Delicious, Nutritious Peace: Building Peace through Food


I don’t know about you, but I love food. Most people relish the opportunity to satiate hunger, to dine with friends, to share a holiday meal with family. A resource I believe can be incredibly effective in building peace is commonplace. In the United States of America, most of us are fortunate to have this resource waiting in our cabinet at home or in the cafeteria at school. Food, in abundance for the majority of this nation’s citizens, can be a driving force in building peace within communities.

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience” – James Beard

Food can be very informative about a region and a culture. In my online research into building peace through discussing food, I happened upon a lesson plan titled “What Do People Around the World Eat?” created by Learning to Give. This 45 minute lesson plan is designed for high school students and can be easily employed in history, nutrition, or economics classes. If I was facilitating this lesson in a history or nutrition class, I would add several components.

This lesson plan first involves an activity in which students stand by a poster with a continent’s name written on it, guessing which one has the healthiest food and eating habits. Next, a slide show “What the World Eats” created by Time will be presented. Pairs will discuss why people from around the world eat such diverse food in different quantities. A volunteer will take notes on the poster about students’ observations. Discussion will then shift to the differences in observations across continents.

If this was my own lesson plan, I’d add my component after the section described above. I would add discussion about the cultures of the students. Split into 5 small groups, students would discuss traditional foods and eating norms in their culture. They can also speak more about their family and their eating style. Do they eat out all the time? Do they share family meals often? Experiences with foods from other cultures can also be brought up. As they discussed, each group would prepare a simple dish from one continent being presented. Students will grow in community with each other and understanding of the culture, as well as get several snacks to enjoy while they enter into the next round of discussion. This would add approximately 45 minutes. The dishes will be chosen based on ease, short cooking time, and appeal. Food preparation is not be feasible in all situations, but a discussion of the students’ cultural experiences with food should be included.

According to the lesson plan, after this portion, discussion will shift again to comparison of attributes of the foods (cost per week per person, nutritional value, quantity per person, variety of food groups). The class will split into groups to discuss these attributes, soon presenting a class with a summary of their observation. If computers are available, a summary with research should be expected.

This lesson plan ends with two excellent questions: “How do these differences show that there is an injustice in food availability?  Whose responsibility is it to take action to address the injustice of food availability?” After a brief discussion of this, I’d expect students to write an essay or reflection about their thoughts on the matter.

This lesson plan reflects many of the pillars of peace education, particularly community building, engaging multiple intelligences, and skill building. Students build community with each other, gain understanding of one another’s cultures, and are introduced to the outside world’s experiences with food. They have the opportunity to discuss, to view a presentation, to walk around the class, to create food—engaging verbal, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Finally, this helps develop skills in analysis, comparison, and cooking.

This lesson plan would be great for high school teachers, particularly those that lead history or nutrition classes. This can be adapted for economics classes, for younger students, or for college-level courses. Informally, I could see this project fitting very well in Saturday community projects, with Girl and Boy Scout troops, in youth groups at churches, and in community enrichment classes.

For more information about building peace through making food, The PeaceMeal Project is a good place to start.

Roots Of Empathy – The Education of the Heart

Ken Robinson in a very charismatic talk at the Dalai Lama center for Peace+Education in 2011 claims education should be not just the education of the mind, but the education of the heart and I wholeheartedly agree. Particularly in relation to Peace Education and nurturing a civil society of responsible and caring citizens, the education of the heart and how to “feel” is just as important. We focus a lot of our educational energy on lecturing on the outside world and I believe Peace Education is the necessary inverse – it invites students to turn their gaze and perspective inward. They key to this inverse is the connection between humans and the power of empathy. In conflict we shut empathy off but empathy holds the power to solve conflict! There are numerous scientific studies that show the student’s early environment plays a large role in who they become as they grow, so this has become common knowledge. Empathy and nurturing emotional intelligence is one of the seven pillars of Peace Education and can be cultivated and groomed at different levels in the classroom. This was absent and not seen as important in my early childhood education, but it was in the household and this can vary from student to student. It is the role and duty of Peace Educators to foster a sense of empathy or increased emotional intelligence in our students and be part of the solution.

