Letter From The Publishers

Vibrant Blooms and Bright Warm Sunshine

As we awaken to our personal journey within, this is truly a time of rejuvenation. We celebrate our annual Women’s Health issue with the energy of birth and renewal that springtime brings. Individuals that radiate beauty with a light shining inside usually find it in a deep place of joy and appreciation of life. From…

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Local Articles & Spotlights

Take Care of Your Walking Feet

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

Now that it’s spring, it’s time for a walk outside. Walking benefits us physically, mentally, and psychologically. It brightens our mood, gets circulation to the brain for mental acuity, moves…

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Discover the Key to Cellular Regeneration

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

K.WEST Skin Body Soul, Ann Arbor’s new luxury holistic spa located on North Main Street in a sophisticated, yet warm and inviting historic home, offers boutique treatments designed to support…

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Avoid Spring Wildlife Collisions

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

For many species of wildlife, this is baby season, and the time when vehicles accidentally injure and orphan millions of creatures. “We live in a community that loves nature and…

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Spend the Day at the Gardening Festival

By Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.

The Ann Arbor Downtown Library will celebrate the 2019 Gardening and DIY Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 18, with a host of free activities and exhibits sure…

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Climate Change and Spirituality

By Barbra White

By Barbra White We are all part of an intrinsic co-arising web of life. One part affects the whole. Through observations from space, we know that what we do in…

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Assessing the Body’s Environmental Chemical Burden

By Cindy Klement

by Cindy Klement We all swim in a slurry of chemicals during our day-to-day life on this planet. Some of these chemicals become stored in our tissue, where they can…

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News Briefs

Volunteer to Support the Local Environment

Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor’s natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. This involves staff and volunteers conducting plant and animal inventories, ecological monitoring and stewardship projects in Ann Arbor parks. Community involvement is vital to the success of its conservation efforts. NAP projects take…

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New Sustainable Learning Exchange

Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC) began with the mandate to create a new kind of teaching cases, co-designed for contributing solutions to real-world sustainability challenges. Organized around real-world case studies, Galaxy will convene environmentally minded people from all backgrounds. They will integrate sustainability science and knowledge from different fields, make sustainability solutions and decision-making more inclusive,…

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GIVE 365 is a Volunteer Clearinghouse

GIVE 365 is a volunteer gateway to a variety of ways to meet neighbors, see new parts of the city and improve the community with year-round opportunities for almost every interest, schedule, ability and age. Volunteers can sign up for one-day events and short-term experiences or make a long-term commitment. Volunteers lead games and activities…

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Double Up Food Bucks for Nutrition Assistance Patrons

Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program doubles the value of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) benefits spent at participating farmers’ markets and grocery stores, helping people bring home more fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Double Up provides SNAP recipients a one-to-one match to buy healthy, fresh fruits…

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Our Planet

Netflix Series Reveals Its Fragile Beauty Ten years after the groundbreaking documentary Planet Earth, an eight-part sequel, Our Planet, shows even more rapturous scenes of our planet’s most precious species and fragile habitats. Premiering globally April 5 on Netflix, it was filmed during four years in 50 countries across every continent, involving more than 600…

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Food Co-op Benefits Available to All

The People’s Food Co-op is Ann Arbor’s first natural-foods grocery store, serving the community by offering a full-range of groceries, produce and environmentally sensitive cleaning products with local, natural and organic options in every department for more than 40 years. Although the co-op is a democratically run, member-owned organization, customers do not have to be…

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Transforming Our Local Food Economy

Agricole, soon to open in downtown Chelsea at the corner of Main and Jackson streets, brings together the convenience of grocery store shopping with the intimacy of a farmers’ market. Their mission is to encourage and improve small farm viability, increase community access to locally grown food and educate the public about maintaining local small…

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Healthy Meals Ready To Go

Zilke Farm Kitchen, in Milan, is offering healthy meal kits and prepared foods. Longtime Milan farmers Vicki and Tom Zilke know how to grow good food. After hearing from friends, neighbors and customers that they just didn’t have the time, ingredients or even recipe ideas to prepare quick healthy meals for their families, Vicki’s natural…

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We the People Matching Campaign

In the St. Joe $50K Challenge Match Campaign, the St. Joseph Mercy Health System will match every gift dollar for dollar through March 8 to begin building a We the People Grower’s Association (WTPGA) Opportunity Center that will create a farm and community space complete with a produce processing and packaging center, a horticulture lab,…

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Jesuit Pear Tasting and Grafting

