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    Love is the flower you've got to let grow. John Lennon

Dendrophobia: The Fear Of Trees

The definition of a phobia is basically the perceived fear of something. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.”

Do You Suffer From Dendropobia

Can people have a genuine fear of trees? Human beings can have a fear of just about anything.  Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily about the fear of a particular tree or trees but rather the fear of the cost involved if a tree that is on a homeowner’s property should cause damage due to a storm or natural disaster.

After big storms like Hurricane Sandy, many homeowners cut down all of their trees to prevent potential damage from future storms.

After big storms like Hurricane Sandy, many homeowners cut down all of their trees to prevent potential damage from future storms.

Listen To The Interview

Are we paving paradise? In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer talks to Vinnie Drzewucki, Urban Horticulture and Forestry Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County about The Fear Of Trees. To listen to the interview, click the play button on the video below.

The Benefits of Trees

Most people don’t even consider the myriad of benefits trees offer.  In addition to privacy, trees can create a natural sound barrier and are beneficial to wildlife such as birds, bees, etc. There is also an economic benefit as far as reducing energy costs for heating and cooling!

Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all. Emily Dickinson

Did you know that trees are an essential part of bird landscaping? The right trees can meet all of birds’ needs for water, food, shelter and nesting sites!

High Tech Tools For Calculating Savings!

National Tree Benefit Calculator: 

The National The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide.

Benefits of a Big Leaf Linden Tree

In the summer, the Big Leaf Linden tree produces clusters of fragrant yellow flowers that attract bees.

i-Tree

i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide. To visit their website, click this link for iTree.org.

Get Your Whole Community Involved With Tree City USA!

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in a partnership with the United States Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Although Tree City USA is greening communities around the United States, there are many communities that still need to participate. Does your community participate? Find out and also learn what the benefits are by clicking this link for the Tree City USA Program.

Town of Babylon Named a 'Tree City' by Arbor Day Foundation

Town of Babylon was named a ‘Tree City’ by the Arbor Day Foundation. Photo: Patch.com

Meet Vinnie Drzewucki!

Vinnie Drzewucki is the Urban Horticulture and Forestry Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County working out the Horticulture Center at East Meadow Farm in East Meadow New York.

Listen to Vinnie Drzewucki discuss the Fear of Trees in this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, hosted by June Stoyer.

Vinnie is an ISA Certified Arborist and is a New York State Senior Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional. His career spans more than 30 year in the field of horticulture, working in management positions at several garden centers and nurseries on Long Island and teaching horticulture and business classes as an adjunct professor at Farmingdale State College. Professional volunteer work includes serving on the boards of the New York State and Long Island Nursery and Landscape Associations. Vinnie is the author of 2 books, Gardening In Deer Country and Flower Beds ad Borders in Deer Country. Vinnie grew up in Floral Park and lives in Freeport New York with his wife Lisa. Vinnie says that he does not do gardening at home because they say you shouldn’t bring your work home with you.

What Definition Of Immediate Did They Mean?

It has been a few months since the White House announced the big news that a task force to protect pollinators would be created. This was back on June 20, 2014.

Presidential Memorandum — Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

“Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment.

The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.”

immediate definition

Immediate definition according to Merriam-webster.com

So, when will immediate action occur? The world may never know.

Neonicotinoids, The New DDT!

Tom Theobald has been advocating the severe impact of neonicotinoids and compared them to DDT. He stated, “neonicotinoids are 5,000 to10,000 times more toxic than DDT. So, what I did was I took that 3.4 million pounds, multiplied it times 5,000, which is a conservative estimate of the toxicity of these neonicotinoids. Those 3.4 million pounds have the toxic equivalent of 17.5 billion pounds of DDT! The peak usage of DDT was in 1959; 80 million pounds! We are now drenching American farmland with the equivalent of 17.5 billion pounds of DDT!”

Death Is Not Instantaneous, It Follows Inevitably Sooner Or Later!

