he now writes and lectures on politics. He also collects and writes about art.






This was not an easy decision to make.  Politics is like one's religion, you just don't change it unless you have a moment of clarity and realize you are on the wrong path.  My family's involvement in the GOP goes all the way back to the mid-1850s and the start of the GOP in Illinois.

My Mother's family helped organize the GOP in Illinois.  They were opposed to one human being owning another human being as chattel.  They found slavery morally repugnant and were zealots in advocating its demise. My family has been GOP blue-blood.

That is how far back my roots run in the GOP.  I have no roots in the Democratic Party.  However, it is time for me to lay some down.

There are things I don't like about the Democratic Party.  There are people in the Democratic Party I dislike as much as I dislike Donald Trump.  So, why not remain an independent?  There is a good reason for that.

In America, if you want to bring about change, if you want to be an agent of change and not a voice in the wilderness you must belong to one of one of the two political parties.  I was a party faithful for the GOP.  I often turned my nose up and voted for the GOP nominee no matter what.  Some were good men and women, in fact, outstanding men and women.  Others were as dumb as a rock and were still fighting the Civil War. I voted for them anyway.

Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner are the two men who drove this decision for me.  They are twins.  Rauner is Trump in a more presentable form.  He is careful to not give to Trump, or mention his name because he knows it is the kiss of death in Illinois to support Trump. Bruce Rauner betrayed me.  I worked to help elect him in 2014 and he lied to me.  He is as corrupt as any Governor we have ever had.

Trump loves to attack his critics and is particularly harsh on Republicans who don't kiss his ring.  Have you noticed that Trump has not skewered Rauner for his lack of PUBLIC support for Trump?  Curious, don't you think?  He will criticize Chicago, he will criticize the Mayor, he will beat up on everyone except two in Illinois: Fellow billionaire and ideological twin Bruce Rauner, and Speaker Mike Madigan.  Why Madigan?  You might want to look at whose law firm handles tax matters for Trump Tower in Chicago.

Why I left the GOP:

Hate and paranoia have become an ideological principle in the GOP.  The common view is the poor are thieves and stealing taxpayer's money.  They point to social programs as having failed to end poverty.  Social programs are not designed to end poverty.  They are designed to keep you alive while an individual tries to find another pathway in life.

They hate education.  Their steadfast crusade to end public education, to deny it money is an attack on our future.  I went to public schools, including a public university.  I received a good education, from dedicated teachers and professors.  That should be preserved and not torn to shreds.

They are trade protectionists and isolationists.  This is the final betrayal of Ronald Reagan.

They blame the victims.  In fact, they have a false victimhood that they are actually the victims of the poor.  They point to a mother on food stamps with an iPhone in her hand as "evidence" of theft.  Did they ever stop to think that maybe a family member in better circumstances gave her that iPhone?

With competition, which the GOP claims is a very conservative idea, the prices on smartphones have dropped dramatically along with the cost of service.  Why shouldn't a poor person have access to the rest of the world?  Their view that I've read a hundred times if I have read it once.  The resentment of the poor only continues the poverty and despair of the poor.

The GOP hates the poor.  They are only interested in self.  Everything with the GOP today is "I."  There is no "we" in their dialogue.  In the GOP rant about the poor, they go out of their way to admonish the poor for being poor.  They treat them without dignity and try to destroy all hope for the poor.

The GOP is xenophobic.  The day we lose the melting pot is the day we lose America.  I wrote about that yesterday which you can read by clicking here.

Education is the key to ending poverty.  See my comment above about the GOP views on education.

The GOP is overtly racist and unapologetic for it.   They can talk about how much they love Israel but that doesn't stop them from being anti-semitic.  They love the Jews "over there," but the Jews under their very noses?  Not so much.  This week, I have been told I am a kike which is not a term of endearment and told there is an oven with my name on it.  I belong in an oven because I don't agree with conservatives.  That sums up today's GOP.

Senator Toi Hutchinson, a Democratic State Senator has been called vile names, and references to her death have been common.  I was told by a member of the GOP just today that "that's just average citizens voicing an opinion."  You can read his comment by clicking this link, then read the comments at the bottom of the article. A day after publication, I'm still getting hate mail.

