Hug a Tree a Day, Keep the Doctor Away

In recent years, city planners took a step back after the industrial revolution steamrolled urban planning for over a century and realized, ‘Oh wait, all the nature we took away was actually helping our health’. Turns out, encounters with nature (trees and greenery in the simplest form) have mental health benefits, cognitive benefits, promote physical activity, and go a long way for creating a sense of belonging in a community (also promotes social support). So when you hear people say they feel refreshed and rejuvenated after having access to nature, its not just their imagination! Their bodies actually have had physiological benefits from being in nature.

Is this a health issue that you have seen in mainstream health news?

Your brain on nature: The mental health benefits are a-plenty. Experiencing nature helps restore mental fatigue from work, school, and life stress. You are able to focus better, and it helps you retain information you have learned. When there are plants in office spaces, or in school settings, there is evidence that workplace morale is increased, and efficiency in the workplace is enhanced. Additionally, less workers/students take sick days and are less frustrated. Adults who have regular access to nature, have fewer incidents of Alzheimer’s and Dementia later in life, and are less likely to be depressed.

Access to greenery is also extremely important for kids. It helps them develop identity, creativity, and independence. It also facilitates productive play with their friends. Kids that have access to nature have fewer behavioral problems (ADD/ADHD), and have better cognitive functioning. This helps problem-solving skills, and cognitive performance.

Being active around nature: Access to nature not only increases the willingness to be active, but has more health benefits than running on a treadmill. The green environment has more restorative effects than indoor settings, and provides options to be active for those who are not able to afford a gym membership. Physical activity in nature also provides increased mental health benefits (increased nerve growth in your hippocampus occurs– a central part of your brain for memory formation and recall).

Social connections and nature: A neighborhood that has access to green spaces increases the social support and interactions within the community. This results in mental health benefits, and a sense of safety and trust in your community. Green spaces encourage social contact by serving as informal meeting places for group activities. This helps decrease loneliness, and social isolation which are related to numerous health detriments. Community gardens, shade trees, and parks all are examples of ways nature has been brought to the neighborhood.

https://depts.washington.edu/hhwb/Thm_Mental.html

Which is great right? Yes it is. But you may begin to see a trend here with other topics I’ve covered. Who are the people that are benefitting from ‘urban greening’? (Urban greening is the official term for bringing nature into the city.) Largely, Caucasian, affluent populations. Who already have the best health in the nation. So again these benefits are just increasing the health of the healthiest people. Which is not equitable by any means. Most low-income families reside in Superfund sites, or close to industrial facilities that not only lack urban greenery, but actually have lowered air quality, and water quality compared to other locations in cities. Some efforts to increase green spaces in low-income communities had good intentions, but actually resulted in an even worse problem – environmental gentrification. The result is quite the balancing act. What happened when these green initiatives went in to clean up low-income neighborhoods was they did just that. The clean-up made communities more appealing, which drove up the cost of living, and forced those low-income families to relocate (because they couldn’t afford the cost increase) to even worse living conditions. This is what is considered environmental gentrification.

To address this issue, Jennifer Wolch and JGEcollegues at UC Berkeley introduced the idea of ‘Just Green Enough’. The idea with this is to still work on improving green spaces in low-income neighborhoods, but to find the fine line where residents will experience the health benefits, but won’t be forced out by more wealthy counterparts. These improvements are largely led by community activists, who know their community better than anyone else. They have been important for designing solutions that will in fact benefit the residents in the community.

But this kind of goal takes time, patience, and a resilient attitude. It is important work, but is not being done nearly enough. (Only a few cases exist). Introducing green space goes so much farther than just providing something nice to look at. In these low-income neighborhoods the introduction of green space helps to reduce crime and violence, and helps the community to become more close-knit (in addition to all the physical/mental health benefits). This kind of empowerment is necessary, as we are in some scary times facing an uphill battle against governmental policy, and large differences in power in our society. I’m in no way saying that everyone should have everything given to them, but everyone should have an equal opportunity to make their life what they want. Being healthy, having safe air/water, safe places to live, and access to nature should not be a privilege of the rich and white, but they largely are. And these huge disparities between basic living necessities and health necessities (not to mention access and power) in the U.S. is simply not sustainable.