DDTDichlordiphényltrichloréthane7

DDTDichlordiphényltrichloréthane7. Source: Wikipedia. (Photo: Lamiot)

Pictured above is a container of DDT. Commercial product (Powder box, 50 g) containing 10% DDT; Néocide. Ciba Geigy DDT; “Destroys parasites such as fleas, lice, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, flies, etc.. Néocide Sprinkle caches of vermin and the places where there are insects and their places of passage. Leave the powder in place as long as possible.” “Destroy the parasites of man and his dwelling”. “Death is not instantaneous, it follows inevitably sooner or later.” “French manufacturing”; “harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals” “sure and lasting effect. Odorless.” “Néocide. Ciba Geigy DDT, 50 g Dichlordiphenyltrichlorethane 10% “Destroys parasites such as fleas, lice, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, flies, etc.. Néocide Sprinkle caches of vermin and the places where there are insects and their places of passage. Leave the powder in place as long as possible. ” “Destroy the parasites of man and his dwelling” “Death is not instantaneous, it follows inevitably sooner or later.” French manufacturing “harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals” “sure and lasting effect. Odorless. Powder box (Photo: Lamiot)

Listen To The Interview

In this segment of The Organic View, beekeeper and bee advocate, Tom Theobald talks to June Stoyer about the current situation with neonicotinoids and whether or not any progress has been made to protect all life from exposure to these toxic chemicals. To listen to the interview, press the play button on the video below.

Do You Need To Be Wealthy To Eat Healthy?

The average household of four can easily spend anywhere from $200-$350 each shopping trip in groceries which include a myriad of snacks, cuts of meat, cold cuts, soda, etc.  If you shop organically, depending upon where you shop and what you buy, that same household can expect to pay 20-40 % less by cutting out the meat, the junk food, soda, etc. and incorporating more organic fruits, vegetables and nuts into their diet.

Farmstand produce is a great way to save money and support the local economy.

Shop healthy, save money and support your local economy! Vegetables from East Meadow Farm on Long Island are grown organically and priced competitively with non-organic produce.

Watch The Interview

As health-conscious Americans shift their focus away from dieting and towards whole, nourishing foods, vegan and raw food diets have been moving into the spotlight. But can you embrace raw foods without breaking the bank? Is it possible to get the nutrition you need on a plant based diet? Will you be able to juggle food prep with everything else in your hectic life? Can raw and vegan foods still taste satisfying and delicious? In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer talks to Gena Hamshaw, author of “Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat.”

Gena talks about her journey to good health, her favorite tools and kitchen gadgets, and also offers tips for introducing raw foods to children. To watch the interview, click the play button on the video below.

Raw Carrot Falafel Recipe

(From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014)

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, but I often find that it’s too greasy when prepared conventionally. These falafel, which I first created when I had a ton of pulp left over from making carrot juice, impart all the wonderful flavor of regular falafel, minus the deep frying. Once you make the falafel, you can use them in pita, pile them into romaine leaves, put them on your salads, or snack on them as they are. And this is one of those recipes where there’s little difference between the dehydrator version and the baked version, so no need to fear if you don’t have a dehydrator at home!

Carrot Falafel and Tabouli Recipe. From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

Carrot Falafel and Tabouli Recipe. From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Photo: Hannah Kaminsky

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot pulp from juicing or
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot, squeezed firmly between paper towels to remove excess moisture
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/4 cup fresh curly parsley

Directions:

1. Grind the sesame seeds and sea salt in a food processor until finely ground.

2. Add the carrot pulp, garlic, lemon, cumin, if using, and flax, along with 1?3 cup of water. Process until the mixture is smooth.

3. Add the parsley to the processor and pulse to combine.

4. Shape the mixture into twelve small patties. Dehydrate at 115?F for 6 hours, flipping once through.

5. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the falafel for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Top with tangy tahini sauce, and serve.

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, both dehydrated and baked falafel will keep for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen.