Why I'm joining the Democratic Party:

I am opposed to racism.  I abhor racism, bigotry, and antisemitism.  It is not "just an opinion" by "average citizens."  It is a vile practice that is to be stood against whenever, and wherever it happens.  The GOP is giving safe haven to the racists who flocked to the party after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.  Based on a principle of human dignity, the Democratic Party said goodbye to the racists and they ran into the outstretched arms of the GOP.

The Democratic Party may not agree, but they listen.  The far left is rigid and dogmatic but the average Democrat may not agree with you but they will listen to what you have to say.  I am pro business, and so is the Democratic Party.  It is now the home of Free Trade.  The GOP is now the home of trade protectionism.

The Democratic Party does not hate science.   They recognize throwing what we throw in the air and water will kill us all eventually.  Richard Nixon knew that too which is why he pushed for and signed into law the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.  As a result, the Great Lakes are no longer in danger of catching on fire as they were in the 60s and 70s.  There are no more killer smogs that took lives.  For younger Republicans google killer smog and see what we used to contend with.  It was a problem Richard Nixon fixed, and now you are trying to break it again.

The Democratic Party supports collective bargaining.  I can't say I am in love with Unions, I am not in love with them.  However, I am in love with the Constitution of the USA and collective bargaining is a right under the First Amendment of the Constitution.  I support that right for the same reason I support the right to own a firearm under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.  If we find a way of end running any Amendment then we have just made the Constitution a meaningless document.

The Democratic Party believes everyone is entitled to dignity. The GOP is wrong on Healthcare along with nearly all social issues.  Their proposals strip the poor, the elderly, and minorities of basic human dignity.

This was not an easy step.  In the 80s, I was an advocate of trickle- down economics as the solution to our economic ills.  It is hard to admit I was wrong.  The theory sounds nice, but as evidence has shown, it is a myth.  Educated Republicans understand income distribution is out of whack and are seeking ways of correcting the ill.  They are running up against the rank ignorance brought into the party and exploited by the party.

I spoke with a relative who is still solid GOP and he acknowledged all my concerns as being factual.  He asked me to stay in the party and fight for its soul.  There is nothing left to fight for.  His comment about a soul was interesting.  That is the problem with the GOP.  It has lost its soul.

It has no compassion, it has no empathy, it is just a collection of self-centered individuals who care about nothing outside of their own lives.  There is not a bigger picture, there is only self-absorption with the GOP.

I'll pass on the GOP.  As far as I am concerned, write its eulogy.

Will I be welcomed into the Democratic Party with open arms?  That is highly doubtful.  Like the GOP, they are wary and suspicious of anyone who was not born into the party.  I won't be trusted, I won't be given party responsibilities or jobs as I was with the GOP.  What I do care about is I will have a voice in the debate.  As a member of the party, they can't exclude me.  My voice will be heard.  From what I have experienced so far, excluding people is a GOP move for control and not something the Democrats tend to do.

I am now a Democrat.  As I look at the words, there is a tinge of remorse and sadness.  Sad because of what the GOP that I spent a lifetime serving has become.   As I look at the words, I also realize I have recaptured my soul.  That is not a statement the GOP can truthfully make.

I pray they can recapture it one day, but I don't think I will see it in my lifetime.  You have to have empathy to have a soul.

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Filed under: America, antisemitism, Civil Rights, Democratic Party, empathy, Hate, Illinois Budget, Illinois politics, Illinois State Legislature, Political hate, Politics, Racism, Republican Party

Tags: Donald Trump, GOP Racism, Governor Bruce Rauner, Hate, Healthcare, isolationism, Join the Democratic Party, Leave the GOP become a Democrat, political division, public education, Racism, Senator Toi Hutchinson, Speaker Mike Madigan, the poor in America, Trade Protectionism, trickle down, xenophobia
4
In the News / Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate
« Last post by Little Feather on February 22, 2017, 10:54:24 AM »
Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- “Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population.”  This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.

Research published today (Feb. 22) in Bioscience suggests that production likely will need to increase between 25 percent and 70 percent to meet 2050 food demand. The assertion that we need to double global crop and animal production by 2050 is not supported by the data, argues Mitch Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy, in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. He says the analysis shows that production needs to keep increasing, but not as fast as many have claimed.

However, clarifying future food demand is only part of the story.

“In the coming decades, agriculture will be called upon to both feed people and ensure a healthy environment," said Hunter. "Right now, the narrative in agriculture is really out of balance, with compelling goals for food production but no clear sense of the progress we need to make on the environment. To get the agriculture we want in 2050, we need quantitative targets for both food production and environmental impacts.”

