Windowsill Gardening,

by Pauline Lloyd From Growing Green International 9

Don’t worry if you haven’t got a garden or allotment! For a surprising amount of food can be produced indoors, vegan organically, either on your windowsill or on a well-lit kitchen surface.

The following plants will all do well indoors:

Salad greens are easy to grow and can be produced all the year round indoors, ever so cheaply. So, the next time you buy fruit and vegetables, save any empty plastic punnets as these are ideal for this purpose. You will need to line the base of the punnet with several layers of paper kitchen towel and this should be dampened with water before sprinkling on the seeds. Try using rape, mustard or cress seeds which should all grow well.

After sowing the seeds, place the punnet in a brown paper bag and keep it in a dark cupboard, perhaps underneath the sink, until the seeds have germinated and the seedlings are an inch or so high. Then it can be brought out into the daylight and the bag removed. But don’t place it on a very sunny windowsill, or the seedlings will dry out too rapidly and become stressed.

You should check the seedlings regularly to make sure that the paper is still damp and water or spray if necessary. When they are about 2-3 inches high, the seedlings can be cut off with scissors, rinsed and used as a tasty garnish for salads or sandwiches. Alternatively, buckwheat and sunflower greens make an excellent substitute for lettuce. These grow well in small plastic trays and the sorts of trays that can sometimes buy mushrooms in are ideal.

Soak the seeds (which should still have their shells on) in a jam jar for 12 hours, then drain off the water and leave the seeds to sprout for a day before sowing. To sow: Place a layer of soil (or potting compost) in the plastic tray and distribute the seeds evenly on the surface, covering them with a thin layer of soil. Dampen the soil daily. The greens should be ready for harvesting in about 7 days and are also easily harvested with scissors.

Wheatgrass also grows well in trays and can be grown either on soil or on dampened kitchen towels. However, wheatgrass is usually juiced in a special juicer, rather than eaten, although you can also chew it like gum! Wheatgrass juice has many amazing curative properties and it is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and of course chlorophyll. I would recommend that you read Ann Wigmore’s book, The Wheatgrass Book, if you want to find out more about how to grow it and about its medicinal properties.

Sprouts
Many grains, pulses, nuts and seeds can be sprouted and are easily grown indoors on a windowsill, either in trays or in special sprouting jars. And sprouts are truly amazing! They are full of vitamins, enzymes and minerals and have many features, which make them far superior to other foods For example they are inexpensive to grow, need little preparation, can usually be eaten raw and some even have anti-cancer properties. And what could be fresher, than a handful of sprouts removed from a jar in your kitchen, rinsed, then eaten straight away?

If you want quick results, then try sprouting some soaked, hulled, organic sunflower seeds. These can be ready in a day or two and green lentil sprouts also grow very quickly. Alfalfa is one of the most nutritious sprouts to grow and makes an excellent garnish, but I actually prefer the taste of red clover, which is supposed to be especially good if you are menopausal. I also really like the taste of broccoli sprouts, but these seeds are very expensive to buy and not always easy to find and so I usually grow my own.

If you would like to try this, then leave some purple sprouting broccoli to go seed in a corner of your garden. You need to leave at least two plants next to one another to be sure of producing seed and you may need to protect the ripening seedpods from birds. When the pods are dry shell out the seeds. It’s fiddly, but well worth the effort, as you will save a fortune! Legumes are also worth sprouting. Try chick peas, peas and aduki beans. Wheat can also be sprouted and is used to make the refreshing drink known as Rejuvelac, which is supposed to be good for the intestinal flora. And of course wheat sprouts are also used to make sprouted wheat bread.

When growing sprouts, if you are short of space, then try one of the tiered tray systems such as the Beingfare Salad Sprouter, which allows you to grow several varieties of sprouts on top of one another. It is also possible to buy special sprouting jars with mesh lids, which allow easy rinsing and draining of your sprouts. Of course if you are hard up for cash you can simply use clean jam jars, covered with a piece of cheesecloth (muslin) and held in place with an elastic band. It is possible to buy nylon sprouting bags from the Fresh Network, which are more portable than most sprouting systems and are useful for taking on holiday.

