Archive | March 2013

5 Reasons to avoid CAFO cows!

5 Reasons to avoid CAFO cows!
Customers frequenting the meat and dairy sections of local grocers will inevitably encounter products from concentrated animal feeding operations known as CAFOs. Since 1976, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defined large-scale industrial agricultural facilities that raise animals as such, the density of the animals, their exposure to nature, the feed quality and ecological effects have all been monitored. Although livestock farming and meat and dairy production has significantly increased since the inception of CAFOs, the environmental impact and humane treatment of animals confined to close quarters with limited outdoor activity calls into question whether CAFOs are a true advancement in animal agriculture.
A CAFO must first be designated as an animal feeding operation (AFO), whereby animals are kept confined and fed in a lot or facility for 45 days or more per year and vegetation, crops or forage growth are only sustained for a normal growing period. Because large corrals of animals are managed in CAFOs, their waste, pollution and contact with the water supply are continuously regulated by the EPA. When properly maintained, CAFOs can provide a low-cost source of meat, poultry and dairy. However, many CAFOs run under poor conditions, failing to properly dispose of the large amounts of biological animal waste and its contact with human water supplies, making the whole operation a serious biohazard with negative impacts on the environment.

Some of the most pressing environmental issues stem from the production of CAFO cows and provide compelling reasons to limit consumption of their milk and meat. Five areas of concern leave the public with serious doubts on whether they should avoid CAFO cows altogether: groundwater contamination, air emissions, environmental damage costs, antibiotic and hormone laden meat and inhumane treatment of the animals. Visit the 5 reasons to avoid CAFO cows list for details.

20 Amazing Ways To Use Coconut Oil!

PHOTO BY ReeBeckiSupergirl

By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon

Have you added coconut oil into your daily healthy and beauty routines, yet?

Coconut oil is an incredibly versatile item to stock in your pantry and among your toiletries. Its healthy fats bring with them a host of health benefits. Incorporate the following 20 uses into your lifestyle and you’ll know how to take care of daily rituals, from easily removing makeup to reducing frizz, and address health issues from Alzheimer’s to boosting hormone function.

Despite its saturated fat content, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are shorter than those in animal fats, which means the body can metabolize them quickly and not store them on the body. Coconut oil’s fats are actually quite beneficial for the body. The oil contains nutritionally beneficial fatty acids: lauric, caprillic and capric acids. Lauric acid fights off bacteria and viruses, and coconut oil is the only source of it, apart from mother’s breast milk. Caprilic acid contributes to healthy digestion and balances bacteria in the gut, while capric acid has strong anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.

It’s coconut oil’s unique fat content that makes it especially beneficial. The following 20 suggestions give you practical tips to getting the most from coconut oil.

1. Make Pop-Tarts

Pop-tarts are an American classic, but they are not the best addition to a healthy diet. Use coconut oil in this spelt-based Vegan Pop-Tart recipe to keep things animal-friendly and full of rich flavor and texture.

2. Replace Your Everyday Cooking Oil

While many everyday oils like olive oil are lauded for their unsaturated fat qualities, when cooked, the oils biochemically change and don’t bear the same nutrients, enzymes and potency as when in a raw, cold-pressed state. Coconut oil is unique in that it has a high burning temperature, so it can withstand higher heat levels that other oils can’t. When cooking, opt for coconut oil. It brings a new flavor profile to your dishes and can make the difference in your healthy diet.

3. Eye Makeup Remover

Coconut oil is a gentle and effective way to remove make-up. A little goes a long way and you ultimately get more for your buck by sticking to coconut oil and avoiding expensive brands with chemicals and artificial ingredients.

4. Daily Energy Supplement

Because of its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses as well as its positive influence on digestionand skin health, coconut oil makes a great daily supplement. Add a teaspoon to your morning smoothie or lightly cook vegetables with it.

