Plants Are Dope Link Roundup 11/15/19

The thing is, there are countless kinds of beans and legumes, some of which are much healthier than others. So I asked nutritionist David Friedman, author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction, to help me rank a whole bunch by how healthy they are — from topnotch to not worth the gassiness.

An article ranking beans is exactly the content I’m interested in. Thank you, Ian Lecklitner and Mel Magazine. Numbers one and two are the types of beans I eat the most often, coincidentally.


The city of South Portland has called in some goats to help get rid of invasive plants at a local park.

The city has a ban on pesticides, so the goats are an environmentally-friendly way to get rid of the unwanted plants.

Okay, this is pretty cool.


Photo via Happy Mag

Sometimes silly articles are fun. Check out Happy Mag‘s “Feast Your Eyes on the World’s Top 8 Sexist Plants” by Kayla McNicoll. Above is the Hot Lips Plant.


The scientists discovered how the immune system of Spirodela polyrhiza adapts to a polluted environment in a way that differs from land plants. They identified the species’ powerful genes that protect against a wide range of harmful microbes and pests, including waterborne fungi and bacteria.

The study could help lead to the use of duckweed strains for bioreactors that recycle wastes, and to make drugs and other products, treat agricultural and industrial wastewater and make biofuels such as ethanol for automobiles. Duckweed could also be used to generate electricity.

I don’t fully understand the science, but this information sounds promising.


“It was indeed notable the study found that those individuals who completed their community service requirements in a horticultural setting were less likely to recidivate when compared to those who completed their community service in a non-horticultural setting.”

Interesting. When people on probation or parole do plant-related community service, they’re less likely to end up back in jail or prison. Pretty cool.


Thanks to science we now know that nature is basically a wonder drug. Spending time outside helps hospital patients recover faster, eases depression and anxiety, boosts the immune system, reduces blood pressure, and even increases happiness. The only trouble with trees is that it is impossible to prescribe in pill form.  

But while you can’t shrink a tree to the size of a prescription bottle, you can miniaturize nature in the form of potted plants. And for certain patients, British doctors feel that’s a great place to start. Some are actually prescribing houseplants to those suffering from anxiety and depression to help lessen their symptoms. 

Being around plants is medicine. I have some houseplants, but I can’t wait until I have many more! Big ups to Jessica Stillman for getting this article into Inc., a publication that usually focuses more on business.


Photo via Smithsonian Mag

Since May, more than 1,000 “happy little trees” have popped up across Michigan’s state parks. Planted by hundreds of volunteers who replaced damaged and diseased trees with healthy (and happy) saplings grown by prison inmates, the trees derive their name from artist and television personality Bob Ross’ signature catchphrase.

The so-called Happy Little Trees program is the product of a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Bob Ross Inc. Timed to coincide with the centennial of Michigan’s state parks, the initiative represents a revamped version of what was previously dubbed the “prison grow” program.

Bob Ross is awesome. Trees are awesome. Programs in which prisoners grow plants are incredible. Sounds like a win-win-win. Full article by Meilan Solly in Smithsonion Mag.


Veganwashing appeals to an ethos of nonviolence and so is an especially useful strategy for actors who have a vested interest in concealing ongoing acts of violence, such as, say, a colonial government.

It is no secret that the state of Israel is currently and has for decades been staging a brutal occupation of Palestine, engaging in a program of murder, displacement, and destruction that has been well documented. In an attempt to conceal these human rights abuses and brand itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” Israel has used a number of tactics to appeal to progressive values, from greenwashing to pinkwashing.

Israel’s veganwashing, however, is particularly insidious. This is because veganwashing promotes the idea that Israel, as a country claiming to have a vegan population constituting up to 5% of its total population, is a necessarily less violent and more compassionate society than others due to its high proportion of vegans. Lest I be accused of singling Israel out, allow me to also note that Israel is the only state that I have seen invest so heavily in promoting a vegan-friendly image on a global scale. Israelis proudly call Tel Aviv the vegan capital of the world.

As veganism becomes more popular and more widely accepted as good, I suspect we will see more and more veganwashing. Fascinating article by Sarah Doyel.


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