December 1st, 2009 cate
One gift idea we really like to embrace each year during the holiday season, is food. Why? We just feel that food, provided its packaging isn’t too copious and that is not laden with chemicals, is highly environmentally responsible. For one, food is eaten which creates little actual trash unlike gifts made of, for example, plastic and pvc materials and wrapped in plastic, which all eventually piles up in city dumps then leaches their toxic chemicals into the water shed. Next, many food gifts come in containers or baskets that can be re-used or recycled.
We like offering organic, edible gifts because we think people really appreciate them and it leaves us feeling good that we haven’t contributed much to the planet’s problems. A particularly insidious issue comes from plastic toys for children. Not only are they bad for the environment because yes, at some point, they will end up in a dump – but also they’ve found many of these plastic toys encumbered with Bisphenol A, a dangerous and unhealthy chemical found in many plastics. Why would anyone risk the health of little kids by giving them these hazardous chemicals?
Here’s an idea for kids. These colorful vanilla and sugar animal cookies are certified organic (all natural, no preservatives, nut-free) and just overall fun. They are a great alternative to gifting plastic toys, and are packaged in recycled boxes.
O r d e r t h e s e n o w
August 3rd, 2009 cate
From American Most Trusted Pharmacist:
“…Artificial sweeteners like saccharin (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (NutraSweet) are lab-created chemicals that are food-additives; they should not be considered “food.”
Some experts think that artificial sweeteners belong to a class of harmful chemicals called “excitotoxins” which can make brain cells fire like crazy, damaging or killing them. They can cause free radical damage in nerve cells. I wonder – if in time- we will find a connection between people who use excessive amounts of the pretty packets with those who experience conditions stemming from their head, for example, depression, panic attacks, seizures, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease and even manic depression.
I am particularly annoyed that many diabetes educators promote artificial sweeteners to people with diabetes, Why? Because some preliminary studies point to their detrimental effect on blood sugar and pancreatic function. Even more disturbing, a Duke University study has concluded these compounds may actually contribute to obesity, not weight loss!
The artificial sweetener story gets confusing because a few studies insist that human consumption is safe. So here is some research which explains why I shy away from non-natural sweeteners:
–A 2008 study published in Preventative Medicine concluded that, “Regular use of artificial sweeteners for 10 years or more was positively associated with urinary tract tumors.”
–In January 2009, the trial began for McNeil-PPC, Inc. versus the sugar industry. Makers of Splenda have to defend themselves against claims that they used false advertising or deceptive marketing campaigns in order to convince Americans that Splenda is natural and safe because it comes from sugar. (It may start out that way, but the end product does not occur in nature, hence the trouble.)
–A 2008 Duke University study published in The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health concluded that sucralose contributes to obesity, destroys your healthy camp of intestinal bacteria and may interfere with absorption of prescription drugs.
–A study by researchers at the University of Florida found that aspartame may increase the frequency of migraines by up to 50 percent.
–At higher temperatures, a compound in aspartame converts to formaldehyde and then to another chemical which could spark neurological symptoms that could be mistaken for multiple sclerosis. “
August 1st, 2009 cate
You probably already know this but I thought I’d post this list of the 10 Unhealthiest Restaurants in America. Sadly, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg…
4. Carl’s Jr.
5. Continue Reading
July 29th, 2009 cate
“The final implementation earlier this month of Turkey’s ban on smoking was hailed as a huge victory for public health. On billboards all around Istanbul, smiley-faced bubbles floated across clear blue skies alongside messages such as “Hello to a smoke-free Turkey.” But one environmental engineer says it will take more than banning cigarettes in enclosed spaces to truly clear the air.
While some have portrayed the ban as part of a broader anti-vice campaign by the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Eylem Tuncaelli sees it more as a way for political leaders to avoid dealing with the country’s real air-pollution problems.
Industrial pollution causes cancer too
“Unfortunately, it is impossible to speak of smoke-free air space in Turkey,” Tuncaelli, the president of the Istanbul branch of the Environmental Engineers’ Chamber (ÇMO), told the media-advocacy group Bianet. “People are facing the risk of cancer even without being exposed to cigarette smoke.”
In Dilovası, an industrial city in the Marmara region, levels of air-borne toxins are 30 times higher than European Union standards, Tuncaelli said, adding that 32 percent of deaths in the area in recent years have been attributed to cancer.
300,000 tons of sulfur oxide
In the southwest city of Yatağan, a coal-fired power plant has spewed more than 300,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air since it opened in 1982. Environmentalists have called for the facility to be shut down.
Tuncaelli says environmental laws are often not enforced, allowing factories to get away with not controlling or filtering their emissions. Adds the engineer: “If the ‘smoke-free air space’ slogan is meant to be supported, it is much more important to reduce air pollution caused by the industry before banning cigarettes.” Via: “Smoke-free Air Space? What About Dilovası and Yatağan?”
July 22nd, 2009 cate
“If you’re a Whole Foods shopper who occasionally peruses the market’s free pamphlets and brochures, you might know a thing or two about the dangers of irradiated food–at least, that’s where I learned about it. We hear a lot of talk about harmful ingredients: dyes, preservatives, trans fats, and HFCS, for instance, but little is mentioned about this equally harmful process that can alter the molecular composition of the food you eat, damaging valuable vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, all in the name of making said food safer.
During irradiation, food is exposed to ionizing radiation in an effort to destroy microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, or insects that could be dangerous if consumed by people. In addition to sanitizing our food, irradiation can also be used to prevent sprouting, delay ripening, or increase juice yield–in other words, messing with a fruit or vegetable’s natural life process or progression. How exactly does irradiation achieve all these things? By damaging the DNA of the food in question, basically stunting any growth.
Considering how much time and effort is spent attempting to halt or reverse DNA damage to our own cells, then, it’s ironic that … ”