|OK In Health - Environmental Care|
Plant Blindness - May 2012
Green vision offers cure for plant blindness
A colleague told me his toddler was wandering through a neighbourhood park picking up twigs and sticks, brandishing them as tools for digging, poking, and tapping. Suddenly the boy stopped and pointed excitedly to the canopy of branches above. “Look papa. Sticks come from trees!”
Mentally reconnecting fallen branches to their home on the trunk is obvious to an adult, but many of us have lost our profound sense of wonder about the interconnected web of life that surrounds us. This is especially true when it comes to the plant world.
Green vision offers cure for plant blindness
we cannot see the forest or the trees.
In 1998, American botanists James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schussler defined plant blindness as “the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment,” which leads “to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs.” This prognosis rings true in an age when most youngsters can identify hundreds of corporate logos and branded products but can’t name the plants and trees in their backyards.
Why are we suffering from a nagging case of plant blindness? There is no simple scientific answer, but Wandersee and Schussler argued that plants don’t capture our attention like animals and other stimuli. To the human eye, they are largely static. Thus we tend to lump plants together into a green backdrop, failing to distinguish between the millions of blades of grass or multitude of plant species.
Show someone a photo of a lush forest with a grizzly bear and ask what’s in the picture. Most will answer, “A bear.” Add a spotted owl to the scene and the response might become, “A grizzly bear under the watchful eye of an owl.” What you are unlikely to hear is a description of the flora accompanying the charismatic fauna.
Part of the problem may be related to the overwhelming amount of data our eyes send to our brains. Danish author Tor Nørretranders estimates that the human eye generates more than 10 million bits of data per second. Our brain extracts only about 40 bits of data per second, and only 16 bits reach our conscious vision and attention. Unfortunately, nature’s greenery tends to be drowned out in a visual flurry of noise and shinier items of interest.
Nørretranders also found that people who have had meaningful educational and cultural experiences with plants are more likely to notice greenery.
How do we reconnect with nature and learn to give plants their due? The answer is simple. People, especially kids, need to connect with nature in their everyday environment, and we need to bring more to our neighbourhoods, public spaces, and backyards. It might surprise you, but most urban spaces are already jam-packed with natural wonders.
After volunteering in an urban apple orchard at the Spadina Museum in Toronto, Laura Reinsborough began seeing the world through “fruit goggles.” Once she became familiar with fruit-bearing trees in the city, she suddenly noticed them everywhere – cherries, plums, crabapples, pears, grapes, and walnuts. This largely untapped urban bounty spurred her to found Not Far From the Tree, a group that has organized volunteers to help harvest more than 14,000 kilograms of fruit from hundreds of backyard trees over the past four years.
If you want to help bring nature to your community, join one of the many groups working to enhance it. Local efforts to restore wetlands, forests, parks, and public spaces provide great opportunities to get hands-on outside time and boost your community’s natural wealth.
Environment Care's Bio: OK In Health started a GREEN wellness e-Magazine in 2004. We wanted to start a magazine that was completely green with a zero footprint.
Copyright © 2004- 2011 OKinHealth.com. This article is of the copyright of OK in Health and the author; any reproduction, duplication and transmission of the article are to have prior written approval by OK in Health or the author.
This information and research is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All material in this article is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this newsletter / e-magazine / website. Readers should consult their doctor and other qualified health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided in this newsletter / e-magazine/website are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions. OK in Health is not responsible for the information in these articles or for any content included in this article which is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional advice from either your doctor or a registered specialist for yourself or anyone else.
Connect with Us
|Easy Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill this Month|
|Add weather-stripping or caulking around windows, wear a warm sweater and turn the heat down a little, install door sweeps to help keep drafts from getting in, and clean or replace furnace filters to improve efficiency.|
|Locals Supporting Locals - Calendar|
|Specialty: Health Food Restaurants & Cafes|
Our reason for existence is affordable presence and connectivity - we provide it - with the emphasis on local. Our passion is community networking
|Date: Oct 23, 2015|
Location: Kelowna & Central Okanagan
MindScape is a weekend workshop that leads participants to ‘open’ the powerful intuitive powers of the mind, and learn techniques such that one can tap into this resource at will.
|Historical Settlement Patterns in Rural Ireland|
|Ireland has been settled for almost 10,000 years with virtually every Townland in the country showing signs of a range of human impacts. As many as 120,000 Monuments are known and the range and number of these sites are growing on a daily basis due to ongoing public and private survey and research projects. There are virtually no empty spaces in our landscape from an Archaeological viewpoint.|
|Gluten-Free: Amaranth, Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Cake|
Description: Amaranth: This Central American ancient food has been cultivated for 8000 years, and is comparable to rice. Considered a grain, it is actually a seed. Amaranth is especially high in lysine, an essential amino acid most grains lack. Plus it is gluten free!
Amaranth is a pseudocereal that has been consumed as a grain since ancient times; the tiny buff-colored amaranth spheres were important in both Aztec cuisine and culture. Amaranth grains are rich in high-quality protein and minerals, and are naturally gluten-free.
The health benefits of Amaranth are that it is rich in Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorus. It can be used ground as flour, cooked as a cereal, sprinkled on foods or even used as a thickener for soups. To cook, combine 1 part raw seeds to 2 1/2 parts liquid. Simmer 18-20 minutes, until soft. Amaranth may be toasted like pop corn and mixed with honey to make a treat called " alegria" which means "joy" in Spanish.