Don’t Throw the Baby with the Bathwater: Hemp as a Cash Crop.

As a girl in the 1970’s, all I knew about “hemp” was that it was quite popular with a group of people I was uncomfortable around.  We called it “marijuana.”  I remember being advised by my teenaged relatives to smoke marijuana because, by their wisdom, if I could not smoke a joint properly when I got to Junior High, people ...

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The Trojan Horse of Mandatory Public Education

In the late 19th century, Americans from all walks of life recognized the value of a good education as the foundation of a free society.  It seemed self evident that basic skills like reading, writing, and math were skills that separated the rich from the poor.  Access to education promised a key to upward mobility.  So when mandatory public education ...

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Fixing Our Food Systems

What is a food system? Figure 1.   Our food systems are defined by the intersection  between humans and the environment we live in. Food systems, at the most basic level, include the diverse spectrum of interactions between humanity and the environment we live in.  Healthy food systems ensure access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food for all people. Because ...

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Fungi and the Circle of Life

Why Fungi Represent the Circle of Life People look at me funny when I say that fungi are the circle of life.  Comments range from the disinterested, “Yeah, right.   Whatever,” to the challenging “What are you talking about?” Well, here is what I am talking about. Fungi, particularly microfungi, the kind you need a microscope to see, are critical to ...

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Is Food Really the Best Medicine?

  I typically cite food as the best medicine.  To keep the regulators happy, I will define “medicine” herein as “stuff that makes people healthy so they feel better.” I don’t want to be accused of trying to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure diseases that are tied to legal definitions I know little about. But getting back to my point, ...

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Hacking Common Sense to put Medical Data in the Cloud

In the March 24, 2014 edition of Time Magazine, Yves Béhar describes “LifeTiles,” fasionable sensors that would non-invasively monitor a person’s health.  LifeTiles would share data with cloud algorithms to provide individualized feedback that would presumably help the user make better health choices. Since the technology to do this exists, it is conceivable that such a device could soon be ...

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Biodiversity and the Least of Our Brothers

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.  Matthew 25:40-45 American Standard Version.   Social norms, various laws, and widely shared ethics prevent most of us from killing other human beings. Animal lovers and certain vegans object to the killing of pets, whales, livestock, ...

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Leaving the Clutter in Desert Gardens

Gardening is a skill that develops over a lifetime.   I envy those who were raised with a successful gardener, because like any art, you just can’t pick it up from a book.  In fact, books on gardening are really just the results of gardeners sorting out their own thoughts out on paper.  Well, nowadays we don’t even use paper. ...

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Multidimensional Wellness

  Casa De Mi Alma Wellness Center, Las Cruces, NM, USA I recently had the pleasure of meeting Alma Salazar, a budding entrepreneur who is stretching her muscles on a truly multi-dimensional wellness center in Las Cruces, NM. Salazar has chosen a prominent location near the downtown area where she is integrating mental, physical, environmental, and nutritional health, by inviting ...

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Healthcare Can’t be Improved With Access to More Insurance

History tells us that when Columbus and his sailors arrived in the America’s, they reported finding American people in astonishingly good health.  Soon, rumors arose of a fountain of youth, which many Spaniards sought, but never found.  The Spaniards were approaching health with the same linear thinking that is currently driving our great nation towards bankruptcy.  They thought a simple ...

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