Discover more from Priscilla’s Newsletter
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement...
…and mystery of the world we live in.
Priscilla’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Welcome to all new subscribers and a big thank you to all paid subscribers! Rachel Carson has been such an inspiration to me ever since I read her seminal book “Silent Spring.” She opened up my eyes to so many things that I was unaware of, which started my journey on learning how to be an informed consumer, and which sources I can trust for health and food related information as well as becoming dedicated to growing my own food using organic practices.
This issue opens in fact with a piece about food! Eating for health should a priority. You will either learn or be reminded of the best plant based foods we should all be eating regularly, if not daily, in our meals. The next story is about a group of inspiring women who sued the Swiss government over their Human Rights; a 100 million seed drop from 6,500 feet; clothing made with seaweed, nettles or cactus; two stories of innovative recycling from Lake Victoria, Africa and a radio chat about whether Nature Should Have Rights. Onwards!
#1- The Best Foods that Make our Immunity Systems Stronger
-Eat for health-
Variety is the key to proper nutrition. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough to help fight off the flu or other infections, even if you eat it constantly. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.
I definitely need reminders, especially when it comes to including a variety of plant-based foods in my meals, as I tend to gravitate towards eating favorite foods over and over again. Here are some of the best foods we should be eating on a regular/daily basis: Citrus, Red Bell Peppers, Ginger, Broccoli, Garlic, Spinach, Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Turmeric, Green Tea, Papaya and Kiwi. As often as possible, organically and locally grown (or grow your own, even better).
Eat these foods raw whenever possible, for added health benefits as cooking does reduce the vitamin content, especially with broccoli and spinach.
Citrus: Most people turn straight to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C: grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons and limes.
Red Bell Peppers: If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain almost 3 times as much vitamin C as a Florida orange. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Sliced raw with a hummus dip. Delicious.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all. Steaming is the best way to keep more nutrients in the food. I love lightly steamed the best.
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Garlic may slow down hardening of the arteries, and helps lower blood pressure. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Ginger helps to decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger helps with nausea, decreases chronic pain and might even possess cholesterol-lowering properties.
Spinach is rich in vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking makes it easier to absorb the vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid, an antinutrient. Eat raw in a salad.
Almonds: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and helps build a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving of almonds, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens. Sunflower seeds are also incredibly high in selenium. Just 1 ounce contains nearly half of the selenium that the average adult needs daily. Sprinkle on salad.
Turmeric has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. High concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Curcumin has promise as an immune booster and an antiviral. Add a sprinkle of black pepper, which helps in the absorption of turmeric.
Green Tea: Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health. Delicious with a squeeze of lime.
Kiwi: Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
Source: My book LOLA Lots of Love Always
#2-Women Sue Swiss Government over their Human Rights
-Thousands of Elderly Women sue for human rights violations over climate change-
I love these women.
Several thousand elderly female Swiss pensioners have brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that the Swiss government’s failure to combat global warming is a violation of their human rights.
The women allege that their government has made a “woefully inadequate” effort to combat climate change, and that rising temperatures put them at a heightened risk of death due to heatwaves. The Swiss government has argued that the case was inadmissible and that any efforts by the court to impose penalties or prescriptive measures would be a “quasi-legislative” overreach.
The case is the first climate-related lawsuit to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights. Across Europe, roughly 300 climate-related cases have been filed in national and regional courts, and the Court’s decision in this case will likely have significant ramifications on future and ongoing lawsuits.
What the court decides on these questions will be defining for its other climate cases, and will send strong signals to courts all across the Council of Europe, and around the world,” Corina Heri, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zurich, told CNN. “Ten years ago, this kind of case was unimaginable.”
Eight European governments have filed interventions on behalf of Switzerland, with Ireland in particular arguing that the case was mired by “insuperable difficulties” and that the pensioners were asking courts to bypass democracy, Reuters reported.
“We were taken for old women who did not have a clear idea of the issues … and I think that could now turn against them,” Stefanie Brander, a member of the Senior Women for Climate Protection, told Reuters Wednesday.
Two additional cases are set to be heard by the human rights court, with the first, brought by European Parliament and French Green party member Damien Carême, also set to be heard Wednesday, Reuters reported. The third case has been brought by six young Portuguese citizens alleging that all 27 members of the European Union, in addition to Britain, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine, have threatened their right to life by failing to tackle climate change.
#3- 100 Million Amazon Seed Drop
Did you know about this?! Brazilian parachutist Luigi Cani dropped more than 100 million seeds from 27 species of trees that are native to the local biome, over a remote area of the Amazon rainforest ravaged by deforestation.
When Luigi got within 6,500 feet of the deforested area, he plunged at 300 km.h, reached the seed box in free fall and released the seeds at the correct height to ensure precise and even distribution.
The seeds collected for the project have a germination rate of over 95% and do not require human intervention to germinate, so in a few years we will see the fruits of this unprecedented action.
#4- Seaweed Sweater + Nettle Jeans + Cactus Shoes
Fashion is one of the biggest causes of pollution, from the amount of water used to grow cotton, the chemicals used to dye textiles, and contributes between 5% and 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to the energy used during its production, manufacturing, and transportation of the million garments purchased each year.
The following three brands are showing the way to a sustainable business model, using natural, renewable materials.
No plastic synthetics! Only natural fibers like yak wool and a seaweed yarn.
