Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:25
By Ammitai Worob
According to the census bureau, the largest growing age demographic in the US and worldwide are centenarians — folks living past 100 years old. Do you think you'll live past 100?
Would you want to live that long? If you're like most people, the answer doesn't have much to do with chronological age, but on how you would be able to function, physically, mentally, and socially. If we're likely to live a long time and we want to make sure we're healthy to enjoy those years, how do we do it?
First, let's ask: "How do we know if we're healthy?" Most people's answer would be simple — they'd say that if they feel healthy, they are healthy. But what about the tens of thousands of people walking around with breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, and so on? They probably don't have any symptoms, but clearly they aren't healthy. So we get mammograms, prostate exams, colorectal exams, blood labs, and more. With these early detection measures we should have terrific health outcomes, right?
It's not news to most of us that despite exponentially outspending any other country when it comes to "health care," here in the US we are literally crippled by our poor health. Unsustainable cost aside (and this is obviously a major issue, but beyond the scope of this short article), we continue to see rising numbers in almost every lifestyle-related chronic disease: diabetes, heart disease, many types of cancer, several types of mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.
Monday, 01 September 2014 15:48
By Ammitai Worob, D.C.
If you're like me, you've found yourself at GreenStar wandering into the Wellness section and standing in a state of semi-awe before a myriad of nutritional supplements ranging from A to Zinc. All those different brands, labels, combinations! If you didn't go in for something specific, you probably left in a swirl of confused thoughts like, "I wonder what makes one probiotic better than another" or "Isn't garlic supposed to be good for heart health? Should I be taking that?" Maybe you also subscribe to Dr. Mercola's e-newsletter or pick up the occasional health magazine and find yourself wondering, "Could 85 percent of Americans really be magnesium deficient?" or "Am I getting enough protein? And if so is it the right kind?"
In this information age, it's hard to sort out fact from fiction, and it's easy to go down a rabbit hole of information and get lost in the noise. Many food co-op shoppers have chosen to embark on a journey of healthful eating for a full and happy life. This journey can be difficult to navigate, in part because there are so many experts and so few areas of agreement on what is "best" or what is "true." Worse yet, even within one paradigm, the experts often change their minds or find new research that contradicts earlier thought. Just look at two peer-reviewed research articles from last year: British Medical Journal, Feb. 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements doubled their chances of a heart attack and had a higher mortality rate." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements lowered their mortality rates."
One fact beyond debate is that the top killers in this country are largely preventable lifestyle-driven diseases. America's top killer, heart disease, is both preventable and reversible. Certain cancers and associated diseases, such as lung cancer and respiratory diseases, can also be prevented in the majority of cases. And do you know that the fourth leading cause of death in the US is iatrogenic (caused by medical intervention)? Yes, it's true — just behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the next most potent killer is medical care itself. Old Ben Franklin clearly had it right: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (At some point, the focus of our health-care system will be forced, kicking and screaming, to face this reality. Our current system is wholly unsustainable. But that's a topic for another discussion.)
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:30
By Kristie Snyder,
Yve-Car Momperousse and Stéphane Jean-Baptiste are all too familiar with the predominant image of Haiti in the US media: poverty, destruction, and desperation. But that's not how the owners of beauty-product company Kreyòl Essence see it. Their Haiti is a land of beautiful mountains and beaches, a culturally vibrant Caribbean nation with vast untapped potential. Their company aims to connect eco-conscious consumers in the US with traditional Haitian products that have fabulous health and beauty benefits, to create jobs and markets, and to empower Haitian communities along the way.
Kreyòl Essence was born following a "hair catastrophe." While straightening Yve-Car's hair, a stylist applied too much heat, causing permanent damage. Yve-Car and Stéphane, both Haitian-American, remembered that their families used to turn to Haitian black castor oil as an all-purpose, traditional remedy for hair and skin troubles and a host of other ailments. Living in Philadelphia at the time, Yve-Car sought out the product to strengthen her hair as it grew back, and came up lacking, even in the Haitian neighborhoods. She expanded her search to New York and Boston, but still found nothing like what they both remembered — high quality, hand-pressed, additive-free, and unrefined castor oil. She called on her mom in Haiti to ship her an emergency bottle, and the ensuing conversation led to a decision to bring the product to America. From that beginning, Kreyòl Essence now manufactures hair pomades and milks, body soufflés, soaps, and candles using the black castor oil along with other high-quality and responsibly sourced ingredients.
The couple relocated to Ithaca around two years ago when Yve-Car was offered a job as Cornell's Director of Diversity Alumni Programs. They brought the fledgling business with them, and have since left their jobs (Stéphane worked in Ithaca College's School of Business) to run the business full-time. With combined backgrounds in marketing, communications, activism, business consulting, development, and non-profit management, they have sought to create a new kind of business — commercially viable, but with core social tenets. Rather than donate profits back to Haiti, Yve-Car and Stéphane followed a different path. They sought out Haitian farmers to grow the castor beans and hired local people to process them into oil and manufacture beauty products.
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All products from Gaia Herbs are on sale — stock up on high-quality cold- and flu-fighting supplements.
Good news for your health! Gaia Herbs (my personal favorite herb company) is having a 20-percent-off sale through November. Stock up now on their popular Olive Leaf and Oil of Oregano, two customer favorites among their many liquid phyto-caps (all vegetarian). Bolster your immune system with a bottle of Gaia's Elderberry Syrup, made with certified-organic elderberries, or their Echinacea Supreme tincture, formulated with certified organic Echinacea roots, seeds, and aerial parts. If you're a fan of organic essential oils for immune support, note that we now stock diffusers and nebulizers from SpaRoom. Diffuse your favorite immune blends from Veriditas Botanicals into your home or workplace. Speaking of Veriditas, we've expanded our supply of their certified-organic oils and blends and now carry their therapeutic hydrosols as well. Infuse a little Veriditas rosewater or orange-blossom water into your baked goods this season and prepare to wow your fellow foodies.
By Dan Segal
As more people choose clean, healthy, local food, it’s clear most of us have more than one reason for our choices. We may want to support farming methods we see as cleaner, safer and healthier for all creatures—an endorsement. We may want to keep more of our money in the local economy. For some it’s about community, the vibrant, essential bonds that good food nurtures. Of course all these reasons make sense, and at some level, they’re factors for just about all of us. Most peopl...