Tangy Tahini Sauce Recipe

MAKES 1 SCANT CUP SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend and serve.
  2. Tahini dressing will keep for a week in the fridge and can also be served over salads, with raw veggies, and warm grains.

Carrot, Avocado, and Turmeric Soup Recipe

Carrot and avocado was my first ever raw soup. Nothing could be easier: Carrot juice and avocado blend up easily, so you can use a food processor, any blender, or a magic bullet. The soup is a little spicy and a little sweet, and pumpkin seeds give it the perfect hint of crunch.

Carrot and avocado was my first ever raw soup. Nothing could be easier: Carrot juice and avocado blend up easily, so you can use a food processor, any blender, or a magic bullet. The soup is a little spicy and a little sweet, and pumpkin seeds give it the perfect hint of crunch.

Carrot Avocado Tumeric Soup

Carrot, Avocado and Turmeric Soup From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Photo: Hannah Kaminsky

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice (bottled is okay if you can’t get your hands on fresh)
  • 1 medium or large Haas avocado peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger powder  (or 1 teaspoon fresh, grated)
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Directons: 

1. Blend all the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds in a blender or food processor until rich and creamy.

2.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of salt to the skillet. Toast the pumpkin seeds until they’re just turning golden. Quickly transfer them to a cool plate.

For a raw version, you can soak the pumpkin seeds overnight and drain them. Dust them with a pinch of salt and dehydrate them at 115°F for 6 to 8 hours, or until totally dry.

3. Divide the soup into two bowls and top with the pumpkin seeds.

Meet Gena Hamshaw

Gena Hamshaw (Photo: Jeff Skeirik)

Gena Hamshaw (Photo: Jeff Skeirik)

Gena Hamshaw, CCN, a former book editor turned clinical nutritionist, has contributed to VegNews , O Magazine, Whole Living Daily, Food 52, and other publications. You can find her online at choosingraw.com or on twitter @choosingraw.

Still Want More? 

If you thought the two recipes featured look good, here are some other recipes you will find in Choosing Raw:

Choosing Raw is a great book filled with easy to make, tasty recipes.

Click the book’s image to pick up a copy of Choosing Raw.

  • Peachy Keen Smoothie
  • Chocolate Raw-nola
  • Easy Berry Breakfast Pizza
  • Hummus Kale Chips
  • Nori and Pumpkin Seed Cigars
  • Creamy Basil and Ginger Noodles
  • Apricot Quinoa and Mint Salad
  • Raw Corn Chowder
  • Acorn Squash, Frisée, and Brown Rice Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Raw Lasagna
  • Portobello “Steak” and Rosemary
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
  • Raw Peach Cobbler
  • Banana Soft Serve
  • Cherry Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream

 

 

What Is Killing Monarch Butterflies?

While most people can recognize the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), they are unfamiliar with its diet. The monarch caterpillar can only eat the leaves of a milkweed plant. If there is no milkweed, the caterpillars will have nothing to eat and obviously there will be no monarch butterflies.

Monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed.

Monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed.

According to the petition filed by the Center For Food Safety: 

“The monarch butterfly population in North America has been shrinking at an alarming rate, largely because a significant portion of their breeding habitat is being destroyed by herbicides used on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Milkweeds are critical to the monarch’s survival because they are the only plants monarch larvae will eat, but they are being decimated by the rampant use of Roundup (glyphosate) used in conjunction with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready™ GE crops.

Monarchs need urgent, comprehensive protection – the kind of protection only a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) can provide. I urge you to grant Center for Food Safety’s joint petition to list the monarch butterfly as threatened under the ESA.”

Click the link to view the full document:

PETITION TO PROTECT THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY (DANAUS PLEXIPPUS PLEXIPPUS) UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT 

The Making of a Monarch

Here is a short video created to teach children about the transformation of a monarch butterfly. Children face a grim reality that the world may not have monarch butterflies by the time they reach adulthood. To watch this brief, educational video, please click the link below.