Sir Ken Robinson – Educating the Heart and Mind (more specifically the last 10 mintues or so)

“Roots of Empathy” is a unique and award winning yearlong charitable program that is actively part of the solution in a desensitized and emotionally out of touch society. It takes place in a Elementary through Middle schools and has programs available globally. It has been researched and has been proven to create significant change in participating schools. The program pillars are specific and include Emotional Literacy, Neuroscience, Temperament, Male Nurturance, Inclusion, Infant Safety, Perspective Taking, Prevention of Teen Pregnancy, Attachment/Attunement, Participatory Democracy, Infant Development, and Violence Prevention. Instead of targeting violence, bullying, and aggressive behavior directly the program takes a holistic approach and engages all the students in the classroom.“Roots of Empathy” focuses on the relationship between parent and child and gives students the opportunity to observe an infant and its development. This program is at its core a reflective practice, because the students are actively identifying problems with their child and solving them, which effects the way they solve their own problems and manage their own relationships. The program is very personal and children very quickly learn through this program their own temperament traits and the situations that may spike or increase the chances for conflict.

Roots Of Empathy

– A more in depth video

There is a healthy amount of useful information and great resources on the site as well as contact information if you or a school around you is interested in running the program. Many of the activities like asking the students to depict creatively episodes when they felt afraid or helpless and using the community to help create an atmosphere of social responsibility are activities that can be incorporated in any classroom at any level.

Humans uniquely possess the ability to empathize with others, including non-humans. We must embrace this distinct trait and connect students with themselves and their feelings, so they can go on and empathize with friends, family, and people on the opposite side of the globe. If we are to create a future culture of peace, we must start with the future, the children and the power of empathy can go a long way.

The Potomac Conservancy


The Potomac Conservancy is a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Potomac watershed area, both land and water.  One of their current activities is creating an urban tree canopy.  To do this, they are working on planting more trees in Fredrick County, Md and have enlisted the help of K-12 students from the local area to plant over 19 acres of trees.  More information can be found on their website:

I feel this is an activity that anyone, K-12, can participate in and get something out of.  Of course different educational goals would be set depending on the age of the students.  It could be organized through a school with corresponding curriculum about the importance of trees, erosion control, how watersheds work, etc.  It could also be organized informally with a community group like scouts or church groups where the participants will be learning more about organizing activities for community benefit and maybe some environmental education about the types of trees being planted.

Personally, I would like to have an older group of students incorporate this into a section focusing on land degradation and restoration processes.  This can include run-off, man-made erosion, lack of habitat, etc.  A section like this in an environmental science class would open the door for this community service activity to become a real learning opportunity about something larger than just planting trees.  Perhaps the students can do this section before going to the activity and host an informal class or presentation at the planting for the other participants.

The two main pillars of peace education this would satisfy are community building and exploring approaches to peace. Additionally, multiple intelligences are addressed with this combination of classroom and experiential education

Mattie Stepanek


I first learned about Mattie Stepanek from his interview on the Oprah show in 2001.  I was struck by his childlike innocence and inquisitiveness, and impressed by his sense of maturity and worldly wisdom.  Mattie Stepanek appeared on the Oprah show at age 11.  He suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, a disease that confined him to a wheelchair and tethered him to an oxygen tank.  His message was about hope and peace.  Mattie was a philosopher, a poet, and a peacemaker.  He has over 8 published books of poetry, several of which are New York Times Best Sellers.  Mattie’s appearance on the Oprah show was commemorated as one of the top 25 moments in Oprah Show history.  Click on the link below to watch a clip of the Oprah Show interview where Mattie talks about his poetry or heartsongs.  Mattie says that everyone has a heartsong and “no matter what it is, it still sings the same beautiful message of peace and love. People are fighting over how our heartsongs are different. But they don’t need to be the same.  That’s the beauty. We are a mosaic of gifts. Each of us has our inner beauty no matter how we look.”

Watch Oprah’s reflection on her meeting with Mattie:

Back in 2004, Oprah introduced the world to an extraordinary little boy—poet and peacemaker Mattie Stepanek. The 11-year-old, who was wise beyond his years, became an Oprah Show regular and one of Oprah’s favorite guests. Watch as Oprah reflects on their first meeting.