Herbs and Other Plants
Many herbs will grow well on a windowsill and are useful for adding extra flavour to food. Parsley is rich in vitamins and will grow well in a pot or small trough indoors. I use the variety Champion Moss Curled and make sowings in March and August for an all year round supply. Germination seems to be more reliable than from an outdoor sowing and it is especially useful to have a small pot of parsley growing indoors in the winter as it saves going out in the garden and getting the feet wet!

Bush Basil also grows well in containers and so does Winter Savoury and both of these can be sown indoors in April or May. Chives is also an excellent indoor container plant and so is Pennyroyal and you could even try growing your own Cayenne peppers on a sunny windowsill! Also watercress does not necessarily need running water. The Organic Gardening Catalogue offers a type of watercress that does well in a well-watered pot and if you grow it indoors, you should hopefully escape the caterpillars which can quickly strip the plant bare!

Further Reading:

The Sprouter’s Handbook by Edward Cairney (Argyll Publishing, 1997).

Sprout For the Love of Everybody by Viktoras Kulvinskas.

The Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Steve Meyerowitz.

The Wheatgrass Book by Ann Wigmore.

Sprouting by Pauline Lloyd. (A copy of this article can be downloaded from my web site at: http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/sprout.htm).

Seed Suppliers:

The Organic Gardening Catalogue, Riverdene Business Park, Molesey Rd, Hersham, Surrey. KT12 4RG. (Tel: 01932 253666.) Sells a good selection of seeds for sprouting and also stocks the Beingfare Salad Sprouter, sprouting jars, a manual wheatgrass juicer and books.

John Chambers, 15 Westleigh Rd, Barton Seagrave, Kettering, Northants, NN15 5AJ. (Tel: 01933 652562.) Offers a selection of seeds for sprouting.

The FRESH Network, PO Box 71, Ely. Cambs. CB7 4GU. (Tel: 0870 800 7070). Sells sprouting jars and nylon sprouting bags, plus a number of books on sprouting.

Suffolk Herbs, Monks Farm, Coggeshall Road, Kelvedon, Essex CO5 9PG. (Tel: 01376 572456.) Sells seeds for sprouting, sprouting equipment and books on herbs.

Note: all of the seeds mentioned in this article can be obtained from The Organic Gardening Catalogue.

Editor’s notes on indoor cultivation:

You may find it difficult to locate a growing medium for your window box that is genuinely vegan organic; nearly all organic growing mixtures contain animal products such as poultry manure or bone meal. There are various possibilities; you can make do with an ordinary non organic product, you can use DANU growing medium from the Organic Gardening Catalogue (not cheap) in which case add about one eighth part of seaweed meal for added nitrogen. Or you can make your own from compost or leafmould; Vegan Organic Information Sheet number 1 gives details, see below. Soil on its own is fine in a thin layer but becomes too compacted in pots and boxes

One other point is that tiny fruit flies/mushroom flies may take up residence in your moist indoor growing medium. They are very hard to shift and the larvae may eat plant roots. The only practical answer if this happens is to change the growing medium as often as possible, rinsing out the container before re filling with fresh clean material. Don’t store compost mixes for too long.

Hawaii Ban Aspartame War Continues

From Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum

To the Honorable Rep Josh Green, MD, Chairman, House Health Committee Rep John Mizuno, Vice Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Dear Rep Green and Committee Members:

Thank you for including Mission Possible International as a member of your work group, and thank you for taking the time to read this formal testimony. We are filing this at the very last minute, since you and no one from your office or any of the committee members responded to our voluminous medical and victim testimony to inform any of us of your Resolution. We are sure that the lobbyists from the Grocers and Soft Drink Companies who opposed the bills for an outright ban are aware of this Resolution of yours, as that is their job after all, to apprise their employers of anything and everything which might even potentially down the road challenge the viability and safety of their products. They are probably happy to begrudgingly chime in their concurrence, although at this date, there is no testimony presented on the Hawaii Legislature website.

We recommend that you – in either a committee amendment or in a floor amendment – include two victims of aspartame poisoning, not just consumers, as you originally put it, and that you add a representative of the Hawaii Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Division, since aspartame will someday soon be the subject of massive compensatory and punitive lawsuits similar to the states tobacco suits in the 1990’s; you might as well get someone on board who is capable of comprehending the evidentiary aspects of the epidemiological scale inherent in aspartame poisoning, the whistle blowers from the manufacturers, etc.

You apparently are trying to be conciliatory and trying to mean well, although the tone of some of the Resolution is angry and critical of victims point of view by impugning and ridiculing the opposition to aspartame as a kind of junk Internet science.