Industrial Use Of Milkweed  

Milkweed produces follicles which look like little pods and contain soft floss (hair-like fibers) which protect their seeds. The milkweed floss has tremendous insulation properties and was grown commercially as stuffing for pillows. During World War II, the follicles from the milkweed were harvested when there was a shortage of kapok (also known as Java cotton, ceiba, or Java kapok).

A milkweed follicle releasing its seeds.

A milkweed follicle releasing its seeds.

Today, in commercial agriculture where transgenic crops are grown annually worldwide, milkweed is often considered to be a weed; an invasive one at that. Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup®, is very effective for killing the milkweed plant.

Ladybug on milkweed follicle.

Did you know that milkweeds are an important nectar source for bees and a variety of other herbivorous insects?

Help Protect The Monarch Butterfly!

What can you do to help the declining monarch population? Here are a few things you can do:

1. Help the Center For Food Safety protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act by clicking the link below to sign the petition.

Sign the petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in support of protecting monarchs under the ESA

Please help the Center For Food Safety protect the monarch butterfly!

2. Do not use garden chemicals that contain glyphosate!

3. If you have a designated area for a butterfly garden, plant milkweed in the back part of your garden or in a container. CAUTION: milkweed is toxic to some animals, so please consult with your veterinarian prior.

4. Knowledge is power! Educate your friends, family and colleagues about the monarch decline!

Listen To The Interview

Listen to this segment of The Organic View Radio Show as host, June Stoyer talks to, Bill Freese from the Center For Food Safety to discuss startling new information about the rapidly declining Monarch butterfly population in the United States. To listen to the interview, press the play button on the video below.

Meet Bill Freese

Bill joined Center For Food Safety in 2006 as science policy analyst. In his six years with the Safer Food – Safer Farms campaign at Friends of the Earth, he authored numerous reports and comments to government agencies concerning the science and regulation of genetically engineered crops. Bill played a key role in the discovery of unapproved StarLink corn in the food supply in 2000-2001. His comprehensive report on genetically engineered (GE) pharmaceutical crops in 2002 helped initiate public debate on “biopharming.”

Bill Freese

Bill Freese

In 2004,  he teamed up with Salk Institute cell biologist David Schubert to write a comprehensive, peer-reviewed scientific critique of the regulation and safety testing of GE foods. Bill has given numerous public presentations on agricultural biotechnology to State Department officers, international regulatory officials, farm groups and the general public. More recent work involves assessments of the failed promise of GE crops, industrial biotechnology, and cost-effective alternatives to genetic engineering.

Are The Plants You Buy Toxic To Bees?

Most avid gardeners that I know don’t use gloves because one of the joys of gardening is feeling the earth, smelling the soil and touching the roots of the plants. As a Master Gardener, I was horrified to learn that the tulips, flowers, trees, shrubs,etc. may have been treated with the very pesticides that are killing our pollinators. Although I garden organically, I had no idea that I was exposed because it was not mandatory to label plants that are treated with these chemicals as such. I first learned about this during a conversation with organic tulip grower, Jeroen Koenen back in 2012, who later was featured in an interview titled, Hidden Dangers of Systemic Pesticides on Tulips & Bulbs on The Organic View Radio Show, to discuss this very issue. I was also horrified at the thought that there have been countless children that I know who have worked with the earth without gloves. What the human health impact will be, I do not know. No one does because we have no research to explore the consequences to date.

Please Ban Neonicotinoids Theyre everywhere bees want to be June Stoyer

How Ubiquitous Are Neonicotinoids?

When I asked bee advocate, Graham White, about the ubiquitous nature of neonicotinoids and if they were strictly an agricultural concern he explained, “it’s not just American farmland. Friends of the Earth did a study of the plants and flowers being sold in Lower’s, Home Depot and other supermarket chains. They found that over 60% of the plants on sale were already pre-treated with neonicotinoids. The tulips, the geraniums, the petunias that you buy in the supermarket were treated when they were planted as seeds with neonicotinoids.

