Archive for July, 2011

Forget That Diet and Eat What You Need: Don’t Stir Up the Whole Pot

July 27, 2011

When I read different biases about all the foods that are targeted to keep us healthy, I am overwhelmed by long lists. Here’s where you get your B vitamins; here’s where you keep a check on cholesterol; here’s how to recharge your libido…. Somehow, we are supposed to assimilate these lists.

 I’ve gone so far as to sometimes put a list on a sticky in my cupboard or on the stove hood as a reminder. The only thing I can guarantee from those lists is that I avoid looking at them after they’re up – sort of a ‘if you want me, come get me’ approach.

 The Tao is big on keeping things simple. I can relate to, “Don’t stir up the whole pot!” If we threw all the recommendations into one pot, I cringe to think what that conglomeration would look like. Or, if we decide to change several things in our diet at once: same thing.

 The most common challenge my clients have noted is drinking enough water – not soda, coffee, tea or juices (which people seem to have no problem remembering to drink.) I am amazed at what else falls into place when we drink 6-8 glasses of straight water a day. It’s not just a matter of keeping ourselves hydrated, while that is especially important in hot weather when we have to remember to take it everywhere to keep from passing out. We need water to mix with our food so that the food is diluted enough to pass through the wall of our small intestine and on to the liver’s clearing house and then to the heart, our main distribution center.

 The Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine considers the digestive tract the seat of all illness and clearing the tract is step one in the treatment of any condition. Whatever we do to keep everything humming along through the tract helps. If the digestive tract can’t hum, neither can our circulation system or any other system in our bodies.

 When coffee and tea are set up on a buffet, a new wrinkle is to also have a couple of pitchers of water offered as well. People are beginning to value the benefits of water.

Several readers liked my column on salt because it helped them stave off colds and flu. Who knows? By using simple remedies like salt and water to best advantage we may just have the healthiest summer ever! Keep your comments coming.


Picking Blueberries and Sifting

July 24, 2011

It was a cinch to pick two buckets of blueberries early one morning this week. The heat had kept people away earlier and the berries, unlike the rest of us, just ripened and became sweeter in the heat wave. It was a relaxing, soothing, delicious hour of setting aside wholesome provisions for winter energy.

 This simple task was welcome, easy to figure out. What’s not so easy is figuring out the rest of life. What I can’t understand is how people in the top echelons of income in the US can be so insensitive to the needs of citizens in general in this country, why they don’t want the satisfaction of helping to spread the wealth so that it can truly be said that the US cares for its citizens. Instead, the US seems to be following the route that has, over time, ended so many other countries up in the desperation of revolution.

 It’s hard to figure out what’s what from the internet. I’m trying to get a handle on Smart Meters and it’s an uphill struggle, fraught with misinformation and shaky claims on the part of people opposed to Smart Meters. As I separate the sensational information from beneficial claims, I am not finding reliable research against the use of Smart Meters. Sloppy research leaves me suspicious of its validity.

 Some readers and researchers have suggested that hacker access will continue to be a challenging problem to stay on top of, as it is now with the internet. The unknown cost is also a concern. When the power company switches from flat rate to billing by time, some will save; many people will pay more. In some cases, it may be twice as much. There should be a planned rate structure with Smart Meters that is published to say where they are going.

 It would be great if we could just pick blueberries and raise a few tomatoes and greens and rest assured that our elected officials would keep everyone’s best interests foremost.

None of us can afford to be that naïve with any confidence that our health will not be jeopardized.

 Some issues, like the health hazards Northern Pass will create, are clear.  We have over 25 years of solid research to back up responsible opposition since Robert Becker, an orthopedist, began studying the effects of electric currents on fracture healing in the sixties. He thought at first that electric currents would be a boon to bone healing. What he learned through his research alarmed him enough to warn the public with both his best selling Body Electric (1985) and Cross Currents (1990). Since then, researchers have continued to confirm the health hazards generated by electromagnetic fields.

 Other issues, like Smart Meters, need open-eyed, reliable review to know what action, if any, is needed to keep each other well.

The Long View for Smart Meters

July 8, 2011

I look at the unknown outcomes related to Smart Meters with a wary eye. I want to know why Californians have been concerned enough to ban them in one county and why Maine folks petitioned and now have the option with CMP to keep existing meters. I’m no expert on electromagnetic power and appreciate input from qualified engineers and researchers who are not connected to utility companies.

 A reader advised me that NHEC has an expensive contract with a private meter company for meter readers. Smart Meters would eliminate pollution generated by the 18 vehicles that check out 88,000 homes each month. He also saw the NP and Smart Meters as two separate issues and not part of a larger game plan. I hope he’s right.

