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Health, Learning and development, Nature, Physical activity, Wellness

Saksun Wellness 2018

I love sunny and warm places. So each year I mostly go south e.g. to the Southern Europe, but when I have to go to The Faroe Islands (Family) then one of my favorite places on Earth are actually there. It is the magnificant SAKSUN in the North of The main island, Streymor in the Faroe Islands.

When you have parked the car, there is a very nice 3 km walk along the river, pass the inlet and then you get go the fantastic valley next to the ocean.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Health, Nature, Physical activity, Wellness

Torshavn Training 1 2018

I love to do all kinds of exercises everywhere I go. I guess I am a trainingfreak. I am obsessed with that fitness feeling in my body.

Now I have arrived to my third home. Torshavn in The Faroe Islands. Everytime I come here I just want to climb these lovely mountains close to the North Atlantic Sea.

Join me on my training this calm cold morning in Torshavn.

Fresh cold air this morning around 10 degrees. Perfect for a challenging run and crossfit.

In the video below you can see some very good exercises for your back.

When you run on these very slippery and rough rocks you really have to concentrate all the time. One mistake you can be very sure of an unpleasant injury.

Here it goes up and down all the time. The perfect interval training.

Remember your push-ups. Perfect full body exercise and the view is fantastic.

This was a quite demanding crossfit training on my first day in The Faroe Islands. Hope you enjoyed watching and got a little inspired to go for it yourself where ever you are in the world.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

 

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Health, Healthy food, Learning and development, Nature, Wellness

Do You Deserve SuperFoods?

I will here give you a list of SuperFoods. Just because you deserve to give your body the best nutrition every day. The keyword is NON PROCESSED FOODS.

Mixed Bowl of Berries

Berries

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Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet) helps you slim down.

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It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart attack by 34%.

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They’re packed with polyphenols — plant chemicals that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.

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Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory and coordination.

They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.

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A glass or two (or even a boost in your morning smoothie) of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, says Texas A&M University researchers.

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Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung cancer.

This calcium-rich veggie can protect your bones and may even ward off PMS symptoms.

Because steel-cut oats are less processed than traditional oats, they’re digested more slowly, keeping you full all morning long.

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You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from just 3 oz.

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The healthy fat in avocado keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb other nutrients. For a new twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed) with olive oil and grill for one minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit, and balsamic vinegar.

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Pumpkin is filled with the natural cancer fighters alpha- and beta-carotene.

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A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.

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Need a reason to add cauliflower into your diet? It’s packed with cancer-fightingglucosinolates.

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Scallops

A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.

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Collard greens are exploding with nutrients like vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy. You can also use Kale or white cabbage.

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Olives deliver the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat you get in olive oil, but for just 7 calories per jumbo olive.

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Brown rice is a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses for more than 300 chemical reactions, like building bones and converting food to energy.

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Oysters keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6 oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc and all the selenium you need in a day.

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One cup of edamame a whopping 22 grams of plant protein, as well as lots of fiber, folate, and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

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Strawberries are loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.

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A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked lentils gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.

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Italian researchers found kiwi reduces asthma-related wheezing thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily requirement).

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A quarter-cup of sunflower seeds delivers half your day’s vitamin E, which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection.

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Black beans are loaded with protein, fiber, and flavonoids — antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.

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Just 3 oz of sardines provides more than 100% of your daily vitamin D. They’re also a top source of omega-3 fats. Try adding mashed canned sardines to marinara sauce and serving over whole-wheat pasta.

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A half-cup of asparagus supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate. And since it’s a natural diuretic, it banishes bloating, too.

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Bananas are loaded with several kinds of good-for-you fiber, including resistant starch (which helps you slim down). And remember the most mature ones are the helthiest.

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These sprouts have 10 times more of the cancer-preventing compound glucoraphanin than regular broccoli.

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Each baked potato packs a megadose of blood pressure-lowering potassium — even more than a banana.

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Not only is flaxseed loaded with plant omega-3s, it also has more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer) than any other food. Store ground flaxseed in your refrigerator and sprinkle on yogurt, cold cereal, oatmeal, or avocado toast.

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Half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which protects your vision and immune system.

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Blackberries are the king of the berry family. They boasts more antioxidants than strawberries, cranberries, or blueberries.

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Brazil nuts have more selenium than any other food. In fact, one nut delivers your entire day’s worth.

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Grapes are a leading source of resveratrol, the plant chemical responsible for the heart-healthy benefits.

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A Tbsp of this heart-healthy oil has all the alpha-linolenic acid you need in a day, plus two different forms of vitamin E.

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Blueberries improve memory by protecting your brain from inflammation and boosting communication between brain cells.