We are also astonished by your inclusion of the Calorie Control Council, whose entire purpose is to please their corporate fenders, which include aspartame manufacturers and users, like Coca Cola, Ajinomoto, and the Merisant Corporation, maker of Equal. They are at best apologists and soothsayers, through and through; that is their job. Putting them on a Task Force, however well intended are your intentions, is similar to asking a few members of the Nazi High Command to serve as judges at Nuremberg!

Deriding our point of view as junk science is absurd, in view of the fact that the Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, and her Department, in order to oppose outright ban bills, chose to use a so-called study [AKA the Burdock Report] from Toxicology Journal which was entirely paid for by Ajinomoto of Japan, the worlds largest manufacturer of both aspartame and of another neurotoxic additive: Monosodium Glutamate, and purposefully excluded almost all of the independent studies which showed their obvious neurodegenerative harm from aspartame and its metabolic by products, like methanol, formaldehyde, and diketopiperazine.

Another point on Calorie Control Council which you and your House colleagues should be aware of: these folks continually espouse the use of their products, even for pregnant women, phenylketoneurics, and liver patients. Their cheerleading positions occasionally erupt onto the pages of major American newspapers, like the Miami Herald, to whom Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. wrote the following, and we quote his entire letter for exactitude of testimony:

Posted: 24 Apr 2004 Miami Herald article from 02 February 2004 “Dear Editor,

“It has come to my attention that the Calorie Control Council, a front group for the NutraSweet Company, recently suggested that aspartame was safe for women to use during pregnancy, as well as by those with serious liver disease and phenylketonurics. [Emphasis added:] This is the most serious breech of public trust in the history of this nation.

“There is not one long-term study of aspartame safety ever conducted on the offspring of pregnant women consuming aspartame. Yet, there are numerous studies indicating aspartame could pose a serious danger to both mother and infant. For example, according to the National Collaborative Study for Maternal PKU, blood levels of phenylalanine, a major component of aspartame and a developmental brain toxin, should not exceed 6mg./dl. In a study of pregnant women it was found that aspartame consumption at commonly consumed amounts reached these levels in 42% of normal women and 100% of PKU carriers. One in fifty people are PKU carriers and do not know it.

This same group concluded that levels of 10mg/dl held a serious risk of infant brain impairment. In this same study 15% of pregnant women reached this toxic level of phenylalanine and 36% of PKU carriers. This means that fully a third of all babies born to PKU carrier mothers consuming aspartame foods and drinks risk-varying degrees of brain damage. It is also known that the amount of toxic phenylalanine reaching the baby is twice as high as that in the mother’s blood because the placenta concentrates the toxin. In addition, numerous metabolic breakdown products of aspartame are known to damage the developing infant’s brain, including methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, diketopiperizine and phenylacetate.

“Aspartame has been shown by several studies to damage DNA, which can lead to cancer and degenerative brain disorders later in life. The risk of increased brain tumors in such a child would be enormous. Similar mechanisms of damage would be expected in those with liver disease. Studies on aspartame safety have shown that the product increases tumors throughout numerous organs, especially the brain. It was shown that brain tumor incidence increased over 47X in animals exposed to aspartame.

“With the public concern over childhood obesity and diabetes, few are being told of the overwhelming evidence that early exposure to excitotoxins (as found in aspartame) consistently produce gross obesity and insulin resistant diabetes, just as we are seeing in our youth.

“The promoters of aspartame use have been lying from the beginning and continue to use their money and political clout to cover up the real and present dangers of this toxic product.”

Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. Neurosurgeon Ridgeland, MS 39157 Author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills

As to Dr. Fukinos espousal of the Ajinomoto study, we are indeed patient, ready and willing to educate her, if that is acceptable to you and to her as to the egregious flaws in that so-called Burdock Report, and if this is even possible with the presence of the Calorie Control Council in your Resolution. Because the gullible Dr. Fukino didn’t have the ability nor take the time to research based on facts easily found in the public record, Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Center, did it for her. Here is the rebuttal to this atrocity to stumble the public, which we ask be included in the official testimony on this Resolution of yours: .

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/burdock/%3
Ehttp://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/burdock/

Any physician should have known better than to use one of the manufacturers defense reviews. Much of their flawed research has already been exposed.