But as I again find myself tip-toeing towards a political realm, I will leave you with some resources to learn more, or start engaging your own community to push for health equity.

Everyday Colorado Community Engagement tool: http://www.everydayco.org/your-values

http://actrees.org/news/trees-in-the-news/research/urban-green-space-public-health-and-environmental-justice-the-challenge-of-making-cities-just-green-enough/

http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-green-gentrification-series.html

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/gentrification-green-neighborhoods-just-green-enough

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3037135/evidence/how-parks-gentrify-neighborhoods-and-how-to-stop-it

 

 

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Your Zipcode: What does it mean for your health?

The economic climate in the U.S. today, is one of great range. For a while now, the rich have been getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. These differences, or disparities in income and location of residence, result in huge differences in health outcomes. These are called health disparities. Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. They are a huge topic of concern in the world of Public Health, so it has been good to see it popping up in the news.

Equality-EquityIt’s important to make a distinction here before we move on. Health disparities simply refer to the differences in health we see between wealthy and poor populations. These differences often result from inequity. Health inequities refer to the environments that either promote or detriment health. Those in low-income communities have lowered living conditions which correlate with numerous health risks (air quality, water quality, crime rates), less financial resources to provide healthful food to their family, lack access to nature, and access to safe places to be physically active. Health disparities are NOT health inequities. Health disparities are a RESULT of inequity.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 12.52.41 PMThe New York Times published a post this week, “The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters.”  The article shows an interactive map of the U.S. that is color-coded for lifespan and it is evident that lifespan ranges almost a decade across geographic locations. The gap in lifespan between rich and poor widened between 2001 and 2014. This means that the top 1 percent in income among American men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent. (For women this gap was 10 years). The affluent (rich) not only have more resources that allow them to buy healthier products, but they also live in healthier ways; they exercise more, smoke less, feel less stress, and are less likely to be obese.

There is a very strong correlation between income and life span,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview. “But it is not inevitable. There are things we can do to change the life trajectory of people. What improves health in a community? It includes wide access to social, educational and economic opportunity.” Preventative measures are more important to promote health, and community health initiatives can help us bridge the gap.

The same study was covered by Medical News Today. The authors of this research suggest that we can do this through local policy.  “The strong association between geographic variation in life expectancy and health behaviors suggests that policy interventions should focus on changing health behaviors among low-income individuals. Tax policies and other local public policies may play a role in inducing such changes.”

This idea of zip code as a health factor, has been powerful and is gaining traction in our understanding of health in the U.S. And health directly correlates with success. Which is the American Dream, right? Talk Poverty covered health disparities in terms of pursuing the American Dream. It’s good that this topic is gaining momentum, as it is estimated that 97% of Americans believe that everyone should have an equal shot at success. But when you think about it, it’s pretty intuitive that there are some huge gaps in opportunities for success right now in our country. If you struggle to put food on the table, and don’t have safe places to be active, or adequate medical coverage, you have many more fundamental obstacles to overcome in your journey to success when compared to an affluent competitor.

It is suggested that if we want to change this unacceptable status quo we need to work on two fronts: reinvest in impoverished neighborhoods so that residents have access to high-quality housing, jobs, good schools, transportation, and other basics; and ensure that families with low-incomes have access to affordable housing in neighborhoods that already offer residents these resources.

Currently, for every 100 households earning below 30 percent of the area median income, there are just 28 affordable and available units. That adds up to a shortage of 4.5 million units just for those very low-income households. Keep in mind, that is households, not people. Which is crazy considering that housing is such a basic life necessity. And I’m not even touching on the issue of homelessness in this post — that is a whole other topic.

