Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mad Berries at Mad Love Organix!

Strawberries, golden berries, beet berries, chokeberries, and beautyberries all are calling Mad Love Organix home. Four, 8-by-4 foot plots of vegetables just aren’t enough for this mad gardener. After a trip to the Rodale Institute on the first day of summer - two days before my birthday - a few native berries were calling me by name. “Erik! Erik! We are your gift. Take us home!” I listened.

New Strawberry plot extending out of the garden fence.
We purchased three varieties of strawberries – earliglow, eversweet, and gasana. The earliglow and the eversweet have been planted in the ground in a slightly raised bed measuring 3-by-8 feet. The gasana was planted in the top section of a raised container next to the new strawberry plot located in the furthest south-facing area of the yard. Looking at the strawberry plot extending out of the garden boundaries and into the yard is exciting. Sorry dogs. It was only a matter of time.

After tasting locally grown strawberries through the CSA and thinking about how many frozen strawberries we add to smoothies on a year-round basis, it suddenly seemed like a worthy idea to add them to the home garden. I hope we can keep up.

An almost ripe strawberry from the Gasana plant.  
The chokeberry plants excite me the most. As do food forests. I feel I am on the food forest path to major home food production in a space 43-by-21 feet large. Or small – I don’t know. We bought one Red Chokeberry that will grow to cover a section between 6 to 10 feet, and we bought one Black Chokeberry that grows to cover between 3 to 5 feet. They are a shrub-like tree that puts out suckers to form a cluster of stems and branches.

Chokeberries are more commonly being referred to as Aronia, according to the New York State Horticultural Society (NYSHS), due to the unappealing sound of chokeberries and their increasing popularity. Aronia is a member of the Rose family and demands have been increasing in the United States since 2001, when a juice blend company began doing well at Costco Wholesale Corporation. However, the Aronia berries come with a steep price and most growers are located in Europe, according to the NYSHS New York Fruit Quarterly.

Black Chokeberry planted in yard with Red Chokeberry in background (left).
Cool, according to me. The perfect addition to a Pennsylvania food forest. A berry originally from North America, removed and cultivated in Europe, literally being brought back home. And they come with a high price! Oh, did I mention the Native Americans used them like crazy? Perhaps they were mad too.

The Native Americans used chokeberries to make sun-dried fruit balls, to spice their bison meat, and to treat a wide range of health conditions. Chokeberries, or should I say Aronia, are also supposed to make a beautiful addition to the landscape, displaying white flowers in spring while giving off an almond-like aroma - all according to the USDA, of course. Today these berries are commonly used to make jellies, jams, pie fillings, wine, sauces and more. My first move? Jelly, then wine.

American Beautyberry.
Another berry I plan on using to make jelly will come from the American beautyberry. This native perennial shrub is supposed to grow anywhere from 3 to 8 feet and will offer ripe berries through August and September. The placement of this plant in the yard will be the start of a pathway leading to the far end of the yard, which will be narrow at the beginning opening up to an area of edible plants. The narrowness will be a result of the beautyberry.

One idea I like about having an American beautyberry is the possibility of mixing multiple types of berries to make multiple types of jellies. Almost as much as I like the idea of food forests. Or me going mad in a forest of food. Or making mad jelly … strawberry and beautyberry jelly, red aronia and beautyberry jelly, strawberry with mixed aronia berry jelly … and the list goes on.  

Other than a food source, the American beautyberry was used by early 20th century farmers. They would rub crushed leaves on themselves and store crushed leaves under the harnesses of their farm animals to repel mosquitos and other bugs from biting, according to the USDA. Future scientific studies done by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) proved this to be true, after finding two compounds present capable of repelling mosquitoes. 

Beet berries in need of a home.
As for the beet berries, they are small and in containers. I sowed them in May and thought they never did anything. When something started growing I almost assumed it was a weed and pushed it to the side. Noticing plants a few inches tall with never-before-seen leaves a few weeks later led to an instant google search confirming their identity. Yep, beet berries.

