Tinamarie Bernard – Green Prophet http://www.greenprophet.com Impact news for the Middle East Sun, 04 Dec 2016 16:43:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.greenprophet.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-green-prophet-logo-2-300x123-32x32.png Tinamarie Bernard – Green Prophet http://www.greenprophet.com 32 32 11 Brutal Consequences of Using the Wrong Lube http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/06/11-brutal-consequences-of-using-the-wrong-lube/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/06/11-brutal-consequences-of-using-the-wrong-lube/#comments Wed, 05 Jun 2013 00:26:16 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=95194 healthy sexuality, woman in pose

Some health friendly tips for the female reproductive organs. 

Visit any medical website, and you’ll learn that vaginal dryness is a common health complaint that women have regarding sexual intimacy. It can lead to itching, burning and painful sex, and is caused by a number of things such as menopausal or hormonal changes, childbirth, surgeries, medicine, douching and lack of adequate foreplay.  If you do experience dryness, they recommend the use of personal lubrications.

Makes common sense, right?

What most sites rarely explain is that they type of lubrication you use can either make the dryness disappear…or end up forcing you to put a Do Not Enter sign over your nether bits.

Ansel Muir Hall, the CEO of Blossom Organics, a company that makes natural and organic aloe-based lubrication explains that the reason may be in the ingredients. Personal lubricants are popular and the market is “dominated by brands that are starting to offer better products, but most [sold today] include a host of ingredients that are truly questionable,” he explains.

As one of 3 co-founders for Blossom Organics, Hall (who is named after Ansel Adams and John Muir) told me that the company was founded on the principle that people want clean and healthy alternatives.

“Women are becoming concerned with living cleaner, healthier lifestyle. This means making good, smart choices about the products they use, but an area equally or more important that has been largely forgotten is intimacy products.”

There’s also been a general apathy among some environmentalists to examine sexuality and sexual health concerns. It’s a trend that is slowly changing as more advocates find what some advocates call their e-Spot. “If a woman is concerned with what she put on her skin, she should be even more concerned with what she’s putting in the most absorbent skin her body – her vagina,” says Hall.

What ingredients should you avoid?

Though this list isn’t by any means complete, some questionable ingredients include: parabens, petrochemicals, benzene derivatives such as sodium benzoate, methyl, ethyl and propylparaben, and benzoate of soda. Boric acid, salicylates and cinnamic aldehyde (an ingredient used in ‘hot’ lubricants) are also questionable.

Hall’s question to women who want to have safer, healthier, better sex is this: why take the risk? Companies like Blossom Organics offer great alternatives. Go with natural, organic and proven safe ingredients, he says.

Whose Fault is It?

Many women have a reaction to the product they are using, and might think the problem is their body, not the lubrication. One reason these ingredients need to be avoided during sex is because your skin can absorb things more readily than if it’s something taken orally.

Take just one potentially toxic ingredient: Parabens.

According to Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D. C.E.O. and founder of Holistic Wisdom, an organization which provides empowering education, products and resources to promote sexual wellness, it’s best to avoid them all together. In an article for NaturalNews.com, she writes:

“Parabens are controversial toxins that have been shown to alter estrogen in females, increase allergies, decrease sperm count in men, contribute to skin cancer and disrupt normal fetal development in pregnant women.”

Regulations are poor and inadequate, she explains. The consequence is that many products contain toxins, and “there are many unanswered questions about what consumers are using on and inside their body.”

What’s more, most consumers in the middle east and beyond are unaware of what is in their personal lubricant or the effect on their health.

“If a woman is concerned with what she put on her skin, she should be even more concerned with what she’s putting in the most absorbent skin her body – her vagina.” Ansel Muir Hall

11 Possible Brutal Consequences

When it comes to safe sex and using the right lube, it’s consumer beware. Unless you know exactly what’s in that jar of jelly, you could be exposing yourself to some potentially unpleasant side effects and health concerns, suggests NaturalNews.com and other sites. Loopholes in the regulation of the sex product industry, limited testing or inadaquate reporting (depending on where a consumer lives) of reactions mean that you could experience any number of ailments and not know what ingredient, or combination of exposures, contributed to the following conditions.

