Fresh: A Movie About Good Farming

Last night I went to a screening of Fresh, hosted by the West End Food Co-op in a local park. Most movies made about food recently have dwelled on the fact that industrial farming is killing us – a bad thing no doubt about it. Here’s more on industrial farming.

The good thing about Fresh is that it establishes what’s wrong with farming quickly and succinctly then spends the rest of the film celebrating good farming that’s happening. It’s an inspiring film that will make you love fresh food, crop rotation, and help you see that we can escape the control of industrial farming operations.

Smoke Weed for Pain Relief

Smoking marijuana can make life better for those who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain. This new research from McGill University shows that even small amounts of THC can make a noted difference in chronic pain levels. The article also shows how difficult it is to do research on marijuana in today’s political climate, so good on the researchers for sticking to their science!

The finding comes from what researchers in Montreal believe to be the first outpatient clinical trial of smoked cannabis, involving 21 people with chronic neuropathic pain.

The results, which included improvements in mood and sleep, were published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Even with this kind of fixed dosing and limited exposure, we were able to show in a blinded fashion that the patients did obtain some analgesia, improvements in sleep quality and on one of the subscales of the quality-of-life measure, we found that the anxiety was mildly improved as well,” Ware said.

“This may help in developing policy, or improving policy, or improving doctors’ willingness to consider this as an approach when all else has failed.”

Side-effects — the euphoria associated with smoking pot — were “very, very rare,” Ware said.

“I think because the doses we used were very low,” he explained.

The Star has more

New Approach to Drugs in Toronto

Toronto has become the first city in the world to include harm reduction in its approach to drug use. At the very least this is a huge symbolic step forward for Canada (particularly since the regressive rulers in Ottawa are attempting failed Reagan-era dug policies) and for North America, since Toronto is the first government on the continent to endorse harm reduction.

The Vienna Declaration, which slams the criminalization of illicit drugs as a major factor fuelling HIV infection rates, came to the fore during this year’s AIDS conference. Its authors called on policy-makers around the world to refocus their approaches to illegal drugs and HIV-AIDS prevention – especially in light of new statistics that show HIV infection rates have climbed back to 1982 levels, largely thanks to infection in injection-drug users.

The declaration has thousands of prominent signatories – including doctors, epidemiologists and former heads of state, but few of the governments at whom it’s targeted. On Thursday, council passed a motion to endorse the declaration by a wide margin, 33 votes to 7.

Read more about it here.

If you’re in Toronto please vote for a mayoral candidate that supports caring about people so you can keep reading good things about your city.

A Well of Change

Well of Change is a website that encourages people to give more than money to organizations that need help. Their visions is to” create widespread systematic change that will revolutionize how people support the not-for-profit organizations they care about.” The site is run entirely by volunteers and they recently held an event at MaRS in Toronto.

“Who wants to learn yoga?” “I’ve got Indian cooking over here!” “Can you teach my kid how to play drums?” People ring out with their requests at this “Skills Drive” organized by social enterprise and MaRS client, Well of Change.

Well of Change is devoted to raising money not by tapping into people’s wallets, but by exploiting their skills and hobbies. At the beginning of the evening, participants network and brainstorm all the skills they have, whether borne of professional training or basement tinkering.

They then put a dollar value on their skills and participants bid on them: $40 for pilates lessons, $90 for a good carpet cleaning. The lesson takes place and the money goes straight to a charity of your choice. As a buyer, you’re paying for a service and as a skills provider you’re donating with your time instead of your money.

Read the rest of the article here.

Greenaid: Seed Bombs

Did you ever want a fast and easy way to save the environment randomly? Well, now you can! Some fun people have created a vending machine that sells seed bombs that you can then toss somewhere for fun and nature.

Made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, “seedbombs” are becoming an increasingly popular means combating the many forgotten grey spaces we encounter everyday-from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians. They can be thrown anonymously into these derelict urban sites to temporarily reclaim and transform them into places worth looking at and caring for. The Greenaid dispensary simply makes these guerilla gardening efforts more accessible to all by appropriating the existing distribution system of the quarter operated candy machine. Using just the loose coins in your pocket, you can make a small but meaningful contribution to the beautification of your city!

Find out even more at the Greenaid Seed Bombs website.

Common Studios: Green Aid from ISHOTHIM on Vimeo.

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