March 2, 2007

Weekend Reading: The Soil and Health

soil-and-health-cover_150.jpgSir Albert Howard's The Soil and Health is back in print.

Howard's writings were the inspiration behind J.I. Rodale's seminal Organic Farming and Gardening magazine. Which makes Howard the forefather (or forefather's forefather) of the organic movement, writes Tom Philpott on the topic of the book's reissue:

Howard's books belong on the shelf with other 20th-century classics like Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities and E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful. These works challenge a scientific/bureaucratic establishment that seeks to solve the problems of mass industrialization with more industrialization. In the words of the great German-Jewish writer Walter Benjamin, a contemporary of Howard, they seek to "make whole what has been smashed" by a zeal for specialization. Much-cited and little-heeded, they may yet point a way out of our mounting environmental and social crises.

Buy The Soil and Health.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 26, 2007

The Urban Environment Report Ranks Greenest Cities


Last Thursday, the Earth Day Network released its Urban Environment Report on the country's greenest cities.

The report ranks 72 American cities in seven areas: air quality, quality of life, parks and recreation, toxics and waste, drinking and surface water, human and public health, and global warming climate change. Fargo, ND, Burlington, VT and Portland, OR top the list; our home city of Boston ranks 23rd -- behind Seattle, though ahead of NYC and San Francisco.

Check out the report to see where your city ranks. (Via Grist.)

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 22, 2007

Treehugger: Vegetarianism is the New Prius

veg prius-thumb.jpgHe's not the only one to notice, but Lloyd Alter, writing for Treehugger, says it best, referring to Kathy Freston's article on Alternet about new UN reports on livestock and the environment:

With warnings about global warming reaching feverish levels, many are having second thoughts about all those cars. It seems they should instead be worrying about the chickens.

Read Alter's blurb at Treehugger.

Read Freston's article on Alternet.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 21, 2007

Don't Be SAD: Apollo Health GoLite P1 Blue Spectrum Light Therapy Device

B000C1946S.01._AA280_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgWinter days got you feeling SAD? If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, you could benefit from light therapy. Apollo's GoLite P1 Blue Spectrum Light Therapy Device is one of the leading devices on the market, and for good reason.

Product features:

- Light therapy device uses blue spectrum wavelengths
- Effectively treats seasonal affective disorder and other circadian rhythm related mood disorders
- Blue spectrum is the most effective color in treating these disorders
- Lightweight and portable, weighs less than 1 pound, measures 6 inches by 6 inches; fully programmable interface and advanced features
- Equipped with built-in digital timer, automatic shut-down, protective flip cover, long-lasting eye-safe LEDs, and more

The retail price is $250; Amazon is selling it for $172 (30% off).

Buy it at Amazon.

ArrowContinue reading: "Don't Be SAD: Apollo Health GoLite P1 Blue Spectrum Light Therapy Device"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 9, 2007

Weekend Reading: The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times

0393052206.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSaw an interview in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks back with Tristram Stuart, author of The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times.

Although the term "vegetarian" didn't come into use until the mid 1800's, Stuart traces the history of vegetarian thinking to the 1600's, looking at literary, social and cultural history. At a time when nutritionists and health experts are re-discovering the health benefits of a plant-based diet (see Michael Pollan's article in last week's NYTimes for a terrific discussion of the thinking behind this latest thinking), Stuart's detailed history goes beyond "Meat is Murder" to explore the evolution of scientific and ethical thinking behind the vegetarian movement.

Available at Amazon.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 7, 2007

RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier - Part 2

Thanks to folks who've written in to vouch for the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier (responding to last month's Breathe Easier post).

Mark has this to say about it in his review on Mindful Musings:

After plugging the unit in, I turned it on with the thin remote and set it on full auto. It has a “pollen sensor” and a “smell sensor” and they work in tandem to determine how fast the unit runs. It was interesting to know how polluted the unit thought our house was when we turned it on.

* The unit is very close to silent. Only when it senses something nasty does it get a tad bit louder but the brushless fan is perfect.

* It cleans quickly and automatically. Cooking smells and odors are gone in a few minutes, never longer than a few hours (yet)

* The pollen and smell sensors work, which is quite amazing. Cooking makes it automatically run faster and so does Jennifer’ nail polish smell. When the dogs wag their tails near the pollen/dander sensor, the unit wakes up and starts sending more air through.

Read more about the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier.
Buy it for 37% off retail at Amazon.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

February 1, 2007

Bach's Rescue Remedy

B0009POTSU.01-A2701FG002WN6Z._AA280_SCLZZZZZZZ_V59575601_.jpgOur friend Julie recently turned us on to Bach's Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic remedy for stress and anxiety. Put 4 drops (or a couple of spritzes) in your mouth, in a glass of water, or even on your wrist, and Bach's flower essence formula will provide courage, stress relief and peace of mind. All natural formula is safe for children, and even pets.

Ingredients: 5 x dilution of flower extracts of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, and Cherry Plum in a grape alcohol solution. Free from artificial additives and suitable for vegans

At Bach's Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Spray.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

January 30, 2007

Crispy Green Introduces Crispy Pineapple

Looking for a more exciting way to get your apple a day? Crispy Green suggests the newest product in its line of Crispy Fruit: Crispy Pineapple.

We reviewed Crispy Green's apples, peaches and apricots last fall, and gave them high marks for portability, nutrition, and tastiness. We haven't tasted the pineapple yet, but are hoping it's more of the same. Only tropical.

Available at Crispy Green.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

January 29, 2007

Michael Pollan on Nutrition in NYTimes

28meals_600.jpgMichael Pollan writes about why nutrition studies might be making us food-obsessed, unhealthy and obese in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Pollan is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, the hardest (and most interesting) look at our food and where it's coming from since Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. (It's a tougher read, but definitely worth it.)

In the NYTimes article, Pollan muses:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I’m tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few thousand more words. I’ll try to resist but will go ahead and add a couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won’t kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat “food.” Once, food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.

Read the whole article at

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

January 23, 2007

Humidify Me: Hello Kitty Kid's Humidifier

B000E5VJLU.01-A23NLORBGXOLEO._AA280_SCLZZZZZZZ_V62177565_.jpgLiked our review of Crane's Penguin Humidifier but penguins aren't your style? Perhaps you're looking for something in a Hello Kitty variety? You're in luck.

Available from Wachsmuth and Krogmann.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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