Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

Over the last ten years, interest in homeopathic, naturopathic, alternative and natural health has completely skyrocketed. I believe this is all for a very good reason —

We’re not recovering anymore. Our society is ridden with chronic ailments that are passed from generation to generation, and we’re tired of it.

That being said, a need for chemical-free, naturally occurring sources of vitality are becoming more valuable. Considering that alternative medicine usage among Americans in all adult age groups hover around 33%, there’s room to grow in such a beneficial resource. I believe the most important time to introduce alternative and holistic health practices is in childhood. Remember: this form of wellness is best introduced as a preventative lifestyle practice. If you think about it, the accumulation of our childhood exposure to the world manifests within our adult bodies. Why not take care of it from the very start?

All of this brings me to the reason for this post. Let’s say you’re new to this whole floofy-doofy health thing. You could be skeptical of how it truly works, or if it actually benefits you. Let’s start with something that over 80% of Americans want — white teeth.
It’s a fantastic change to your entire well being. When we interact with each other, a person with white teeth will appear more healthy and attractive than someone with stained chompers.  It’s no wonder we’re all shelling out cash for whiter teeth. Before you portion out $20 for your next drugstore fix (or worse yet, $200 for a dental whitening), let me convince you to take the holistic road to get to your destination.

The average person swallows 25% of the chemicals stuffed into teeth whitening products and trays, which contain harmful substances you would never think of eating normally. Coal tar and benzene, which are known to lead to lymphomas when inhaled (think of what ingesting them will do), are in whitening products. We can’t forget to mention that the use of teeth whiteners means a heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, which is never a sign of a strong and healthy smile.
The cost of whiter teeth with chemicals can mean a lessened quality of life later down the road.

turmeric

If you’re looking for the 3 reasons this challenge is worth it already, thank you and I’m excited to bring you on board with me! This challenge will give you a naturally brighter and whiter smile without any harmful side effects or causing any foreign materials to be absorbed into your blood stream. This bright orange powder can lift stains and strengthen teeth in ways you may have never known!

This blog lays out the steps beautifully for anyone interested in trying this.
I’m going to try 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric with drops of water until it becomes a paste, and one drop of peppermint oil to give that zing of flavor and cooling effect that’s reminiscent of toothpaste. It’s not needed, nor is it necessary.

Turmeric is the star in this challenge, and here are the reasons that this challenge is worth trying today:

Anti-Inflammatory Heaven

Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory for the body, and it is also an antioxidant warrior. The compounds within the herb fight inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the source of all chronic diseases. By introducing turmeric into your life, your body can only boost its natural stress fighting resources. Talk about a double whammy.

Banish the Blues

Did you know that this herb has been proven to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression? Believe it! The tiny serving of one gram a day fared exactly as a dosage  of Prozac did in this study. While you’re getting your pearly whites, you can boost your mood even more!

Free Yourself

This last, and frankly most important, reason is not backed by science or proven in a laboratory under strict conditions. It is, however, a source of true freedom for you. Imagine a life where you’re not dictated by schedules and regimes of when you wake up, when you sleep, and which colored pills to take at which times. Imagine feeling a sense of relief instead of dread when you’re reaching for the NSAIDs or allergy medication.
Close your eyes. When you open them, you can be there. In an instant.
I truly believe that it takes small steps to accomplish any goal you set. By starting with small adjustments, like this turmeric whitener, you can gain the momentum to make more small changes until you free yourself from the pains of stress and weight of bad health.

In the inspiration of positive and healthy lifestyles, who’s doing this challenge with me?

Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

Talk About a Scandal: Coffee


Special thanks to Flickr users Market Lane Coffee, ubrayj02, & turoczy for images.

Deep, dark, dreamy, perk-you-up java. Just the mere sight and smell of the magical coffee bean calls you to royally bow in its presence. Your taste buds are  dancing on the tip of your tongue, awaiting the sweet reward of that very first sip of your muddy cup.

Don’t be surprised– 3 out of 4 Americans drink coffee. Roughly 60% enjoy their routine and drink it daily. Here in Seattle, people watching and coffee cup counting should be a sport. We just aren’t as complete without our earthy, rich and zesty brew.