I encourage you to explore the Mattie Stepanek website at:

On this website you will find Mattie’s full biography, information about programs and resources, and a description of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation.  The mission of the Foundation is “to further Mattie’s message of hope and peace by providing access to the message, promoting understanding of the message, and motivating people to action in sharing the message. Our vision is to offer educational and recreational programs, projects, activities, and resources that encourage peacemaking as a deliberate choice for individuals and for our world. We celebrate Mattie’s belief that “We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts, to nurture, to offer, to accept.” Like Mattie, we believe that “Peace is for all people!” and that “Peace is possible!”

Resources from this website can be used for students of all ages, and in a variety of settings.   A possible lesson for middle or high school students would incorporate reading one of Mattie’s books of Heartsongs during a language arts, reading, or poetry unit.  Students could read a poem by Mattie and then use this poem as a model or format to help them in writing their own poem.

The website below provides a specific lesson plan based on Mattie’s poems for a 4th, 5th, or 6th grade level literature lesson:

Or perhaps you are looking for a field trip idea?  The citizens of Rockville, Maryland created a Mattie Peace Garden and Park in 2008, shortly after Mattie passed away.  According to the website the park has a life-size bronze statue of Mattie and his service dog surrounded by chess tables.  The Peace Garden was created based on visual imagery and quotes from Mattie’s final book, Just Peace.  At the park visitors can listen to Mattie’s voice from a sound post that plays excerpts from his poetry, peace speeches, and songs.

Additional information about the park amenities and location can be found here:

Engaging students with Mattie’s life story and his books of poetry will be an empowering lesson.  Mattie’s biography is an inspiring chronicle of a young person who rose above all sorts of barriers and challenges, with a courageous and inspiring spirit.  Amid adversity, Mattie spoke a message of peace, love, and acceptance of all.  I think a lesson based on Mattie’s poetry would allow students the opportunity to tap into their heartsongs (as Mattie calls them) to realize their message and their purpose.  This will encourage students to become self aware, by providing an existing example of a young peacemaker, his message, and his goal for a more peaceful world.

This resource most supports the pillars of Nurturing Emotional Intelligence and Exploring Approaches to Peace.  By exploring Mattie’s poetry, or heartsongs, students will reflect and be sensitive to their emotions, and perhaps discover a new message or goal for themselves.  By sharing their heartsongs with their classmates they will build community and empathize with one another.  Poetry and written expression is also a way to explore a new approach to peace.  Mattie often talks about how he didn’t intend to sit down and write poems, but instead he just wanted to capture on paper the song inside his heart.  Peace through poetry is a powerful force that captures the true essence of a person’s emotional journey during his/her pursuit of peace. Mattie lived a remarkable and inspiring life, and left behind a legacy of hope and peace.  In closing, I will leave you with Mattie’s words…

Follow your heartsong.
Hope is real.
Peace is possible.
Life is worthy.
Believe, and celebrate!

Peace Learner Commitments

The above podcast was recorded on Wednesday, November 14th 2012 during the Peace Pedagogy (EDU-596) course I facilitate each year at American University.  As a final assignment for the class I asked each student to develop what I called a “Peace Learner Commitment.”  A Peace Learner Commitment is:

“…a pledge to yourself, and shared with our community, to achieve a goal that seeks to build and foster peaceable learning environments.  This environment can be built in the classroom, your community, among your peers, with your family, in the work place, or for yourself.  The choice is yours.

“The key is for an element of this course that resonated with you – skill, content, activity, attitude, technique, perspective, etc. – to bear fruit outside of the (tiny) classroom we shared this semester.”

In the podcast each student shares what their commitment is.  And listening to this podcast, I can honestly say that it has been a privilege spending an entire semester with this outstanding, kind, and inspirational group of learners. The 14 students all came to the course for different reasons, with different needs, and from different professional and academic backgrounds.  Given the diversity of the learning goals and needs, as the professor for the course I really had to give deep thought to what kinds of assignments were going to actually be useful to the class.

Stand Up and Speak Out


After reviewing my own reflections for our Peace Learner Agreements I decided that this program anti-discrimination and bullying program known as Stand Up Speak Out (SUSOSH) that I was involved with is something that I am proud of. It deserves recognition, and I believe that it should be implemented in other schools in communities across the country. It is relevant to peace education because of the long-term goals related to the seven pillars: community building, exploring approaches to peace, re-framing history, and transforming conflict non-violently, and lastly building life skills.

