Melting ice caps, warmer oceans, intense storms, heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires.
These are all well-documented effects of climate change. To many people these weather events feel remote and don’t prompt behaviors that slow the warming of the planet. But, these climate related disasters demonstrate that our failure to take climate change seriously is resulting in death and destruction.
Lung damage and heart disease and risk of strokes can be attributed to climate change. A recent study in JAMA Neurology of more than 18,000 Americans with cognitive impairment found a strong link between high levels of air pollution as a result of climate change and increase risk of developing dementia.
Climate change causes respiratory allergies. People already suffering can expect them to get worse as plants and trees respond to a warmer climate and release their allergens in more places for longer periods of time. Infectious diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes will rise with a warmer climate. Even a small increase in temperature will raise the potential for epidemics of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis and other tick-borne infections.
Climate change endangers the safety of food and water supplies. Extreme flooding and hurricanes cause organisms to flourish and result in food poisoning and contamination of drinking water.
Become aware of how you can take a part in altering the course of climate change.
April 22nd is Earth Day.
Earth Day is probably the biggest unified effort of support for the environment in the world. Events are co-ordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 190 countries. According to Wikipedia, it has become ”the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year”.
2020 was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. This year the Biden Administration will convene a global climate summit on Earth Day 2021.
Start making a difference:
- The single biggest way you can make an impact on global climate change is to talk to your friends and family, and make sure your representatives are making good decisions. Voice your concerns directly to your elected officials. Encourage Congress to enact new laws that limit carbon emissions and require polluters to pay for the emissions they produce. “The main reason elected officials do anything difficult is because their constituents make them,” says Aliya Haq, deputy director of National Resources Defense Council’s Clean Power Plan.
- Choose a utility company that generates at least half its power from wind or solar and has been certified by Green-e Energy. If that isn’t possible, a look at your energy bill. It might list other ways to support renewable sources on their monthly statements and websites.
- “Building heating and cooling are among the biggest uses of energy,” Haq says. Heating and air-conditioning account for almost half of home energy use. You can make your space more energy efficient by sealing drafts and ensuring it’s adequately insulated. You can also claim federal tax credits for many energy-efficiency home improvements.
- Since they were first implemented nationally in 1987, efficiency standards for dozens of appliances and products have kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. That’s about the same amount as the annual carbon pollution produced by nearly 440 million cars. “Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions,” Haq says. When shopping for refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances, look for the Energy Star label. It will tell you which are the most efficient.
- Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat your water. So take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. The EPA estimates that if just one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, about 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would be save – avoiding 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.
- Approximately 10 percent of U.S. energy use goes into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping food. About 40 percent ends up in the landfill. “If you’re wasting less food, you’re likely cutting down on energy consumption,” Haq says. And since livestock products are among the most resource-intensive to produce, eating meat-free meals can make a big difference, too.
- LED lightbulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional incandescents. They’re also cheaper in the long run: A 10-watt LED that replaces your traditional 60-watt bulb will save you $125 over the lightbulb’s life.
- Taken together, the outlets in your home are likely powering about 65 different devices. Audio and video devices, cordless vacuums and power tools, and other electronics use energy even when they’re not charging. This “idle load” across all U.S. households adds up to the output of 50 large power plants in the U.S. Don’t leave fully charged devices plugged in. Unplug rarely used devices or plug them into power strips and timers, and adjust your computers and monitors to automatically power down to the lowest power mode when not in use.
- Gas-smart cars, such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles, save fuel and money. All cars and light trucks need to meet 2025’s clean car standards, which means averaging 54.5 miles per gallon. Most vehicles averaged 28.3 miles per gallon in 2011. Americans will spend $80 billion less at the pump each year and cut their automotive emissions by half.
- If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, we could save 1.2 billion gallons of gas each year. A simple tune-up can boost miles per gallon anywhere from 4 percent to 40 percent, and a new air filter can get you a 10 percent boost.
- Walk where you can. Also, less frequent flying can make a big difference. “Air transport is a major source of climate pollution,” Haq says. “If you can take a train instead, do that.”
- You can offset the carbon you produce by purchasing carbon offsets, which represent clean power that you can add to the nation’s energy grid in place of power from fossil fuels. Check these website: terrapass.com, thecarbonoffsetcompany.com, treehugger.com
Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
Liquid aminos are seasonings that look and taste similar to soy sauce. For over 100 years, Bragg Live Foods Inc. has been producing natural health products. One of these products is a liquid soy seasoning, known as Liquid Aminos. Made of only soybeans that have not been genetically modified and water, Bragg Liquid Aminos is a natural alternative to conventional soy sauces, without the additional table salt, monosodium glutamate, preservatives or gluten that can be found in most soy sauces.
