Another spring has sprung upon us, the first one our little Co-op has ever had. Already we’ve got local greens, asparagus, and a few other early vegetables coming in from some of our growers in the Embudo Valley. Thanks Matt, Adam and Eremitah, - we appreciate nothing more than good local food going through the Co-op’s doors.
I spent the first part of the spring in Mexico, as many of you know. One of the many noticeable differences there is that they seem to have a little store, a small restaurant and at least one other business on every block. The economy is a lot different, I think because everyone shops so locally that the money is shared with the neighbors and if the neighbor doesn’t have what you need you might have to walk as far as two or three blocks. The federal government is spending a lot of money in the country for tourists; new toll roads, a tourist protection bureaucracy, even sidewalks beside the cobblestone streets of Barra de Navidad where I just spent five weeks. But tourism is not all it’s cracked up to be in terms of an economic anchor, as New Mexico has seen. One year it can be great, the next might be a bust. Nothing is a substitute for a real local economy, where people pay their neighbors fair prices for the goods and services they need. You can feel the real impact such an economy has in Mexico.
Back here in Dixon, we’ve started our own little local economic experiment. More and more people from a wider region are starting to visit our store, but the key to its success will always be the patronage of those of us who live close, and love having a good store we can get to without spending ten dollars on gas. Ten months into it, there are still some of our neighbors who have yet to come in. On Mondays, when I do my volunteer shift, someone inevitably comes in who hasn’t been there before and tells me as they walk out with their first purchase, “This is a nice little store.” I hope to see them back the next time they need more than a Coke and candy bar. The truth is that I spend less and eat better now that the Co-op is open than I ever did before. And on top of it, we’ve created a couple of jobs and augmented the income of some local growers as well as encouraged other small towns to think about the possibilities of acting more locally. For me, those things make it more important than getting cheap food at a big retailer. It’s a far cry from Mexico, but at least one small store is better than nothing.
And the real test of local support for the Coop is coming up starting in May. Annual memberships are starting to expire as we approach the one-year anniversary of our opening. You’ll get a slip in the mail asking if you want to renew your membership just before your membership expires. Of course, we hope you will renew, and if you really want to contribute to the Co-op’s health, please think about a lifetime membership.
A healthy store is one more piece of the puzzle that makes a healthy local economy. Now if only someone would open up a decent seafood restaurant where we could get a beer for ten pesos…
Co-Op Spring is in the air SPECIAL!
by Funny Hendrie
We would like to thank all coop patrons (that’s YOU!) for loyally buying “all that you can” chez nous, and even seeing good reasons for looking so diligently for what you want, and for waiting so patiently in line....
All our limitations are really beneficial in the long run, and conspire mysteriously to make this world a better place, as implied by:
Maybe you are eating better (salad has Never been fresher, except possibly from your own garden)
You are saving gas $, and a tiny bit of the planet
You feel a part of something bigger than you, which gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling
You are eating more ice cream & chocolate than ever before, which is releasing more endorphins into your system, making you a happier person
You are going slower, even at nearly a meditative pace
You are getting information about all kinds of things, even if you didn’t look for it
Your digestive wishes are heard, even if not fully realized
Your money is going back into the community, instead of elsewhere, unknown
AND... there’s a good chance you just might bump into (& we mean literally) that Someone Special, due to the aisles being so intimately narrow, and the cashier line so graciously long...
SO, we have decided to offer a REWARD for the first couple who happen to fall in love in our store....a Gift Certificate for $20.00 to add to your mutual pleasure, and to celebrate your being seduced by, –and taking advantage of–, our special atmosphere!!
Pain in Health Care:
An Integrative Approach
by Tara Smith
“The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the ‘easy life of the gods’ would be a lifeless life.”
-Hannah Arendt, 1958
Pain has always been a part of women’s health experiences, inherent to such physiologic processes as menstrual cramping, labor contractions, and uniquely female illnesses, such as cervical or ovarian cancer. However, the understanding of pain- its nature, its purpose, and its sometimes debatable need for removal- remains elusive. Pain is manifested through an array of physical, psychological, social, and cultural factors. This article will explore the sociocultural aspects of this phenomenon.
