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Stevia for the Earth. Sweetness in your balcony (2008)

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Stevia for the Earth is a campanign to raise awareness and promote the growth of edible and medicinal plants in urban balconies.
Detail of the edible leaves of a Stevia plant in a balcony.

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is an herb original from Paraguay and Brazil that contains a powerful natural sweetener substitutive for sugar. Many medicinal advantages are attributed to Stevia, especially for diabetics.  The sweetness of this plant is found on the leafs, which contain the steviosid and rebaudiosid, naturally sweet substances that don't contribute with calories and that the human body can metabolize without the common problems associated with an excessive consumption of sugar. In addition, it is proved that the regular consumption of Stevia leafs, both tender or in infusion, has beneficial effects in the glucose levels in blood for diabetics as well as in the blood pressure in high blood pressure people.

This plant, symbol of cultural movements such as Slow Food and the food sovereignty, is not authorised as an edible plant by the European Union. For this reason, it also becomes a great symbol of the nutritional and medicinal freedom. Some farmers , conscious of the potential of the nutritive and medicinal plants for our diet, are taking action to get the legal status for Stevia as food or medicine.

Terra Foundation, as an entity committed with practical ecology, wants to promote Stevia so that it can be valued as an interesting option for our balconies that it is also an independent source of health that is easily grown. It tolerates the Mediterranean climate well, and although it gets dry in winter, it blooms again in spring. We want to join the rest of campaigns around the world that are promoting the use of Stevia, and for this reason we want to offer information that might be useful to many people, specially the ones affected by diabetes. The information we have gathered it is not the result of our own investigations, but the recollection of many documents that we have summarised so that it is accessible to the general public.

Stevia for the Earth; sweetness in your balcony is a public campaign to raise awareness for a plant that nature has put in our hands so that people's health is not a slave of the pharmaceutical industry and the controversial artificial sweeteners . We invite readers get through the information offered and to act in consequence. From our point of view, we can only promote Stevia as a plant to be grown up in the balconies of our city. We would like this plant to become the symbol of a healthy diet, together with other many unknown plants which can make digestive and nutritious salads and which even have medicinal properties. In short, these plants have a potential for health that we cannot dismiss. This simple campaign of awareness wants to contribute with the following information which we include in the website for practical ecology terra.org.

-Stevia, a revolutionary plant  

-Stevia, the plant for diabetics  

-The cultivation of Stevia and its use in agriculture

This campaign is presented in the frame of the Popular Legislative Initiative promoted by the platform Som lo que Sembrem (We are what we sow) that aims to collect signatures so that the Catalan Parliament declares this region free of transgenic cultivation. The campaign in favour of Stevia to be planted in urban balconies is presented at the Fira per la Terra (Earth Day Fair) and Biocultura (2008). Put some sweetness in your balcony and plant a Stevia.