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Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:31am

So I'm jingling through the kitchen on my way to the garden and my husband says, "What is making that noise?"

"My buckles on my sandals," I tell him. They are sort of loose, and nothing I can do tightens them. And so they jingle. Constantly.

"And why did you get those sandals?" he asks, forgetting.

"Because they are the only sports sandals I could find that didn't have pesticides in them," I remind him, which leads us into a whole conversation about the pesticide triclosan in shoes and clothing, and how the new Go Green operations manual for the Dekalb County School System, being pilot-tested at 50 county schools this year (including my younger daughter's school) has a specific mention of triclosan and how hand soap that includes it (as an antimicrobial agent) should not be used in the schools.

We shake our heads and off I jingle into the garden where my bee and butterfly friends proliferate. I sometimes feel that if I stick my arms out like a Disney princess, little chirping birds will land on them.

Yet, of course, the sight of the bee reminds me of the whole Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), something not much in the news anymore even though it is a mysterious condition that has killed off about 35% of the world's honeybees so far.

Turns out that four European countries--France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia--have banned two pesticides (imidacloprid and chothianidin) that have been implicated in these massive bee die-offs. In the United States, there is currently a lawsuit against Bayer CropScience for information regarding required studies about the company's clothianidin product's impact on bees, yet the EPA apparently refuses to release the information ( or doesn't have it).

Close to home, the University of Georgia has been awarded $4.1 million to lead 17 colleges and universities in researching CCD. According to Georgia Organics' always-interesting monthly enewsletter, The Dirt, the study's objectives are broader than identifying causes of honeybee decline. It aims to also focus on breeding bees with increased resistance, rather than chemical solutions. Interestingly, Georgia is the United States' leading producer of queen bees and packaged bees east of the Mississippi River. Who knew?

And so I plant flowers and veggies and use no pesticides (of course) and create a haven, a home for bees and butterflies and rabbits and birds and children. And, as always, especially on a Monday morning, I look beyond news of the toxins and troubles of this world and I hope to find yet more small ways that I can make a little difference this week on our FoodShed Planet.

Jingle, jingle, jingle.
Nurturing sustainability close to home and around the world. (And other food for thought!)

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