Philosopher Hannah Arendt believed that pain was an essential part of the human condition, one which would become “lifeless” should the feeling of pain be removed. Indeed, for centuries philosophers, healers, and poets have spoken of the importance of pain to the process of being human. In the minds of many, pain is a necessary part of life, and is not easily removed, nor should it be. Pain, and determining ways to control it, is on the minds of Americans. Many persons today are unwilling to accept pain as a natural condition of life. From infancy through adulthood, pain is viewed as a negative condition that should be avoided or overcome at all costs. It is estimated that $100 billion is spent annually on pain care in the United States. Over $4 billion is spent annually on over-the-counter pain medications for headache. In 1999, it was estimated that over 48 million Americans experienced chronic pain. There are approximately 70 million emergency room visits annually, and $65 billion lost in productivity each year due to pain. Pain management is an essential part of clinical practice, one that is best served by exploring the concept of pain, the manner in which it affects individuals, and methods for assisting the individual in coping with its effects.
“I said that the cure itself is a certain leaf, but in addition to the drug there is a certain charm, which if someone chants when he makes use of it, the medicine altogether restores him to health, but without the charm there is no profit from the leaf.”
-Plato, 380 BC
Social psychologists, Leary and Springer, noted that many languages incorporate the concept of physical pain into the experience of social isolation (e.g., “hurt feelings”); the notion that the suffering accompanying social isolation is, itself, a form of pain. One could question whether the reverse is true—does physical pain, itself, have a social component? The experience of physical pain has been shown to activate the same neural mechanisms as the experience of social separation or rejection. Indeed, it appears that these seemingly distinct types of pain—physical and social— can be dependent on one another. At the same time, however, the manifestations of these 2 types of pain can vary from culture to culture and from group to group. Acknowledgement and understanding of the symbiotic relationship between physical and social pain reveals new perspectives on issues surrounding social support and intervention in pain. As an example, let’s consider the circumstances surrounding labor and birth. For humans, as opposed to most mammals, birth does not occur in isolation. It is a socio-cultural event often marked by culturally specific rules and rituals. Anthropologists, Rosenburg and Trevathan, attribute this to the fact that the human infant usually emerges from the birth canal facing in the opposite direction from the mother, impeding her from manually assisting in its delivery. Also, the ratio of the mother’s birth canal to the size of the full-term human infant head is greatly reduced from that of most other mammals, making labor and delivery a more arduous task for Homo sapien women. While the reasons for this evolutionary anomaly are not entirely clear, they have led to the need for another individual(s) to be present at the birth to assist the mother in completing her task at hand and to receive the infant during delivery. From an evolutionary perspective, support at birth leads to a reduction in morbidity and mortality and is favored by natural selection, thus supporting the development of “social birth.”
It appears that pain in humans, in general, is subject to the same rationale as that in birth. The evolutionary process has resulted in the seeking of companionship that, in turn, increases the likelihood of safety when humans are at risk for injury or debilitation. So, how do we best respond to pain....medicine, community or both? As with any aspect of an individual’s health, providers should avoid any temptation to focus on simply finding a “cure” for the pain itself without first understanding the place of the pain within the context of the whole individual.
For topic suggestions and/or more information contact: Tara Smith at Health Centers of Northern New Mexico
PO Box 98, Embudo, NM 87531
505.579.4255, Fax: 505.579.4669
by Linda Griffith
May is upon us, the days are getting warmer, some hummingbirds have arrived, we have been blessed with a little rain, and there is even some new snow on Taos mountain. Soon, we will be looking for ways to avoid those pesky mosquitoes, and other annoying insects. It probably will not surprise you that I look to essential oils (therapeutic grade) and other natural ingredients to find a way to deter these little critters.
