• 01Aug

    Samantha, selected from Planet Green
    7 Superfoods with the Smallest Footprint


    posted by Samantha, selected from Planet Green Jul 31, 2010 5:07 pm
    filed under: Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food & Recipes, acai, asparagus, carbon footprint, Cherries, chili peppers, environmental footprint, environmental impact, flax, quinoa, wheatgrass

    By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

    We all want to get the most out of what we eat, and a varied diet is always the best way to do that. That said, some foods pack more nutrients per punch than others—here is a look at some that bring the most potent benefits with minimal (for the most part) impact on the environment.

    Tart cherries are thought to decrease risk of heart disease, alleviate arthritis pain and gout, and reduce inflammation. They have a few other healthful qualities to boast—plus, 95 percent of the cherries eaten in the U.S. are grown in the U.S., making them a super-eco-food.

    It’s a powerful detoxifier, it is rich in chlorophyll, certain amino acids, vitamins and minerals, plus it’s been used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and diarrhea—and it’s easy to grow yourself, making it just about as local as you can get.

    One cup has more than a day’s worth of vitamin K, and is rich in folate, vitamins A, C and B6, thiamin, niacin, tryptophan, and fiber. And the eco-bonus is that it’s another you’re likely to find growing closer to home than some of the other celebrated superfoods.

    It’s the only complete-protein grain (that actually isn’t a grain at all), it contains iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, and researchers are working throughout South America to make its cultivation more sustainable all the time.

    A fish-free way to get those omega 3 fatty acids—growing flax is easier on the environment than fish farming, plus you avoid the nasty chemicals and toxins that make fish oil not such a great bargain.

    Chili peppers
    They may help the body to burn fat.

    With 10 to 30 times the antioxidant content of wine and powerful neutralizing effect on free radicals in the body, acai has become one of the most well-known superfoods, and while it’s not grown locally, it is (with most companies, anyway) flash-frozen without chemicals, and is harvested in a sustainable manner by small independent farmers—meaning local economies benefit and the local environment is under good care.

  • 31Jul

    BPA-Laden Receipts in Popular Stores
    posted by Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network Jul 30, 2010 5:03 pm
    filed under: Conscious Consumer, Health & Wellness, News & Issues, BPA, cvs, receipts, safeway, Whole Foods


    By Siel Ju, MNN

    BPA, aka bisphenol-A is revealing itself more and more in our lives. The endocrine disruptor linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and lots of other ills, has shown up in some surprising places — including cash register receipts.

    This week, EWG released a report showing not only how much BPA is on these cash receipts, but which companies are giving out the most tainted receipts.

    Ready for the bad news? If you guessed that McDonald’s and KFC serve up BPA alongside their unhealthy monstrosities, you are correct:

    The receipt for a McDonald’s Happy Meal purchased in Clinton, Conn., on April 21, 2010, had an estimated 13 milligrams of BPA. That equals the amount of BPA in 126 cans of Chef Boyardee Overstuffed Beef Ravioli in Hearty Tomato & Meat Sauce, one of the products with the highest concentrations of BPA in EWG’s 2007 tests of canned foods.

    Receipts from CVS, Wal-Mart, Safeway, and the U.S. Postal Service also contained alarming amounts of BPA. But organic foodies at Whole Foods can’t rest easy either; at least one store in the Whole Foods chain gave out BPA-tainted receipts. That means if you decided to snack healthy, bought an organic orange at Whole Foods, took the receipt handed to you, then peeled and ate the orange on your way home, you could very well have eaten the BPA that rubbed off the receipt onto your hands and onto your pricey orange.

    Next: stores with BPA-free receipts
    BPA-Laden Receipts in Popular Stores
    posted by Megan, selected from Mother Nature Network Jul 30, 2010 5:03 pm
    filed under: Conscious Consumer, Health & Wellness, News & Issues, BPA, cvs, receipts, safeway, Whole Foods

    * < * 2 of 2 * >

    Now, although the BPA content of these receipts are much higher than in canned foods and bottles, EWG says the risk of BPA exposure is unlikely to be proportionally higher for receipts.

    “The amount of BPA that enters the body after a person handles a receipt is unknown but likely a fraction of the total BPA on the paper.” Still, EWG cites a July study with the Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland, which found that BPA from receipts can be absorbed into the skin. “This raises the possibility that the chemical infiltrates the skin’s lower layers to enter the bloodstream directly.” And of course, if you lick your fingers or handle food after touching receipts, you could be putting BPA into your food.

    What’s a BPA-avoidant person who has already banned the can and gotten a BPA-free reusable bottle to do? EWG recommends declining receipts whenever you can, washing hands before eating, storing receipts separately, and not using alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. But the receipts pose a seriously pesky problem that infiltrates all areas of life. If you buy a magazine at a bookstore, will you remember to wash your hands before, say, licking a finger to turn a page?

    There is a little good news: Target, Starbucks, Bank of America ATMs and — in case Barbara Boxer’s reading this post — the U.S. Senate cafeteria, all give BPA-free receipts. And hopefully, as this BPA receipt issue gains traction, more companies will switch to BPA-free receipts. Because while EWG points out that the “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated a program to evaluate the safety and availability of alternatives to BPA in thermal paper,” it’s unclear how long this evaluation — let alone actual enforcement of new anti-BPA laws — will take.

    Related Links:
    What is BPA?
    Walmart Foundation funds school solar projects
    IKEA to banish incandescent bulbs


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