Who’s feeding the kids?


Homemade Formula To Help Supplement Breast Feeding

During the last 100 years in the U.S. we have witnessed the most profound changes in human history in the areas of infant nutrition, child care and family structure.  In 1900, 6 percent of married women worked outside the home, usually only when their blue-collar husbands were unemployed. Among women with young children, few ever worked away from home. Since then, the percentage of women who work outside the home has increased tenfold.

With so many women now in the workforce, who’s feeding the kids? Back in the fifties, misguided doctors regularly recommended feeding infants laboratory prepared, store bought formulas because it was thought to be more “ hygienic and scientific”. Fortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life. The lifelong benefits transferred to the baby are so numerous, that subject deserves its own exclusive article. But for moms holding down jobs outside the home, it’s not always easy.

In America bringing kids to work and breastfeeding there, is nearly unheard of. Some women pump and refrigerate or freeze their own breast milk so childcare providers can later feed it to the baby. But that process is cumbersome and sometimes leaving the baby for a full work shift causes milk production to diminish. If this happens, other food is needed—that becomes tricky.

Feeding human infants cow’s milk is definitely not the right solution. The two species have different  agendas for their first year. Calves grow 500 to 600% in year one, so cow’s milk is relatively high in protein and calcium. Human babies have different needs. Their physical size increases only 2 to 3  times, but their intelligence gains in year one are astronomical. Consequently, human milk is appropriately lower in protein but far richer in fats and sugars to support brain development and adult foods can be ground or blended to accommodate toothless babies, but their digestive tracts lack many of the enzymes needed to digest and assimilate adult foods. Store bought infant formulas designed to replace breast milk always fall short in many areas, some easily measured and some not. They often contain ingredients that are difficult for some babies to digest. Parents who’ve ever fed their baby formula and then watched them cry all night with a bellyache know this well.

Dr. William Sears, parenting and child nutrition guru, writing about high fructose corn syrup in formulas stated: “that ingredient is not used because of any health benefits, but because it is sweeter and cheaper to produce” and that “ the number one cause of the childhood obesity epidemic is the over consumption of HFCS, mainly in the form of  beverages”.

Nothing remotely approaches the perfection, on every level, of a healthy mother breast feeding her baby. But for when it’s necessary, here is a recipe for homemade infant formula I created for our family and have seen used with great success by others as well.

Toxin-free organic ingredients, correct  nutrient balance for human babies and digestibility were the top considerations for this formula. Babies really like it and digest it well with no gas,. colic, crying or smelly diapers.

1 cup each organic:

Long grain brown rice

Short grain brown rice

Sweet brown rice

Oat groats


Three or Four, 4 inch pieces of dried kombu seaweed

Soak grains in pure water for 4-8 hours. In a total of about 15 cups of water, using a stainless steel pressure cooker,  cook the grains with the kombu for 45 minutes. (exercise caution when using pressure cookers).

After the pressure comes completely down, remove lid and add:

1 1\2 Tablespoons each:

Organic extra virgin coconut oil

Organic highest lignan flax oil. (pure fish oil might substitute here but I’ve never tried it)

Let mixture cool 1-2 hours

Empty and stir into the mixture the contents of  one capsule of a premium,high potency full spectrum, digestive enzyme. (or 2-3 low potency capsules)

Let sit about 30 minutes

Grind it with a hand crank food mill. Electric blenders infuse the mix with air which can create

digestive challenges. Strain the mixture twice. Add liquid baby vitamins if desired.

Use immediately, refrigerate or freeze.  Best served at baby temperature, 98.6 degrees.


Rob Pell owns and operates Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass, Oregon and has 35

years experience helping people with natural foods, products, exercise and healing.

‘Be the kind of people’: Winona LaDuke’s visit to southern Oregon inspires crowd


Growing up in Ashland, Winona LaDuke never felt like she fit in. A bookish girl, she described herself as being the only dark skinned kid with the exception of one classmate, an adopted Inuit girl. Recollecting on her earliest years, LaDuke told a crowd of more than a hundred people who gathered at “Speak up: a day for change” at South Medford High School that “Home is the place you make it. The west is a state of mind. At some point you have to stay and make it a beautiful place. It’s worth fighting for. It is worth protecting. We are taught that the holy land is somewhere else but the holy land is right here.”

She’s come a long way from that young girl both figuratively and literally. After getting a degree at Harvard in rural economic development, LaDuke moved to the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota. Her lengthy accomplishments include running as Vice Presidential Candidate on the Green Party ticket alongside Ralph Nader, twice.