  • Rashes and/or skin lesions
  • Fatigue
  • Nerve degeneration
  • Yeast (candida) infections
  •  Inflammation
  • Myalgia
  • Cancer
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Birth defects
  • Liver damage
  • Insulin resistance

Safer sex tips

Our advice is simple.

1. Only use a product that clearly reveals all the ingredients to you.

2. Avoid using anything with the ingredients listed above.

3. If you can’t find or order a product like Blossom Organics, and are in a pinch, consider using something like coconut oil, vitamin E or even olive oil (though oils are not advised for use with latex condoms).

4. Never use something like motor oil, petrolatum or mineral oil.

The biggest challenge is getting the word out there,” says Hall of Blossom Organics when it comes to using good, healthy ingredients in intimate care. “We need to have an a more open dialogue about the importance of sexual health in our society. We are moving in that regard, and people are making that happen.”

In other words, it is up to you to be smart and practice safe sex when it comes to your intimate wellbeing.

Read More Sexual Health News:

3 Ways Eco-Consciousness Can Improve Your Love Life

Why are Environmentalists Avoiding the e-Spot?

Image of Artistic shot by Shutterstock

Tinamarie Bernard is a natural intimacy coach, author and educator and blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com

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BPA Is Now a Reproductive Toxin in the US – Be Wary of All Plastics http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/05/bpa-bisphenol-a-eproductive-toxin/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/05/bpa-bisphenol-a-eproductive-toxin/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 06:26:53 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=92703 illustration of boy in canoe with canned soup
BPA is a hormonally active chemical found in everything from cash register receipts to soup and beverage cans to plastic wrap and bottles. Will good news for conscious consumers in California mean lifestyle changes for people in the Middle East?

BPA though banned in products like baby bottles is still all around us. An ‘estrogen mimicker’, it has been linked to precocious puberty in females and the feminization of males including urogenital defects and malformed penises.

Plastics that are labeled with a number 7 contain BPA. While governments around the world have taken measures to reduce exposure to this chemical, estimates are that up to 90 percent of humans have traces in their bodies. So we have to ask, where is the BPA, or Bisphenol A, coming from? Read on to find out good reasons why you should limit plastic in your lives, including what’s in your food, and every bit of plastic that goes into your kid’s mouth.

The state of California recently put another nail in BPA’s coffin, listing it as a reproductive toxin.

The downside is that this ruling by the Food and Drug Administrations has no direct bearing on consumers in the Middle East. A ban on BPA in bottles is insufficient in the long term, failing to address the many sources of this compound or the long list of other compounds tweaking our reproductive health.

It is simply insufficient protection against the potential harm to all of us.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “BPA is found in hundreds of plastic items from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants. Some researchers say ingesting the chemical can interfere with development of the reproductive and nervous systems in babies and young children.”

They Wall Street Journal article point to dozens of studies showing such an effect from BPA in rodents and other animals.

It continues: “But the FDA has repeatedly stated that those findings cannot be applied to humans. The federal government is currently spending $30 million on its own studies assessing the chemical’s health effects on humans.

“It is estimated that ‘about 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their urine, mainly as a result of food and beverage packaging.”

Despite the FDA’s caution regarding applying the results of animal studies to human outcomes, consumer groups have taken a stronger stance

For example, the Plastic Pollution Coalition of which Green Prophet is a member states that “the alarm over the widespread use of BPA is entirely warranted.

“BPA has been linked with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancer, early puberty, obesity, diabetes, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and learning and attention-related disorders.”

They reference a review of more than 800 studies published recently in the journal Endocrine Reviews which shows that even extremely small doses of BPA can be toxic.

