Raspy Voice In The Morning? Here’s Why Your Voice Changes As The Day Goes On


Morning Voice

For many people, a deeper voice in the morning is just one of the many reasons to avoid human contact before you’ve had time to get ready for the day ahead. Other people (mostly men) wish they could maintain their raspy voice all day long. There’s a reason why the voice we go to sleep with is markedly different from the one we wake up with. Actually, there are a couple of reasons for this common and temporary phenomenon. There are also easy ways to remedy a deep voice in the morning if you’re not a fan of sounding like Bill Clinton when you wake up.

“Morning voice,” or the deeper voice we all experience after getting up in the morning, is not to be confused with hoarseness, which tends to be a common symptom caused by a problem with the vocal cords or an inflamed larynx. According to the Cleveland Clinic, hoarseness can be caused by the common cold, upper respiratory tract infection, smoking, allergies, voice abuse, and gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux — when stomach acid makes its way up the swallowing tube and irritates the vocal cords.

A deeper voice in the morning is an inevitable result of a good night’s rest. During sleep, the tissues in our throat collect fluid, which is also what causes our eyes to look puffy when we just wake up. Our lack of vocal cord use during the night also causes mucus to build up during the hours we spend asleep. People who breathe through their mouth during sleep quickly dry out their vocal cords. This lack of lubrication hinders our vocal cords from moving together, which creates the normal or higher pitch of our voice.

“First and foremost, ‘morning voice’ is caused by fluid collecting in the tissues of our throat and mucus building up overnight,” Susan Berkley, author of Speak To Influence: How To Unlock The Hidden Power Of Your Voice, told Medical Daily. “Mouth breathing is more of a secondary cause. Acid reflux, which refers to stomach acid leaking back up the esophagus, can also result in the raspier voice we tend to wake up with. Eating a big meal before bed or a spicy meal can exasperate this problem. Sleep with your head elevated is one strategy for avoiding a raspy voice in the morning.”

If you are one of the people who would rather not have their voice heard first thing in the morning, you are in luck. It doesn’t take long to alleviate your raspy morning breath. Berkley suggests starting each morning out with two glasses of room temperature water complimented by a squeeze of lemon. This should be done before your morning coffee and tea, which can actually make your throat even drier. Next, while the warm and moist air from your morning shower relaxes your throat muscles, practice humming to “wake up” your voice.

Can organic agriculture feed the world better than GMOs?


For years now, the most-asked question by detractors of the good food movement has been, “Can organic agriculture feed the world?” According to a new United Nations report, the answer is a big, fat yes.

The report, Agro-ecology and the Right to Food, reveals that small-scale sustainable farming would even double food production within five to 10 years in places where most hungry people on the planet live.

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“We won’t solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations,” Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report, said in a press release. “The solution lies in supporting small-scale farmers’ knowledge and experimentation, and in raising incomes of smallholders so as to contribute to rural development.”

The report suggests moving away from the overuse of oil in farming, a problem that is magnified in the face of rising prices due to unrest in the Middle East. The focus is instead on agroecology, or eco-farming. “Agroecology seeks to improve the sustainability of agroecosystems by mimicking nature instead of industry,” reads a section.

The report shows that these practices raise productivity significantly, reduce rural poverty, increase genetic diversity, improve nutrition in local populations, serve to build a resilient food system in the face of climate change, utilize fewer and more locally available resources, empower farmers and create jobs.

Of 57 impoverished countries surveyed, for example, yields had increased by an average of nearly 80 percent when farmers used methods such as placing weed-eating ducks in rice patties in Bangladesh or planting desmodium, which repels insects, in Kenyan cornfields. These practices were also cost effective, locally available and resulted from farmers working to pass on this knowledge to each other in their communities.

While the report admits that agroecology can be more labor-intensive because of the complexity of knowledge required, it shows that this is usually a short-term issue. The report underscores that agroecology creates more jobs over the long term answering critics who argue that creating more jobs in agriculture is counter-productive. “Creation of employment in rural areas in developing countries, where underemployment is currently massive, and demographic growth remains high,” states the report, “may constitute an advantage rather than a liability and may slow down rural-urban migration.”