Shannon Brines, of Brines Farm, will lead a hands-on demonstration of how to graft Jesuit Pear scions onto rootstock from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., March 17, at Bløm Meadworks. The session will include a grafting workshop and a Jesuit Pear tasting. Meads and ciders produced onsite will also be available for purchase during the workshop.…

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Health Briefs

Mindfulness May Ease Menopausal Symptoms

Women in menopause that are mindful and nonjudgmental of their thoughts are less irritable, anxious and depressed, reports a Mayo Clinic study recently published in Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society. Researchers gave questionnaires to 1,744 menopausal patients 40 to 65 years old and found that those with higher mindfulness scores struggled less…

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Exercise Improves Young Brains, Too

Walking, cycling, climbing stairs and other aerobic activities may improve brain function not only in older people, but also in younger folk, according to a Columbia University study published in Neurology. The study recruited 132 people between 20 and 67 years old that didn’t exercise and had below-average fitness levels. Half stretched and toned four…

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Prenatal Yoga Reduces Caesareans and Labor Pain

First-time mothers that practiced yoga beginning in the 30th week of pregnancy had fewer caesareans, fewer low-weight newborns and milder and briefer labor pains. They were also less likely to require painkillers or labor inducement. The Mangalore, India, hospital study, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, included 150 women 20 to 35…

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Fruits and Veggies Boost Moods

Simply changing a diet to include more fruit and vegetables can boost mental well-being, say British researchers from Leeds and York universities. Examining health data of 40,000 people, they concluded those that eat more produce have a better psychological state, and that eating just one extra portion of fruits and vegetables a day could have…

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U.S. Heart Disease on the Rise

Forty-eight percent of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, reported the American Heart Association (AHA) in its annual update. The increase is partly due to 2017 updated guidelines redefining high blood pressure as greater than 130/80 millimeters of mercury rather than 140/90, which raised the number of Americans with diagnosed hypertension from 32…

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Dancing Prevents Senior Decline

Japanese researchers interviewed 1,003 Tokyo women over 70 years old about which of 16 types of exercise they did, including dancing, calisthenics, jogging, golf, ball games, hiking, yoga, bicycling and tai chi. In eight years of follow-up, those that danced were 73 percent less likely to be classified as impaired in any of the “activities…

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Selenium and CoQ10 Provide Lasting Benefits

Swedish seniors that took coenzyme Q10 and selenium during a four year study were still benefiting 12 years later with a reduced cardiovascular mortality risk of more than 40 percent. In the original study, Linköping University researchers gave 443 independently living seniors over 70 years old either a placebo or 200 milligrams of CoQ10 and…

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Probiotics Ease Bipolar Disorder

Research on 66 patients with bipolar disorder found that patients receiving probiotic supplements were three times less likely to be rehospitalized than those given a placebo. The study from the Sheppard Pratt Health System, in Baltimore, gave half of discharged patients a placebo and the other half a capsule containing two probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12)…

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Curcumin Boosts Fertility in Men

Sperm counts have plunged by half in the last 40 years among American and European men, according to a recent review of scientific studies. In a new double blind study of 56 infertile men, researchers at Iran’s Qazvin University of Medical Sciences found that curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, can boost sperm counts. Each…

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Gut Susceptible to Food Additives

By mixing food additives with human gut microbes in petri dishes, scientists at the Czech Republic’s Institute of Microbiology found that gut microbes with anti-inflammatory properties were highly susceptible to being harmed by additives, while microbes with pro-inflammatory properties were mostly resistant. “We speculate that permanent exposure of human gut microbiota to even low levels…

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Global Briefs

Hatching a Record

Avian Senior Citizen Astounds Again Being at least 68 years old didn’t deter Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from recently hatching another chick. The world’s oldest known banded wild bird, which roosts at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in Hawaii, has birthed and raised more than 30 chicks in her lifetime. She and her mate-for-life…

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Bear Blitz

Climate-Challenged Polar Bears Invade Town About 50 polar bears that usually hunt seals from ice floes have found new cuisine in the garbage dumps in the remote Russian island military town of Belushya Gubam, about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow. Its 2,000 residents, long accustomed to the occasional bear strolling through, now call it a…

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Dim Prospects

Light Bulb Standards Weakened Higher federal standards for energy-efficient light bulbs established two years ago are in the process of being rolled back by the U.S. Department of Energy, part of a move toward widespread deregulation by the current administration. Consumers stand to lose about $100 per household per year in electric bill savings if…