“The study authors conclude that due to the effects of low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals, ‘fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health’.”

BPA is just one worrisome compound in some plastics.  According to an October 2011 list compiled by TEDx’s Endocrine Disruption Exchange, there are at least 870 known chemicals that can mimic hormones and therefore alter our bodies and our systems.

In a May 2012 article on harmful chemicals, Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times wrote that “nation’s safety system for endocrine disruptors is broken.”

Citing several studies and conclusions by scientists  – linking things like congenital birth defects in boys to micro-penises in alligators – it’s the opinion of this author that regulatory agencies and governments around the world have essentially failed to protect their citizens from a decades long assault on our sexual and reproductive health.

Kristoff writes: “Scientists have long known the tiniest variations in hormone levels influence fetal development. For example, a female twin is very slightly masculinized if the other twin is a male, because she is exposed to some of his hormones. Studies have found that these female twins, on average, end up slightly more aggressive and sensation-seeking as adults but have lower rates of eating disorders.”

Why after almost 20 years since the term endocrine disrupters was coined are we still so exposed and at risk from these chemicals? Aside from a failure of adaquate protection, in part it may also be because most don’t fully appreciate how nuanced and sensitive the endocrine system is.

It takes very little of a hormone, synthetic or not, to impact us. Microscopic levels of exposure (parts per billions), the timing of exposure (fetal exposure is often far riskier) or long-term damage (in some cases, it is children of those who were exposed who suffer the consequences) means we are all at risk.

What can you do besides avoid plastic bottles with or without BPA? The answer is simple: Avoid plastics all together. We dare you!

Image via Boston Public Library

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Egyptian Government Called to Finally Halt Sexual Assaults Against Women, Amnesty International http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/04/egyptian-government-called-to-finally-halt-sexual-assaults-against-women-amnesty-international/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/04/egyptian-government-called-to-finally-halt-sexual-assaults-against-women-amnesty-international/#comments Wed, 03 Apr 2013 20:38:01 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=92167 women activists in egypt

Two years after the revolution in Egypt, sexual assaults against women are rising and becoming more violent, says several human rights organizations.

A recent New York Times piece created a storm of reactions with it’s portrayal of the dangers to women in Egypt since the Arab Spring. According to the story, at least 18 rapes ocurred on the second anniversary of the revolution, and Tahir square, the symbol of freedom, has “become a no-go zone for women, especially after dark.”  The Times article goes on to describe the increased level of violence of these assaults.

They state: “In the 18 confirmed attacks that day, six women were hospitalized, according to interviews conducted by human rights groups. One woman was stabbed in her genitals, and another required a hysterectomy.”

Women’s rights are fundamental human rights and environmental concerns. As the world reacts to the rise in assaults on women in Egypt, it’s going to take more than rhetoric to halt sexual assaults and violence against women.

Amnesty International has joined the voices demanding that effective and meaningful change occurs in Egypt to protect women from sexual assault.

In their 28 page report, they interview seven Egyptian activists working to ensure women’s rights in Egypt. These include Mary Daniel and Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman, who are both seeking justice for protesters that have been killed or injured. Engy Ghozlan, Azza Suleiman and Amina Agami are working to protect and defend women from violence, and combat sexual harassment. Manal Tibe is dedicated to defending the right to housing and Ayesha Amin focuses on on-line support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Egypt.

Their stories can be read in the full report by Amnesty International entitled ‘Fighting for Justice and Human Rights: Egypt’s Women Activists Tell of Their Struggle.”

How is this related to the environment?


Without exception, every major human rights organization, from Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, and World Pulse to the Association for Women’s Rights in Development point to the clear connection between women’s rights and the advancement of sustainable, safe and successful civilization.

The International Women’s Health Coalition’s stance is unequivocal on this.