Next, in the proposed work group, you have included the American Beverage Association, the present successor to the National Soft Drink Assn. They wrote a 30 page protest in l983 stating Searle had not met its burdens under section 409 to demonstrate that aspartame is functional for use in soft drinks. They spoke about the extensive deficiencies, enough to render those studies inadequate and unreliable. They stated the company did not demonstrate the use of aspartame in soft drinks would not result in the adulteration of the beverages. The protest was so vehement that when NSDA turned around and lobbied for NutraSweet, their protest was added to the congressional record of May, l985, so the world would know they were adding this toxin with full knowledge of the studies that did not prove it safe. Are you expecting they are going to say they are sorry and want to turn around and help the people now?

We are however, willing and prepared to further educate them as to the point of view implicit in their vehement objections in 1983, the details of which are included in a forthcoming more effective Senate Resolution, which you may read shortly when it has been formally introduced.

Do you really believe front groups who are paid and those who sell the product will not defend their product? Are we to believe that the plan in your Resolution is a serious and unbiased program to help Hawaiians? Why not just invite the CEOs of Ajinomoto, Monsanto and Merisant and let them have a reunion on the House Floor, and pass out diet sodas for everyone to drink?

Dr. Green, in your possession you have Dr. H. J. Roberts medical text of over 1000 pages of the horrors this poison causes from cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures and sudden death, to embalming of living tissue and interaction of drugs, written by a physician with over two decades experience treating diabetics who are victims of aspartame poisoning, as well as those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, whose symptoms subside once they stop consuming Aspartame. Selected by his medical peers in 1984 as the best doctor in the US, Roberts has taken care of aspartame victims in the trenches of medical practice and has testified before Congress. You’re a physician. Have you forgotten First do no harm? Why would you invite the corporate hacks and front groups who poisoned the people to work a program to genuinely protect them?

We are somewhat appalled at your resolution, although under the circumstances, with less that 30 hours before the first testimony may be heard, and rushing to complete this letter before 24 hours before the hearing, we have to rise in support of the Resolution, with a few changes, like adding 2 victims instead of consumers chosen by the Director of the Health Department.

You had full knowledge because you are the only member of the entire legislature with Dr. Roberts medical text, and were even given a documentary where the attorney himself who tried to stop approval explains how it was marketed by the political chicanery and regulatory coup by Don Rumsfeld after the FDA revoked the petition for approval and said it could not be proven safe. Why do you think the FDA wanted the company indicted? Because they kept trying to prove a poison safe, and couldn’t do it; they kept getting caught.

In saying in the Resolution that the people of Hawaii have a choice to consume or not consume aspartame, thus giving a kind of carte blanche to any corporation manufacturing anything, as they do in most 3rd world nations which have no regulatory apparatuses set up to protect them: this is technically true; however, most Hawaiians, like most Americans, really don’t read labels, as they have been assured hundreds of times that the United States Food and Drug Administration would never approve a poison, and most naively believe that the FDA is there to protect them. Further, we are sure that 90% of them don’t know what a phenylketoneuric even is.

Corporations and their front groups loudly proclaimed the safety of their products like Asbestos, Leaded Gasoline, Thalidomide, DDT, Vioxx, etc., until the body count and the lawsuit piled up so badly that their lies were completely transparent. Wouldn’t your point of view there obviate the entire purpose of committees like yours and the House Committee for Consumer Protection and Commerce?

We are trying to protect the people of Hawaii from a poison, not defend front groups lobbyists and manufacturers. There is not a person who has read this resolution who has not seen through it, and not liked what they saw. You can read a medical text; you know the score.

First, under obvious and regrettable pressure from Grocery Manufacturers and Soft Drink bottlers, you defer the bill when it could have been moved to the next committee, and now you bring in those we’ve been exposing for years. How will you explain this to your constituents, in the event that they ask you? This whole resolution is outrageous. It’s like asking baby killers to decorate the nursery. They will spend all their time convincing you and the committee this poison is safe as rain, and then you can walk away and say “we tried”.

Thank you and the Committee Members for reading this long testimony prepared on very short notice.