LaDuke travels all over the country to speak about environmental concerns particularly the threat of genetically modified crops, uranium and coal mining on reservations and related health concerns that follow. She had some things to say and some challenges to offer southern Oregonians.

“We were all placed here by the creator,” LaDuke said, “Be the people who keep them from genetically modifying salmon. That is our common ground. No society has a monopoly on botching things up. Do you have the ability to be the people who are able to fix it? Be the kind of people who can say, ‘we are sorry’.”

She went on to describe life at White Earth. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing change happen in some very dire places, against the odds. At Navajo Nation where 85% of the households had no electricity and at the same time there was uranium mining and tons of power was being shipped out. About 60% of households still don’t, but they do have more solar and wind power there.” She went on to explain that she learned an important lesson there at Navajo Nation. “If you’re waiting for someone to save you, you’re going to be really miserable waiting. We better just do it ourselves.”

LaDuke finished her lecture by acknowledging the change that is possible within all of us. She shared the truth about the mystery of life as caterpillars turn into butterflies. “Have you heard about imaginal cells?” she asked the audience. She went on to explain that when a caterpillar begins the process of becoming a butterfly, at first it forms imaginal cells. The imaginal cells begin to pile up and as they do the caterpillars original cells see them as a virus and start attacking them one by one. The imaginal cells continue to grow, multiply and come together, much like a family and eventually the original cells lose the fight. The imaginal cells turn the caterpillar into a butterfly despite the push back from the forces which try to keep it a caterpillar.

“The cells knock it down and it comes back only to get knocked down again,” LaDuke said. “Then there is the metamorphosis into a butterfly. That’s what we need to do too,” she insisted.

A vision of economic security for all

What follows is an excerpt from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union message to Congress on January 11, 1944.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people, whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth, is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. [Read more…]

Chernobyl survivor recalls deadly silence amid nuclear disaster

I remember.

It was an unusually warm and sunny April weekend. I was fourteen years old.

We were hanging out along the quiet Baltic shore. The sky was blue. The sun was bright. But something was terribly wrong…

Like casual fireflies the whispers began. [Read more…]

From counters to concrete, social change arrives

What do a nineteenth-century poet, a homeless guy from Seattle, and the Greensboro sit-ins at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960 have in common? You might be surprised.

On the first day of February in 1960, four college students walked into a Woolworth’s five-and-dime store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Each of them carefully made a small purchase. Having a time-stamped receipt was an important part of the action they were about to launch as they made their way to the lunch counter. [Read more…]

Two Trains Running arrives at the junction of hope and justice: OSF play explores poverty and racial inequity in the late 1960s

“The people of this play have loud voices and big hearts. They search. They falter. They continue. In the end, they are not overwhelmed. For here there are warriors and saints. Here there is a drumbeat fueled by the blood of Africa. And through it all there are the lessons, the wounds of history,” said August Wilson about his play Two Trains Running. “There are always and only two trains running. There is life and there is death. Each of us rides them both. To live life with dignity, to celebrate and accept responsibility for your presence in the world is all that can be asked of anyone.”

[Read more…]

Celebrating International Women’s Day essay contest winners

“I am a girl who came from Africa, where educating a girl child is regarded as a waste of money and waste of time…” so begins Malaika Boschin’s award-winning essay. About 50 people attended a reception for young writers on March 8 at the Ashland United Church of Christ. The event was sponsored by the Ashland branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and was the culmination of an essay contest the group offered for International Women’s Day.

[Read more…]

Eating well on a budget: how to bring the restaurant experience home

With the everyday cost of living on a steady uphill climb and the average wage increase far below the increase in the cost of living, people are evermore searching for ways to make every dollar count as much as possible. When trying to figure out ways to save money, there are several different avenues we can all follow to reach that so-called destination. With that in mind, there is one particular avenue I like to travel en route to saving money, and it helps me with the ridiculous food costs that most people pay for on a daily basis. [Read more…]

Breastfeeding benefits mother and baby

The choice of how we feed our babies is one of the biggest decisions we may make for the health of our new little ones. Breastfeeding is a natural gift. It is the way a mother’s body is designed to feed her baby.

If you are unsure why breastfeeding is so important, here are some ideas to consider. [Read more…]

Winter shelter helps homeless community members

With cooperation and determination, a faith-based coalition has partnered with the City of Ashland to provide winter shelter for homeless people on Thursday nights at Pioneer Hall. Doors open at 7:30 PM. [Read more…]