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With just 4 calories per cup, this cruciferous veggie delivers a hefty dose of vitamin K, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

 

If you have other SuperFoods, I would like to hear from you. Remember your body (YOU) deserve the best you can get. Therefore you should only eat this kind of food every day.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Nature

Say No To Palm Oil

While you are reading this, football fields of pristine rainforest are being cleared in Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations, devastating the homes of orangutans, and in the process orphaning hundreds of baby apes.

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Unless we act now and stop greedy companies destroying our environment, orangutans will go extinct within ten years.It’s not too late to turn this around, but we need your help, Brian.

In three weeks, big industry execs are meeting in Paris for the so-called “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil”. With your help, we will send a campaigner to the meeting and confront the palm oil buyers responsible for the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an industry group that mainly seems to help big companies greenwash their image. But it could be so much more, if only it would punish its members for forest destruction and human rights violations instead of looking the other way.

That’s where SumOfUs members like you come in: with your help today, we can push the RSPO to expel members and enforce a stronger set of criteria. That’s our best chance to protect the orangutans and ensure their survival.

But the clock is ticking. If we don’t act now, our children and grandchildren will only know orangutans from picture books.

Because of SumOfus members like you taking action together in the past, we’ve pushed some of the biggest companies in the world to adopt responsible palm oil policies — Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s only moved because they were pressured.

Will you please make a donation to keep the pressure up and help clean up the palm oil industry today?

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Hope you are in for the battle. You can donate here.

 

Love, Gaia And Wisdom

Brian

 

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Learning and development, Nature, Wellness

World Animal Protection

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Jeg har en rigtig god nyhed, som jeg gerne vil dele med dig. Som du nok ved, gør vi et stort arbejde for at hjælpe de mange elefanter, der lider i turistindustrien. Og nu er det lykkedes os at overbevise en thailandsk elefantlejr om at blive elefantvenlig!
Det betyder blandt andet et farvel til de skarpe jernkroge, som bliver brugt til at kontrollere elefanterne.

Overgangen sker gradvist over nogle måneder, men allerede nu er det slut med elefantridning i Happy Elephant Care Valley, som lejren hedder. Og fremover vil elefanterne være fri til at vandre omkring i dalen, svømme og mudderbade. Og turisterne vil kunne se dem nyde livet på sikker afstand.

Vi vil have flere elefantlejre til at følge det gode eksempel – det glæder jeg mig til at kunne fortælle dig mere om.

Tak fordi du er en dyreven!

Mange Hilsner

Gitte Buchhave, Direktør

World Animal Protection Danmark


World Animal Protection

 

Love, Respect And Wisdom

Brian

 

 

 

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Learning and development, Nature

How To Go Plasticfree In The Kitchen

Dear Readers

This month’s newsletter is packed with top tips on cutting down plastic use and helping out our bees. Plus some inspirational stories about people making a difference to the environment where they live. Enjoy…

The kitchen is a hotspot for plastics: cartons, bottles, food wrap, cleaning products… the list goes on. So we asked lifestyle blogger Wendy Graham for some tips.

Struggling to go plastic free in the kitchen? Green lifestyle blogger Wendy Graham offers tips on curbing plastics where we cook, store food and wash up.

If your kitchen is anything like mine then you’ll know it can be a bit of a plastic magnet. Thankfully, there are a few fairly easy swaps that you can do to help you on your way to reducing plastic usage in the kitchen. Some cost a little bit of money and many don’t.

Alternatives to plastic in the kitchen

I’m going to show you some plastic-free and reduced plastic alternatives that we’ve been trialling in our house. We aren’t entirely plastic-free – it’s a work in progress – but hopefully you can glean some useful advice from our experience so far.

I’m not suggesting  you throw out all the plastic in your kitchen and replace with plastic-free alternatives right this second. The most environmentally friendly way to green your kitchen is to use the plastic items you have, and then when they reach the end of their life, look at replacing them with plastic-free alternatives.

Consider it a journey rather than an endpoint to be achieved by next week. Slow and steady wins the race.

Plastic-free dish washing

Let’s start with dish washing. Washing dishes by hand can be a chore, and while there’s no getting around that, there are ways to make doing the dishes a plastic-free experience.

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Washing-up liquid with less plastic

Washing-up liquid bottles can be refilled at Ecover refill stations, which you can find in health food stores. The bad news is that the Ecover website doesn’t have a refill station locator, so it would be a case of ringing around to see where near you offers refills. The good news is that refill stations are becoming more widespread so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one near you.

If you don’t live near a refill station, another option, if you can afford to shop in bulk, is to buy washing-up liquid in 5 litres refill sizes – like this Faith in Naturebulk bottle . This costs around £20 and would probably last you a whole year. Although the carton is made of plastic, a purchase of one bulk bottle would significantly reduce the amount of plastic being recycled from your kitchen.