A review of recent trends in agriculture's environmental impacts shows that they are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate, according to the researchers.

Specifying quantitative targets, the researchers contend, will clarify the scope of the challenges that agriculture must face in the coming decades, focusing research and policy on achieving specific outcomes. A review of recent trends in agriculture’s environmental impacts shows that they are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate, according to the researchers. 
           
Specifying quantitative targets, the researchers contend, will clarify the scope of the challenges that agriculture must face in the coming decades, focusing research and policy on achieving specific outcomes.
         
“Food production and environmental protection must be treated as equal parts of agriculture’s grand challenge,” says study co-author David Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology, Penn State.
       
These new findings have important implications for farmers. Lower demand projections may suggest that prices will not rise as much as expected in coming decades. However, the authors note that economic forecasting models already are based on up-to-date quantitative projections, so price forecasts may not be affected greatly by this new analysis. 
       
At the same time, farmers will need to ramp up efforts to hold nutrients on their fields, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health.
       
 This analysis builds on the two most commonly cited food-demand projections, one from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and one led by David Tilman, a prominent ecologist at the University of Minnesota. Hunter and his colleagues did not dispute these underlying projections; they simply updated them to help reframe the narrative.
       
“Both of these projections are credible and important, but the baseline years they used are over a decade past now, and global production has ramped up considerably in that time,” Hunter explained.

So, while Tilman’s study showed that the world will demand 100 percent more calories in 2050 than in 2005, that is the equivalent of only a 68 percent increase over production levels in 2014, the most recent year with available data. To meet the FAO projection, which used different assumptions and projected lower demand, production would have to increase only 26 percent from 2014 levels.
 
“Given how much production has increased recently, it is pretty misleading to continue to argue that we need to double our crop output by 2050,” Hunter said.

Aiming to double food production makes it much harder to move the needle on our environmental challenges.

“To double food production, we would have to increase global agricultural output faster than we ever have before, and we are at a point in the developed world where we already are pushing our farming systems to the max. We don’t know how to double yields in these systems, especially without multiplying our environmental impacts,” Hunter said.

Despite increased discussion of sustainability in agriculture, the common narrative that we need to drastically increase food production is seldom challenged in agricultural circles, according to the researchers. This is partly because definitions of sustainability vary widely, ranging from not “increasing agriculture’s environmental footprint” to achieving “major reductions in environmental impact.”

The researchers present hard data and quantitative goals to help clear up this confusion. For global greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, the data show that agriculture’s environmental performance is going in the wrong direction, with aggregate impacts steadily increasing. Science-based goals indicate that these impacts must fall sharply over the coming decades to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and reduce the size of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The authors argue for research and policy efforts to help identify production methods that can meet growing global food demand while also hitting sustainability targets.

“Even with lower demand projections, growing enough food while protecting the environment will be a daunting challenge,” Hunter said. “We call on researchers, policymakers and farmers to embrace this recalibrated vision of the future of agriculture and start working toward these goals.”

Also contributing to the research were Richard Smith, associate professor, and Lesley Atwood, doctoral degree candidate, both in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham; and Meagan Schipanski, assistant professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported this work.

###Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- “Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population.”  This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.

Research published today (Feb. 22) in Bioscience suggests that production likely will need to increase between 25 percent and 70 percent to meet 2050 food demand. The assertion that we need to double global crop and animal production by 2050 is not supported by the data, argues Mitch Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy, in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. He says the analysis shows that production needs to keep increasing, but not as fast as many have claimed.

However, clarifying future food demand is only part of the story.

“In the coming decades, agriculture will be called upon to both feed people and ensure a healthy environment," said Hunter. "Right now, the narrative in agriculture is really out of balance, with compelling goals for food production but no clear sense of the progress we need to make on the environment. To get the agriculture we want in 2050, we need quantitative targets for both food production and environmental impacts.”

A review of recent trends in agriculture's environmental impacts shows that they are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate, according to the researchers.

Specifying quantitative targets, the researchers contend, will clarify the scope of the challenges that agriculture must face in the coming decades, focusing research and policy on achieving specific outcomes. A review of recent trends in agriculture’s environmental impacts shows that they are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate, according to the researchers. 
           