If we had sunnier weather, on the other hand…
 

All gripes aside, coffee seems to be under the radar as of late. This is for many different reasons. Today’s post will hone in specifically on coffee bean composition, and the concerning changes that coffee companies worldwide are making.
Why? Because coffee enthusiasts are griping– for good reason.

“The Bitter Truth”

Daily Finance wrote a short article covering the recent Arabica and Robusta scandal. If you are well-versed in coffee bean location and how this affects flavor and quality, you already may know about why this is concerning.
Being a coffee enthusiast, but not a coffee bean archaeologist, I found out that Arabica beans and Robusta beans are entirely different strains of java once they are brewed.

Arabica Versus Robusta

Arabica coffee beans originate from high and cool mountain environments and come in 25 different bean varieties. Many people consider Arabica as the “gold standard” in coffee bean. Why? Their “inferiority” in flavor: Arabica is the boldest, richest, and most full-bodied cup of joe.

Sounds like a dream?
Don’t worry. You’re likely already drinking it. 70% of all coffee production is based on Arabica beans. If you visit cafes or coffee houses, many of them refuse to sell anything but the best.

Everything that Arabica is, Robusta is not. Not to harp on Robusta, the response of Arabica versus Robusta is extremely apparent. A higher acidity and bitter flavor dominate Robusta’s best qualities.

Guess what? Because the demand in Robusta beans has risen, due to crop yields, coffee companies everywhere are infusing their delicious all-Arabica coffee with rudimentary Robusta.

Even though Robusta tastes worse than Arabica, the fact that there’s more Robusta available is reason enough to degrade coffee quality.

Kristine put it simply in response to Daily Finance’s post:

And, like in most cases, the change in flavor isn’t the only problem.

You pay more to get less.

We’re still being charged just as much money for our beans, without the high-quality Arabica beans our hearts have swooned over for decades. It has become a blended coffee.

Other Americans, like Lila, prefer to voice their concerns and empathize with many other coffee courting folks, disappointed in the loss of flavor and complexity in their java. “WHAT is the HARM?!” she writes. “Are you serious? It does NOT taste the SAME and we are being CHARGED the same.” 

This issue is also bringing up common complaints in the slightly sketchy, tasteless tactics of our food industry’s reputation. “At least the new ingredient is actually coffee beans. I wouldn’t have been, and would not be, surprised if it turned out to be … a filler,” commenter smjonz writes.

But, we’re living in a “recession.”

It’s easy to see that during our ever-changing global economic state, all aspects of everyday living are affected in their own way. This switch to Arabica-Robusta blends is being met with great resistance, and I hope to see major changes in the way that coffee producers and growers approach their product development.
Brand reputation and customer satisfaction used to be the marker of success– but when money seems to be a rare commodity, basic human values like trust and genuine intent are carelessly tossed out the window.

I wrote a quick and brief post on the lovely Jolkona blog last year in celebration of World Coffee Day, focusing on the environmental effects of coffee production. Offset your “coffee footprint,” and find out why this is so important.

What issues surrounding coffee have been “grinding your gears” lately? Do you drink coffee? How important is taste and quality in your coffee bean?

Talk About a Scandal: Coffee

Talk About a Scandal: Wine

Wine. It comes from grapes, or other fruits. It’s alcohol, and we love to tote its nutritional and health benefits. So why are there issues? My theory is that people love a controversy. I’ve taken the liberty of finding out wine’s dirty little secrets to share with all of you.

The soil that wine grapes grow in are more important than the grapes themselves. The difference between wine and rich, flavorful, potent wine is truly the soil it is grown in. This is before cellars, barrels, and even human influence on wine making. ‘Tis true that generating product is sometimes more important than quality control. Here is where the soil comes in: all wines are starting to taste the same. Why?

We’re all using the degraded soil on Earth to grow the grapes in. Not to mention global warming, which is directly related to the top two wine grape must-haves: Climate, and Soil. If the proper temperature is not present, the wine grape will suffer and potentially affect an entire season of crops.