Mark Bittman put it aptly in his column on the UN report at the New York Times, saying:

Agro-ecology and related methods are going to require resources too, but they’re more in the form of labor, both intellectual—much research remains to be done—and physical: the world will need more farmers, and quite possibly less mechanization.

This is not the first time such a report has declared more productive ways to feed the world other than leaving that important task to large corporations. In April 2008, the IAASTD report (the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development)–which was supported by the World Bank, the UN Food & Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, among others, with the participation of over 60 world governments and 400 experts–found that not only would industrial food production not be able to feed the world in the long term, but the practices being employed are actually increasing hunger, exhausting resources and exacerbating climate change. However, the U.S., under the Bush Administration, was one of the countries that decided not to endorse the findings.

Though agroecological farming has benefits for industrialized countries too, both reports focus largely on what to do in the least-developed nations on the globe. The status quo for U.S. foreign policy in agriculture up until now has been to leverage our political muscle to force countries to except our subsidized crops, even if it meant destroying local agricultural economies. (Former President Bill Clinton apologized for this policy last year, saying that it has “failed everywhere it’s been tried,” and “we should have continued to work to make sure [Haiti] was self-sufficient in agriculture.”) Will the Obama Administration be more receptive to these findings and could there be a change in the way we work with other countries in our support for agriculture?

Looking back at this (proudly pro-business) administration’s follies in hiring a pesticide lobbyist as our Agricultural Trade Representative, maintaining the USDA in the confusing role of promoting and regulating agriculture, and focusing on “improved seeds,” which usually means funding for the development of genetically modified crops for poor countries and you might be discouraged.

But De Schutter argues that real change to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers requires governments to be on board. “States and donors have a key role to play here,” he said. “Private companies will not invest time and money in practices that cannot be rewarded by patents and which don’t open markets for chemical products or improved seeds.” In other words, feeding the worlds hungry should not be left to the market alone.

The report makes these specific recommendations for governing bodies:

making reference to agroecology and sustainable agriculture in national strategies for the realization of the right to food and by including measures adopted in the agricultural sector in national adaptation plans of action (NAPAs) and in the list of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) adopted by countries in their efforts to mitigate climate change; reorienting public spending in agriculture by prioritizing the provision of public goods, such as extension services, rural infrastructures and agricultural research, and by building on the complementary strengths of seeds-and-breeds and agroecological methods, allocating resources to both, and exploring the synergies, such as linking fertilizer subsidies directly to agroecological investments on the farm (“subsidy to sustainability”); supporting decentralized participatory research and the dissemination of knowledge about the best sustainable agricultural practices by relying on existing farmers’ organizations and networks, and including schemes designed specifically for women; improving the ability of producers practicing sustainable agriculture to access markets, using instruments such as public procurement, credit, farmers’ markets, and creating a supportive trade and macroeconomic framework.

The report also gives recommendations for donors seeking to decrease hunger and improve rural livelihoods and for research organizations.

Source: civileats.com

Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Turkeys.


Pardon me, pilgrim!

This Thanksgiving, how about ditching the dead bird? These beautiful, inquisitive, intelligent birds endure lives of suffering and painful deaths. Here are 10 good reasons to carve out a new tradition by flocking to vegetarian entrées, along with some scrumptious holiday cooking tips and recipes—thankfully, none of them require stuffing food up anyone’s behind.

1. They’re Begging Your Pardon
Turkeys are “smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings,” Oregon State University poultry scientist Tom Savage says. Turkeys are social, playful birds who enjoy the company of others. They relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes. Anyone who spends time with them at farm sanctuaries quickly learns that turkeys are as varied in personality as dogs and cats. The president “pardons” a turkey every year—can’t you pardon one too? Learn more about turkeys.