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Post-Coal Cash

Miners Becoming Beekeepers As the Appalachian economy struggles with the loss of three-fifths of its coal mining jobs in the last three decades, a surprising option is emerging for some: beekeeping. The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective offers beekeeping training, including bees and equipment and ongoing mentoring, for displaced coal miners and low-income residents of mining towns;…

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Beyond Green Burial

Human Composting at the End of Life Washington is poised to become the first state to make it legal to compost human remains. A bill allowing for the process, called natural organic reduction, as well as another called water cremation, has passed the state senate and is making its way to the house for a…

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Poisoned Pastures

Nuclear Testing Linked to Radioactive Milk The hundreds of nuclear bombs detonated on a remote Nevada test site during the Cold War produced radioactive fallout that led indirectly to the deaths of 340,000 to 690,000 Americans, concludes a recent study by economist Keith Meyers, Ph.D., of the University of Southern Denmark. Meyers conducted the research…

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Over Dose

Citrus Crops to Receive Human Antibiotics Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressed concern over a recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that opens the door to widespread use of the antibiotics streptomycin and oxytetracycline to spray commercial citrus crops. The antibiotics, which are often used on people, can kill…

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Muddled Message

GMO Labeling Diluted Under final rules released by the current administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national labelling standard for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely exempts foods made with highly processed ingredients grown with GMOs, including sugar made from sugar beets, high-fructose corn syrup and refined soybean and canola oils. The change will allow 78…

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Fuel Folly

Nuclear Waste Disposal Remains Elusive A new report issued by environmental watchdog Greenpeace details the growing global dangers of accumulating nuclear waste that will remain hazardous for hundreds of centuries. Several of the designated storage facilities in the seven countries surveyed are nearly filled to capacity now. Unresolved safety issues across the industry include fire…

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Balancing Act

Endangered Species on the Rebound The Endangered Species Act seems to be working, with more than 75 percent of marine mammals and sea turtles protected by the act recovering, according to a new peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Center for Biological Diversity published in the academic journal PLOS ONE. North Atlantic green sea turtle…

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Eco Tips

Skip the Slip

Digital Receipts Gain Momentum Compared to newspapers, magazines and junk mail, retail sales receipts may seem inconsequential in their use of trees and their footprint on the environment. Yet, getting and handling that tabulation of a sale is a health hazard that contributes to landfills. Certainly, some receipts are required for tax records and product…

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Healthier Dry Cleaning

Non-Toxic Ways to Lower Risks Chemicals used in dry cleaning clothes have long been linked to health concerns for both people and the environment. Perchloroethylene (“perc” for short) is most commonly used in this process. Federal regulatory agencies have documented myriad negative effects from exposure to the petroleum-based solvent. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health…

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Tips for a Tree-Free Home

Many Ways to Pare Down Paper Use If one in five households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the collective impact would save 151 million pounds of paper annually, eliminating 8.6 million full garbage bags and 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the PayItGreen Alliance. While computers continue to offer significant…

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Breathe Easy

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality For much of the country, winter means spending more time indoors—and exposed to potential toxins. Indoor air quality is critically important to children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems that may be especially sensitive to pollutants, according to WebMD.com. Recognizing and avoiding some of the most common sources…

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Earth Christmas

Guide to Sustainable Merry-Making There is symmetry between living in an ecoconscious manner and the spirit of Christmas. Striving for peace on Earth and good will to all can also be expressed in reducing the holiday’s impact on the planet. Alternatives to a cut or artificial plastic Christmas tree abound. Purchase a potted tree to…

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Action Alert

On the Brink

Monarchs Need Species Protections Being listed as part of the Endangered Species Act would protect monarch butterflies. In the 1980s, about 4.5 million butterflies spent winters along the California coast. This season’s stay is shaping up to consist of only about 30,000. Fully 99 percent of the species listed under the Endangered Species Act of…

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Support Citizen Action Against Plastics

Every minute, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic gets dumped into our oceans, reports the World Economic Forum. Many of the materials are disposable, single-use plastic products like straws, bags and Styrofoam containers, which some cities and towns have banned. This type of citizen action is increasingly blocked by the Plastic Industry…

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Youth Climate Strike Coming to U.S.

Demanding immediate action, students are taking part in climate strikes around the world, and on March 15, young activists in the U.S. will add their voices to the escalating #FridaysForFuture movement. It was bolstered in January by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, calling for the first global climate strike while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Action in this country is being…

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Sway Congress

Save Wild Horses Campaign Update The Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget again calls on Congress to lift long-standing prohibitions on the destruction and slaughter of wild horses and burros. The budget seeks to cut approximately $14 million of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Program by selling as many as 90,000 federally protected…

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