 Another reader, an electrical engineer from VA, has a Smart Meter on his home and swears by it as a way to reduce our footprint and our electric bill when we choose to use major appliances in off peak times. Right now, it doesn’t matter when we use appliances; we’re charged by the KWH. With Smart Meters, peak hours of use will be charged more than off peak hours, so it’s a way we can use power more consciously and be charged less. Hopefully, he’s right, too.

 Re: the NP- a reader claimed that the NP was only going to use existing corridors; it was not going to take land to make a wider path. The fact is that the only way NP will put up lower towers is by widening the existing path. Otherwise, the towers may need to be 135’ high to handle the voltage so that nothing will short out.

 The glut of information on the internet can be a challenge to sift through, yet sift we must if we want to avoid more complications down the road. At a time when we more than ever need to be keeping track of changes, we are faced with research cover-ups by giant corporations intent on making money on our ignorance. It is not enough to rely on public services to carefully research the effects of their services and keep us informed.  Untoward results are suppressed or modified to promote their product.

 Ruthless disregard for the health of the general public is observed throughout the food industry, including feed practices for cattle, and additives for foods, and the drug companies’ array of  medications. As consumers, it’s difficult to know just what we are consuming. 

I can remember when the medicine cabinet at home had aspirin, mercurochrome, iodine, a roll of tape, some gauze, and a pair of tweezers. If you couldn’t solve your problems with these, you saw a doctor. Now, there’s a whole potpourri of pills and potions at the supermarket to monkey around with routinely.

 We know we have multiple health problems and we don’t know what, of all the changes in our environment, are causing them. Of special concern are the birth defects, cancers, and diabetes that are showing up in the very young. This week, we learned that Paxil is now linked to birth defects. 

Patterns in life have always fascinated me. When margarine and vitamin pills were introduced during WWII and sugar was rationed to feed the troops, kids had fewer dental cavities, and public health was generally good. Yet we went right back to increasing amounts of sugar in everything when the war ended and back to dental and general health problems.

 We’ve replaced trains with cars and trucks, and buses, thereby spawning transportation problems as costs skyrocket. Europeans can travel anywhere without a car. I can’t even buy groceries without one, much less travel to work.

 So it’s back to patterns and wondering where Smart Meters are taking us. What’s the big picture, the long range effect? I think now is a time when we need to listen carefully to each other and weigh the projected costs, not only financially, but in terms of overall, long range health. Will Smart Meters help us to stay well?


How Smart are Smart Meters?

July 3, 2011

We Americans are in danger of going overboard again in yet another direction.

To our credit, we have been a seat of new inventions and sky’s the limit possibilities. It’s exciting to live in the U.S.

To our peril, we have heartily embraced the fast food industry which began about 45 years ago with a small, affordable hamburger and a little bag of fries. Yet, it spawned the obesity epidemic we have today, added an inch to our dinner plates, called for enlarged theatre seats and automated grocery carts, while bringing us humongous health problems.

Our current direction is taking us overboard with technology. Computers and Cell phones progressed to Blackberries, IPods, Kindles and you name it – all asking for more radioactive energy to keep going. Yet, we are not attending to the potential dues: health problems we are going to have to pay for; and this time, the price is higher because it’s being added to existing problems.

The Northern Pass project is being pushed on us before definitive research has been completed. Healthier options, such as underground placement of lines, continue to be rejected. We do hope to generate more energy, but within safe parameters that are not based solely on making money for giant corporations at the expense of consumers.

While the NP debate is distracting the general public’s attention, the new wrinkle is for electric companies to begin replacing existing meters with Smart Meters. This means that the utilities will be throwing away billions of dollars worth of meters that are working just fine, and replacing them with Smart Meters costing billions more, and at a time when we’re supposed to be tightening our belts.

There is no way this can possibly reduce or maintain current costs. We consumer members will have to pay the bill and suffer whatever health problems the lack of sufficient safety research brings to us.

According to the Sage Associates Report, “Assessment of Radio Frequency Microwave Radiation Emissions from Smart Meters”, which is available online, “people who have medical or metal implants or other conditions rendering them vulnerable to health risks at lower levels than FCC RF limits may be particularly at risk.” That’s just for starters: there’s much more.

Smart Meters are not optional and utility companies are installing them even when occupants don’t want them. Once the Smart Meters are installed on our homes, schools and businesses, the next step will be to put transmitters on all the appliances in our homes, thereby increasing exposure inside and out. California is already experiencing problems.

We do not know what continued exposure will mean for us and it is clear that more research needs to be heeded in order to insure that we keep each other well.