DEET is possibly the most popular synthetic/chemical now in insect repellants, but is not health-approved in many countries. DEET passes through the skin barrier easily, and poses a serious risk. It can cause brain problems and seizures… ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. (I have been aware recently of as many as five cases of brain tumors and brain cancer. Why so many, all of a sudden ?) Believe it or not, the EPA promotes DEET as the pesticide of choice…and many people are more scared of the biocidal chemicals than they are of the West Nile virus !
Researchers have reported that a component of the essential oil of the Catnip plant (Nepeta cateria) which is so fascinatingly attractive to felines, actually repels mosquitoes 10 times more effectively than DEET ! The reason being that the nepetalactones act as an irritant to insect antennae.
Catnip is a perennial herb, which belongs to the mint family. It grows wild in most parts of the U.S. and is also cultivated for commercial use. It is native to Europe and was introduced to the U.S. in the late 18th century. In France, the leaves and young shoots were used as a seasoning. Native Americans brewed it into a tea used for colic in infants. Rob Pappas of the Essential Oil University of New Albany, Indiana says, “To effectively repel mosquitoes you need specifically the nepetalactone type” of catnip oil. This specific type of catnip oil has been found to be the only truly effective oil for repelling mosquitoes. Another person reports that “mosquitoes, bees and other flying insects not only do not bother me, but give me a wide berth as I work among the plants and flowers in my garden”. Of course, you may get an opposite reaction from nearby cats !
Did you know that pregnant women in the later stages of pregnancy are more susceptible to targeting by mosquitoes? This is partly due to the fact that they exhale a greater volume of air than non-pregnant women of the same body weight and because their skin flora is different due to higher body temperatures and increased sweating rates.
Some essential oil recipes that have been used to repel mosquitoes/insects include: 8 drops of Juniper, 8 drops of Cedarwood and 4 drops of Geranium to 2 ounces of organic sweet almond oil. Apply to skin but avoid eye area. Or, 6 drops of Peppermint, 6 drops of Melaleuca alternifolia and 9 drops of Eucalyptus radiata to 1/2 ounce of carrier oil. And from Valerie Cooksley, R.N. – 2 tbsp. of carrier oil, 5 drops of Cedarwood, 4 drops of Lemon, 2 drops of Geranium and 1 drop of Citronella. The oils can be put into an opaque plastic squeeze bottle. Omit the Lemon essential oil if you plan on being in the direct sunlight, as Lemon oil essential oil is phototoxic and can cause a sunburn if put on immediately prior to sunning. Lemongrass, rosemary, or Eucalyptus radiata can be substituted for the Lemon. Add 2 tbsp. of a carrier oil and shake well. Make a label with the contents and instructions. I have an essential oil blend called Purification which is useful for many situations. You can put 5 drops of Lemon, or Lemongrass and 5 drops of Purification in a brown or cobalt blue spray bottle with distilled water and mist your skin to protect yourself against insects, flies and mosquitoes. The other recipes listed above can also be used with distilled water instead of the carrier oils.
And a recipe from Dr. d’Angelo from the Denver area: In a 4 oz. Brown or cobalt blue glass spray bottle, put 50 ml of distilled water and 46 ml of witch hazel (plain), then add 40 drops of lemongrass, 40 drops of Eucalyptus citriodora, 20 drops of Neptalactone catnip and 20 drops of Neem oil. You can find these bottles at the Taos Herb Shop. Shake and spray onto exposed areas of the skin.
Next month, I will talk about suggestions for treating bites. Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely weather, continue to pray for rain and give thanks for this beautiful valley that we inhabit!
Give me a call at 579-4678 if you have any questions, or need organic, therapeutic grade essential oils.
Thanks to all who participated in the 3rd Annual Seed Exchange... a good time was had by all... there was even a favorable mention in The Horsefly! (not an easy feat) Look for a Seed Exchange page on our website with more photos and info from this and future events. Coming soon! Special Thanks to Adam Mackie for his energy and enthusiasm that makes this event happen.
The Dixon Cooperative Market is now an official FedEx shipping center. Overnight your stuff without having to drive to Taos or Española. See Nelson for all the details.