Sunday, November 26, 2006

International changemakers - honoring elder women activists

Women are gaining influence as leaders throughout the world fighting for peace, justice, the environment and civil society. In this program we profile three courageous women elders honoring their lives of dedication to far reaching social movements. We¹ll hear their personal stories and hear about their current work.

Australia's Dr. Helen Caldicott is the premier spokesperson for the worldwide anti-nuclear movement. The Smithsonian Institute named her one of the most influential women of the 20th century. Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers of America and is a tireless advocate for social justice; Mairead Corrigan Maguire won the Nobel Peace Prize for organizing a grassroots non-violence movement in Northern Ireland.


Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder, Nuclear Policy Research Institute; Dolores Huerta, co-founder, United Farm Workers of America; Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder, Community of the Peace People.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Contributing Freelance Producer: Lynn Feinerman
Guest Host: Sandina Robbins

For more information:

The Peace People
224 Lisburn Road
Belfast, BT9 6GE, Northern Ireland

Dolores Huerta Foundation
Post Office Box 9189
Bakersfield, California 93309

Nuclear Policy Research Institute
4423 Lehigh Rd #337
College Park, MD 20740

United Farm Workers
National Headquarters
PO Box 62
29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road
Keene, CA 93531

Other helpful links:

Radio Campesina Network

Nobel Laureates Decade for Culture of Peace and Nonviolence

United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization

United Nations

Amnesty International

Peace Council, USA.

Greener News Room


Friday, November 24, 2006

Eco-Friendly Feminine Hygiene Products

Reusing and recycling just don’t work when it comes to feminine hygiene products. Have you ever thought about how much waste pads and tampons create? The average American woman throws away 15,000 sanitary pads and tampons in her lifetime, adding up to 250-300 pounds of waste.1 Multiplied by the 85 million menstruating women in North America, that’s about 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons, plus their packaging, added to US landfills per year!2 And some don’t even make it that far. The Center for Marine Conservations conservation collected over 170,000 tampon applicators alone in just one year from U.S. coastal areas.3

Women who are concerned about this waste, not to mention the health risks of lodging wads of non-organic, dioxin-laden cotton close to their reproductive organs, have turned to one of the best kept secrets in women’s health care: the menstrual cup.

Under brand names such as The Keeper or The Moon Cup, the rubber or silicone cup looks something like a tiny plunger. Upside down, it is tucked inside the vagina just like a tampon, where it collects blood until the user removes it to empty it. A cup, which costs $35, lasts about ten years. In that time, a woman spends more than $400 on pads and tampons!

I’ve used the Keeper for four years, and would never, ever go back. It’s so simple that I often forget I’m using it after I put it in. It never leaks; it only needs changing twice a day; it’s simple and hygienic. It’s been a life-saver when I don’t want to deal with my period in a Porta-John at work, when traveling in countries where tampons weren’t available, when backpacking in places with nowhere to dispose of trash. And best of all, I’m not generating heaps of nasty garbage.

If you’re intrigued, check out Reviews posted by other users are so enthusiastic you’d find them ridiculous – if you haven’t tried it for yourself. Personally, I agree with my friend Rachel who puts it simply: “Quite possibly the most useful device ever invented.”

1 “Interesting Facts.” The Keeper, Inc. 2006. (Accessed 24 November 2006.)

2 Ibid.

3 “Inner Sanctum: The Hidden Price of Feminine Hygiene Products.” E Magazine, Vol. XII No 2. March-April 2001.

by Sara Kate Kneidel

keywords: keeper, environmentally friendly menstrual products, feminine hygiene alternatives

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Top 3 Myths about Peanut Butter

Myth #1: Conventional peanut butter is a healthy choice for kids.

"Choosy moms choose JIF"? Not if they're paying attention. Commercial peanut butters are loaded with added saturated fat, which is known to clog arteries and contribute to heart disease. JIF and Peter Pan and other familiar brands also have a significant amount of added sugar and salt.

Myth #2: The cultivation of peanuts is environmentally friendly.

Peanuts for commercial brands of peanut butter are grown with the use of a large variety of chemical applications, including granular insecticides, liquid insecticides, systemic insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and nematocides. You can read a list of the chemicals commonly recommended by state agricultural agents for the cultivation of peanuts, on this web site of the NC Cooperative Extension Service. Says the web site: "Approximately 90 percent of peanut acreage is treated with... systemic insecticides. Some of these are highly toxic and have caused wildlife die-offs; these include phorate (Thimet), disulfoton (Di- Syston), and aldicarb (Temik)." The Cooperative Extension Service lists 14 common peanut pesticides; it rates 9 of them as "highly toxic" to birds, mammals and fish.

Myth #3: Peanut butter has to have fat, sugar and salt added for kids to eat it.

Definitely not true. The first time I ate organic peanut butter with no additives, years ago, I admit I had reservations. The peanut oil was pooled on top and it was a bit goopy. But organic peanut butter these days doesn't seem to separate as much, if at all. I can buy organic peanut butter grown without pesticides and prepared without additives at the conventional supermarket near my home now (Harris Teeter). It tastes so much better than the pomade that JIF sells, and my kids agree. Many natural food stores now have a grinder in the store that allows you to grind your own organic peanuts on the spot. This is the best - it has a lovely smooth texture, with no oil separation. It tastes like freshly roasted peanuts. Now that we really like organic peanut butter, the commercial brands taste like doctored putty. Well, they taste like sugar, saturated fat, and salt, which is what a good portion of what they are.

Organic is not just about health. Buying organic protects wildlife, habitats, and the farm laborers who harvest our crops, as well as consumer health. Support farmers who care enough to farm organically.