California Drought: HOPE for the Monarchs?

The California drought could be a ray of HOPE for the Monarchs. Who would have thought that anything good could come out of the crisis in the West? BUT, it appears that this might be it: The California drought offers a ray of HOPE for one of the Wonders of Nature, the MONARCH!

sunflowerandmonarchWhile catching up on reading my local paper this morning (In paper, not digital form), I came across a positive article that agrees this might be possible, and explains why: “Monarchs Get Help From the Drought in California” by Gillian Flaccus (Associated Press). I would gladly give a link here, but I could not find the article online, only in print.

Californians are removing their lawns, a major part of their high water-dependent landscapes, and replacing them with drought-tolerant natives. These plants are natives to Californian deserts and chaparral. Native milkweeds, that being used in this lawn substitution, are essential to Monarch survival.

The female monarch will only lay her eggs on milkweed.
Every spring the monarch butterfly migrates thousands of miles in search of a milkweed plant, on which to lay her eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars feed on the milkweed leaves. The milkweed plant then provides the perfect protection for one of the wonders of nature, as the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis, before transforming into an even greater  wonder: a monarch butterfly, which flies away.
The  milkweed seeds also fly away, on the wind.

***This cycle has gone on for eons.***

plant and monarchIt’s a fascinating journey, this cycle of the monarchs: It’s the monarchs that are born in early fall that make the long journey to Mexico, where they travel from 50-125 miles in a single day until they arrive in the fir forests of Mexico in early November & blanket the forest by the millions.  The usual life span of a butterfly is 4 to 6 weeks, but this fifth generation of monarchs that journey to Mexico usually live 8 months, or more.

What an amazing journey, it is!

Have you seen a monarch, lately?  I saw just ONE last year!

monarchcocoonTheir milkweeds are gone!  Monarchs have been dying out over the past two decades, with numbers dropping from 1 billion to less than 60 million. The milkweed, that monarchs depend on for survival, has been killed off in part by development, but mostly by Monsanto’s GMO crops that are repeatedly sprayed with Roundup. The spray and drift hits crops and kills everything else that exists in and around the fields. It has been killing all the “weeds”, everything on the edges of the fields that was once left for wildlife and pollinators.  Everything is killed except the genetically engineered crops that were created to tolerate repeated chemical dousing.
Nothing else stands a chance!

Hope for the Monarchs:

Back to the drought in California and how it’s giving Monarchs hope: Ecologists are hopeful that California gardeners’ use of plants that can help save water, can save monarchs at the same time. Nurseries are increasingly stocking multiple varieties of native milkweeds. In Vista, California, Tom Merriman says his native plants nursery did not sell milkweed at all 5 years ago, but sold more than 14,00 plants this year and sent truckloads of milkweed seedlings to California and other dry Western states, like Arizona. He has an atrium next to his greenhouses, with monarchs flying about, and chrysales throughout the nursery. “If you plant, they will come”, Tom says.

California gardeners are doing this out of necessity: giving up lawns for native plants, thereby offering a ray of hope to the monarchs of the west.  Why can’t gardeners everywhere do the same? Plant native milkweeds!

migration mapNotice this map showing the amazing annual migration path of the monarchs back to Mexico, Monarch migrationeach winter. The main “path” is not the west, along California.  The main path is through the center of the country, and east, where most of the agriculture is located.
Monarchs need all the help they can get!

How about finding out which milkweeds are native in your area and planting some in your garden?
A couple of places to get you started.

Monarch caterpillarMonarch Milkweed Seed Mix for Southern States, 100 Certified Pure Live Seed
Species are native and adapted to region
—- We are seed growers so we control quality
—- A mix of 4 milkweed species that are host plants
– and food sources for Monarch larva
– as well as nectar sources for adult Monarchs
Live Monarch

And, why not get rid of your resource-guzzling lawn and replace it with MILKWEEDS and other native plants?

lawn gone    Monarchs in a changing world

This different kind of drought resistant landscaping, without lawn.and with native plants, will most likely become a necessity for all of us, eventually.  BUT, the Monarchs and other endangered creatures, cannot wait.  Why not give Hope for the Monarchs, NOW, and start planting native plants, especially milkweeds!

 

 

 

 

 

Food Ingredient Labels are SCARY!!! Candy, TOO!

In choosing our food “look for ingredients we know, recognize, can situate in some part of the plant or animal kingdom, and can pronounce.” David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale Prevention Research Center

Food Ingredient Labels are SCARY!

Candy Labels are even SCARIER! What are you handing out?

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How to Treat Autoimmune Disease Naturally

“Autoimmune diseases… now affect 24 million people…They are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack.”