The seaweed used to make the Oliver-Charles sweaters comes from Icelandic fjords, where there is no pollution and waste from lareg commercial ship traffic. Local Icelandic sea farmers gently harvest the abundant seaweed beds once every 4 years using large floating conveyor belts that remove only the very tops of the plants and do not cast nets that capture fauna. The harvesting process ensures that each bed can naturally regenerate without disrupting the ecosystem.
Yak wool is a sustainable cashmere alternative. It’s just as soft but is also more durable and easier to care for, is hypoallergenic and is one of the warmest wools, perfect for making sweaters with.
Wild Himalayan Nettle Jeans
Did you know it takes around 3,700 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans? That’s roughly the same amount of water the average person drinks over 3.5 years.
That’s because most denim is made out of conventional cotton—a fiber that is usually heavily irrigated and fertilized in cultivation, as well as one that uses a huge amount of water in the manufacturing, finishing (dyeing and washing) and packaging processes. Conventional cotton manufacturing also contributes to the practice of monocropping on a global scale, which can weaken the soil, deplete its nutrients and reduce local biodiversity.
To help reduce dependency on conventional cotton, Pangaia has committed to working with a more diverse range of materials. Their denim is made using a unique blend and construction that’s not currently available on the market, called Panettle.
Pangaia uses wild Himalyan nettles because it grows wild and abundantly in the Himalayan mountain forests. It’s a naturally regenerative resource meaning it grows back every year, with shoots reaching up to 3m in height. Harvesting it helps support local communities by providing off-season work for farmers who wild-harvest the raw material without disruption to their farm activities and growing wild nettles promotes root growth to help soil stabilization in landslide prone mountains.
Cae has created the first sneaker made of cactus leather.
The cactus is from a 100% organic plantation, and since no herbicides and pesticides are used, there is no harm being done to biodiversity.
Cactus is a sustainable and economical, and the plantation only requires small amount of rainwater and earth minerals. The cactus leather is made in Mexico, in the state of Zacatecas, from the mature leaves of the plant without damaging the cactus. It is free of chemicals, and stands out for its low ecological footprint, softness, and durability. Cactus leather is a sustainable alternative.
Harvesting takes place every six to eight months, giving the plant time to regenerate. After cutting the mature leaves, they are dried under the sun for a few days. Then, they are transformed into vegan leather thanks to DESSERTO® patented formula.
Would you wear a sweater made with seaweed, jeans made with nettles and sneakers made from cactus? If they are comfortable to wear, absolutely.
#5- Innovative & Creative Recycling
-the future is innovation-
Former tour guide James Kateeba, started building the Floating Island in 2017 in response to the tons of plastic waste he saw in Lake Victoria (Africa) after heavy rains. He realized the vessel could serve as an example of a sustainable business on the shores of the lake: a floating restaurant and bar.
James Kateeba insists that it is first and foremost “a conservation effort,” one man’s attempt to protect one of Africa’s great lakes from degradation. Using thousands of dirt-encrusted plastic bottles to anchor the boat, which includes greenery emerging from this innovative recycling project.
Lake Victoria is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake and spans three countries. Yet it is plagued by runoff waste and other pollution, sand mining and a decline in water levels due in part to climate change.
Layers of plastic waste float near some beaches during the rainy season, a visible sign of the pollution that’s a worry for fishing communities heavily dependent on the lake.
Today, the boat can comfortably serve 100 visitors at a time, Kateeba said.
“This is morning glory,” he said proudly, caressing a vibrant flowering vine one recent afternoon as he prepared to unmoor the boat for the enjoyment of his customers.
A similar project was launched in 2018 on the beaches of Kenya, where a small boat, known as the Flipflopi, was built entirely from 9 tons of recycled plastic that once littered sandy shores and towns along the Indian Ocean.
In 2021 the Flipflopi went on a voyage on Lake Victoria “to raise awareness of the pollution plaguing the regions most critical freshwater ecosystem.
“I am sure, with some bit of experience that we gain from this, we should be able to encourage other people to design things,” he said. “Other methods, not necessarily this type ... of trying to deal with plastic pollution on Lake Victoria.”
More information about Flipflopi here
#6-Does Nature Have Rights
-a chat on Radio Kingston (New York) with Jon Bowermaster-
A view from my house towards the river, which meanders along below that tree line.
The "Rights of Nature" movement advocates for ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and mountains to bear legal rights in the same way as humans. It's a relatively new and novel approach, though still requires a legal structure to support it. Currently the Ulster County legislature is prepping to sign its own version. The Green Radio Hour digs into the movement with Phil Erner, Lee Gough, Tom Ellis, Blake Lavia and Tzintzun Aguillar-Izzo.
Spring is here and evolving slowly as it does here in the Hudson Valley, in upstate New York. It’s a wonder to witness nature as it wakes up from its winter slumber.
Follow me on Instagram at Priscilla Woolworth to get all my latest news. My on site store The Rabbit Hole is open and thrilled to have visitors on Fridays and Saturdays between 11 am and 4pm. Email me at email@example.com to make an appointment or message me via The Rabbit Hole’s Instagram page. Also, things are starting to get busy at River’s Edge Farm, my Carbon Neutral-Climate Resilient-Zero Waste-Organic Mini Farm. Clean up will happen by the end of the month, once the beneficial insects have woken up and moved out of the leaf piles. Until then, the greenhouse is getting spruced up and ready for seed starting soon!
Wishing you and your loved one all the best,
Priscilla’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.