Bragg Liquid Aminos is free of any genetically modified organisms and is also wheat- and gluten-free. Bragg Liquid Aminos is also certified kosher. Many commercial soy sauces contain wheat products and genetically modified soybeans. About 94 percent of the soy used in the United States comes from genetically modified plants. Gluten intolerance is associated with symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, rashes and depression. A 2013 study in the journal “Interdisciplinary Toxicology” suggested herbicides on wheat plants play a role in the higher prevalence of gluten intolerance.
Soy sauce is made by fermenting cooked soybeans and roasted wheat with salt, water, and yeast or mold until a rich, salty sauce is produced.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and are necessary for healthy muscles, bones, and skin. Your body can produce 11 of the 20 that exist, but it has to get the other 9, called “essential,” from food. It’s got to do that on a regular basis, too, since it can’t store amino acids.
Bragg Liquid Aminos contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, phenyllalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine.
Bragg Liquid Aminos tastes similar to soy sauce but much milder and with a tiny bit of sweetness. It tastes closer to tamari, a sauce made from fermented soybeans, than regular soy sauce, which is a bit stronger and saltier.
A similar product is make from coconuts. These aminos are made by mixing fermented coconut sap with water, which also results in a naturally gluten-free product. Coconut aminos are popular for people following a paleo diet, since it doesn’t contain legumes like soybeans.
MSG is a common food additive used as a savory flavor enhancer. It is naturally occurring in foods such as meat, fish, dairy and vegetables but is also added to foods, especially Asian-style dishes. While there are no supportive studies, MSG has been linked to adverse health effects such as chest tightness, nausea, sweating and burning sensations. Bragg Liquid Aminos is free of added MSG, which can be found in traditional soy sauces.
Bragg Liquid Aminos and Coconut Secret (coconut aminos) have a similar nutritional breakdown. The serving size for the Bragg’s product is half a teaspoon, containing 0 calories, 160 milligrams of sodium, and 310 milligrams of protein. The serving size for the Coconut Secret, is a full teaspoon, containing 5 calories, 90 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.
Because of the naturally occurring sodium in Bragg’s, the product is not recommended for a low sodium diet. Compare this to coconut aminos, which adds salt but has only 66 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon, and regular soy sauce with 335 milligrams per teaspoon.
How to Buy
Any well-stocked grocery store will carry Bragg Liquid Aminos. Look for it either in the spices and seasonings section, with the soy sauces, or in the health-food aisle. It may also be shelved with the vinegars.
You can also purchase Bragg Liquid Aminos from online grocery retailers.
How to Store
Bragg Liquid Aminos has a three-year shelf life, and you do not need to refrigerate the product, even after opening. However, keeping it out of direct sunlight in a cool location can extend its lifespan.
How to Cook
The liquid soy seasoning can be used in the same way as traditional soy sauce. It can be used to make salad dressings or drizzled over cooked vegetables. Liquid Aminos can also be drizzled on tofu or added to stir-fry dishes. Use liquid aminos as a substitute for soy sauce when following recipes for Asian cuisines. Or, use liquid aminos as a substitute for salt when cooking grains such as couscous and quinoa. You can also use liquid aminos as a substitute for vinegar when making homemade salad dressings. Use Bragg’s as a soy sauce alternative next time you eat sushi.
You can substitute Bragg Liquid Aminos with a ratio of 1:1 in any recipe that calls for soy sauce. If you need a thicker consistency such as would be provided by adding tamari to a sauce, whisk in a little bit of flour, corn starch, or arrowroot, or even a pad of butter, depending on the cooking method.
Veggie Stir Fry with Bragg Liquid Amino Acid
Gaby of Veggie World Recipes/ Photo Credit: Veggie World Recipes
What you need to make the tofu
1 block tofu
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Veggies needed (use whatever you like or have on hand)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup asparagus, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
What you need for the sauce
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Start by draining the extra water from the tofu and chopping it into cubes. Then mix the cornstarch, garlic powder, salt and pepper into a bowl and coat each piece of tofu in the mixture. Add all of the tofu to a pan with some olive oil and cook it until all of the pieces are crispy. Set the tofu aside.
Combine the liquid aminos, maple, olive oil, ACV, garlic, ginger, and corn starch. You can combine it to a bowl, or blend it in a food processor to make it even easier.
To a pan, add in all of the veggies, along with the sauce. Cook until the veggies have softened up a bit. Then turn off the heat and add in the tofu. Pair with rice (or noodles).