How to Treat Autoimmune Disease Naturally

How to Stop Your Immune System From Attacking You

Autoimmune-disease-pictureMany people are interested in how to treat their autoimmune diseases naturally.  They are questioning the conventional treatment, which usually means suppressing their immune systems, sometimes with serious side effects, and almost certainly making them feel worse.  They are looking to Functional Medicine for answers.  Many are finding relief for their symptoms, and sometimes changing the course of their disease(s), by changing their diet and exposure to toxins..

In this article in the Huffington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, addresses how to treat autoimmune diseases naturally and with Functional Medicine:
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Arsenic in Rice: Is it Safe to Eat? How to Reduce Arsenic in Your Rice

 

After learning thjasminericeat arsenic is present in rice and many food products, I needed to know more and to share what I’ve learned:  Arsenic in rice, is it safe to eat?

What is safe to eat, anyway, safe for each of us individually and for everybody, collectively?
It seems to be something that needs to be regularly reassessed, as new findings are released, and individual requirements & restrictions & food sensitivities change.  Food decisions are often a matter of trading one risk for another.
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Is the Auto Immune Epidemic Linked to Processed Foods?

“The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.”… A recent study by “a team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany “is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.

Is the Auto Immune Epidemic Linked to Processed Foods?

Food Plays an Important Role in Controlling the Symptoms of a Chronic Autoimmune Disease as Well as a Part in it’s Development

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Could This Mean There IS Hope for the US Food Supply?

Chipotle“Chipotle has been called irresponsible, anti-science, irrational, and much more by the Washington Post, Time Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and many others. A business deciding to give consumers what they want was surely never so contentious.” (nonGMO food)

Could This Mean There IS Hope  for the US Food Supply?

sunflowerandmonarchCOULD  it Mean the Beginning of the Fall of Monsanto???

GMO cross2

I was more than pleased to wake up to  this article, meaning, to me, hope for the U.S. food supply.   This is the second positive post that I’ve been able to make about the food supply, recently, so I am more hopeful about the food supply, than I have been.  Still, there is a long way to go.  This article continues along the line of what Robyn O’Brien, a financial & food analyst, had to say at the Food Revolution Summit.  See my post about that interview:  Food Awakening Continue reading

Dr Oz is Attacked Again, for his Stance on GMO Labeling

“Oz, who sees his show as a forum for discussing a range of health practices to better inform his audience, wondered aloud what accounted for the timing of last month’s brazen letter from 10 mysterious doctors.
Dr. Oz’s conclusion: His own continuing opposition to GMO food labeling.”

Dr Oz is Attacked Again, for his Stance on GMO Labeling

The Attacks Continue by Big Pharma and Monsanto

monsanto-1

This year, it appears that Dr Oz is being attacked for his support of GMO labeling, or the right of the people to know what’s in their food. — Just last year, Dr Oz was attacked by Senator McCaskill, who had received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma & Monsanto.  She failed to reveal serious conflicts of interest in her questioning of Doctor Oz, in her attempt to reduce competition for her largest campaign contributors.  Continue reading

FOOD AWAKENING: Food Allergies & Additives Promote Return of HEALTHY FOOD

For those who missed the Food Revolution Summit last week, I offer this post on the “food awakening”: food allergies & the state of our food, based on one of the most important speakers & topics of the summit.  Robyn O’Brien’s program:  “The Food World is Changing, FAST” – John Robbins of the Food Revolution interviews Robyn O’Brien.

robyn-obrienRobyn O’Brien, a financial & food industry analyst, who’s life took an unexpected turn when her daughter was stricken with an allergy-induced illness.  She was compelled to begin an honest look at our food system, which led to founding AllergyKids & becoming a leading force in the food movement today, becoming what the  New York Times called “food’s Erin Brockovich”.  She spreads the word about food allergies…. on her extremely popular TED talks, books, magazine columns, Twitter, & online advocacy. Continue reading

Will Our Efforts to Save the Monarch be Enough?

“Kingsolver (author of “Flight Behavior”) is clearly trying to awaken us to humanity’s growing disruption of the world’s biological functions—and to do it in a way that connects emotionally and viscerally with her readers,” Ashe (director of US Fish & Wildlife service) said. “And we really need this awakening!”

monarchWill Our Efforts to Save the MONARCH be Enough?

Awakening to the Decline of the Monarchs

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Food Crisis for the Monarchs!

monarch

Center for Food Safety sharply criticized Monsanto’s announcement that it is giving $4 million toward monarch population restoration.

Food Crisis for the Monarchs!

Roundup Has Almost Eradicated the Monarch’s Sole Food Source

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