[Taken from the Minneapolis South High School website:] Stand Up Speak Out South High (SUSOSH) is a student driven peer education event at South High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Led by a core group of students on the SUSOSH Leadership Committee and staff advisors, SUSOSH trains over one hundred students in the art of peer education regarding homophobia, sexism, racism, and disability awareness. For two days, these peer leaders facilitate workshops for the entire student body of South High School in hopes of raising awareness and igniting change in the community. SUSOSH participants are committed to social justice at an unprecedented level at South High School.

SUSOSH, started as an initiative by the Gay Straight Alliance, Student Government, National Honor Society and Corinth Matera a dedicated, and well-respected teacher at South High. Based on student and teachers noticing an increase in vulgar and offensive language being used in the hallways of Minneapolis South High the conversation began of how we could transform our school environment to be more accepting and respectful of all people.

I think that this initiative can be implemented in many different learning environments but it is best done in middle and high schools where students and teachers can work together to create a comprehensive and effective social justice action plan to engage students of various backgrounds and grade levels. That way it is structured and can lead the way for transformational change and peace throughout an entire school or institution, not simply in one class or one group of students. As far as how to incorporate this into a class, I think that the need has to be there and a drive from students as well a support from faculty and staff members. Otherwise, there won’t be positive response from students if they don’t see positive leadership from their peers.

One year later, after local teen suicides related to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bullying, South High was recognized for its anti-bullying measures related to SUSOSH.

After exploring this concept of Standing Up and Speaking Out I discovered a similar program on the edutopia site aimed at teachers to help better develop social and emotional learning through social justice lesson plans and resources.

How can this program be implemented in other schools? Who is responsible for doing this? How can we spread the word?



One of the challenges for any teacher, practitioner, and parent is trying to find the best way to teach children about those difficult, scary, and challenging topics that are a part of our world. TeachUNICEF is rooted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and provides unique topic and age appropriate activities and lesson plans to help teach children about human rights, armed conflict, human trafficking, and other important topics. Moreover, TeachUNICEF resources are aimed at students in a variety of contexts and locations.

TeachUNICEF is a portfolio of free global education resources. Resources cover grades PK-12, are interdisciplinary (social studies, science, math, English/language arts, foreign/world languages), and align with standards. The lesson plans, stories, and multimedia cover topics ranging from the Millennium Development Goals to Water and Sanitation.

Our mission is to support and create well-informed global citizens who understand interconnectedness, respect and value diversity, have the ability to challenge injustice and inequities and take action in personally meaningful ways. We hope that in providing engaging and academically rich materials that offer multiple voices, we can encourage the exploration of critical global issues while presenting opportunities to take action.”-TeachUNICEF

The lesson plans provided by TeachUNICEF are divided by topic/grade level and by lesson plan, readings, videos, and audio. A Child Rights lesson plan for PK-2nd grade students includes an entire coloring book that encourages students to learn what rights are and why they are given to children. A 9-12th grade lesson plan on gender equality provides students with stories of children from around the world and asks them to chart the trend of girls in primary education programs in the last decade.

The TeachUNICEF map shows viewers how the program is used around the globe. Pins are drawn on a world map to indicate how and where TeachUNICEF implimented. If you click on a pin the website will play a video or direct you to a lesson plan unique to the particular geographic area. This makes the project not only helpful to teach in different contexts around the globe, but it also helps teachers teach their students about issues, challenges, and solutions in schools far from their own classrooms. Similarly, the “Field Note” section allows teacher, parents, and youth to share their experiences and how they are implementing TeachUNICEF.

One of my favorite sections is the “Take Action” page. This section allows the viewer to participate in an active way to accomplish a global goal. Supported by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, many opportunities are given for students, teachers, or anyone else to participate in advocacy, volunteering, raising funds for projects, and more. This, coupled with the free lesson plans, provides an active learning resource for TeachUNICEF participants.

This program hits on many of the pillars of peace education. However, I think it most directly relates to exploring approaches to peace and skill building. The TeachUNICEF lesson plans address many issues affecting people, especially children, all around the world. As previously mentioned, the lesson plans talk about human trafficking, armed conflict, gender inequality, etc. Many of the lesson plans use narratives of children in conflict or in poverty to show what life is like in their environment. Skill building is also an important part of TeachUNICEF through the “Take Action” opportunities. My favorite is the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program which not only raises funds for UNICEF but also raises awareness for its programs.