You can start to get the idea of just how impactful our greatly polarized wealth distribution in the U.S. is on our nation’s health. And as this post tip-toes towards a political line, I’ll leave you with this:

Quanda Burrell, a Boston resident who was able to relocate from a low-income community to a mixed-income community and reaped the health benefits of living in a safer/healthier community said this of community activism, “A lot of people say that the political leaders in the statehouse don’t care about them,” she said. “But you got to make them care. You got to visit them, speak out. If more low-income folks were talking, I think that would make a difference.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Castro seemed to agree, adding that the rental crisis is also harming the middle class.  “How do you mobilize folks to impress upon policymakers at all levels about the needs of different communities?” Secretary Castro asked. “I don’t see that conversation right now happening enough.

UPDATE: The New York Times recently published a follow-up, related interactive graph that educational abilities differ drastically among the rich and the poor, and between racial groups. Worth a lookhttp://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/29/upshot/money-race-and-success-how-your-school-district-compares.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Be Mindful, Be Healthy

The purpose of this blog is to give readers some perspective on the range of factors at play when thinking and reading about health issues presented in the media. But with this, I want to also take opportunities to provide you with some ways to take control over your own health. There is often the misconception that you have to have money to be happy, or fit, or to eat healthy. As I mentioned last week there is this *correlation* (remember correlation vs causation?) between low SES and obesity and poorer health, which indeed is a contributing factor (see last weeks post for more on this). But more often, it is not so much the lack of money, but the lack of knowledge of how to increase your health with limited resources. It is possible!! There are obviously exceptions, as many health conditions do warrant medical attention -in which case you should seek medical assistance – but there is SO much you can do on your own, in terms of promoting life-long health through preventative measures. This week I want to talk about the topic of mindfulness and meditation in this context. Have you encountered the topic of Mindfulness? Is it a topic that is covered in mainstream media?

Physical & Mental Well-Being

The first article I’ll cover, is based on a Buddhist health study that was done at Northern Arizona University (NAU), which looked at the benefits of mindfulness training on individuals’ physical and mental well-being. This study surveyed 866 Buddhist practitioners from all around the globe, and what they found was the ability to focus and calm your mind makes a large difference in your well-being.

 5 key health benefits:

  1. Strengthened immune system and physiological responses to stress and negativity
  2. Improved social relationships (both in family and strangers)
  3. Reduced stress, depression, anxiety, and increase well-being and happiness
  4. Increased openness to experiences
  5. Led to greater psychological mindfulness which included clear, flexible awareness, a practical stance toward reality, and heightened attention.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Mindful practices have been correlated with positive alterations in neural patterns in parts of the brain associated with sensory processing and empathetic response (thanks to neuroplasticity!!). “’The Buddhist ideals are that whatever you practice, that is what you are becoming, so if you practice being angry and shouting and so forth, you become very accomplished in doing that,’ states Sullivan (PhD in Religious Studies). ‘On the other hand, if you practice loving kindness, compassion and so forth, you are making yourself into that type of person.’  Thus achieving better physical well-being or psychological health comes from sharpening the mind to focus and be more successfully aware.” The conclusions of this study were that the conscious ability to transform your mind is perhaps the greatest ability we have as humans to shape the direction of our lives and positively affect those around us. Pretty cool that we all possess that potential, right?

See the article here: https://nau.edu/research/feature-stories/mindfulness-training-has-positive-health-benefits/

Open your mind. You may be thinking, “That’s nice. I’m not a Buddhist practitioner.” That’s fine! You don’t have to be to reap the health benefits of mindful meditation. (Benefits include: reduced stress, risk of various disease, improved well-being, and a rewired brain.) You don’t even have to believe in Buddhism or practice Buddhism to practice mindfulness. To meditate mindfully, all you have to have is your breath. And if you’re reading this, you’ve got breath! You must be open and receptive, non-judgmental to your present-moment experience. You can mindfully eat, mindfully walk, you can mindfully meditate for deeper sleep, mindfully breathe to help energize yourself – all the things.

A mindful brain is a fresh brain. A study published in the New York Times, looked at the benefits of meditation in a control and experimental group of unemployed, stressed individuals looking for employment. The experimental group did a mindful retreat where they learned mindful practices and techniques, while the control group also did a retreat, but it focused on stretching and was more of a social gathering. The researchers collected blood and brain scans before and after the retreat, and again four months later. The mindful group reported feeling refreshed and better able to withstand their stresses. Not to mention, their brains had more activity and connections in the parts of the brain that connect stress reactions to focus and calming areas. And even cooler — four months after the retreat, even though most people had not continued meditating, their bloodwork showed lowered levels of inflammation compared to the control group!