Beet berry, also referred to as Strawberry Spinach or Indian Ink, produces a soft red fruit too delicate to make it to the farmers market. It grows like a weed and the leaves can be added to salads. I’m curious about trying the berry which is supposed to taste more like a beet than a strawberry, due to the plant being in the beet family. According to Horizon Herbs, where the seeds were purchased, the white and red marbled root is also edible and tasty.

Last, but not least, we have the golden berries. We grew them last year but started them late and did not get to taste its ripe fruit. This year we started them on time, then I cooked them on a tray with a dome lid placed on top on a hot day. Oops. Yet such a classic mistake. How sad I was.

Some of them survived after a state of suspended shock and started growing and looking healthy again. How happy I became. Then they got hit with Colorado potato beetles. As the potato beetles ate the leaves, the golden berries became sick looking. Ouch, the sadness.

Golden Berry plant next to blooming Buckwheat plot.
After reading an article on Mother Earth News about controlling these hungry beetles, I learned that buckwheat attracts predatory insects, especially when in bloom. Luckily, there is an 8-by-4 foot plot of buckwheat in the garden. I moved the few containers of golden berries around the plot of blooming buckwheat and in a few days all happiness returned. They are now forming healthy-looking flowers.

Recently, I ate a piece of dark chocolate with dried golden berries in it. I will be growing these plants for a long time is what that experience taught me.

Yard before berries.
Added to the existing vegetable garden, we now have a full season’s worth of native berries making themselves feel at home. The yard has been blocked off by the dogs since early June when we added topsoil infected with spider mites and planted clover seeds to fill the lawn. After two weeks of time, poor germination results, and the application of predatory mites to eat the spider mites, we planted more clover seed. When that started to come in, we added grass seed mixed with clover seed in one last desperate attempt to have a yard thick and green that will not burn out from dog urine.

Yard after berries.
It’s still blocked off. Once these new plants are established in the ground and the last of the clover and grass seed grows the yard will be theirs again. Or will it? We – the dogs, us people, and the plants – are now forced to share. With the addition of native plant species followed by an increase in both bad and good insect populations, I suppose it will never be theirs again. Then again, this style of thought may be an example of organic living - a life where the art of allowing nature is instinct.

And nature can be mad crazy.

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Colored Versus Natural Mulch In a Landscape Setting

Mulch can be a beautiful addition to the landscape of a home, pleasing the eyes of passerby’s while increasing the value of the property.

While mulch may be aesthetically pleasing, only some mulches please soil life giving the flowers, shrubs, and trees a chance to reach their full potential.

Other mulches tend to be less generous, taking rather than giving. Dyed colored mulches made from dried wood are one of the less generous mulches.

Colored mulches are made from wood that must be dried in order for the water-based colorant to hold, according to Nature’s Way Resources, an organic-based landscaping company in Houston, Texas.

The dried wood has a high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, resulting in the nitrogen and soil microbes being pulled from the soil to break down the dried mulch. Eventually it will lead to starved and weakened plants, according to John Ferguson, owner of Nature’s Way Resources.

“It doesn’t stimulate the biology of the soil,” said Ferguson.

Beneficial soil microbes are used by the plant to help prevent diseases. When they become busy decomposing dried wood, “you get more insect and disease problems,” Ferguson said.

Another factor to consider is where the wood comes from. Wood used for dyed mulch may come from old pallets, mill waste, or construction scraps, according to Nature’s Way Resources.  If the wood comes from construction scraps, it may contain chromated copper arsenate, or CCA-treated wood, meaning it may have toxic levels of arsenic.

CCA-treated wood is considered a hazardous waste if not being used for its intended end use. Because the intended end use is for building materials, CCA-treated wood is not for manufacturing mulch, according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in a memorandum put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place importance on diverting CCA-treated wood from entering mulch manufacturing.