5. Anti-Aging Moisturizer

Coconut oil provide a boost of antioxidants, which are linked to preventing signs of aging skin. Apply a smidgen of coconut oil to your face after cleansing at night and let it do its healing while you get your shut-eye.

6. Sex Lube

Over-the-counter lubes are often packed with harmful chemicals, can affect fertility, and are conducive to infections. Coconut oil in its extra-virgin or virgin state is a natural fungicide and completely devoid of additives and chemicals. And while many brands are relatively free of any scent, the extra-virgin varieties can bring a whole new meaning to sex on the beach.

7. Weight Loss

The fatty acids in coconut oil are called medium-chain triacylglycerols, which are much shorter and thus more soluble in water than the fatty acids found in other oils. For this reason, they are more readily burned for fuel. Replacing other oils, such as canola oil or olive oil with coconut oil can be the subtle change to making a big different in your body.

8. Diaper Cream

Coconut oil is an effective, gentle, natural diaper cream that moisturizes and gets rid of bacteriawithout piling on the chemicals.

9. Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Religiously rub coconut oil on your pregnant stomach as it grows and prevent stretch marks. Many women swear by this ritual.

10. Reduce Frizz

All it takes is a small dab of coconut oil rubbed into your hands and then brushed through your hair to reduce frizz and leave your locks looking soft, healthy, and moisturized. Don’t worry about the greasy look; as long as you apply only a dab, greasiness will be avoided.

11. Prevent Alzheimer’s

According to research, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acid content has been linked topreventing and reversing Alzheimer’s.

12. Shaving Cream

It’s never fun to shave without something creamy or soft to make the experience less harsh on your skin. Instead of reaching for a store-bought shaving cream, opt for coconut oil. It goes on smooth and works as both a shaving cream and an after-shave moisturizer.

13. Diminish Cellulite

Introduce coconut oil to your daily moisturizing rituals. Apply it on your thighs and bum on a regular basis and you’ll start to notice your cellulite disappearing.

14. Get Rid of Lice

Rinse hair with vinegar and then brush in a generous amount of coconut oil so that the entire head is evenly coated. Put on a shower cap and let it sit for a few hours before rinsing off. The vinegar dissolves the sticking power of lice eggs and the coconut oil smothers and kills the lice.

15. Boost Hormone Health

Coconut oil offers the necessary building blocks for the production of hormones. Fat is very important in the rebuilding and repairing cells, but the wrong balance of polysaturated to saturated and monunsaturated fats can mean bad news for your health. The human body is 97 percent saturated and monounsaturated fats and 3 percent polyunsaturated fat. Most vegetable oils tip the balance towards polyunsaturated fats, which can wreak havoc on the body. Coconut oil keeps the ratio balanced.

16. Tanning Oil

Coconut oil acts as a 4 SPF tanning oil that isn’t cancerous like the brands grazing beauty shop shelves. It’s moisturizing as well, which prevents your skin from getting dry and flaky under the sun.

17. Dry Feet Fix

Mix coconut oil with salt to remove dry skin from feet. The salt acts as an exfoliating scrub that removes dead skin cells and the coconut oil helps to lubricate, moisturize and kill bacteria in the process.

18. Chicken Pox and Poison Ivy Relief

Apply coconut oil to areas affected by chicken pox or poison ivy to reduce swelling, itching, and irritated skin.

19. Hair Care

Store-bought hair masques and moisturizing conditioners are often filled with fragrances, chemicals, and other additives that do more harm than good. Coconut oil works as an excellent masque prior to shampooing. Liberally apply it to the hair, let it stay in for 5 minutes, rinse, and then continue shampooing and washing hair as normal.

20. Massage Oil

There are many organic ways to spice up your sex life, and using coconut oil as a massage oil is one. Mix with other essential oils for desired scents and aura.

This article was written by Aylin Erman and published by EcoSalon on January 24, 2013.