See for yourself here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/contemplation-therapy/?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Mediate yourself to better sleep. Meditation also happens to be great for your sleep health. Your sleep quality is linked to an insane amount of bodily functioning (pretty much all of it…cognition, energy, focus, performance, not to mention the array of diseases that are correlated with or exacerbated by poor sleep). The New York Times also featured an an article by the JAMA Internal Medicine Network. They conducted a study that examined the effects of meditation in older adults with sleep problems. Those that practiced mindfulness had fewer symptoms of insomnia, depression, and fatigue. Mindfulness was identified as a sleep aid to promote improved sleep quality without the side effects of sleep medication.

Read about it here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/meditation-for-a-good-nights-sleep/

Mindfulness Meditation Process
Mindfulness Meditation Process (Source: Dr. Andrea Grabovac, http://www.mindfulness-matters.org/what-is-mindfulness/)

The hardest part of all of this, is actually training yourself to be mindful. I’ve been attending a class to mindfully manage stress, and the biggest thing is that you have to be patient with yourself!! Because as simple as it sounds, sitting for even ten minutes, guided by your breath and simply being aware of the present moment is very hard. Not thinking about what you’re going to be eating for dinner, or what you think you should be doing right now, or what is going to happen tomorrow; thinking about your body in space and your surroundings in the present moment, is pretty difficult. I’ve found a free app, it is called Insight Timer which has a ton of guided meditations for almost any situation. It really has helped me to have another voice guiding me, rather than relying solely on myself to keep focus. I encourage you to try it, and see how you feel!

Here are some links to resources for free guided mindfulness practices:

Insight Timer: Guided practice https://insighttimer.com 
Simply Being: Guided practice for relaxation and presence https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/simply-being-guided-meditation/id347418999?mt=8 
Headspace: Meditation for modern living http://www.getsomeheadspace.com
MINDBODY Connect: Live healthier and happier https://www.mindbodyonline.com/connet
Omvana: the world’s best transformational audios for meditation, sleep, relaxation, productivity, focus & inspiration http://www.omvana.com
Web-based Mindfulness Guide Meditation Podcasts: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

 

Trimming the Fat

 

This week, we’re talking about obesity. Yes, I know you probably hear the word ‘obesity’ daily, if not multiple times a day. But in what context are you hearing this information? The likely suspects talk about the skyrocketing rates of obesity, how our childhood rates of obesity are climbing in conjunction with adults, or for weight-loss promotion programs and products, right? I want to make no mistake here, I am a huge advocate for active living and healthy eating, but there are a group of people that struggle with their weight for reasons that they themselves are unsure of. This is an area that is not getting attention in the media, likely because it doesn’t (yet) offer enough appeal for making profit. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have health implications for a proportion of the population, or that there is not much to be learned in understanding the problem, or ‘epidemic’ of obesity in our nation.

A story we’ve heard before. MedlinePlus is a national source for health information, and a reliable source at that (“Trusted Health Information for You”). But if you were to look at the health topic of obesity on the MedlinePlus website, you’ll see a lot of the same type of information mentioned above. The article I chose to cover here, is ‘Obesity Can Send Kids’ Blood Pressure Soaring’.

This article talks about how children and teens who become or stay obese are three times as likely to have high blood pressure compared to their slimmer counterparts. High blood pressure can detriment kidney function, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and liver function. These health detriments can be mitigated by weight loss, but requires a shift towards healthy diet and exercise. A fairly familiar story regarding obesity, right? And while it is indeed accurate, it doesn’t raise awareness in regards to the full spectrum of factors contributing to obesity.

Let’s approach it from a new perspective. A professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Kristen Boyle is doing fascinating work looking at how obesity develops in the womb. She studies stem cells, which is enabling  research on child metabolism that has not been possible before because of the ethics of testing babies for research. Regardless of your own opinion on stem cell research, (which if it matters to you, all stem cells in this research comes from the donated umbilical cords of healthy, birthed babies) the ability to study stem cells in this context, is providing a fresh perspective on the topic of obesity.

