October 2010

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Working Towards African Self-Sufficiency

I read “In the Belly of Africa” (July/August) while visiting California. I thought the story was well done and the “Just Like My Child” organization sounds like they are working towards enabling the local people to become self-sustaining. I’ve never been to Uganda but work as a nurse in Zimbabwe. We think that poverty in Africa is a result of broken relationships and work to help mend these relationships.
There are two things I would like to mention. The first is a tree called moringa. It’s easy to grow and rich in vitamins, and would help eliminate malnutrition if only people knew about it. The second is a program called Foundations For Farming, which is working in Zimbabwe and other African countries to educate and empower.

Julie Vanzevern
via email

Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, is grown in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Research indicates that its leaves contain iron, potassium, protein and vitamins A and C; they are either cooked like spinach or dried, crushed and added to sauces and soups. For more information, visit Trees for Life International at www.treesforlife.org.

Foundations for Farming employs a deep-mulch agriculture, in which a thick layer of plant materials such as leaves is used to conserve water and stop soil erosion. To learn more, visit
www.foundationsforfarming.org.

Just Like My Child, the group mentioned in the article, funds healthcare, education and business projects in Uganda; visit www.justlikemychild.com. The article also mentioned Vitamin Angels, which supplies children with essential nutrients (www.vitaminangels.org); Breadline Africa, which funds self-sustainability projects (www.breadlineafrica.org); and Food 4 Africa, which helps give children at least one vitamin-enriched meal a day (www.food4africa.org).

Win an Eco-Friendly Alarm Clock

Visit www.energytimes.com, where every issue of ET brings a new blog contest. This month’s contest, which features an alarm clock that runs on tap water, is sponsored by Bedol (www.bedolwhatsnext.com). Your blog response must include your email, or else we can’t contact you.

The site also features Web Extras, editorial material you will find only online. Among this month’s offerings are extra squash recipes (see our winter squash story) and Natural Market items. The Web Extra icon in “Feeling Low,” our look at depression, directs readers to a blog question: How have you coped with depression?

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