wellness

Gaia Herbs: Rooted in Integrity

Sunday, 01 September 2013 20:33

Interview with Mariah Rose Dahl
by Joe Romano, 
Marketing Manager

mariah-gaiaEarlier this year, GreenStar Marketing employee Mariah Rose Dahl entered GreenStar in a contest for the best display highlighting the mission of Gaia Herbs. Her display was picked as a winner, and she and others were invited to the Gaia Farm to see their operations. In the interview below, she shares some of what she experienced there.

Tell us about Gaia Farm.

The Farm is on 550 acres in Brevard, North Carolina. They grow about thirty-five different herbs on the farm, which supplies 25 percent of their crop needs. They were certified organic in 1997. Every year, they're recertified under the Oregon Tilth program, which looks at the supply chain from seed to equipment, how they manage the borders around the farm, crop rotation, pest management, what they use for winter crops, and soil test results. One interesting aspect that reflects the balance they're trying to create is the way they deal with pest management. Instead of trying to chemically wipe out Japanese beetles, which had become a serious pest, they brought in Tiphia wasps, which lay parasitic eggs in the beetle grub. The larvae consume the entire grub, and in the spring the wasps emerge and fly up into the tulip poplar trees, which I thought was a beautiful image of a natural cycle.

What did you notice about the day in the life of a farmer there?

Read more: Gaia Herbs: Rooted in Integrity

 

Cooking Under Pressure

Sunday, 04 August 2013 23:44

 

By Jeffrey Juran

fagor-pressure-cookerI can still recollect the childhood evenings when my mom made use of her pressure cooker, especially the sound of the vibrating round weight at the top letting off steam — and excess pressure — two or three times a minute. Little did I think...

The idea behind cooking in pressurized water-as-it-turns-into-steam is this: the increased pressure (which also contributes to better penetration of the water/steam) is accompanied by increased temperature, something experimentally confirmed and made into a usable formula by Robert Boyle and his assistant, Robert Hooke, three-and-a-half centuries ago. The first application of this principle — the first actual cooking demonstration — came less than two decades later. It would be another two centuries before attempts could realistically be made to popularize it, in this first go around, by making the cooker out of cast iron. However, another half-century plus passed — to the mid-twentieth century — before industry, no longer turning out parts for war aircraft, turned its factories towards such mass-fabrication, making consumer appliances such as pressure cookers out of aluminum. Competition proved stiff; design and manufacture were too often done on the cheap; reliability and safety too often went missing, and in the long run, the technology was not adopted. Pressure cooking even fell into disrepute — who wanted a pot blowing up in their kitchen? I don't know how often this might have happened — probably quite rare — but just the idea that it could, with that constant "reminder," the incessant sound of hot steam periodically hissing while it operated, while all very normal, couldn't be very enticing for potential users who weren't sure that there might be an upside.

Read more: Cooking Under Pressure

Feeding Our Children

Monday, 01 July 2013 22:41

 

Author's Name Withheld

autism-little-boy-smI'm not qualified to dispense medical advice. I'm not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian. And yet, three years ago — when our son was struggling with autism-spectrum–style issues, worsening digestion, incredibly picky eating, autoimmune/allergic symptoms, and all sorts of behavioral and developmental challenges — my husband and I discovered a major problem: nobody else was quite qualified to treat him, either.

Our son was six at the time. I (and my children) had eaten a whole-foods vegetarian diet since birth. I was a vegetarian chef and taught classes on vegetarian cooking and nutrition. I thought I was doing everything possible to ensure the health of my offspring. My son never ate gluten or dairy, I selected whole grains and organic foods, and whenever possible I limited our exposure to environmental toxins. And still, despite holistic and conventional healing attempts, by 2010 his health was deteriorating severely and rapidly.

Sometimes it takes my breath away: my body co-created my child, and now his body re-makes itself, every day of his life, using the stuff we breathe and consume. It was three years ago when I truly began to grapple with the implications of this: Every time I prepare food for my family, I make choices that support or detract from our continual healing and rebuilding. Our bodies heal and rebuild for as long as we're alive. Even a broken femur can heal itself; why not a broken brain?

Read more: Feeding Our Children

 

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