HoneyColony recommends Nutiva Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil because it’s certified organic, GMO-free, unbleached, unrefined, unhydrogenated, chemical-free, cold-pressed, and delicious!

And for the coconut lover in all of us, we’ve also sourced organic coconut sugarorganic shredded coconutorganic coconut flourorganic coconut nectar, and organic coconut manna.

The Locavore’s Dilemma!

This video speaks to one of the most narrow-minded views of self sustainability. Understandably, the authors discuss some of the economical benefits of food globalization and the extended reach of mass food production to those in inclement weather and of lower socioeconomic means. However, they fail to acknowledge the practicality of the vision for an achievable local, organic and self-sustainable food supply right in Americans’ backyards.

Living in California, I’ve had an amazing source of year-round produce and access to some of the cleanest, most nutritious and affordable food from farmers markets and local grocery stores. Growing up on the East Coast, however, I was a product of frozen vegetables, french fries and hot pockets, with minimum exposure to farm fresh veggies. Now that I split my time between coasts, my family and I grow an organic garden from spring until fall in a successful attempt to live off the land. Does it cover my entire veggie regimen? No. But, it does provides an easy, affordable and self-sustainable way for a significant portion of our nutritious diet during those seasons. Friends of ours take personal gardening to the next level and grow food year-round in their greenhouses. Others have significant ties to CSAs and local garden shares and farms, making fresh, local produce a reality 365 days a year.

The fact that the public thinks they need to rely on grocery stores with produce shipped in from 10,000 miles away is a farce. If I had known growing up that local food was an option, my early life would have been drastically different. There were three farms in my town when I was little. By the time I reached high school, there was one and it was basically a convenience store that we stopped at for some snacks during driver’s ed. I never knew that it was possible to live off the land, have fresh, local and nutrient-dense produce and support local farmers.

In today’s world, with the ever-growing local food movement, it is paramount to open people’s eyes to the possibilities of a healthier and more affordable diet. It literally takes a few seeds, some seedling plants and some organic soil and voila! Instant grocery store right outside your door. I support being your own gardener if possible or getting as close to this goal as you can.

Re-standardizing our farming methods to improve the quality and yield of pesticide-free, non-GMO foods is both a noble and achievable goal. Our focus should be on boosting local farming communities to become the standard of produce in grocery stores and lower consumer costs. The author admits that we are out of touch with our food. He acknowledges that this kind of system can work in sunny climates like California. Why can’t this be the gold standard? Why can’t we marry idealism with pragmatism and push forth a stronger and healthier food industry and economy? It may not solve all of America’s grocery challenges, but it would be a giant step in the right direction for a healthier and more self-sufficient America.

Biological Evidence May Support Idea That Women Talk More Than Men!

Interesting thought for relationships..  .:)

Posted: 02/21/2013 6:30 pm EST  |  Updated: 02/22/2013 10:06 am EST

Women Talk More Than Men Study

Do you think your female friends tend to talk more than your male ones?

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, there may be biological evidence to support the idea that women are more talkative than men.

Citing an earlier assertion made by psychiatrist Louann Brizendine, NBC’s “Today” reports that the average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day, while the average man utters about 7,000. In addition, a number of earlier studies have shown that “girls start off with better [language] skills than boys,” according to Science magazine.

The new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that higher levels of FOXP2, a so-called “language protein,” are found in the brains of women — a difference that may account for disparities in verbosity.

“This study is one of the first to report a sex difference in the expression of a language-associated protein in humans or animals,” researcher Margaret McCarthy said, according to a news release. “The findings raise the possibility that sex differences in brain and behavior are more pervasive and established earlier than previously appreciated.”

According to Science magazine, scientists first found evidence of the link betweenFOXP2 and speech production in 2001. The gene has also been connected to the vocalizations of other animals, including birdsbats and mice.