Also, the dye ingredient used to color mulch may not benefit the fertility of the soil. One ingredient used to dye mulch black is carbon black. It is a by-product of the petroleum chemical company and a known carcinogen, according to Ferguson.

Carbon black is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass, according to the EPA, and is emitted directly into the atmosphere in the form of fine particles.

“A lot of people think the black is good,” Ferguson said. “It’s practical for the people selling it. Since it makes the mulch black, they buy it.”  

Another form of carbon black comes from charring organic materials such as wood or bone, according to Ferguson, who recommends asking the mulch vendor for a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to be sure which one is used.

Although colored mulch may not be good for horticultural reasons, it does serve a purpose. It works great for temporary work areas, pathways, and playgrounds, said Ferguson.

At Edwards Garden Center, located in Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania, a variety of playground mulch is available. “We have dyed brown, dyed black, and dyed red,” said Joe Janov, garden center manager.

Other than dyed playground mulch, Edwards Garden Center also offers a natural mulch made from a mixture of hardwood and bark. “It’s aged, so it takes a little longer to develop,” Janov said. “And it is dark brown colored naturally.”

To make the natural mulch, it is ran through a shredder twice. “To age it properly they have to keep rotating it,” Janov said. “So it’s actually breaking down.”

The dyed mulch is shredded 3 times, then dyed, according to Janov. By the time the natural mulch is done aging it becomes a finer, less-coarse product than the dyed mulch. “I would say that the natural mulch is more of a, closer to being a compost than the dyed mulches are.”

And according to Ferguson, “composted tree trimmings is the highest quality mulch. Period.”

Tree trimmings consisting of mostly hardwoods and brush with a small amount of bark, also referred to as native mulch, encourage the biodiversity of beneficial soil microbes, according to Nature’s Way Resources. In return, they feed the plants while preventing both plant and soil diseases. Once native mulch becomes aged, or composted for 15 months, the quality becomes even greater, concentrating nutrients and stabilizing nitrogen in a form beneficial to plants.

Other than benefitting soil and plant life, aged mulch is also a recycled product. “It’s a material that would normally go to a landfill,” said Ferguson.

At Edwards Garden Center, they receive their mulch from a lumber company located in central Pennsylvania. Specializing in log cabin homes, they make mulch from their scraps, according to Janov.

However, the lumber company refused to comment.

As for the most popular mulch, “Our natural brown mulch is the biggest seller,” said Janov.

During spring, mulch sales are the highest, according to Janov. “It’s usually when people want to freshen things up because it’s weathered through the winter.”

But beware around July Fourth with fireworks around dyed mulch, according to Ferguson. “It’s more flammable than other types of mulches. It will burn a lot hotter.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Planting Potatoes and Carrots

Potatoes and carrots were planted last Thursday, filling in our 8-by-4 foot bed for root vegetable crops this season. Tending the soil, cutting potatoes, and sowing carrot seeds that evening before the heavy rainfalls was a special gift from the universe.

We dug an 8-inch furrow with the hoe to plant potatoes
spaced 12-inches apart.
Through life’s trial and error, hustle and bustle, and wear and tear of complicated modern living, joy seeps in at the perfect moment. Time immersed itself in timelessness as my girlfriend and I received the opportunity to let go with our hands in the soil. So cold, so warm, so wet, so dry, so dirty, so clean. Joy is so simple immersed in oneness.

Once again we have purchased German Butterball potato seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. My memory reveals a yellowy, creamy, almost candy-like potato flavor. For the past two weeks our potatoes have been “chitting” in a south-facing window.

Chitting refers to the process of exposing seed potatoes to light to develop shoots, according to The Complete Gardener by Monty Don. Although potatoes are destined to grow, Don adds a helpful reminder to the gardener who wants “short green sprouts that will initiate fast growth when they are planted” rather than “long white tentacles.”

