Browsing Tag

health

The Uncommon Life

Wheat Grass in the House (and the tortoise, and the cats)

June 19, 2012

At UncommonGoods, we’re big proponents of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.” Nothing goes to waste, if we can help it. Last week, our Creative team did something super-top secret with 24 flats of wheat grass. Afterward, rather than throw it away, Adam, our staff photographer, walked among our desks offering some to any takers. He left the rest on a shelf in one of our break rooms.

I happened to be tortoise-sitting last week for some neighbors who were out of town. Since Roberta – that’s her name – eats only greens, and the occasional flower when she gets lucky, I wondered if she could eat wheat grass, too.

A quick web search turned up both the type of tortoise she is (sulcata, or African spurred tortoise–a desert type) and the answer to my question: Grass is great. I learned that desert tortoises evolved to make the most of high-fiber, low-protein greens like grasses, and that lower-fiber, higher-protein supermarket greens that people eat are bad for their health.

I brought some flats of the wheat grass to Roberta’s lair, and she went nuts for it.

Chomp chomp chomp chomp! It was like watching a dinosaur movie.

This is what one of the flats looked like after she had had her way with it for a couple of days.

Cats, too, enjoy the occasional blade of grass, so I gave a couple of flats to a friend who has five; three in the office and two at home; and to another friend who has two. All seven are rescues, saved from heartbreaking lives by the kindness and cat-craziness of my pals.

Here’s Pumpkin, nibbling.

Pumpkin again, really getting into it. Check out those fangs!

Gloria isn’t sure she wants to get involved.

Gloria, sending a telepathic wheat grass inquiry to her Martian overlords.

Beta is living the compleat wheat grass lifestyle: eating it, pretending to be a lion stalking in an African savanna, and finally, using it as his throne.

It doesn’t get much greener than taking something already green and re-using it–and finally, via the magical mystery of a tortoise’s digestive system, turning it into garden fertilizer. I decided to spare you photos of that.

The Uncommon Life

Partners In Health

November 3, 2010

If you haven’t heard of Partners In Health, you’ve probably heard of Paul Farmer, and the biography Mountains Beyond Mountains, which described his success in starting a health clinic in the poorest area of Haiti. Since the devastating earthquake in January, Partners in Health has been crucial to providing medical services to homeless and displaced Haitians, many of whom are still struggling to get back on their feet. And they continue to grow their medical work in Peru, Russia, Malawi and other countries around the world.

In their words:
“We provide a preferential option for the poor in health care by establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in poor settings. Partners In Health has two overarching goals: to bring modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. We draw on the resources of the world’s leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world’s poorest and sickest communities. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of clinical care possible while alleviating the crushing social and economic burden of poverty that creates obstacles to health.

At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professionals, scholars, and activists will do whatever it takes to make them well – just as we would do if a member of our own families, or we ourselves, were ill. We stand with our patients, some of the poorest and sickest victims of poverty and violence, in their struggle for equity and social justice.”

Partners in Health is making huge strides in health care for the world’s most needy communities, and changing the way that the global health community treats the poor.

Support Partners in Health by voting for them to become a finalist in our Better to Give contest.

Pin It on Pinterest