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Brushes and sponges

Of course you can’t wash dishes with washing up liquid alone. Thankfully, there’s a vast assortment of plastic-free tools out there.   Wooden dish brushes are a great alternative to plastic brushes. Made of wood, metal and natural fibres (cactus or horse hair) and you can replace the head when it wears out.

You don’t even have to give up the sponge. You can find heaps of plastic-free sponges on the internet – like this one from Rowen Stillwater  – that are washable. At the end of their life they can be composted.

Scourers can even be replaced with wooden pot brushes or metal scourers. You can pick these up cheaply in discount/pound shops, and recycle them  at the end of their life.

Plastic-free dishwasher detergent

For the dishwasher you can buy dishwasher powder that’s packaged in cardboard boxes from most supermarkets. Sainsbury’s, for example, sells this one .

If you want an eco-friendlier brand of dishwasher detergent, I’ve found some alternatives: EcoLeaf dishwasher tablets  are wrapped in a water-soluble wrapper that dissolves in your dishwasher – breaking down to carbon dioxide and water. And Faith in Nature makes dishwasher gel  which you can buy in bulk, saving on the amount of plastic packaging.

Plastic-free cleaning

Photo of homemade cleaning products

The cupboard under my kitchen sink used to groan under the weight of all the different plastic bottles I had for all the different cleaning jobs around my home. Glass cleaner, oven cleaner, carpet stain remover, antibacterial spray, stain removal spray – you name it, I had a plastic bottle for it.

Over the past 10 years I’ve switched to making my own cleaning products. Whilst this isn’t entirely plastic-free, it has drastically reduced the amount of plastic I’ve been popping in my recycling bin.

In my book Fresh Clean Home , I share all of my natural cleaning recipes. It includes methods for every corner of the home, not just the kitchen – in case you’re interested in making your own cleaning products too.

In my cupboard we also always used to have a pack of plastic-wrapped kitchen roll for cleaning and wiping. Now we just keep a store of inexpensive dish cloths in a drawer. It’s a more frugal alternative to kitchen roll, with the added benefit that the cloths get washed in the washing machine when they’re dirty rather than going in the bin, as kitchen roll does.

If you’re crafty then you can even make your own reusable kitchen roll , which looks very fancy.

Plastic-free food storage

Photo of glass jars

Moving away from cleaning towards food, plastic-free food shopping is a topic that requires its very own article. However, no article on the plastic-free kitchen can be complete without a discussion about plastic-free food storage.

I used to be a plastic Tupperware hoarder. Whilst I have a couple of bits of Tupperware that have lasted more than a couple of years, my experience has mostly been that it has a nasty habit of breaking and discolouring. Rather than replacing it all with glass Tupperware, which is very nice but can be quite pricey, I’ve gone down the more frugal route. Now, as my Tupperware breaks or loses a lid I’ve been trying to replace it with plain old glass jars.

Glass jars make for great food storage in the fridge, as you can see at a glance what’s inside the jar – helping you reduce food waste at the same time.

You can even freeze food in glass jars. Worried about the glass breaking? I’ve found that the trick is, when filling the jars, to leave an inch at the top to allow space for the food to expand when freezing. This will greatly reduce the chances of the glass breaking in the freezer.

Plastic-free food wrap

If you’re after a plastic-free alternative to cling film, there are heaps of low-cost and no-cost options. For leftover food that I want to store in the fridge, I cover it with upturned bowls or plates. It costs nothing, is plastic free, and means I can store stuff on top of the plate or bowl. I’ve also used pan lids to cover food in the fridge.

Photo of plastic-free beeswax wrap

Beeswax wraps make great food savers. Simply warm them in your hands and mould them over your bowl or round your food to help keep your food fresh without plastic. I wouldn’t wrap meat or fish in them – instead place it in a bowl and cover the bowl with the wrap. Buzzcloth  makes some good beeswax food wraps.

If you’re vegan then you can pick up soy food wraps from Rowen Stillwater that are just as effective as their beeswax counterparts.

Wraps can be a little pricey, so if you’re after a thriftier option then you can make your own  wraps really easily from fabric scraps and a little beeswax.

For packed lunches, I bought a few snack and sandwich bags  from KeepLeaf. These can be washed in the washing machine or dishwasher to keep them fresh and clean. Although they do contain polyester they make a great alternative to disposable sandwich bags.

Plastic-free kitchen tools

Photo of wooden spoons

As plastic items break or run out I’ve been trying to replace them with plastic-free alternatives. Ceramic, glass or metal bowls instead of plastic ones (charity shops are great places to look for these). Wooden or metal utensils instead of plastic ones. Metal straws instead of plastic straws, and so on.

No doubt there will be some plastic kitchen items I will have for life. But I don’t think it’s environmentally responsible to replace perfectly functioning items just because they happen to be made of plastic.

Start small – replace things as they run out and soon all those small plastic-free changes will add up.