TeachUNICEF is a wonderful and free resource for all teachers, parents, practitioners, and students. It is grounded in the CRC and uses activity based, reading, visual, and audio techniques to educate students on tough issues. Most importantly, it gives students ways in which they can advocate for peace through action!




The Linguists


I was first introduced to The Linguists film in my International and Comparative Education course during a unit on language rights.  The Linguists is a fascinating independent documentary about language extinction and language documentation.  It follows two linguists, David Harrison and Greg Anderson, on their journey around the world to record and document dying and endangered languages.  Today there are more than 500 languages at risk for extinction and four of these are featured in the documentary: Chemehuevi, a Native American language of Arizona; Chulym, a language spoken in Siberia; Kallawaya of Bolivia; and Sora of India.  While watching the film I was struck by the stories of the indigenous speakers, some of whom were proud of their language and wanted to pass it down to other generations, and some of whom were deeply embarrassed and felt isolated and excluded.  The documentary is an excellent way to introduce the topic of language rights in the classroom, and facilitate a discussion about how language rights are an essential element of culture, history, values, and identity.

Watch the trailer here:

While researching more about the film, I found a Teacher’s Guide for The Linguists on the PBS website.  It can be found at:

The Teachers Guide to Endangered Languages provides materials intended for high school or college level students and may be used in a myriad of classes like social studies, political science, anthropology, fine arts, foreign language, etc.  The guide for educators is intended to “expose students to the world’s linguistic and cultural diversity, and the negative consequences of sacrificing that diversity.” It is divided into nine themes, each of which includes a learning goal for students and directions for educators.  The themes are: 1) Culture, 2) Time, Continuity, & Change, 3) People, Places, & Environments, 4) Individual, Development, & Identity, 5) Groups and Institutions, 6) Power, Authority, & Governance, 7) Science and Technology, 8) Global Connections, and 9) Civic ideals.  The guide goes on to explain that, “Languages are repositories of thousands of years of a people’s science and art, from observations of ecological patterns to creation myths. The disappearance of a language is a loss not only for the community of speakers, but also for our common knowledge of mathematics, biology, geography, philosophy, agriculture, and linguistics.”

On the PBS website you will also find a procedure for teaching the unit.  This guide suggests that teachers:

1)    ask students to provide a definition of endangered languages

2)    have students brainstorm and write down all of the languages they know

3)    have students estimate how many languages are spoken in the world

4)    watch the documentary

5)    discuss

Some possible discussion questions could be:

  • Why should we care if these languages survive?
  • Do you agree with the UNESCO declaration statements that “All language communities have equal rights” (Article 10, section 1) and “Everyone has the right to use his/her language in the personal and family sphere” (Article 12, section 2)?
  • How does the loss of the indigenous language affect the members of that community?
  • How does the preservation of language create a more peaceful community?

Using this film, with some background information about language rights, and the learning activities presented in the Teacher’s Guide, can serve as an informative resource and allow students to consider the power of language, and all of the benefits and consequences of language use.  Perhaps students will begin to consider how language plays a role in their school, such as the perceived challenges that some students may face when they are educated in one language, and use a different language at home or in their community.  And perhaps educators will be encouraged to consider the role they play in this process, whether they provide support and encourage students to maintain their native tongue, or promote an “English only” attitude in their classroom.

I think this resource most supports the pillars of community building and exploring approaches to peace. Understanding the diversity of languages of the world, and of one’s school, encourages students to get to know the people with whom they are learning.  They will be able to see how language can play a unifying role, and also how language differences should be respected and celebrated.  In addition, it is hopeful that students will be engendered with a sense of responsibility and accountability to preserve and revitalize the languages of their community and the greater world community.  By recognizing the role that language plays in a peaceable community, students will explore an alternative approach to peace.  The film depicts the role of language in the world community, and class discussions can break down the concept and localize the concept to the role that language plays in the students’ home community and in their school.

I will conclude with the quote that inspired this blog entry, courtesy of my Honest Tea bottle cap I opened at lunch this week…

“War is what happens when language fails.” Margaret Atwood

All Natural Beauty Products


Take a look at the alarming picture above. It points out the large number of chemicals that most of us come into contact with on a daily basis. How many chemicals do you recognize or come into contact with every day?