For the latest study, researchers first analyzed FOXP2 levels in young rats, before turning their attention to a group of 4-year-old and 5-year-old children. They discovered that the “chattier” rats (the male pups) had more FOXP2 protein in their brains than the reticent ones. In the human subjects, 30 percent more of the proteinwas discovered in the brains of the girls.

“At first glance, one might conclude that the findings in rats don’t generalize to humans, but the higher levels of Foxp2 expression are found in the more communicative sex in each species,” said Cheryl Sisk, who studies sex differences at Michigan State University, according to a news release. (Sisk was not involved in the study.)

Though the researchers warn that the new findings must be taken with a grain of salt, they say they are hopeful that their discovery will open doors for future research.

“We can’t say that this is the end-all-be-all reasoning, but it is one of the first avenues with which we can start to explore why women tend to be more verbal than men,” lead researcher Mike Bowers told “Today.”

The new study is likely to provoke discussions — and we can expect that not all of it will be positive. For one thing, some will likely question the veracity of the idea that women are more loquacious than men.

In an earlier blog post, Susan Macaulay, founder of the website Amazing Women Rock, said that the scientific evidence usually cited to support the notion that women talk more men may not be airtight. Specifically, she pointed to the “factoid” about women using 13,000 more words per day than men. Citing a 2006 blog post by linguistics professor Mark Liberman, Macaulay argued that the sources behind such facts may be dubious.

She went on to point out that researchers — in a 2007 study published in Science magazine — had found no “reliable sex difference in daily word use” after analyzing data from almost 400 male and female participants.

Women don’t talk any more than men do — it’s an urban legend,” Macaulay writes.

The Benefits of Soaking Nuts & Seeds!

By: Delicia Beaty and Sharon FoutchSoaking nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes 
Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains and seeds.

Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts grains and seed can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

What are Enzyme inhibitors?
There are digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down food. Metabolic enzymes help every biological process the body does. Enzyme inhibitors will clog, warp or denature an active site of an enzyme. They may also bind to the enzyme, which will prevent the intended molecule from binding. “Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.”

What are Phytates?
“All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.”

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What can be used to soak nuts, grains and seeds?
I have found many references to soaking nuts, grains, and seeds in water, salt water, or a warm water mixture with something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice. It seems within 7 to 24 hours the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the anti-nutrients are broken down regardless of the method you choose. There is evidence that the process works when you see sprouting begin.

How long does the soaking process take?
“As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.” “Flour products should be soaked at room temperature for at least twelve hours but better results may be obtained with a twenty-four hour soaking.”

Are the nuts, grains and seeds used wet?

I have enjoyed almonds wet. If you choose to try consuming anything in the soaked state, make little batches and store them in the refrigerator. Usually everything that is soaked is dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting for 24 – 48 hours to remove all moisture.

Wheat berries can be soaked whole for 8 to 22 hours, then drained and rinsed. Some recipes use the whole berries while they are wet, such as cracker dough ground right in the food processor. You can also dry sprouted wheat berries in a low-temperature oven or dehydrator, and then grind them in your grain mill and use the flour in a variety of recipes. Nuts, grains, seeds and legumes can be ground up to use as flour in many recipes after they have been dried.

Any advice on what to do with legumes?

Maureen Diaz recommends soaking any beans or legumes in water and vinegar for at least twelve hours before cooking. Soaked and dried beans may be ground up and used as flour for thickening and baking. This is helpful for those on a gluten free diet.

One recommendation includes placing soaked kombu or kelp seaweed in the bottom of the pot when soaking legumes. Add one part seaweed to six or more parts legumes. This is for improved flavor and digestion, more nutrients, and faster cooking. “Soak legumes for twelve hours or overnight in four parts water to one part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improved digestibility, because the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water. After bringing legumes to a boil, scoop off and discard foam. Continue to boil for twenty minutes without lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up and disperses indigestible enzymes).”

Source (pdf):

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit for the Home!

Clean Green Living

Care2 Offers this Great Worksheet for

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit for the Home!


Care2 Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit copy