“The right of women to control their sexuality—the basis for sexual rights—is an indivisible part of their human rights, and that without it, women cannot fully realize their other human rights. This notion has been reaffirmed at several subsequent international meetings, but in practice, few countries’ laws and policies provide women with effective protection against coercion, discrimination, and violence, and fundamentalist states and movements all over the world consistently target women’s sexual and reproductive autonomy.”

While exact numbers are hard to come by, untold numbers of women and girls in the Middle East living under totalitarian regimes encounter rape, virginity tests, domestic abuse, honor killings, mutilation and other forms of gender-based violence on a regular basis.  Amnesty Internationals call asks the leaders of Egypt to once and for all alleviate these injustices in the region’s largest country.

How far does that envelop have to be pushed in order to create real and abiding change? Because what’s good for women is clearly good for Mother Earth.

Nicholas D. Kristof, renowned New York Times Op-Ed columnist and co-author with Sheryl WuDunn of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009), declared that, “greater female involvement in society and the economy appears to undermine extremism and terrorism.  Now it is emerging that male domination of society is also a risk factor; the reasons aren’t fully understood, but it may be that when women are marginalized the nation takes on the testosterone-laden culture of a military camp or a high-school boys’ locker room.”

Rebalancing the power dynanics between men and women is essential. Let’s see if Egyptian women can be the change the world needs to see.

:: Egyptian Activists by Shutterstock

Read More Women’s Rights News:
The Middle East Needs More Sluts
Egyptian Women Forced to Take Virginity Tests

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Bill Gates Seeks Next Generation Condom http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/04/bill-gates-seeks-next-generation-condom/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/04/bill-gates-seeks-next-generation-condom/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 15:25:51 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=92060 condom in pocketBuild a Better Rubber, They will Come? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will grant $100k to the inventor of the next generation condom.

Condoms have been around for 400 years, with very little improvements over the last 50 years, according to Grand Challenges in Global Health, a research foundation established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the one that funded a new kind of toilet.

To bring the condom into the 21st century, Global Health is offering the grant to anyone who can develop the best “testable hypothesis” for a condom that can preserve or enhance pleasure. “The primary drawback from the male perspective,” they state is that, “condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse.”

Will this improve the use of condoms in the Middle East, an area that traditionally has shunned the sheath?

According to some reports, condom use in the Middle East is lower than any other region in the world. Worldmapper writes: “Of all the older boys and younger men in the world, 47% report to have used a condom at the last time of high-risk sex. The region with the highest condom use is North America, at 63.5%. The lowest condom use is in the Middle East at 36.8%.” The authors acknowlege that reporting biases make it challenging for researchers to study condom use, particularily with ‘high-risk’ sex acts. High risk sex is define as intercourse with someone a man does not live with or is married to.

An improved condom will do more than make protected sex feel better for men. Condom discomfort is one of the reasons that men and women opt not to use them. Other concerns, especially for women, can include physical irritation, drying, unpleasant smells and taste sensations, suggests Amanda Hess in a Slates article.

We’ve previously reported on the importance of developing female-friendly condoms that are made from sustainable products and are eco-friendly to those who are using them and the planet. That’s why we hope whoever wins the 100,000 grant does more than build a more pleasurable condom: make sure it is eco-conscious too.

If a local inventor wins the grant, they would join Israel recipients who are working to build a better toilet.

Read more sexual health news:

 How do Tree-Humpers Prevent Pregnancy?
GMO Foods Shrining Sexual Health in a Womb Near You
Ecosexy Love Begins with L Condoms

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3 Ways Eco-Consciousness can Improve Your Love Life http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/03/eco-consciousness-love-intimacy/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/03/eco-consciousness-love-intimacy/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2013 20:05:02 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=91698 love peace hand holdingWhen you think of being eco-conscious, does your love life come to mind?

