Take it up for Earth Day

Earth Day Canada (www.earthday.ca) is issuing action-based challenges urging all Canadians –kids, classrooms, groups, businesses, individuals and families – to make positive changes to their daily habits. The challenges run from April 1 to April 30 and encourage participants to take up a new action for 21 days, a period long enough for the action to become a part of their daily routine.

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Seva Canada turns 30

Seva eye screening clinic at a school in the Gulmi District of Nepal.

Seva® Canada, an international eye care charity based in Vancouver, turns 30 this month. Since 1982, Seva Canada has restored sight and prevented blindness in the developing world. To date, Seva and its partners have given the power of sight to three million people in Tibet, Nepal, India, Guatemala, Egypt, Cambodia, Malawi, Madagascar and Tanzania. But what makes Seva different is its unique approach to international development; it empowers the people and communities where it works.

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Osteoporosis: healing mechanism or disease?

A still life with vegetables and dumbells

by Allan Lawry

• To understand how osteoporisis is a healing mechanism and not a disease, a brief history of the term “osteoporosis” is necessary. In 1830, French pathologist Jean Lobstein observed there were holes in the bones of some of the cadavers he was studying. And around that time, various researchers began to combine two Latin words to describe this condition: “osteo” meaning bone and “poros” meaning pore or hole. Together, the two words literally mean “porous bones,” describing weak and fragile bone that could fracture. You basically had to break a bone before you were diagnosed with the “disease”.

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Who’s eating who in organic food?

A chart showing the ownership of companies in the organics industry

by Phil Howard, Michigan State University

• I started studying consolidation in food industries when I was a graduate student at the University of Missouri. When I moved to California where this trend was rapidly occurring – despite the fact that many of the pioneering companies set out to be alternatives to the mainstream food system – people asked me to look into organic brands. In 2003, I put together a chart to visualize buyouts made by the largest food processors, many of which are hidden. Due to widespread interest, I’ve updated it every few years. Interestingly, some companies cited on this chart have told me that they loved it. They showed it to big retailers like Walmart, Costco and Target to convince them that organic was becoming mainstream. – Phil Howard

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Mantra music

An image of the white-bearded guru holding a cutaway guitar, laughing

by Alan di Perna

When yoga arrived in the West, it brought its own jubilant soundtrack along for the ride. The practice of chanting sacred mantras from India’s ancient yogic traditions has taken on new life, thanks to the work of adventurous, modern musicians like Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Wah, Snatam Kaur, MC Yogi, Deva Premal, Donna DeLory and others, including guitarist GuruGanesha Singh.

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Ten nutrients consumers can buy over-the-counter again

Vitamin pills in a leaf

by Dr. Eldon Dahl, ND

• Ever wondered if you could bottle that sleepy feeling you get after eating a big turkey dinner, for future use on one of those long, restless nights? Well, last December, the Canadian health food industry was overjoyed when L-tryptophan, along with nine other products, was released from *Schedule F restriction. Until then, all these ingredients were only available to Canadians via expensive prescriptions. According to clinical studies in the Natural Standard clinical database, these nutrients have been clinically reviewed and used with life-changing improvements. Despite their proven effectiveness, however, Canadians are only now able to obtain these products legally without a prescription.

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