Looking for more plastic-free inspiration? Why not join thousands of others going plastic free for one day a week. Check out Wendy Grahams blog: Friends Of the Earth And Wendy Graham

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Garden, Health, Learning and development, Nature

Longing for rain and it came

After several weeks of fantastic, warm sunny weather plants where indeed in need of water. I have been watering my plants every second evening for almost all month in may. In the long run it is not good for our drinking resserves, but I just love this kind of sunny warm weather. Perhaps it is the clima changes. We have got the warmest may ever. 14 degrees Celcius average compared to 12 what use to be average for may.

Here below is something about the importance of rain:

dried tributary of the Colorado river basin

Water is essential to human survival.  

The plants we grow, the animals we raise, and the requirements of the human body to stay hydrated are all dependent on water…clean water.

Rainwater fills streams, rivers, and lakes.  It carries with it not only the potential for life but also a history of its own past. The Yellow River in China, known as the “cradle of Chinese Civilization”, travels nearly 3400 miles with more than 180 million people near the river. But it also accepts more than 4 million tons of waste each year which has resulted in a 40% decline in its fishing catch and it’s believed that more than 30% of its native species are now extinct.

We are currently consuming and blindly tainting our water sources across the globe at a rate that far outpaces the Earth’s ability to recharge.  It’s a runaway problem that requires a solution that’s more than just a few years of above average rain.  The solution lies in holding ourselves accountable, changing our methods, and preparing the next generation to accept the enormous responsibility we will leave them with.

Rain is the lifeblood of human existence, of life on our planet.  And it commands our respect.

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Rain-fed vs Irrigated Agriculture

Rain-fed agriculture used to be the norm but now more than 40% of the world’s agricultural production is irrigation-fed.  And that’s putting a strain on the water tables as well as the rivers and streams that support our broader ecosystem.

There are some areas that receive adequate rainfall allowing food production to flourish.  To some extent, the more rain those areas get the more productive they are in terms of food production.  But areas that do not receive enough rainfall to support rain-fed agriculture must rely on man-made systems to move water where needed, often sourcing it from great distances.  It’s this irrigated land that often proves more difficult to manage.

The importance of rain is generally stressed by those that reply on it and echoed by those that wish for more of it.

So how can we, as a society, responsibly and effectively manage our rainfall for the benefit of the farmers that produce our food while leaving enough for those that live downstream?  That’s the question.

 

Methods Used in Areas With Sufficient Rainfall

Areas with adequate rainfall face the challenge of capturing, storing, and diverting water when and where it is needed.  Think of areas like the northwest or east coast. Though it may seem like “a good problem to have” it still requires planning and management.  There are several processes that work collectively to provide a system to manage the process.

  • Catchment
  • Retention
  • Diversion

The impact of proper management of rainfall is beneficial for the water table, streams, and rivers as well as those people that live downstream.

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Methods Used in Areas Without Sufficient Rainfall

Much like those areas that have sufficient rainfall to meet the local needs, areas without must manage what rainfall they do receive using an integrated network of systems and methods to capture and deliver water to municipalities and farmers that don’t have direct access. Las Vegas and the desert southwest are prime examples of areas that receive far less rainfall than their communities demand.  Systems have been constructed in such areas to capture and divert water from riverways and available aquifers to meet the needs of the population and its industries.

  • Catchment
  • Irrigation

The impact is greater in areas where water must be moved over distance because water is pulled from rivers and streams as well as the water table depleting reserves and leaving less for those communities downstream.

 

What Can Happen if We Deplete Our Sources?

So this begs the question. What will happen if we over-consume? Where will we turn if our current sources dry up? What will we do if we don’t protect the sources we already have? The implications are staggering…

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Conclusion

Rain is important because it feeds our immediate needs without requiring us to tap our reserves in the water table.  Rain provides a renewable resource that can meet our food production needs if managed properly. But we must understand that nothing in nature exists by itself.  Rather, our waterways and the rainfall that feeds them are all interconnected affecting huge population centers along the way.

With this resource comes tremendous responsibility.  If history shows anything, it’s that we have done very little to manage the resources we have.  The Colorado River no longer reaches the communities that once flourished near the Sea of Cortez.  The Aral Sea has all but disappeared causing the collapse of its once thriving fishing industry. China’s dam-it-all strategy along with rampant deforestation has produced numerous man-made disasters affecting hundreds of thousands of people along the Yellow River.  The Salton Sea, an accident to start, is now drying up and casting harmful dust into the air every time the wind blows.

It’s imperative that we engineer a system that fosters food production while protecting the basic right to water for all involved. Of course, the mission is pointless unless we have the proper perspective and accept responsibility for the resource and all who depend on it. Perhaps the students that are entering the Edible Learning Lab today will craft an ingenious solution to our current problem.

Why Rain is Important

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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