What has been found, is that the fat content in both fat and muscle tissue of babies of obese mothers is 30% higher than that of normal weight mothers. They also have lower capacity to use these excess fats. “What makes this research exciting is that, by using this infant stem cell model we can begin to address the same questions in humans as have been done in the animals. Using these cells, we may soon be able to define why children born to obese mothers are at increased risk of developing obesity and metabolic disease. In the same vein, we may be able to identify specific characteristics from mom or the intrauterine environment that are contributing to these risk factors in the baby.” says Dr. Boyle, of her work. From these findings, the next steps are to test whether interventions during pregnancy that increase physical activity of the mothers could mitigate these effects; but that remains to be seen.

This is exciting research, as it will help us to understand how the in utero environment affects disease risk of a child later in life, particularly for diseases such as obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. What this means is that we have the potential to enhance prenatal care and guidelines to approach the issue of obesity from a different, yet influential perspective.

Read about the research for yourself here: http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/administration/alumni/CUMedToday/features/Pages/Building-Better-Babies.aspx?source=todayAMC

You are what you eat.   If you’re never read any of the articles put out by IFL Science, you’re missing out. This website takes peer-reviewed articles (which I talked about in my last post), and makes the information easily accessible for the general public. And does a pretty good job of Obesity Evolutionmaintaining the objectivity of the journal article. In“What You Eat Could Be Affecting Your Health”, we learn of some emerging evidence that advances our understanding of factors contributing to obesity.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found some interesting correlations (note: correlations vs causation discussed in the previous post, “Tips and Tricks”) of the metabolism process and gene activity. Like mentioned in the previous post, it’s important to note that the subjects of this study were yeast molecules. Yeast is used a lot in formative studies as its genetic make-up is comparable to human genes, but is much more accessible and ethical to work with in initial exploratory research.

What was found in this study, was that when the yeast molecules were ‘fed’, their gene activity changed as a result of the metabolic process. Why am I talking about this in a post about obesity? Because it is plausible that these effects are comparable in human genetics, (although likely much less profound due to our complexity). What this means is that your weight is in part, a result of what you eat and how your DNA reacts to it.

That would make sense right? No?   Yes.  If you think about it, this would be an example of scientific evidence describing on a cellular level, what is commonly talked in normal conversation. Think about how often people eat the same food, but feel very differently after eating. Or why some people have such fast metabolisms while others don’t. Or why people say, “You are what you eat!” – your unique DNA is making changes based on the foods you put in your body! Kinda cool, right?

Who is still left out of the picture? Now this research, while awesome, still does not address the cause of obesity that is a systemic underlying problem in our society. Socio-economic status. This is considered a health inequity (not inequality), where American citizens are systematically unable to achieve a positive health status because of lack of access to health insurance, inability to purchase healthy foods to feed their families, and lack safe places to be active.

The article, ‘Why Poverty Leads to Obesity and Life-Long Problems’ discusses this a little further. This continues on with the consistent message we see in the media of the ‘obesity epidemic’, but discusses how despite obesity being a risk for all Americans, the most disadvantaged groups (low education, high poverty) are the most vulnerable. This ‘epidemic’, has been on the rise in conjunction with the economic insecurity of our nation. To address these systemic problems, we must think beyond individuals, and look to improve social and physical environments in these areas. It is suggested that investing in a diverse set of physical activities and nutritional programs in neighborhoods and schools may be the best way to reduce risk of obesity in young children.

The take home message here is that health issues are very complex. The mainstream message that we often receive is not the full story by any means. I may sound like a broken record with this, but you owe it to yourself, and your health to do some digging into topics that concern you, or that you feel passionate about.

There Must Be Something in the Water….

Sunset

Since the start of 2016, there have mainly been two topics in the health news; Zika (covered in previous blog post), and the Flint Water Crisis. What in the world happened in Flint MI?? This is an extremely interesting case, because in front of our eyes (if you’re looking correctly), we are seeing a disastrous result of abuse of power and how it has unraveled the daily lives of so many people.