Are your tulips toxic to bees?

Unsuspecting gardeners buy bulbs that are treated with neonicotinoids.

Innocent people buy them and take them home to their gardens completely unaware that those plants will kill every bee and butterfly that comes into their garden. They’re also being encouraged to apply neonicotinoids in the house as termite treatment, and treatment against bugs of various kinds and even on dogs. They are applied to  dogs as flea treatments and so on. So, it is literally everywhere, said White.

Friends of the Earth also reported that Home Depot, BJ’s and other retailers have announced that they will take action on bee-killing pesticides. If you are planning for the 2015 garden season, it is recommended that you make your purchases after the labeling changes have been made so that you do not introduce more neonicotinoids into your garden or yard.

Bee Education Or PR Spin For Neonicotinoids?

Dutch toxicologist, Dr. Henk Tennekes was the first scientist to blow the whistle on the impact of neonicotioids on our environment. Then in 2010, he described the devastation in his best-selling book, The Systemic Pesticides: A Disaster In The Making. Since then numerous scientific papers have been published by world-renowned scientists further proving the catastrophic effects of neonicotinoids on bees, birds, amphibians,etc. However, there seems to be a great deal of effort by industry to negate what has already been scientifically proven. Is this a matter of education or simply a case of PR spin about neonicotinoids?

White further explained, “it never was a scientific debate. The people who manufactured these poisons knew in 1992-1994 that they were unleashing a tsunami of poison upon the world. They knew they were not going to win the argument in scientific debate. They were going to win the argument by public relations, by propaganda, by bribery by power and influence. That’s what they’ve done! Their reaction to this massive new wave of new studies which proves that they’ve behaved abominably is just to ignore it.

Bayer CropScience working to educate children about bees. Photo: Flickr

Bayer CropScience working to educate children about bees. Photo: Flickr

Syngenta and Bayer both have road shows which are going around America giving out fuzzy bumblebee dolls to little children telling everyone how much they love the bees. They are not even attempting to answer these scientific studies from all over the world because it’s never really been about the science, it has always been about public relations.”

Is America Drenched In Neonicotinoids?

Most people are familiar with the toxic impact of DDT. It is basically the hallmark of chemicals regarding toxic impact on human health and environmental health. However, not many people can comprehend the vast exposure we have had when it comes to neonicotinoids. If you consider the annual usage over the last several years, the reality is tremendous.

When I spoke to beekeeper, Tom Theobald, he had a very startling comparison which demonstrated just how much exposure we have had to neonicotinoids.

17.5 billion of DDT

Photo: Smithsonianlegacies.si.edu

According to Theobald, “America used 3.4 million pounds of neonicotinoids in 2009. I also looked up the maximum usage of DDT and that occurred in 1959. That was 80 million pounds. We are told repeatedly that the introduction of  genetically modified crops and systemic pesticides has resulted in a decrease in the amount of pesticides that are being applied to American farmland. On the face of it, that’s not correct! Dr Chuck Benbrook, from the University of Washington has shown that since the introduction of genetically modified crops, pesticide usage has actually increased by 500 million pounds. But I wanted to look at the toxicity because I think by reporting poundage, what they are doing is misleading us. They have to know they are doing this.

The neonicotinoids are 5,000 to10,000 times more toxic than DDT. So, what I did was I took that 3.4 million pounds, multiplied it times 5,000, which is a conservative estimate of the toxicity of these neonicotinoids.  Those 3.4 million pounds have the toxic equivalent of 17.5 billion pounds of DDT! The peak usage of DDT was in 1959; 80 million pounds! We are now drenching American farmland with the equivalent of 17.5 billion pounds of DDT!”

Listen To The Interview

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer talks to author and environmental advocate, Graham White and beekeeper, Tom Theobald, about The Big Picture On Neonicotinoids. To listen to the interview, please click the play button on the video below.

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