Potato seeds cut into pieces.
The carrot seeds were a mix of Dragon and St. Valery, or a purple skin and an orange skin variety. Now that we have made some progress with growing carrots and potatoes my goal this season is learning better storage techniques. It’s one thing to grow food but once something is harvested the work is not done. There’s still storage, prepping, and eating and this year we’ll be on top of it all. Last year I seen too many soggy carrots to not plan well now.

We planted rows North to South. In one 8-by-4 foot bed we fit one row of potatoes. A row of carrots were planted on the edge of the bed with one more row planted a little more than a foot in. As the potatoes grow and as we mulch up and around them we will have to make sure not to smother the carrots. I believe a few posts and a make-shift fence will prevent that from happening.  

Small drills for carrot seeds.
This season’s bed for root crops was the only bed we did not plant cover crops in over the previous winter. Romanesco and broccoli filled the bed until early winter and I never got around to it. That’s too bad considering the cabbage worms feasted here successfully all fall long. This time we have some tricks up our sleeves. And a bag of high-quality organic soil to mulch the potatoes with.

Until then … all of our plants and seeds will be in the ground and in containers through this week with a deadline set for next weekend. And I know time will stop to invite us to garden.     

 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Making Soil Blocks for Local CSA

Become Active in Local Agriculture
Tray of Blocks
Becoming active within local food systems can be as easy as mixing soil and water. It can also be a great way to meet local farmers, reduce CSA membership fees, and learn about organic gardening.

Learning how to make a soil block is a simple skill capable of permitting one to become involved within their local CSA or farm and may be used as a key to open doors to other food systems, local or worldwide. Once making a soil block is learned, it can go on the resume and traveling by organic gardening may one day be an open door. Or the next family trip.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Planting Has Started at Mad Love Organix

Planting has started at Mad Love Organix and we’re right on schedule according to our 2014 Garden Plan. April 1st-to-date has been a blur of sore joints, jello muscles, and long days as the warming temperatures wake up the plant kingdom and put me back to work. I live off plants man!

Golden berries have sprouted on the heat mat in the south-facing window of our home. Last year we started them late and did not get the opportunity to try them but this year we’re not making the same mistake.
 
Some of the golden berries starting their journey!
Our first planting of spinach poked its way out of the soil a few days ago. Last week the real feel temperature dropped down to the single digits after the spinach was sowed. Hopefully that was the last of those temperatures this winter. (At work when we decided to put the snow equipment away I couldn’t help but imagine plowing in July. Hey, it may happen.)
 
'Bloomsdale' Spinach.
The German Butterball potato seeds have arrived and I was hoping to plant half of an 8-by-4 foot bed with potatoes and carrots on Easter day but have not had the time to finish constructing the new garden fence. If the dogs see us digging they think they can too and without a fence they will. In the meantime, we are “chitting” the potato seeds in the window next to the golden berries to give them a head start.
 
German Butterball Potato Seeds.
This new fence set-up is also the new compost area. The compost has been moved from the compost alley and we built a multi-section compost area out of free pallets. One section is almost full with compost, although it’s sure to sink, and each section holds one cubic yard of compost which is recommended for the compost to heat up appropriately.
 
Above view of compost pile. A whole world is alive below the surface!
We did lose some garden space in the front yard by moving the compost but that’s O.K. I think the dogs know they’re eventually going to lose the yard. I shouldn’t feel bad about it either, we go for walks. I’m excited about finishing the fence. It happens a half-step at a time right now and at the same time, we still have time. No hurry, but hurry. I want to get out there!
 
New fence leading to the garden. A work in progress.
On Easter we sowed some Romanesco (a type of broccoli). Now I need to prepare for cabbage worms. Last year they hit hard. Fall plantings of broccoli did not make it and we harvested only one head of Romanesco. More on that later.
 
Nothing yet! Romanesco soon to come.
We also have a chrysalis of a black swallowtail butterfly saved in a 5-gallon fish tank outside. It formed a chrysalis in fall, froze in ice, got buried in mud, and looks like it will do something any day now. We’ll have to wait and see. I swear I can see it’s alive as if I can see individual cells functioning, moving, and forming. And I can.

