Woodford Files – Honouring Chinese New Year

Gong Hey Fat Choi! In keeping with our annual tradition, this month we honour Chinese New Year with a feature on the lucky foods and rich customs surrounding this special occasion. To capture the flavours of the season, which commences February 19, Bonnie Black and Suzanne Hartmann have gathered recipes from (and stories about) local establishments that will celebrate this symbolic start of spring – vegetarian style. What yummy fun.

In her column this month, Kim Elkington predicts that this year will bring us the inspiration and power needed to manifest our hearts’ desires in the world as we evolve into more compassionate and conscious beings. She advises: “While you explore dreaming and conjuring … why not also practise being the person you want to be – unplugged and outside more often, more generous, non-judgmental, helpful, caring, grateful, and loving.”

Hopefully this year’s astrological influences will also give us courage to take responsibility for the role that we’ve played in the widespread pollution of our air, water, and food. For years we have bought into the idea that squeaky clean dishes, lemon scented towels, and minty fresh underarms are the best recipe for a happy home. But behind this illusion lurks the reality that chemical detergents and toxic household products are not only making us very sick, they’re also poisoning everything in our ecosystem. This month Michael Downey brings us news of a new study showing that Triclosan, a common ingredient in personal care and household products, has been linked to development of liver tumours and cancer. Yikes!!

And then there’s the sickly sweet laundry detergents that are loaded with carcinogens yet widely used by unsuspecting consumers because manufacturers are not required to list ingredients or health warnings on the labels. (Sometimes when I go out on my porch, I’m just about knocked over by the fumes coming from my neighbour’s dryer vent.) In fact, “Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants,” according to Mother Earth Living (http://tinyurl.com/l2ql475)

For those of us who are becoming ever more conscious consumers, these toxic products are no longer acceptable. Regardless of the price tag on the box, the cost of using these products is expensive to our health, and we cannot afford it anymore. Indeed, a critical part of disease recovery and optimal wellness must be the detoxing of our homes and office environments.

This month, some of our star writers are back in action: Helke Ferrie keeps the spotlight on the vaccine industry, and Dr. Zoltan Rona shares his top 20 favourite longevity supplements for 2015. So we’re back in the saddle again, ready to ride the Year of the Goat into an exciting new future, and we’re glad you’re with us.

Julia Woodford