health

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cape town rivers in a bad way

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-03-14 09:20

pic: thinkquest.orgpic: thinkquest.orgCapeNature has put together a report based on a new study revealing that most of the rivers in greater Cape Town are badly degraded from over-extraction, pollution and sewage overflows (time to seriously contemplate a compost loo!). Sewage effluent from block sewerage works has overflowed into the Kuils, Black and Vygekraal rivers - creating serious environmental and health problems.

2002 alone cost R2.2 billion in health costs, due to poor water quality, and a further R64 million to treat the water.

The report also confirms that demand exceeds supply when it comes to water in Cape Town, which hasn't been helped by the recent dry winters.

Many of Cape Town's river habitats have been destroyed by canalisation or the building of weirs, gabions and levees, which disrupts the natural ability of the floodplain to absorb flood water and increase siltation.

Climatologists predict that the Western Cape will only become hotter and drier and that the recent droughts are likely to become a regular pattern. [IOL]


greening it up – tues 6 mar 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-03-06 10:32

Put it on, pronto! A condom applicator was named the most beautiful object in SA at the Design Indaba by the Dutch designer Jurgen Bey. The condom applicator invented by Willem van Rensburg and designed by industrial designer Roelf Mulder, helps one get it on easily and fast and was designed to help AIDS prevention. But the best is the comments posted on [dezeen.com]

Are biofuels the answer? They’re all the rage lately and SA is no exception in joining the rush. But is it the answer? The planet is struggling to provide enough food for its population as it is, and already there are fragile ecosystems being destroyed by the dash into biofuels. In West Africa, the biggest new cause of deforestation is the conversion of land into biofuel crop production. [greenfuture]

And now the green-vehicle angle – what about a compostable car? No really, a car you could throw onto the compost pile out back and dig in with your vege peelings? Apparently not as far fetched as it sounds. Mercedes have a concept car they’re calling RECY, presented in December at the SA Auto Show’s Design Challenge. Hmmm [celsias.com]

Whilst we’re out on a limb here, an ex-defense minister of Canada has advocated that UFO’s can solve climate change and is calling all governments to immediately disclose any alien technology they’ve been hoarding. He must know something we don’t? [hippy shopper]


sudan red leaves bad taste

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-03-05 17:53

So the curry I made last night using "Robertson's Rajah Curry Powder (Medium)" wasn't one of the six chilli spices tested by the Sunday Times and found to be contaminated with Sudan IV, a potentially cancer causing industrial dye.

Will I sleep any better because of this? Probably not.

It just serves as a reminder at how unnatural our food supply has become in a couple of generations. Sure, adulteration of food has always taken place, but never on such a global scale with such far reaching consequences. Our health expended for making a quick buck.

Would it make any difference to have one more chemical added to an already vast cocktail of chemicals in our diet that we consume without our knowledge? To me it definitely does.

The Sunday Times broke the story yesterday, reporting that Pick ‘n Pay, Spar and Shoprite were withdrawing implicated products from their shelves as a precaution. Seems like just the other day when we last had this scare, back in March 2005.

So where are all the government, industry and consumer bodies that are there to protect us against this scourge from happening again and again?

Well, the government is not too worried, as Thami Mseleku, Director-General of Health, says,


so now it's out with the soy?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2006-11-23 12:50

Okay, so I'm now really frustrated. We're health/organic/green/eco nuts who try to eat 'properly', so it's organic everythingwecanlayourhandson and if not, then we read the labels and anything with additives, preservatives, colourants etc. is OUT. So, you can imagine, there isn't much other than fresh food and the odd pre-prepared food that makes its way into my trolley (noddy badges accepted - hold the applause!).

Enter the article in the Biophile issue 4 - 'the truth about soy'. Now I am dismayed! I've actually been rather smug about the fact that we can get non-GM soy milk in our supermarkets. All the hooha about dairy products in the first year of a child's life meant that I introduced soy milk instead...

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the future of food

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2006-10-24 14:31

future of foodfuture of foodSaw this brilliantly shocking movie again at the Labia last night. It really is a must see if you care about your health, the environment or the corporate take-over of the food supply.

I've been thinking about what it is that really worries me about Genetic Modification. I am no Luddite - I believe in technology and medical progress. No one can argue that anti-biotics, vaccines, heart bypass operations etc have their place in modern society (although there are some questionable motives behind the drug companies promoting the technologies... another topic).

I think that GM does have a place in finding cures for incurable diseases. But the differences betw GM modification in the biomedical industry and the biofood industry was poignently highlighted in the future of food: a pill can't escape into the wild and start replicating itself; plants readily do this!


junk culture killing off childhood

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2006-09-18 15:18

LONDON - Britain's children are being poisoned by a "junk culture" of processed food, computer games and over-competitive education, an influential group of authors and experts warned on Tuesday. In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph, 110 teachers, psychologists and children's authors -- including the internationally acclaimed Philip Pullman and Penelope Leach, a leading childcare expert -- called on the government to act now to prevent childhood being killed off altogether.

Schoolchildren in a cafeteria. Britain's children are being poisoned by a "junk culture" of processed food, computer games and over-competitive education, an influential group of authors and experts warned on Tuesday. REUTERS/File Forced "to act and dress like mini-adults", children are becoming increasingly depressed and experiencing growing levels of behavioral and developmental problems, they said.

"Since children's brains are still developing, they cannot adjust as full-grown adults can, to the effects of ever more rapid technological and cultural change," the letter said.

Source: Organic Consumers

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