Pasadena Learning Gardens

Resourcing communities to create a healthier more sustainable future


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Gophers

I’m dealing with Gophers at one my my teaching gardens so I’ll be delving into this issue.  I remember lamenting an earlier encounter with a biodynamic farmer in Germany who wanted to know what my issue was.  This article provides some interesting insights into letting them be, most interesting to me is the point that their population will stabilize and more food will not cause more gophers – this is not how it has appeared to me…

The Dry Garden: Détente with the gopher | L.A. at Home | Los Angeles Times.


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Processed Food Health Claims – BEWARE

As Michael Pollan mentions in Food Rules: Avoid food products that make health claims.  This is great advice because health claims made by processed food manufacturers are rarely what they seem.  In reality, what we find is: (1) The claims often have minimal scientific basis or are grossly exaggerated; (2) The claims are often justified not because the actual primary product has the healthy nutrients but instead because nutrients are added during processing, which can mean the nutrients are not absorbed by your body as effectively as if those same nutrients are delivered from fresh fruits/vegetables in their natural state; and (3) The claims fail to mention that while the product may have some sort of healthy vitamins or antioxidants, any benefit is usually outweighed by the fact that the same product is also loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar, fat and/or salt.  The best course for your health is to simply eat an apple or some broccoli rather than relying on some sugary cereal or fat-laden salty snack that claims to deliver the same nutrients.  The LA Times recently ran an interesting editorial regarding this situation and two very common products, Frosted Mini Wheats and Pom Wonderful.  Check it out here and get the real story.

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