There are few things more natural than making love. For all the time we might think about it or dedicate to the discussion of it, how many of us consider the connection between the environment and intimacy? That is changing. As more environmentalists are finding their ‘E-Spot,‘ and learning about ‘Ecosex‘ – terms made popular by activists in the US – the message is being heard around the world: how we treat the planet and how we treat ourselves shows up very much in our most private experiences.

With spring upon us, and all that means for romance and love, here are 3 ways being eco-savvy now can improve your relationships for a lifetime.

#1: Nourish Your Libido, Naturally

Lovers in the Middle East are one step ahead of their US counterparts: The Mediterranean Diet is especially suited for a lifetime of sexual health and wellbeing.Diets rich in plants and raw foods are best for feeding the two organs we need to keep in optimal health for optimal lovemaking. These are the brain and the heart. The Med Diet, as it is known, is familiar to residents in many parts of the Middle East.

For more on how this way of eating is especially good for a man’s sexual performance, read here. Bottom line: Increase the amount of whole grains, vegetables, legumes and beans, low fat dairy such as kefir in your diet, and avoid high fat animal protein sources like red meat, and your heart, brain and loins will thank you for the longer haul.

#2: Play the Natural Way

The number one complaint for most women when it comes to intimacy is vaginal dryness. Lubricants are a robust business around the globe, but it is really buyer beware when it comes to the ingredients. According to one creator of natural intimacy aids, “90% of the over the counter lubricants contain ingredients originally designed to clean your oven or grease your car engine.” We don’t want petrochemicals near our sexual organs.

One better, more natural and healthy option is probably already in your cupboard: coconut oil. Caution: because it is an oil, it cannot be used with latex condoms. Read here for more on the ins and outs of vaginal lubrication that is more eco-savvy. If you want to learn more about how to shop for eco-conscious toys, we invite you to read here.

#3: Cultivate Pleasure, Naturally

This is really simple: natural pleasures are good for us. Spending time in the outdoors – hiking, swimming, or simply meditating under a tree, for example – is one way we can feel more alive and connected to the world around us. Spending unplugged time with our loved ones doing things that are fun and enjoyable for everyone elevates our moods too.

The point is that when we do things that feel good to our senses, we invite more ecstasy into our lives. So put down the cell phone. Shut off the television. Set aside the game consoles and give yourselves permission to do something a little on the wildside. Time spent in nature invites us to appreciate the world around us, and it connects us to our primal selves in ways that city life has shut down for many lovers. The rejuvation that comes from enjoying natural pleasures can lead to natural delights.

Read More Eco-Conscious Love News:

Ecosex: Why are Environmentalists Avoiding the E-Spot?

Can Conscious Love Pave the Way to Global Peace?

Tinamarie is a relationship & environmental blogger & intimacy coach who helps women over 35 experience sensational intimate relationships, naturally. You can reach her at ecocoachtina@gmail.com.

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WHO: Global Fertility Rates Mostly Holding Steady (Middle East exception) http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/01/who-global-fertility-rates-mostly-holding-steady/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/01/who-global-fertility-rates-mostly-holding-steady/#comments Fri, 04 Jan 2013 19:46:31 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=88131

Worldwide close to 50 million couples are unable to conceive after five years of trying, states a recent report.

A recent World Health Organization report of 277 national surveys estimates that infertility rates have remained consistent over the past 20 years, with North Africa and the Middle East showing the strongest negative trends in reproductive fertility.

Gretchen Stevens of WHO led the study, which looked at fertility trends in 190 countries.  Researchers found that 1.9% of women over the age of 20 who wanted a child were unable to conceive, while 10.5% of those who had already given birth were unable to have another child.

Rates varied across regions, with the Middle East and North Africa showing a higher level of increased infertility (2.6%), compared to other regions (1.6%).

According to ScienceDaily.com, the study stated that, “Independent from population growth and worldwide declines in the preferred number of children, we found little evidence of changes in infertility over two decades, apart from in the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.”

According to the Mayo clinic, the cause or causes of infertility can involve one or both partners, with one third being due to the male partner, one third the female and one third involving both the man and woman.