There is relief: GIS, or geographical information systems, are used to pinpoint exactly where the best crops of wine grapes can be planted. The detailed scientific information GIS retrieves about the soil can make or break a winery. Naturally, the demand for viable land is turning into a requirement. Chateau St. Michelle, here in Washington, assures their wine livelihood through the use of this technology.
Growing wine grapes in the right soil is like floating in equilibrium. The grapes taste better, ripen more evenly, and become a hardier, healthier crop. Who doesn’t want grapes of steel in their bottle of wine?

We are all aware of the impact that chemical fertilizers and pesticides have on our bodies and the environment. Wineries do not shy away from the use of these toxic terrors. Why? To ensure that they have a product to make profit from. Devrinol, Karmex, Surflan, and RoundUp are just a few chemical pesticides that are commonly used on grape vineyards to preserve crop viability. Unfortunately, these chemicals have been found to appear in the foods we eat, causing question among wine drinkers everywhere. “Will I be affected by this?” The verdict is “no, not really.” The use of chemical pesticides in wine has decreased steadily and looks to be near or at zero by 2016.

It looks like the controversy with wine has been recognized and answered rapidly. Wine growers everywhere embrace the idea of organic farming because it directly affects wine quality and demand. The higher quality a wine is, the more likely brand loyalty will be established by the consumer.

If this kind of drive to better business practices isn’t convincing, what is?

If you’re secretly saddened by the lack of controversy in this post, I suggest you check out a detailed list of minor issues within the wine sector, such as “corks or screws?”

Talk About a Scandal: Wine

Talk About a Scandal: Wine, Chocolate, Coffee.

Coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Three wonderful, beautiful, delicious food stuffs that humans are blessed to have available for overconsumption. Every morning, a freshly brewed up of espresso or drip coffee accompanied by a chocolate chip scone, and in the evening, a deep dark merlot with dinner, only to be finished with rich decadent chocolate cake.

Then you wake up and do it all over again!
Or is that just me? 

It’s not just a sensory love I share with these three beauties: an ethical love naturally follows it. Kind of like when a cat owner sees a stray cat running and wants to find out if it has an owner, I too, want to be sure my chocolate, wine, and coffee are treated fairly.

Come to find out, they’re not. Coffee is grown in deforested, environmentally toxic conditions with no chance to grow as it naturally had for hundreds of years.
Chocolate is no better. Children in the Ivory Coast are being trafficked into working long hours with no breaks and are often beaten if they don’t work “hard enough.”
Wine has had its own share of unsustainable woes, but now we are finding out that pesticide residue, chemical flavorings, and modern industrial demands destroying wine quality.

I will be covering each issue in depth over the course of this week, highlighting major problems and getting to the truth to figure out exactly what will bring the right kind of positive change to these injustices.

Or, at least, raise our awareness of them.

What do you know about the issues surrounding coffee, chocolate, and wine?

Talk About a Scandal: Wine, Chocolate, Coffee.

Cacao is the next big thing for genome sequencing.

The news is in, people. Chocolate, our friend and our frenemy, has become under close watch for something near and dear to its biologically-nonexistent heart. We have harvested, over-processed, and diluted the cacao plant. Now, we move on to greater and more technologically advanced things. We genome it.

For the record, I felt slightly disturbed after watching the multiple press videos about the team of Mars (hot-shot candy company), WSU (huh?), and IMB (really?). I even thought Why would these three come together?

For now, the only information we do have is that in response to our crop losses in cacao harvesting, this team “Cacao Genome Project” aims to create a cacao plant that will withstand harsh weather, “annoying little pests” (that I personally think are not annoying; or pests), and our growing global climate change. Hallelujah. It looks like we’ve finally figured it out. Cacao will be sustainable and great and lively.

^ SARCASM. ^

I feel extremely misled and (quite frankly) a little peeved that this is being toted as a solution to our problem. Whatever happened to replenishing the trees that nourish the plants so that they grow on their own time? Whatever happened to treating the world as a stable environment, and not a constantly growing one? I truly feel that scientifically modifying our world to continually feed our expanding appetites is never going to be sustainable or intelligent.

How do you feel about GMO crops, or genome sequencing?

Cacao is the next big thing for genome sequencing.