Specifying quantitative targets, the researchers contend, will clarify the scope of the challenges that agriculture must face in the coming decades, focusing research and policy on achieving specific outcomes.
         
“Food production and environmental protection must be treated as equal parts of agriculture’s grand challenge,” says study co-author David Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology, Penn State.
       
These new findings have important implications for farmers. Lower demand projections may suggest that prices will not rise as much as expected in coming decades. However, the authors note that economic forecasting models already are based on up-to-date quantitative projections, so price forecasts may not be affected greatly by this new analysis. 
       
At the same time, farmers will need to ramp up efforts to hold nutrients on their fields, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health.
       
 This analysis builds on the two most commonly cited food-demand projections, one from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and one led by David Tilman, a prominent ecologist at the University of Minnesota. Hunter and his colleagues did not dispute these underlying projections; they simply updated them to help reframe the narrative.
       
“Both of these projections are credible and important, but the baseline years they used are over a decade past now, and global production has ramped up considerably in that time,” Hunter explained.

So, while Tilman’s study showed that the world will demand 100 percent more calories in 2050 than in 2005, that is the equivalent of only a 68 percent increase over production levels in 2014, the most recent year with available data. To meet the FAO projection, which used different assumptions and projected lower demand, production would have to increase only 26 percent from 2014 levels.
 
“Given how much production has increased recently, it is pretty misleading to continue to argue that we need to double our crop output by 2050,” Hunter said.

Aiming to double food production makes it much harder to move the needle on our environmental challenges.

“To double food production, we would have to increase global agricultural output faster than we ever have before, and we are at a point in the developed world where we already are pushing our farming systems to the max. We don’t know how to double yields in these systems, especially without multiplying our environmental impacts,” Hunter said.

Despite increased discussion of sustainability in agriculture, the common narrative that we need to drastically increase food production is seldom challenged in agricultural circles, according to the researchers. This is partly because definitions of sustainability vary widely, ranging from not “increasing agriculture’s environmental footprint” to achieving “major reductions in environmental impact.”

The researchers present hard data and quantitative goals to help clear up this confusion. For global greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, the data show that agriculture’s environmental performance is going in the wrong direction, with aggregate impacts steadily increasing. Science-based goals indicate that these impacts must fall sharply over the coming decades to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and reduce the size of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The authors argue for research and policy efforts to help identify production methods that can meet growing global food demand while also hitting sustainability targets.

“Even with lower demand projections, growing enough food while protecting the environment will be a daunting challenge,” Hunter said. “We call on researchers, policymakers and farmers to embrace this recalibrated vision of the future of agriculture and start working toward these goals.”

Also contributing to the research were Richard Smith, associate professor, and Lesley Atwood, doctoral degree candidate, both in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham; and Meagan Schipanski, assistant professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported this work.

###
5
Real Life / Up Late? Looks Like Our Paleo Ancestors Didn't Sleep Much Either
« Last post by Little Feather on February 02, 2017, 08:49:10 AM »


In America, it seems only unicorns get seven or eight hours of sleep a night, and the rest of us suffer. But people may be meant to sleep as little as 6 1/2 hours nightly and were doing so long before the advent of electricity and smartphones, researchers say.

To find that out, they consulted with some of the few people on the planet who live roughly the same lifestyle humans did in the Paleolithic.

Psychiatrist and sleep researcher Jerome Siegel at UCLA's Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior started studying three different hunter-gatherer groups in Africa and South America. "All three don't have any electricity, don't have any of the sort of modern electronic developments that many think have reduced our sleep," he says.

Those hunter-gatherers spent about seven or eight hours a night in bed, but they slept for just five to seven of those hours, according to the study, published Thursday in Current Biology. "It's clear that the amount of sleep that all of these groups get is at the low end of what we'd see in the United States today," Siegel says. Sleeping that little has been linked to everything from shorter life span to stomach problems and weight gain in industrial societies.

But unlike many people in the United States or Europe who sleep less than seven hours a night, members of the Hadza in Tanzania, San in Namibia, and Tsimane in Bolivia tend to be very healthy. There's virtually no obesity, many have very long lives, and nearly everyone in these societies does not have trouble sleeping. "Approximately 20 percent of our population complains of chronic insomnia at some point," Siegel says. "The two groups we quizzed on this don't have a word for insomnia."