Growing concerns about the role of environmental toxins on fertility have led many to advocate for better research and reduced exposure to agents thought to harm reproductive health.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States now reports that, “research suggests that environmental contaminants can affect a woman’s menstruation and ovulation. Low-level exposures to compounds such as phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin, and pesticides are suspected risk factors.”

Not only do these toxins affect females. We’ve previously reported on the impact of BPA on reproductive health and motility and Wifi use on sperm motility.

image of pregancy, Shutterstock

More sexual health news:

BPA is One of Hundreds of Endocrine Disrupters

Laughter and Medical Clowns Improve Fertility?

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4 Fs of Eating for Optimal Sexual Health http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/11/eating-sexual-health/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/11/eating-sexual-health/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2012 21:42:36 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=85921

A plant-rich diet is best for your sexual and reproductive wellbeing.

The Mediterranean Diet is often hailed as an excellent choice for those who want to ensure lifelong vitality, fertility and reproductive stamina. This diet is noteworthy for what’s it in – whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish and limited dairy, eggs and red meat – as it is for what’s not in it: processed foods. Others tout the value of vegan (“Vegan” is the new “Viagra” is a popular meme) and vegetarianism as best for us and our nether bits.

Whatever foods make it to your shopping list and table, there are some key ingredients that serve all foodies and lovers of aphrodisiacs alike. I call these the 4 Fs of eating for optimal sexual health.

First of all, it makes sense that the more fresh foods we eat, the better our overall health and vitality will be. The SLOW food movement emphasizes eating sustainably and locally grown. Organic and whole serve our bodies, minds and souls best. Sexual vigor depends on having strong and well-functioning organs to pump the blood and produce the hormones that regulate our sexual activities. Ovulation and sperm production are enhanced by nutrition-rich diets. Phytochemicals, enzymes and antioxidants are also essential.

Sometimes it gets overwhelming to choose wisely when there’s so much advice about nutrition out there. That’s why the 4 Fs comes in handy. If eating for sexual health ranks high on your shopping list, and you want to stock a sex-friendly pantry, consider eating more:

Fiber: We need this to clean out the debris in our bodies. Fiber is essential for our digestion, and fiber from whole-grains also helps with insulin function. Think of things like millet, quinoa (which is a yummy alternative to use in Tabouli salad), buckwheat and amaranth, sweet potatoes and whole grain breads as the go-to choices for healthy sexy menus.

Fruits and Veggies: Suggesting people eat more fruits and vegetables seems like a no-brainer. In addition to getting your 5-9 servings a day, make it a habit to have 3-5 different colors on your plate at each meal. This will make it more likely that you get a wider variety of nutrients from your plant-based diet. A healthy and sexy body depends on an abundance of vitamins and minerals that feed the brain and the heart.

Fats: Healthy fats are a necessity for sexual wellbeing. First of all, the brain needs these to function. Essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6 are absolutely necessary for hormone production. The key to eating fats is to make sure they are the right kind – in this case, healthy options include olive oil, fatty fish like salmon and tuna (though one must also consider where our fish comes from and avoid mercury contaminated fish) avocado, nuts and seeds. Middle East cuisine contains an ample supply of these types of fats compared to the typical Western diet that includes more animal fats. Not surprisingly, lower rates of erectile dysfunction are found in societies that eat the right kinds of fats (and excercise, etc.)

Flavor: This is the most esoteric suggestion of the four. Foods that are delicious and well seasoned please the palate and much as our parts. Experimenting with herbs and spices enhances the cooking and eating experience for the chef and the guest. In some cases, there is evidence that certain herbs and spices have aphrodisiac or healthy benefits. The role of flavor is even deeper than infusing the food with vitaliciousness. What we eat and how we eat in a fast paced world can benefit from savoring the flavors, allowing our tongues to caress the textures in our mouths, letting the joy of consumption take over for a bit.