Respectfully, and cosigned by:

Stephen Fox, Managing Editor Santa Fe Sun News stephen@santafefineart.com

Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder Mission Possible International 9270 River Club Parkway Duluth, Georgia 30097 770 242-2599
http://www.mpwhi.com/ http://www.dorway.com Aspartame Toxicity Center,

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame

bettym19@mindspring.com
___________________________________________

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES H.C.R. NO. 132 , TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

STATE OF HAWAII – HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Requesting the Director of Health to form a work group to explore the need to ban or better label products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame.

WHEREAS, discovered in 1965, aspartame was first approved in the United States in 1981 and is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners; and

WHEREAS, when metabolized by the body, aspartame is broken down into two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a small amount of a third substance, methanol; and

WHEREAS, these three substances occur in similar or greater amounts in common foods; and

WHEREAS, aspartame continues to be the subject of strong public controversy regarding its safety; and

WHEREAS, some studies have recommended further investigation into the possible connection between aspartame and diseases such as brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma; and

WHEREAS, some human and animal studies have found adverse effects and some have found no adverse effects; and

WHEREAS, while there have been a number of studies on the effects of aspartame on people, there is a great deal of argument by both proponents and opponents on the methods used in the testing and whether accurate representations of the consequences of average consumption by people have been achieved by these studies; and WHEREAS, the Internet has become a tool for many to spread and promote the opinion they adhere to as fact whether it is that aspartame is a neurotoxin derived from toxic sludge or it is a harmless product enabling a healthy lifestyle; and

WHEREAS, while many may find that the simple answer to the problem is to not purchase or use any product containing aspartame in it, there are those who maintain that some products do not specifically list aspartame as an ingredient, rather it is hidden under the label of “natural flavors”; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the Director of Health is requested to form a work group to explore the need to ban or improve labeling for products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the members of the work group should include:

(1) One member from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) One member of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate;

(3) The Director of Health or the director’s designee;

(4) The President of the Calorie Control Council or the President’s designee; and

(5) The President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Beverage Association or a designee;

(6) The President of the Hawaii Society of Naturopathic Physicians or a designee;

(7) The Founder of Mission Possible International or a designee; and

(8) Two consumers appointed by the Director of Health; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the work group is requested to submit a report of its findings, as well as any suggested legislation, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2010; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, President of the Calorie Control Council, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Beverage Association, President of the Hawaii Society of Naturopathic Physicians, and Founder of Mission Possible International.

104 products on shelves already contain toxic ‘grey goo’ by stealth, say Friends of the Earth

Daily Mail By SEAN POULTER

Some skin creams use nano particles but many are now concerned about the use of the technology in foods

Potentially toxic chemicals are being incorporated into food, packaging, health supplements and other products by stealth, it is claimed.

Manufacturers boast that nanoparticles can deliver drugs or vitamins more effectively, kill harmful bugs in food or create self-cleaning windows. But scientists, consumer groups and green campaigners fear the technology is being introduced into the diet, body and environment without proper safety checks.

Nanoparticles are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair – so small they can cross membranes protecting the brain or a baby in the womb.

Critics say it is not known how such tiny particles will interact with the body and organs in the long term, whether they are toxic or how long they will persist in the body.

Doom-mongers have warned that nanoparticles could mutate and reproduce out of control, consuming all life on earth, a scenario often referred to as “grey goo”.

Yesterday a report by Friends of the Earth said current regulations are “ill-equipped” to deal with the unique properties of nanoparticles. It said: “Despite concerns about the toxicity risks of nanomaterials, consumers are unknowingly ingesting them because regulators are struggling to keep pace with their rapidly expanding use.”

The study found at least 104 food and agricultural products available in Europe, including the UK, which use nanotech particles or technology. This includes some nutritional supplements under the Solgar brand, cling wrap and containers, antibacterial kitchenware, processed meats, chocolate drinks, baby food and chemicals used in agriculture.

Friends of the Earth’s food and farming spokesman, Helen Holder, said: “Europeans should not be exposed to potentially toxic materials in their food and food packaging until proper regulations are in place to ensure their safety. “In the absence of proper safety regulations or mandatory labelling, consumers are being left in the dark about the products they consume and are unknowingly putting their health and the environment at risk.”

A Government sponsored report, published before Christmas, said a shortage of money for research had created an absence of basic information about nanoparticle toxicology. It said research into how long these tiny particles persist in the body is urgently needed.

The consumer group Which? has called on the Government to set up a task force to take immediate steps to establish how nanotechnologies are being used in the UK and to urgently address gaps in current regulations.