That raises a lot of questions about why we think we need eight hours of shuteye. "That classic teaching that adults need seven or eight hours of sleep has to do with population-based evidence," says Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, a sleep expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine who was not involved with the study. "This paper questions, is that data flawed? And if so, how or why? Or it could be that the sleep we're getting is lower quality, and we need more of it to feel restored?"

Siegel thinks that might be because we evolved in the environment's natural 24-hour pattern of light and temperature, but we're cut off from that rhythm now. By contrast, these hunter-gatherers go to sleep a few hours after sunset, when the night gets chilly. They wake up when the day begins warming from the sunrise.

Following Earth's natural tempo in this way could improve the quality of their sleep, says Kristen Knutson, a sleep researcher and biomedical anthropologist at the University of Chicago. Our bodies' core temperature also cycles this way, regardless of air conditioning or heating. "If their sleep is following the environment's temperature rhythm more closely and naturally, then their sleep quality may indeed be better than what is happening in the United States," she says.

Researchers already know that light and temperature play an important role in sleep. Light can reverse jet lag and help set internal clocks, and people fall asleep more easily when their core body temperature falls. This all could contribute to why hunter-gatherers' sleep less than we do on average, Gurubhagavatula says.

And it could also mean that many non-hunter-gatherers may not need to sleep eight or more hours a night. "I think the beauty of this current study is that maybe we shouldn't be ramming this requirement down [every person's] throat so to speak," she says.

That's not to say that there aren't lots of people who are incredibly sleep-deprived, Gurubhagavatula says. Light and temperature aren't the only things dictating how much we sleep. "It's our activity and diet and stress level. I see patients who are single parents and have three jobs, and they'll be lucky to have five hours of sleep and are tired all the time." Those people need more sleep.

There are other habitual short sleepers in our society — truck drivers, graduate students, and idiot reporters who should know better — with lifestyles vastly different from a hunter-gatherer. "[They're] not the same as someone in our society who only sleeps 6 1/2 hours," says Dr. Elizabeth Klerman, a sleep researcher at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. So it could be unhealthy for people in industrial societies to sleep that little.

What's natural for a hunter-gatherer might not be natural for everyone, Siegel agrees. "I don't think we could just fling someone back into an equatorial lifestyle, and that'll be entirely beneficial," he says. But he's excited about other possibilities. If hunter-gatherers are sleeping better because they're more in tune with the daily temperature cycle, maybe we can do the same by programming thermostats to echo conditions outside. "That's a specific aim of my next grant," he says.

Angus Rohan Chen is a reporter and radio producer living in New York City. He has a dry wit and no hobbies.

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
    early humans
    anthropology
    sleep
    sleep deprivation

   
6
Real Life / Not Getting Enough Sleep? Camping In February Might Help
« Last post by Little Feather on February 02, 2017, 08:42:50 AM »


It's tempting to keep the computer running late and promise yourself an extra 30 minutes of bed rest in the morning. It's tempting to do it again the next night, too. But sleep inevitably loses out to getting up early for school or work.

There's a simple way to combat this: End all artificial lights at night for at least a weekend and drench your eyes in natural morning light, says Kenneth Wright, a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and senior author on a study on resetting sleep cycles. The most straightforward way of doing this is to forbid any electronics on a camping trip.

In the study, published Thursday in Current Biology, Wright reports on the latest of a series of experiments where he sent people out camping in Colorado parks to reset their biological clocks. Small groups of people set out for a week during the summer, an experiment published in Current Biology in 2013.

This most recent study shows the results of camping a week in winter and once over a winter weekend. Others stayed at home to live their life. Along with sleep, Wright kept track of people's circadian rhythms by measuring their levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates wakefulness and sleep.

Before each camping trip, Wright says that he noticed something odd about the study participants' melatonin levels.

In general, melatonin makes us feel tired. Levels of the hormone rise a couple of hours before we sleep, and they fall right when we wake up. "In the modern environment, those melatonin levels fall back down a couple of hours after we wake up," Wright says. "Our brains say we should be sleeping several hours after we wake up." The participants' sleep and wake times were slightly out of step with their internal clocks, like constantly being a little jet lagged.

But after people got back from a week-long camping trip, the jet lag was gone.