Chrysalis of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly.
I think my girlfriend likes growing butterflies more than carrots. I prefer the carrots, but this is cool.
The aeroponic system if free of leaks and up and running. Some lettuce is growing in it now, although it’s still small. The south-facing window it is placed in is designed to blur the object on the other side and I wonder if it weakens the sunlight coming through. I plan on taking it outside soon. 

'Green Towers Romaine' Lettuce.
There’s still a lot of work to do, a lot of plants to sow, and some basic things to acquire. With the start of the landscaping season in full force I struggle with basic living skills, such as cooking dinner and walking the dogs. But who cares? Not me. The garden has started and it will lure me in. At the same time it hasn't even started.

A few more photos:

Winter Rye planted last fall growing tall.
The garden beds are still sleeping from winter.
Without a garden fence blocking the dogs, Sidekick enjoys snacking on the winter rye as if she's livestock.
Aerial view of the yard.
I really suck at growing grass. I'd rather grow veggies anyway!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Composting: Carbon and Nitrogen

Compost happens, yes. But if food scraps are thrown into a pile and left to rot, a hot smelly mess may be taking over. That’s because the process of composting is a symbiotic relationship between carbon and nitrogen. Or at our home, cardboard and food scraps.
Black Crumbly Compost

In order to end up with a pile of black, crumbly, rich scented, compost filled with fully charged micro-organisms capable of generating life-giving forces willing to build soil fertility worthy of growing nutritious veggies, one must understand the role of carbon and nitrogen. At least a little.

Click here to continue reading.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

United States Oil Dependency Creates Increased Demand on Health Care

Oil is the blood which runs through the veins of this economy's infrastructure, generating profit margins which enable people to drive automobiles to work, heat their homes and offices, turn on their computers, drink bottled water, light the towns and roadways, keep their grass bright green, and feed the food that feeds their families. The United States consumes more oil than any other country, almost double what China consumes, who runs in second under top world oil consumers (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Unlike blood, which the human body makes regularly on its own, oil comes from the depths of the earth, where microscopic organisms fall to the ocean floor, transforming into crude oil through heat and pressure over time. (Frumkin, Hess, and Vindigni).

Unlike blood in the human body, which has the option of being re-fueled if it cannot produce enough of its own blood, through blood transfusions donated by other human bodies, the earth has no other planets to rely on for oil transfusions. However, like the blood in the body, used to perform many functions, such as transporting oxygen and disease fighting substances to body tissue and waste to the kidneys (Franklin Institute), all underlying the one shared goal to keep the body functioning, oil also performs many functions and shares one primarily goal - to keep our economy functioning. To do this, members of society need a source of income and a source of food, and businesses to provide these sources.

Through our increased dependency on transportation and conventional farming methods, both based on the consumption of oil, many chronic diseases are being linked to these methods which depend on oil and play a major role in polluting the water, soil, earth, and the human body. As our dependency on oil increases, the economy begins to face increasing demands for health care.

In 2012, the United States consumed 6.79 billion barrels of petroleum, amounting to 22 percent of the total world petroleum consumption. Gasoline was responsible for 47 percent of this consumption while asphalt and road oil accounted for 2 percent (U.S. Energy Information Administration). This is no surprise when there are 765 cars per 1,000 people in the United States, compared to 10 cars per 1,000 people in China (Frumkin, Hess, and Vindigni). As our dependency increases on automobiles, more goods and services become available, increasing the importance of transportation as both a means to economically survive and as a profit-making service used to employ people and generate more industries.    

