The Good of the Hive

The Good of the Hive:
Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees


In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.

For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)









Reposted from:

All in Favor, Say Eye

Benefits of Lutein Vitamins for the Eyes

Lutein is a pigment that may help slow down or prevent a number of eye diseases,  such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Many foods contain lutein, such as  leafy, dark green vegetables like collard greens, kale and spinach, but other  foods also contain lutein. These may include yellow corn, green peas and  carrots. Knowing the benefits of lutein in eye disease prevention will help you  make healthy choices that could help you maintain healthy eyes and good vision.

Macular Degeneration

Your macula is a spot of tissue that sits  in the central part of your retina that covers the inner, back of your eye. This  tissue works with other parts of your eye to provide you with the straight-ahead  vision necessary for watching television and reading. If the cells that make up  your macula start to break down, an eye disease called macular degeneration,  this can lead to permanent loss of your central vision. For most people,  treatment does not restore vision. Lutein may help prevent macular degeneration.  As of 2010, the National Eye Institute is continuing a study to evaluate the  possible benefits of 10 mg of lutein each day in preventing macular damage.


Behind the visible, colored part of your  eye, called the iris, you have a natural lens that helps direct light to the  back of your eye. Protein and water primarily make up the lens, and, with age,  these proteins may start to break down, forming clumps that turn the clear lens  cloudy with a somewhat yellow appearance. These changes to the lens, called a  cataract, result in vision changes that typically prevent people from performing  daily activities, such as driving. The only way to restore vision is with eye  surgery that removes the cloudy lens. The antioxidant properties of lutein may  help slow down or prevent the destruction of the proteins in the lens.

Are You Getting Enough Lutein?

The best thing you can do for your eyes this month, and in the future, is to make sure your diet contains plenty of lutein-rich produce, including:

  • Fruits – Mangoes, watermelon and tomatoes are good sources of lutein
  • Vegetables – Corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash and dark leafy greens (such as kale, collards and bok choy) provide lutein

In addition to the foods listed above, you can get zeaxanthin through orange bell peppers, oranges, corn and honeydew melon. I recommend eating five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. If you are unable to get adequate lutein through your diet, you may want to consider a vision-supportive supplement. Many multivitamins contain lutein, but some companies also produce a vitamin  supplement designed for eye nutrition.

Article references Dr. Andrew Weil and

Defeat Inflammation

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

The first nutrition course I ever took in college changed my life. I was absolutely fascinated to learn what vitamins and minerals were and how important they are for good health. It was also about that time I finally understood what Hippocrates meant when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today, that saying is even more important as nutrition science has come a long way since I took that first nutrition course. Just think about inflammation, your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. In fact, a little inflammation under normal circumstances can be a good thing. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to a whole host of health conditions from type 2 diabetes and arthritis to heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation, (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”— fast food burgers, French fries, and sodas, as well as sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies. These highly processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt promote inflammation, while eating more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts—inhibits and protects against inflammation. Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods:

Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.

Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate, something I do almost daily, has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.

Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Tart cherries. It’s cherry season and according to the latest research, tart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.

Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?


Article by Pamela Riggs: Director of Medical Affairs and Health Sciences at the Shaklee Corporation