Newsletter - September 2012
You wouldn't think that getting a new bed would test Tori's intelligence, but apparently it did. I suppose I could hide it by suggesting that she's simply a creature of habit, but well - you be the judge.
Due to her back issues, Tori can't jump on the bed, so she asks to be picked up. The night before our new bed arrived, we slept on a 4" high mattress on the floor. No box spring, so Tori could have easily walked onto the mattress. Instead she stared at it, walked over to me and asked to be picked up. No amount of encouragement to get on the mattress helped. Putting a toy on it didn't do a thing, and even offering a treat while I was on the mattress served only to frustrate her. She barked in protest of not being lifted up to get that treat when it was obvious (to her) that this had to happen in order for her to reach it.
Ok, so she's a dummy. There, I said it. But she's our very much loved dummy, and she makes us laugh.
Impact of GM alfalfa
Full disclosure: I'm against genetically modified foods. Some of if is based on emotion and some on logic. Science doesn't really enter into it because frankly, science can be myopic by design and I prefer to look at the bigger picture. So here's the scoop on the alfalfa powder that you might be adding to your dog's diet (for good reason - more on this later), or your own smoothie or tomato juice (my personal choice)
Alfalfa plays an important role in agriculture. Not only is it used to build up nutrients in soils, but it's used as hay for farm animals such as beef cattle, dairy cows, poultry, lambs and pigs. So, once it's been genetically modified, just about any healthy food is touched, and that includes what you may be eating as a vegetarian or vegan. Both organic and non-organic farming can be affected, so Canadians are fighting the GM alfalfa problem in every way possible, and so far, we're holding our own. Here's an example. And a cute video explaining why and how Canadians are banning together on the issue.
Canadian grown, organic alfalfa leaf powder isn't easy to come by. Better said, a product that proves to be low in microbial counts, mold and yeast isn't easy to come by! After seeing more lab assays than I care to think about, I can assure you that not all alfalfa powder is created equal. Questions to ask: Where was it grown? (some products are from China) Is it organic? What are the microbial, mold and yeast counts?
But why would you add it to a dog's diet, or use it for yourself? After all, neither of you are herbivores. Alfalfa grass, oat grass, wheat grass and barley grass contain potent antioxidants called cartenoids (of which vitamin A and beta carotene are only two) Antioxidants are known to prevent damage to DNA by preventing free-radical induced mutations in fundamental regulators of cell growth. For dogs, alfalfa leaf powder makes a convenient green food. Not only can you stir it into food, but it travels with you rather than having to be refrigerated, In fact, it should be stored in a cupboard even after opening. Interestingly, I've found that some dogs who eat grass, or seem to pick through the garden with a driven taste for certain weeds will stop the behavior when alfalfa powder is added to their food. Is it the chlorophyll content? A specific nutrient in alfalfa that seems to satisfy their need? I have no idea, but I've seen this several times over the years.
The benefit of alfalfa powder for people is antioxidants. I usually eat a lot of veggies, but there are days when my intake is less than I'd like, so I shake up a glass of tomato juice with a tsp. of alfalfa powder for that extra boost. Heaven knows I've tried other green foods like wheat grass and green juices, but it's all I can do to choke them down. Not so with alfalfa powder in tomato juice. Go figure! That 1 tsp. of powder gives me 11 calories, about 50 mcg of carotene and a pinch of just about all vitamins and minerals. Add that to the lycopene in tomato juice, and I feel better about nutrition for the day.
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"All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.” - Charles M. Schulz