The 4 Fs are just one pillar of vital eating. How we eat and where our food comes is intimately connected to taking better care of the planet and one another. After all, sexual wellbeing thrives when our bodies are nourished the right way, and when our minds and hearts are receptive and invigorated by meaningful connections to one another.

Image of portrait of a young woman eating lettuce, Shutterstock

Read more Food News:

Food Shortage Could Force World to go Veggie

The World’s Most Expensive Spicy Aphrodisiac: It really Works!

Tinamarie Bernard is a natural intimacy coach and blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com.

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Israeli Innovator Dr. Daniel Hillel wins UN World Food Prize http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/10/israeli-innovator-dr-daniel-hillel-wins-un-world-food-prize/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/10/israeli-innovator-dr-daniel-hillel-wins-un-world-food-prize/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2012 15:44:14 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=84463

October 16, 2012 is World Food Day as designated by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This years theme is agricultural cooperatives, and the winner of the World Food Prize for 2012 is Dr. Daniel Hillel of Israel. He was honored for his work in micro-irrigation and innovative irrigation methods for use in arid regions at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Such work is essential considering our global food production needs and rising food costs.

Nourishing the Planet.com states:

“Dr. Hillel was honored for his work in microirrigation, an innovative irrigation method that applies water in small, continuous amounts directly to plants. Many traditional methods of irrigation, including soaking fields during a region’s wet season and allowing them to dry out during the arid season, are relatively inefficient in both crop productivity and water conservation.

The food prize council also recognized Dr. Hillel’s commitment to intercultural understanding and collaboration; he has worked to spread his irrigation technique to farmers in 30 countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Sudan, and Palestinian communities.”

Dr. Hillel discussed sustainable agricultural practices in a recent lecture in the US. According to the Iowa Daily, Dr. Hillel, an adjunct senior scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute is quoted as saying that,“we are not able to expand agriculture much beyond where it is today without encroaching upon natural ecosystems and violating their biodiversity and impoverishing the biosphere. So we have to be very careful and learn how to intensify production and do it sustainably without degrading the resources of the land and water.”

Israel is known for pioneering practices (the drip irrigation system was invented by Israelis) and is often called the Start Up nation for it’s innovations that benefit the global population. That population is growing at a fast rate.

“The world’s population has been projected to stabilize at 9 [billion] to 10 billion by the third decade of this century,” Hillel said. “Consequently, our expansive population has been placing ever greater demands on the world’s limited and vulnerable soil, water and biotic resources.”

“My hope is to encourage them to pursue their interests, and to raise their awareness of the crucial importance of this profession that we share, which is agriculture and environment and land and water and climate,” Hillel said. “You [young people] are the future of the world.”

For more information on World Food Day, visit the website.

Photo Credit: Circle of Blue

Read More Food and Health News:

5 Ways Yom Kippur Can Green the World


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Tea Extract from Pakistan May Help Treat Breast Cancer http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/09/tea-extract-from-pakistan-may-help-treat-breast-cancer/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/09/tea-extract-from-pakistan-may-help-treat-breast-cancer/#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2012 18:25:36 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=82047 cleavage tea pakistanA tea made from a plant found in Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe may help treat breast cancer, study suggests.

Following our report on turmeric‘s benefits for natural breast health, science is finding more evidence for Mother Nature’s healing possibilities. According to ScienceDaily.com, “scientists at Aston University and Russells Hall Hospital have discovered that an extract from a common plant in Pakistan may help treat breast cancer.”

While more research is needed, according to the report, the results were free from the side effects such as hair loss associate with modern cancer treatments. The plant, called Fagonia cretica, is part of a family of plants that grow in arid, desert regions including Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle East regions.