"[Melatonin] would go down at sunrise and right when people woke up," Wright says. And people's entire sleep schedules had shifted earlier so that they were going to bed and rising two or more hours earlier than they had been before camping. Those who had gone camping for just a weekend had their sleep schedules shifted by a little less than an hour and a half.

Why this happens probably has to do with how drastically different an environment lit by light bulbs and laptops is from one of sun and starlight.

Outside, "you are pretty constrained by natural light-dark cycles and the intensity and light spectrum that you see in nature," says Dr. Phyllis Zee, director for the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University who was not involved with the study. Natural light, particularly morning sunshine, which is enriched with blue light, has a very powerful influence on setting internal clocks.

That bright light can affect our circadian rhythm is nothing new, Zee says. But this collection of studies make very clear how an artificially lit environment at night can push our sleep timing further back, while bright, blue-rich light can train our circadian rhythms to sync earlier in a way that is actionable. Sleep doctors will often suggest that people use a light box indoors in the morning to simulate dawn, but's not always as effective as real dawn.

"I actually have used that [summer camping] study to treat some of my patients," Zee says. "We see people who can't fall asleep until 4 am. It can be very difficult to use this light box in the morning and avoid light at night. So you say, okay, there's this camping thing."

Sleep's Link To Learning And Memory Traced To Brain Chemistry

If camping is not your thing, Zee suggests trying to copy a natural light-dark cycle, at least on the weekend. "Over 60 percent of the shift can happen over a weekend. It's pretty amazing," she says. "We can on weekends or days off go out or sit by the window and just expose ourselves to a natural light-dark cycle."

And in a perfect world, homes, schools and offices would have artificial light that could mimic the spectrum and the intensity of natural light. "As a new design philosophy, think about light as important as having clean air," Zee says. "It's possible. It's totally possible."

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
7
Farm to table: A bit tricky in winter, but in high demand

By LISA RATHKE
Associated Press
AP Photo
AP Photo/Lisa Rathke

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Demand driven by the farm-to-table movement knows no seasons, so farmers in colder areas of the country increasingly use greenhouses and similar structures to meet wintertime demand for local produce.

While crusty snow and ice covers the ground in January in Vermont, spinach leaves sprout in rows of unfrozen soil inside a high tunnel - a large enclosure covered by plastic film that is warmed by the sun and protected from the wind.

"I can never keep up with the spinach demand," said Joe Buley, owner of Screamin' Ridge Farm in Montpelier, who planted the spinach in November and will sell it in about two weeks.

This time of year, when vegetables are trucked in from California and Mexico, some consumers clamor for fresh local produce.

"I'm definitely interested in supporting local agriculture, and I definitely like eating greens in the winter," said Serena Matt of Marshfield, Vermont, who paid Bear Roots Farm in South Barre, Vermont, ahead to get biweekly bundles of produce that in the winter typically include greens like spinach or baby kale.

The federal government helped spur the growth in winter farming by providing financial and technical assistance to farmers to install high tunnels to extend the growing season, protect crops from harsh conditions, reduce energy use and improve air quality by reducing the transportation of food. Between 2010 and 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service helped producers construct more than 15,000 high tunnels around the country, with Alaska having the most.

Rohwer's Farm in Pleasant View, Colorado, got its first 30-by-72-foot high tunnel that way.

"And it did so well we were able to get a second one, and we added a third one last year," said Heidi Rohwer, estimating they cost about $7,000 each.

The small farm makes regular trips to Durango, Colorado, in the winter to sell kale, lettuce, carrots, arugula, and bok choy.

"If we don't take enough greens, they get really mad," Rohwer said.

Buley expects his spinach to start taking off soon, when the sun gets higher in February.

"They get really big, and we'll come down through and just start harvesting like crazy," he said. It's also a lot sweeter, with thicker leaves, than summer spinach, because of the colder weather, he said.

"Root vegetables are nice, but usually right around Jan. 1, people are like, if you come at them with a butternut squash, they're going to smack you," he said laughing.

8
Eat Well / From the beginning of time humans have been eating bone broth
« Last post by Little Feather on January 17, 2017, 08:01:25 AM »


Bone broths have become quite the hot item in recent years.  Strong claims as to their curative and preventative properties have been made, having advocates in both the GAPS diet camp and the traditional foods movement. Broths are even being touted by such high-profile personalities as Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers. Restaurants and mail order supply companies have opened just to meet this “new” demand. 