Not only do the chemicals found in everyday household and beauty products harm our bodies, but they also harm the environment. After being awakened to the alarming number of chemicals found in everyday products that we actually put onto our bodies on a daily basis, I decided to do some research into what exactly those harmful chemicals were, in order to avoid them. I then decided to go one step further to find natural ways to produce my own products as alternatives both to get away from the commercialism involved in beauty products and also to save some money, and the environment! Although this started out on more of a personal journey to health and well-being, I started to see the bigger picture of creating less waste and allowing fewer chemicals into our environment. The link below shows one of the websites that I found most useful and interesting, though there are many if you search around:

The chart (perhaps minus the half-naked model) could be used to exemplify some of the harmful chemicals that we come in contact with on a daily basis and start dialogue about what other products might contain these chemicals (such as cleaning products?). As the beginning of a lesson, students could check out the labels of products they use daily or ones that are in their cupboards for any of the above chemicals. They will probably be surprised at the amount of chemicals they come into contact with on a daily basis! They could then look at natural alternatives and decide what natural products have which properties. For example, one of the products often found in natural beauty aid is lavender. A quick search even on Wikipedia highlights the benefits of lavender as:

believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation.[9] An infusion of flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water is used to sooth and relax at bedtime[citation needed]. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) is used to treat acne when diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.[citation needed] A recent clinical study investigated anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate, in the form of capsules, was generally well tolerated. It showed meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.[18]Lavender can be used to treat different types of cancers, such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer. Although it has not been completely proven that lavender is effective towards these cancers, many studies have shown that lavender has led to disease stabilization or tumor regression.[19]Lavender may be very effective with wounds; however, Lavender Honey (created from bees feeding on lavender plants), instead of lavender essential oil has the best effects of uninfected wounds. (

Students can explore using the recipes in the website, finding their own websites, or even experimenting with developing their own natural products through careful research on the different properties of natural products. It is important to point out that there can be negative effects of certain products as well, and allergies related to them. Even something as seemingly innocuous as lavender has shown to have the following negative effects:

Lavender oil can be a powerful allergen, and it is also recommended that it should not be ingested during pregnancy and breastfeeding.[21]

In vitro, lavender oil is cytotoxic. It increases photosensitivity as well. Lavender oil is cytotoxic to human skin cells in vitro (endothelial cells and fibroblasts) at a concentration of 0.25%. Linalool, a component of lavender oil, may be its active component.[22] Aqueous extracts reduced mitotic index, but induced chromosomal aberrations and mitotic aberrations in comparison with control, significantly. Aqueous extracts induced breaks, stickiness, pole deviations and micronuclei. These effects were related to extract concentrations.[23]

However, according to a 2005 study “although it was recently reported that lavender oil, and its major constituent linalyl acetate, are toxic to human skin cells in vitro, contact dermatitis to lavender oil appears to occur at only a very low frequency. The relevance of this in vitro toxicity to dermatological application of lavender oils remains unclear.”[24]

In terms of phototoxicity, a 2007 investigative report from European researchers stated that, “Lavender oil and sandalwood oil did not induce photohaemolysis in our test system. However, a few reports on photosensitivity reactions due to these substances have been published, e.g. one patient with persistent light reaction and a positive photo-patch test to sandalwood oil.”[25]

In 2007, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine which indicated that studies in human cell lines indicated that both lavender oil and tea tree oil had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. They concluded that repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynaecomastia in some boys.[26] The Aromatherapy Trade Council of the UK has issued a rebuttal, [27] and it is also disputed by the Australian Tea Tree Association, a group that promotes the interests of Australian tea tree industry.[28](

Also keep in mind that more extensive research can be done on the properties of such oils.

This exercise or one similar to it touches on the pillars of exploring approaches to peace by looking at peace as an environmental standpoint, and skill building by building, practicing and adopting life skills that bring about peace through attention to our environment. As is stated in our module on peace through environmental education, many agree that “life on Earth has entered its most precarious phase in history.” Environmental education considers how to balance respect for nature and its sustained health with human needs. While we might argue that we need certain products to feel good and feel good about ourselves, there are options to do so without harming our bodies or the environment. I challenge everyone to try just one of these recipes and cut out some amount of harmful chemicals from our daily routines not just for the environment, but for ourselves!