Ted Trainer: The Way I Live


From TED TRAINER
The Simpler Way
Australia

This account is intended to make two important points. Firstly we could live very cheaply compared with the normal lifestyle in consumer society, and secondly this could yield a very high quality of life. Unfortunately people tend to think that we could not move to much lower rates of consumption without giving up most of the things that make life enjoyable, but this is a mistake. Living simply does not have to imply hardship or deprivation. There are many sources of interest, activity and satisfaction available in a materially simple lifestyle.

The passages in bold type below refer to the way I actually do live. The normal type refers to things I am not able to do but would do if I lived in a neighbourhood that had been redesigned according to alternative principles.

A Pigpen for the Backyard


From GENE LOGSDON (1985)
The Contrary Farmer
Garden Farm Skills

[Please visit the upgraded pages for Gene’s Books here and Post Archive by Title here. -DS]

Loose talk about pigpens in the yard will send the blood pressure soaring in the veins of local zoning officials, if not your neighbors. It’s perfectly all right in our culture to keep a dog half the size of a cow in the yard, letting it bark all night and running all over town dropping manure in its wake. But a quiet, clean hog producing something useful like pork chops? Heaven forbid.

People think hogs are dirty because hogs will survive in crowded conditions. Because hogs will survive in crowded conditions, humans have always raised them that way, the better to make a buck. Try raising cats like we do hogs, and you’ll know what dirt and stench are really like.

A neighbor woman has for twelve years

Freak Storms — Ready For More?



Naomi Klein on Climate Change
~

From NEWSWEEK

In a world of climate change, freak storms are the new normal. Newsweek’s Sharon Begley on why we’re unprepared for the harrowing future, and how adapting to the inevitable might be our only option.

Joplin, Missouri, was prepared. The tornado warning system gave residents 24 minutes’ notice that a twister was bearing down on them. Doctors and nurses at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, who had practiced tornado drills for years, moved fast, getting patients away from windows, closing blinds, and activating emergency generators. And yet more than 130 people died in Joplin, including four people at St. John’s, where the tornado sucked up the roof and left the building in ruins, like much of the shattered city.

Peet’s at Peet’s or Peet’s at Zach’s?


OR…

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To the Editors:

The Peet’s Corporation has asked the Ukiah City Council not to ban it from our downtown (See UDJ Article Below). The choice could not be clearer. We have access to Peet’s fresh-brewed coffees at Schat’s Bakery downtown, owned by Zachery Schat and his family. Now the Peet’s Corporation, traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, wants the right to move into our downtown.

There is only one difference between the two companies:

On Memorial Day, America Should Honor Her Troops by Bringing Them Home


From JOHN NICHOLS
The Nation

It is unfortunate but true that on this Memorial Day — when we pause to honor those Americans who have fought the good fights against British colonialism, the sin of slavery and the menace of fascism — U.S. troops are currently bogged down in a quagmire of George Bush’s creation in Afghanistan and an continuing mission of Bush’s creation in Iraq.

Appallingly, Barack Obama has maintained Bush’s undeclared wars of occupation. And he has now steered the United States into another fight with Libya.

Everything about these undeclared and open-ended conflicts is at odds with the vision of the founders of the American experiment — who generally shared James Madison’s view that “permanent war” posed the greatest

Fukushima Equals 3,000 Billion Lethal Doses


From BOB NICHOLS
Veterans Today

…There are at least 48.6 Chernobyls in the burning old reactor cores pumping fiery isotopes into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is no stretch to say Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors and the dry holding pools for old reactor cores are equal to more than 50 Chernobyl disasters…

Looking at the current Japanese meltdown as more than 50 Chernobyls is just the start. In addition, the fate of the four nearby reactors at Fukushima Daini is as yet unknown by the outside world. Working at the nearby reactors, only 10 km (6 miles away) is a quick, painful death sentence. They are inside the mandatory evacuation zone.

This much is known. All radioactive exposures are cumulative for each human, animal and plant. What’s more, mutated genetic codes are passed on to offspring forever.

The last days of the salt-is-bad fad


From KRISTIN WARTMAN

A new study finds that low-salt diets actually increase the risk of death from heart attack and stroke — and in fact don’t prevent high blood pressure.

For something that’s so often mixed with anti-caking agents, salt takes a lot of lumps in the American imagination. Like fat, people tend to think of it as an unnecessary additive — something to be avoided by seeking out processed foods that are “free” of it. But also like fat, salt is an essential component of the human diet — one that has been transformed into unhealthy forms by the food industry.

Historically, though, salt was prized. Its reputation can be found in phrases like, “Worth one’s salt,” meaning, “Worth one’s pay,” since people were often paid in salt and the word itself is derived from the Latin salarium, or salary.

Those days are long over.

The last days of the soy-is-good fad


From KRISTIN WARTMAN

Studies have found that soy-fed infants have estrogen levels an average of seventeen thousand times higher than infants fed human or cow’s milk.

Thanks to Michael Pollan, many Americans are now aware that when a food boasts a health claim it usually means it’s actually not that healthy after all. But there’s one food that consistently flies below the radar despite its numerous health claims when found in processed and packaged foods: Soy. A long-time staple in the American health food repertoire, it is a prominent example of Pollan’s observation. And the research is mounting that soy foods are not only questionable in terms of their benefits, but in fact, may be hazardous to your health.

Most recently, the Cornucopia Institute conducted research on the processing of soy foods and found that the industry commonly uses hexane—a petroleum-based solvent and known neurotoxin

The last days of the fat-is-bad fad


From KRISTIN WARTMAN

If you work out the numbers, you come to the surreal conclusion that you can eat lard straight from the can and conceivably reduce your risk of heart disease.” 

The low-fat trend finally appears to be on its way out. The notion that saturated fats are detrimental to our health is deeply embedded in our Zeitgeist—but shockingly, the opposite just might be true. For over 50 years the medical establishment, public health officials, nutritionists, and dieticians have been telling the American people to eat a low-fat diet, and in particular, to avoid saturated fats. Only recently, have nutrition experts begun to encourage people to eat “healthy fats.”

This past December, the Los Angeles Times reported that excess carbohydrates and sugar, not fat, are responsible for America’s obesity and diabetes epidemics. One of the lead researchers in this field, Dr. Frank Hu,