Ghost Peppers Are Saving US Grasslands — by Scaring Off Hungry Mice

Hungry mice that love gobbling down grass seeds meant to restore U.S. grasslands are being deterred by an unexpected product that biologists say has saved the day: chili powder. According to Science online magazine, coating the grass seeds with chili power — which contains capasaicin, the very component that gives chili peppers their fiery taste — has reduced the number of seeds the mice consume by 86 percent.

Researchers noted it took four years to find just the right recipe to keep from destroying the grass seeds, but it shows that nontoxic, natural plant methods of controlling the mice is possible.

This news is exciting because I’m always searching for ways to help you find nontoxic ways of living life, without the need for chemicals or poisons that can make matters worse. If nothing else, of the 80,000 registered chemicals in the U.S., only a few hundred are actually tested for safety, so this one thing makes it even more imperative to find natural “chemicals” made by nature to do what the chemical industry would have you buy.

Of course, the chemical industry would have you believe their products are perfectly safe, but others — like the terminal cancer patient suing Monsanto (now Bayer) over its Roundup herbicide — disagree.

The good news is that, like the featured chili powder and mice experiment proved, there are natural alternatives to every type of pest, be it plant, microbe, insect or … mice. Much of this begins with paying attention to the soils of the Earth, because the higher the quality of the soil, the better off we all are. The key is to have high amounts of organic matter in your soil, which is one of the benefits of one of my favorite topics: organic and biodynamic farming — which builds organic matter.

While we’re on the subject of capsaicin, though, I can’t help but mention that chili peppers and capsaicin have tremendous health benefits, from help with pain relief and weight management to lowering your risk for cancer and boosting your digestive health.
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