More industries pave the way for more jobs, increased incomes, and people owning more things, such as multiple automobiles and larger homes. In the past fifty years, average home sizes have increased by more than 50 percent, while the average number of household members decreased by 50 percent (McClellan). In order to heat more larger homes for fewer people and provide construction services along the way that make this possible, 20 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption in 2012 was used for heating oil and diesel fuel. Between gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel, asphalt and road oil, a total of 77 percent was used (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

As the transportation industry increased, so did advancements in industrial agricultural methods along with their dependency on oil. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, irrigation, and genetically engineered seeds, all part of conventional farming, come from one source of energy – petroleum. The need for pesticides and herbicides increases through the use of monoculture production, a production system used by conventional methods to grow large amounts of a single type of crop. More oil is then used to transport these single crop harvests to processing plants which use yet more oil to process these foods, and more oil, again, to transport these processed foods to where people will have access to them (Neff, et. al.).

Processing foods and transporting it to people hundreds of miles away involves the use of more oil-dependent products. Other than chemicals, oil is also used in plastic for bottles, food and storage containers, and in the energy used to produce these products. In 2010, 1.7 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption used was for the sole production of plastic products and materials (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Even many medical supplies, ranging from intravenous solution bags, syringes, and surgical gloves, to toothbrushes, lubricants, and rubbing alcohol, are made from oil (Frumkin, Hess, and Vindigni). Aspirin, used to relieve pain by almost one-fifth of U.S. adults on a daily or bi-daily basis (Soni), is produced from a petroleum-based molecule, known as phenol (Frumkin, Hess, and Vindigni).
           
Due to our consumption of oil through services and industries dependent on oil, such as transportation, conventional farming, and the medical industry, the human health condition may be at risk. Within the transportation, mining, construction, and agricultural industries, diesel engine dependency potentially exposes many workers to suffer from health effects ranging from irritations and headaches, to respiratory diseases and lung cancer (United States Department of Labor). That means all miners, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, bridge and tunnel workers, oil and gas workers, truck drivers, and farm workers are at risk.

One newspaper article, titled Agricultural Pesticide Use May Be Associated with Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer, quoted Michael Alavanja, Dr. P.H., from NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, who stated “farming is the most consistent occupational risk factor for prostate cancer” (National Cancer Institute). There may also be other diseases related to agricultural exposure, including asthma, neurological diseases, and poor pregnancy outcomes, such as spontaneous abortions. Agricultural workers may also experience higher rates of leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancers of the lip, stomach, skin, and brain, than people in urban areas (Agricultural Health Study).

Processed foods may also pose a risk for the human health condition, by contributing to diabetes (Bureau of Quality Improvement Services). Genetically engineered foods make up to 80 percent of conventional processed foods (Non-GMO Project). And all of these foods must be packaged in order to be transported. One industrial chemical, known as Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is used to make most of the 131 billion food and beverage cans used annually. BPA is a synthetic estrogen which leaches out of the plastic into the food and has been linked to infertility, breast and reproductive system cancer, obesity, diabetes, behavioral changes in children, and resistance to chemotherapy treatments (Environmental Working Group).

Consumers of genetically engineered food may be at higher risks to food allergies. Caitlin Shetterly, author of The Bad Seed: The Health Risks of Genetically Modified Corn, dealt with many uncomfortable health conditions such as headaches, exhaustion, burning rashes, nausea, and severe insomnia, for three and a half years while seeing many doctors with no results. After seeing allergist Paris Mansmann, M.D., she was told she may have developed a reaction from genetically engineered corn. Shetterly emitted corn form her diet, and four months later was back to her old self (Shetterly).

Although evidence linking genetically engineered food to food allergies is controversial, Vyvyan Howard, expert in infant toxico-pathology, said “swapping genes between organisms can produce unknown toxic effects and allergies that are most likely to affect children” (Smith). Of the total 15 million people affected by food allergies, 1 in every 3 children are affected (Food Allergy Research and Education). And children are at a higher risk of death from food allergies than adults (Smith). 

All of this factors in to create an increased demand on greater health care. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are among the most common chronic diseases in the United States, responsible for 7 out of 10 American deaths each year. In 2005, almost 1 in every 2 adults had at least one chronic illness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Diabetes contributed to 231, 404 deaths in 2007, and affects 25.8 million children and adults in the United States today. Evidence suggests people suffering from diabetes also have heart disease death rates 2 to 4 times higher, and a 2 to 4 times higher risk for stroke (American Diabetes Association). Certain forms of cancer are also more common to farmers exposed to pesticides and tests are being performed to investigate relationships between living and working on a farm and cancer risks (Agricultural Health Study).