Mainstream stories often gloss over the important details.  This story is dedicated to the apology of Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder. It briefly mentions that the crisis occurred as a result of Flint switching its water source from the Detroit water supply, to the Flint River for cost-cutting measures. “This is the kind of disaster, the kind of failure to deliver basic services that hurts people’s trust in government,” House Minority Leader Tim Greimel said. Indeed.It is briefly mentioned how this contamination was known about possibly as early as last April, but was not made public knowledge. Snyder has committed $28 million to recovery efforts and safe-keeping for the people.

So, you learned a lot from this – right? Very informative. (*sarcasm) See for yourself here:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/20/michigan-governor-apologizes-for-flint-water-crisis-vows-will-fix-it.html

Alternative sources often paint a better picture. NPR, another somewhat common news source (and a pretty reliable one, in my opinion), highlights those that are effected by the water crisis, but will likely not be receiving any assistance from that $28 million we discussed in the story above; the undocumented.

Authorities are going door-to-door in Flint handing out water filters, however undocumented families are hesitating to open the door. It is estimated that over 1,000 people living in Flint are undocumented.  The contamination levels in the water are too high for boiling to suffice, and undocumented people who fear deportation are not even going to get tested. Additionally, the language barrier is a problem; many of these people may not even be aware of the danger because they do not speak English. Whatever your opinions on refugees and immigrants may be, can’t we all agree that it is still pretty awful that we are poisoning people with families and loved ones through their drinking water, here in the US? In 2016, no less??

As an optimistic effort, Spanish-speaking volunteers are leading a campaign to go door-to-door in these neighborhoods to convey the message, “El agua no es potable” – “the water is not safe to drink”.

Listen for yourself here: http://www.npr.org/2016/01/28/464664785/flint-s-undocumented-immigrants-hesitate-to-ask-for-help-during-water-crisis

Nerds are your best bet. And from a highly uncommon source, but science-based and reliable, we have an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The title of this article: The Water Next Time: Professor Who Helped Expose Crisis in Flint Says Public Science Is Broken.

I personally thought this article was fantastic. Marc Edwards, an engineering professor, found through his own testing of the water in Flint, that the water contamination was systemic. All the while the state and local authorities were telling the public the water was safe, he was trying to raise awareness where his voice would be heard. He empowered residents, who eventually rallied to call for his help, leading to some action.

It was interesting because when interviewed by The Chronicle, Mr. Edwards said that the systems that support scientists do not reward moral courage, and that if not stopped may corrode the public faith in science. However the results of scientists operating on a truly moral compass often suffer much loss. Indeed, Edwards suffered much loss in his personal circle, supporters, and funders in his pursuit to reveal the truth. Cases such as these make it extremely difficult to challenge the voice in power. In regards to the Flint case and its relationship between the government and the scientific evidence, Edwards had this to say, “In Flint, the agencies paid to protect these people weren’t solving the problem. They were the problem. What faculty person out there is going to take on their state, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?”

Read for yourself here: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Water-Next-Time-Professor/235136

Final thoughts to digest…. keeping this last story in mind: You can really start to see the spectrum of coverage and availability of information out there that is impacting your life-your health- without you even realizing it! Governing hands are determining your health, without your say in the matter. So I encourage you to think about how you feel about this, and potential ways that you can take action to take steps to regain control of your health. I’ll leave you with this –

I was reading a book recently by the Dali Lama (which I HIGHLY recommend), called, Universe in Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality. And in his discussion of ethics, and technology, and health, he said something that really resonated with me.

As science advances further, here is more at stake. Science’s power to affect the environment, indeed to change the course of the human species as a whole, has grown great. As a result, for the first time in history our very survival demands that we begin to consider ethical responsibility not just in the application of science but in the direction of research and development of new realities and technology as well.” – His Holiness, the Dali Lama.

Recommended Article on this Topic:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/nestle-guzzles-michigans-clean-water-donates-bottled-water-to-flint-water-crisis-victims/213360/