From the ScienceDaily.com report:

“The plant, Fagonia cretica, and known as Virgon’s Mantlem, is commonly used in herbal tea. It has been traditionally used to treat women in rural Pakistan who have breast cancer, but up until now this treatment has been regarded as something of a folklore remedy. However, patients in Pakistan who have taken the plant extract have reported that it does not appear to generate any of the serious common side effects associated with other cancer treatments, such as loss of hair, drop in blood count or diarrhea.”

Now, scientists at Aston University in Birmingham and Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley have undertaken tests of the plant extract and demonstrated that it kills cancer cells without damage to normal breast cells in laboratory conditions.

Professor Helen Griffith and Professor Amutul R Carmichael who lead the study are now aiming to identify which element or elements of the plant are responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients.

Professor Helen Griffith of Aston University said; “More research is needed to establish the role of the extract in cancer management and It now needs to be demonstrated that this extract is as effective in killing cancer cells inside the body as it is within laboratory. The next steps are to identify which element of the plant is responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients.”


As an plant family, Fogonia is distributed across many regions. The rural communities in Pakistan and beyond who are familiar with it as a potential medicine or supplement ‘may not benefit from it’s development as a pharmaceutical,’ writes a Nature and Science blog devoted to natural medicinal discoveries. “The populations who know and use the herb, perhaps originally because they have few other affordable or effective options, are not likely to see much recognition of their prior art in having knowledge of the herb as a medicine.” 

Overall, this is good news for women who are interested in learning more about herbs for breast health, enhancing breasts naturally or who understand the delicate balance between living sustainably and sexual wellness. With environmental toxins being likely culprits for a variety of concerns including increasing breast size, it’s important that further research is completed that does more than simply identify the cancer-fighting compounds within this plant. Really smart science would ask those who are familiar with Fagonia‘s properties to share how best to serve these specific cups of tea while honoring humanity’s long history of turning to nature for what ails us, breasts and all.

:: Image via Diana Blackwell

Read more breast health news:

Are Hormones in the Environment Making Breasts Bigger?
How do Tree Humpers Prevent Pregnancy?

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Are Brazilian Blowouts Putting Kinks in Health? http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/08/brazilian-blowout-risks/ http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/08/brazilian-blowout-risks/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 20:39:51 +0000 http://www.greenprophet.com/?p=81269 brazil hair model, beautifulMore popular in the US than the Middle East, the Brazilian Blowout craze (with its chemicals) did make the headlines in Dubai.

I’ve never understood the desire to chemically straighten one’s hair, perhaps because my wavy locks can go either way, and natural tricks for my hair type work just fine. Even so, many curly-haired friends have paid a bundle for this service, which promises to leave your tresses looking lovely for months. As the popularity of the treatment has grown, so too have the concerns. Some of the chemicals found in the products are linked to not so eco-sexy health risks including birth defects and spontaneous abortions.

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates there is reason to worry about chemicals found in salon products. According to Women’s Voices for the Earth, an activist organization in the US, there is an ‘ugly side to this kind of beauty’.

“One recent study has shown that nail salon workers have higher levels of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a reproductive and developmental toxicant, than the general population. Another study found that beauticians and hairdressers are likely to have significant exposure to solvents that are linked to birth defects. Other studies have found cosmetologists are at a higher risk for having spontaneous abortions and low birth weight babies.”

Part of the problem is that many of the products like the Brazilian Blowout are unregulated in the United States and other countries. It is banned in Canada, France, Germany, Australia and Ireland.

The Brazilian Blowout company settled with the California Attorney General in 2011, and it is now required to state on package labels that the product contains formaldehyde. However, the products remain on the shelves and a class action lawsuit by salon workers has been filed both in the U.S. and Canada.

We were unable to find any references to similar concerns in the Middle East.

Image of beautiful hair by Shutterstock

Read More Health and Beauty News:
RECIPE: Eco-Sexy Summer Solstice Lip Balm (Natural)
Sage Advice on Natural Deodorants (7 Tips)

The author is a regular contributor to Greenprophet.com and blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com.

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