2. Get Rid of Your Wattle
Turkey flesh is brimming with fat. Just one homemade patty of ground, cooked turkey meat contains a whopping 244 mg of cholesterol, and half of its calories come from fat. Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters. Plus, meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than vegans are. Learn more about animal products and your health.

3. Can You Spell ‘Pandemic’?
Experts are warning that a virulent new strain of bird flu could spread to human beings and kill millions of Americans. Current factory-farm conditions, in which turkeys are drugged up and bred to grow so quickly they can barely walk, are a prescription for disease outbreaks. Eating a turkey carcass contaminated with bird flu could kill you, and currently available drugs might not work. Cooking should kill the virus, but it could be left behind on cutting boards and utensils and spread through something else you’re eating. Learn more about bird flu.

4. Recall Process Doesn’t Fly
The U.S. government is the only government in the Western world that does not have the power to recall contaminated animal products. Instead, American consumers must trust the profit-hungry meat, dairy, and egg industries to decide when recalls are necessary. Dan Glickman, secretary of agriculture under President Bill Clinton, explained that this limit on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) power to protect consumers from tainted animal products is “one of the biggest loopholes out there.” There are all sorts of killer bacteria found in turkey flesh, including salmonella and campylobacter. The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that 28 percent of fresh turkeys were contaminated with bacteria, primarily with campylobacter, for which the USDA does not even require testing. Learn more about meat contamination.

5. Let the Turkeys Give Thanks!
Let’s face it: If you’re eating a turkey, that’s a corpse you’ve got there on the table, and if you don’t eat it quickly enough, it will decompose. Is that really what we want as the centerpiece of a holiday meal: an animal’s dead and decaying carcass? Thanksgiving is a time to take stock of our lives and give thanks for all that we have, so why not let the turkeys give thanks too? Learn more about what happens to turkeys on factory farms.

6. Want Stuffing With Your Supergerms?
Dosing turkeys with antibiotics to stimulate their growth and to keep them alive in filthy, disease-ridden conditions that would otherwise kill them poses even more risks for people who eat them. Leading health organizations—including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association—have warned that by giving powerful drugs (via animal products) to humans who are not sick, the farmed-animal industry is creating possible long-term risks to human health and will spread antibiotic-resistant supergerms. That’s why the use of drugs to promote growth in animals used for food has been banned for many years in Europe.

7. Without a Wing and a Prayer
On factory farms, turkeys live for months in sheds where they are packed so tightly that flapping a wing or stretching a leg is nearly impossible. They stand in waste, and urine and ammonia fumes burn their eyes and lungs. At the slaughterhouse, turkeys have their throats slit while they are still conscious. Those who miss the automated knife are scalded to death in the defeathering tank. Learn more about the cruelty endured by turkeys.

8. Foul Farming
Anyone who has driven by a farm has probably smelled it first from a mile away. Turkeys and other animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire U.S. human population—all without the benefit of waste treatment systems. There are no federal guidelines to regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year. Learn more about how factory farming damages the environment.

9. Blood, Sweat, and Fear
Killing animals is inherently dangerous work, but the fast line speeds, the dirty, slippery killing floors, and the lack of training make animal-processing plants some of the most dangerous places to work in America today. The industry has refused to slow down the lines or buy appropriate safety gear because these changes could cut into companies’ bottom lines. In its 185-page exposé on worker exploitation by the farmed-animal industry, “Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants,” Human Rights Watch explains, ‘These are not occasional lapses by employers paying insufficient attention to modern human resources management policies. These are systematic human rights violations embedded in meat and poultry industry employment.”

10. A Cornucopia of Turkey Alternatives
Give up the giblets and carve out a new tradition this Thanksgiving—Tofurky Roast, a savory soy- and wheat-based roasts with stuffing and gravy or oven-roasted, peppered, hickory-smoked, or cranberry- and stuffing-flavored Tofurky Deli Slices. Give animals and yourself something to be really thankful for this year: Order a free vegetarian starter kit full of tasty recipes and celebrity features today!

Source: http://www.peta.org

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