As health risk rates increase, people’s dependency on health care also increases. As does the continuation of our dependency on oil. But oil is finite. And if oil becomes obsolete, then the infrastructure of this society crumbles just as fast as the World Trade Towers. Businesses will stop in their tracks, food will stop growing, and many families will face financial ruins.

However, there is time. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the earth still has “a global supply of crude oil, other liquid hydrocarbons, and biofuels expected to be adequate to meet the world’s demand for liquid fuels for at least the next 25 years.” Looked at from a reserves-to-production ratio, which gives the current rate of consumption to total proved reserves, and the EIA says about 50 years. Hopefully, any faults in Obamacare are worked out by then. Because who can afford to not afford health care once the blood in this economy's veins runs dry?

One man is actively more optimistic. Akinori Ito saw piles of garbage heaped on cluttered streets of Japan and thought, why can’t all that plastic be converted back into oil? Using Japanese technology, Ito melts plastic back into oil, while also cleaning up the garbage (More). 

 
Other than burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, we can get our energy from renewable energy sources, such as the sun, wind, water, biomass sources, and geothermal sources. However, it does have some drawbacks. Structures must be built to collect, harness, and transport the energy and environmental negative impacts may occur in order for the source of energy to be put into production (National Atlas).

But without renewable energy stations producing energy now, such renewable sources may just be good ideas. Once oil runs low, the blood flowing through this economy's veins will stop.  When the human body’s blood stops flowing, the body becomes dizzy and faints as a protective mechanism. Once the head is at equal levels to the heart, the brain can receive blood more easily. Maybe once companies have to cut back on spending, and families and individuals will have to cut back on consuming, then the blood will flow to the brains and the way it perceives increased profit margins at the expense of the environment will begin to change.



Work Cited
Agricultural Health Study. Frequently Asked Questions. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Statistics. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.
Bureau of Quality Improvement Services. Health and Safety: Diabetes Overview. Web. 12
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
          Web. 9 Nov. 2013.
Environmental Working Group. Guide to BPA. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Food Allergy Research and Education. About Food Allergies. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
The Franklin Institute. Blood. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Frumkin, Howard, Jeremy Hess, and Stephen Vindigni. Energy And Public Health: The     
          Challenge of Peak Petroleum. Public Health Reports. 2009 Jan – Feb.; 124(1): 5-19. Web. 9         Nov. 2013.
McClellan, Chris. Cob Construction: Building with Earth and Straw. Mother Earth News.
          Oct/Nov. 2013: 54 - 59. Print.
More, Saurabh. Man Invents Machine to Convert Plastic Into Oil. YouTube. Web. 10 Nov.
          2013.
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Agricultural Pesticide Use May Be
          Associated With Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2003;           157: 800-814. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Neff, Roni A., Cindy L. Parker, Frederick L. Kirschenmann, Jennifer Tinch, and Robert S.
          Lawrence. Peak Oil, Food Systems, and Public Health. Am J Public Health. 2011 Sept.; 101    (9): 1587 – 1597. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.
Non-GMO Project. Frequently Asked Questions. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Renewable Energy Sources in the United States. National Atlas. 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 11
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Shetterly, Caitlin. The Bad Seed: The Health Risks of Genetically Modified Corn. Health and
          Fitness. Elle. 24 July 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Smith, Jeffrey. GM Foods More Dangerous For Children than Adults. Genetic Roulette: The
          Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. 7 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Soni, Anita PhD. Aspirin Use among the Adult U.S. Non-Institutionalized Population, With and
          Without Indicators of Heart Disease. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: Agency for           Healthcare Research and Quality. July 2007. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.
United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Diesel
          Exhaust. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
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