Are bone broths the new cure-all?  To begin, let’s define some terms for the purposes of our discussion:

• A broth is made by simmering meat with a small amount of bones, such as a whole chicken.  It is not as concentrated in flavor as a stock, lacking the gelatin content of either stock or bone broth. Excellent when used as a base for lighter soups.

• Stock is made by simmering bones with meat. (I will buy bone-in cuts of beef, pork, and poultry, cook them, and then freeze the bones, making stock when I have accumulated enough.) Vegetable scraps are often added to stock.  Stocks are simmered for several hours in order to reduce the liquid, concentrate the flavors and extract gelatin.  Stocks are a fantastic deglazing liquid, base for sauces, or as the liquid for hearty stews and soups.

• Bone Broth is mostly bone, sometimes with small bits of meat, and often with the addition of knuckles or other joints (this is a way to increase collagen extraction. Bone broths recipes, like stock, usually roast the bones first to deepen the flavor. The simmering of a bone broth is usually in excess of 24 hours, with some recipes recommending 72 hours. This is to ensure maximum extraction of mineral content and gelatin.

Broths are long established in wellness circles.  Chicken soup is certainly regarded as a nourishing meal and has been prescribed for millennia in treatment of colds and respiratory ailments.  As a cook, I can personally attest that making my own stocks has more vastly changed the quality of my home cooking than any other recipe I have. 

This bone broth, though – this was new to me.  Cooking down chicken or turkey frames (a less grisly term for carcasses) for days is a strict no-no in traditional stock craft.  Some practitioners have slow cookers dedicated to the purpose. At the beginning of the week, they add a whole chicken and cover with cold water. Then 24 hours later they ladle out what is needed for the day, adding more water to the pot.  I have even read accounts of people blending the entire contents of the pot – bones and all – to get all of the nutrition therein.  (As an editorial note:  This seems uniquely American in a sense of going overboard.)

Bones and joints contain collagen and gelatin. These properties liquefy in the long cooking process and become infused in the water. Following the Chinese/Greek/homeopathic medicinal principle “like cures like”, the theory is that, by imbibing this collagen, the body will use it to repair damage to joints, rebuild bone, patch up leaky gut, remineralize teeth, repair skin and have many other positive reactions in the body.

The documented and researched science behind all of these claims does seem to be somewhat inconclusive. The problem seems to be that, once the collagen reaches your stomach, it is broken down to amino acids and your body simply uses these building blocks however it sees fit.  Another thought is that, by adding apple cider vinegar, you are extracting more of the minerals from the bones than normal simmering would allow. One of the few medical studies done on the nutritive properties of bone broth (McCance and Widdowson 1934) did not find this to be the case; the acid is too mild and/or the bones too strong to allow much calcium or other mineral seepage.  Practically, the largest hurdle in making specific claims about the benefits of bone broth is that this product is made from such a wide variety of ingredients and amounts; there simply is no recipe on which to base statistics.

Lest we venture too far into the skeptics camp – bone broths, or broths in general, are not without significant merit to the home cook.  Firstly, this is still a nutrient rich food. So what if drinking a quart of bone broth doesn’t cure your arthritis?  It is still extremely good for you. It is a protein and mineral rich food. (My personal suspicion is that most of the perceived benefits from eating bone broth is that it balances a deficiency which previously existed in the subject’s diet). Broths are also a very cost-effective means of providing nutrition to your family. By buying whole and bone-in cuts of meat, you are stretching your food dollar. You are not only saving the processing fee of the butchering (I am looking at you, boneless/skinless chicken breast), but by turning around and using the bones after you have roasted your bird, you lower both the cost of the roast and the eventual soup.

Another benefit you reap is in quality; store-bought broths and stocks are not in the same ballpark as what you are capable of making (for less money) at home. That gelatin you have extracted creates umami in your dishes. The fact that you made it yourself means that you control the salt and other additives in your finished product. Lastly, I am a firm believer that every choice you make to prepare food for yourself and your family impacts the physical and psychological health of those members in a wholly and measurably positive manner.

By all means, boil that broth.  It irks me that we tend to be so all or nothing with our idea of wellness.  Bone broth, like every healthy food that has had recent time in the spotlight (tart cherries, leafy greens, quinoa, etc.), does not have to be a magic bullet to have worth, to have a place in your diet.  Maybe it won’t fix every problem that you have.  That doesn’t mean that it has lost its centuries-old position as a cornerstone of balanced nutrition, along with other whole foods of a wide variety, in moderation. 

If you are interested in further information on bone broth, please consider visiting the following links!

http://thenourishingcook.com/beef-stock-anyone/

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/

Below is my base recipe for chicken stock.  I would like to mention it is rarely if ever this precise.  A pound more or less of chicken scrap, or a handful more of vegetable is not going to make a noticeable difference. This recipe is intended more as an illustration of method than a hard and fast rule; please do not hold off on stock production due to being short a stalk of celery.

Chicken Stock

12 pounds Chicken carcasses/meat

2 medium Onions

2 medium Carrots

1 stalk Celery

9 quarts Cold Water

1 large Bouquet Garni (thyme, bay, parsley)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse carcasses with cold water, make sure they are fresh (sniff), trim off any excess fat. If using whole chicken cut into 10 pieces (4 breast, 2 leg, 2 thigh, 2 wing).  Spread carcasses/meat in a single layer in a roasting pan and place in oven.  Chop your onion, carrot, and celery. Check your chicken after 20 minutes, it should be golden brown.  Give it a stir and add your veggies and continue roasting.  Check in 25 minutes (45 minutes of total roasting time), though it may require 1 hour of total roasting time – make sure that chicken is dark brown and juices have caramelized on the bottom of the pan.

Remove pan from oven and place on stove.  Remove any excess fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan with a ladle.  Add 1 quart of water to roasting pan and heat over high heat on the stove, using a wooden spoon to dissolve caramelized juices from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the chicken parts to a large stock pot w/ the deglazing liquid. Add the remaining cold water (it should only reach about ¾ of the way up the chicken). Bring stock to a simmer – DO NOT allow to boil.  Skim surface regularly to remove fat and scum, after 45 minutes most of this will be removed and you can add your Bouquet Garni (push down into the pot with the back of a ladle to keep from floating to the surface).  Cook for 3 hours, uncovered.  Strain the stock first through a coarse strainer and again through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Do not press on the pieces or stock will cloud.  Allow stock to cool to room temperature and place in an ice bath in the fridge.

 


9
FARMER'S FORUM / Landowner GIS mapping course and map packages
« Last post by alaliber on December 17, 2016, 08:47:17 AM »
Learn how to map your land using open source software and freely available data. This self-paced, video-based course on DVD is an excellent introduction to digital mapping tools (GIS) for landowners or permaculture designers. It will allow you to visualize the terrain of the land, perform site planning based on slope, aspect, and other features, and use GIS maps with open source software and Google Earth. You will learn where to obtain freely available aerial photos, topographic data, soil maps, and other spatial layers, and how to view and manipulate the data. Details at: http://www.earthmetrics.com/courses/
For those that prefer a final product, I offer different levels of map packages that include the finest detail mapping layers available for your property. The products can be customized to your land and needs, include free visualization software, and require no specialized mapping knowledge. Details at http://www.earthmetrics.com/landowner-mapping-services/

Andrea Laliberte
Brownsville, OR

10
Recipes / From the beginning of time humans have been eating bone broth
« Last post by Little Feather on December 13, 2016, 03:17:24 AM »
From the beginning of time (well, at least since there's been fire), man has been eating bone broth. Have you ever wondered why?

I’m sure you remember your mother or grandmother telling you to make sure to eat your chicken soup when you were sick. And likely when you did, you actually felt better. Have you ever wondered why?

I recommend everyone make bone broth and incorporate it into your dietary routine. Here’s why.

The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.

Fights infections such as colds and flu. 

A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.

The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.

Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails. 

The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.

Helps with bone formation, growth and repair. 

The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.

Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.

All you need is a crockpot. Throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and it cooks while you sleep.

Healthier than buying supplements. 

Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.

Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline. 

Promotes sleep and calms the mind. 

The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.

Gut-Healing Chicken bone broth:

Ingredients:

    1 organic whole chicken
    8 c of water
    4 -6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
    ½ white or yellow onion, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1 inch ginger root, finely chopped
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Place all of the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low heat for 8 -10 hours.

I like to cook mine until the meat is falling away from the bones.

I make this just before bed and it’s ready and hot for breakfast.

You can store any excess broth in the freezer and defrost for a later time.
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