Happy Earth Day! To complete our Earth Day Tips countdown we've listed the top environmental concerns people have and the categories you can take action and support.
It's not uncommon to turn to food when you need a pick me up. But too often, food choices derail our plans to eat healthy. Foods can have a noticeable effect on our moods. We know that eating healthy will help us lose weight, but there are so many other benefits. For one, you'll feel more upbeat and energized. Now munching on blueberries isn't going to do much for you if you've just devoured a double cheeseburger, but eating healthy foods, at least 80% of the time, will help you find more energy, think more clearly and lose weight.
It’s not that we’re completely clueless about shielding ourselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays, it’s just that we slip up in the details, such as how long to wait before putting on more sunscreen, when to toss the half used bottle, and what body parts are most vulnerable to solar radiation. This, in part, might explain why the rate of skin cancer in the US remains stubbornly high. It’s the most common form of cancer affecting more people than breast. Lung, Prostate, and colon cancers combined. And its deadliest form, melanoma, is on the rise.
Today's Earth Day Tip is all about getting kids involved. Here are some fun ideas to inspire and encourage the young people in our lives to value and protect the earth and all its living creatures.
Its that time of year again...... of course we're talking about "Peach Month" & Peach season! The sweet and versatile fruit is a favorite among many families as we don't have a chance to get spoiled with it throughout the year. Peaches are best from June to the end of August and is the usual time we get our peaches here in the states. What you may not know about peaches is how surprisingly healthy than can be for you! Stick with us here for a few minutes and you'll see how you can get a great health boost in the next month, while enjoying the flavorful fruit.
We've all seen it, whether your looking for it or not, those "USDA Organic" labels are showing up more, and in more places too. It's no longer pushed into a "special" corner or separated from the bunch, and it's also available year round. It's now called "Big Organic" and you can find non local organic foods in the grocery aisles year-round, thanks to organics' meteoric expansion during the past three decades. It's at this intersection of supply and demand where some people question organics' exponential growth wondering if the movement has lost its soul along the way.
One question I wish I’d known the answer to a long time ago is: Can you trust a non toxic or green cleaning products label? It’s tough when they’re not really tested. Here are some statistics: Of the over 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. the EPA has required toxicity testing on fewer than 500. 42 billion pounds of chemicals are produced and imported each year, we don’t know the health risks of 75% of them. Less than 20% of the estimated chemicals manufactured in the past 50 years have been assessed for their neurotoxicity.
Its April again and with this great month comes Earth Month, Week & Earth Day. Our founders birthday is also Earth Day so we always enjoy a fun Earth Day Birthday! Last year we did a countdown to Earth Day with 7 Tips leading up to the 22nd, and this year we will again do a countdown. The 5 day countdown this year will go Today - Friday and end on the Monday of Earth Day.
Those nutrition labels on the back of food packages may soon become easier to read and understand. The Food and Drug Administration says knowledge about nutrition has evolve over the last 20 years, and the labels need to reflect that.
We like the majority of our Earth Day Tips to be low cost or no cost, but still have a big impact. Earth Day Tip #4 is no exception and can actually make a bigger impact on you and the planet than you may think. Tip 4 is Bring Some Green Inside. We mean this in the form of growing a small plant or plants in you house. This tip focuses on your "mini environment" as we tend to spend much more time indoors than out these days. Many studies have shown that the air in our homes is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoors and many times even more.
For many parts of the U.S. and abroad this time of year marks the dead of the Winter season. It can bring brutally cold temperatures and make it hard to think about leaving the warm to go work out or just get to some exercise equipment. As I write this article it is -16 here in Minnesota with a -41 windchill! So believe me in saying its not always easy. But as we'll see below we may have some rather simple options that can provide us with huge benefits. Everyone knows walking is good exercise, but it has another benefit: a daily 20-minute walk can cut the risk of Dementia by 40%, studies are showing. In a previous article we wrote it shows that people's number #1 fear as they get older is losing their mind.
For our 3rd Earth Day Tip, we wanted to play to you creators! Someone who likes to take something old or used and make not only something creative, but really cool & different. We're also going off an idea that is not necessarily new, but has picked up a newer alias called "Upcycling". There are a ton of materials that can be upcycled as well as different levels of difficulty to pulling them off, so we chose 6 ideas we though landed somewhere in the middle. So lets get into it -
They're called "super agers" - men and women who are in their 80's & 90's, but with brains and memories that seem far younger. Researchers are looking at this rare group in the hope that they may find ways to help protect others from memory loss.
The holidays are behind us and the sun & nice weather seem like a only a distant dream. No wonder we feel like climbing back into bed. According to Consumer Reports, up to 20 percent of adults suffer from subsyndromal SAD, a milder from of seasonal affective disorder, better known as the winter blues.
When thinking of sweet fruits and tasty vegetables, many people think of spring and summer harvest. But they tend to forget what great food we have to look forward to in the fall months. This is a time when many people are gearing up for colder weather and need a good boost to the immune system along with continued overall nutrition.
I was recently reading through the Sunday paper and this stat caught my attention: "Cancer cases expected to surge 57% worldwide in the next 20 years." For some reason these stats don't really surprise me anymore, It's all doom, gloom and shock in the news it seems. The next line was "its an imminent "human disaster" that will require a renewed focus on prevention to combat," according to the World Health Organization. Really? You're just coming up with this?
If you're familiar with the massive industrial chemical epidemic we've been dealing with for the last 30 years, than this new finding should come as no surprise to you. A compound (Triclosan) found in antibacterial soaps, cosmetics, toothpastes and other products is increasing in Minnesota lakes and rivers according to research by the University of Minnesota. We recently exposed the chemical triclosan, in our article Can We Really Trust Antimicrobial Soaps? . Did you know: 81,000 chemicals have been registered with the EPA in the last 30 years and fewer than 20% have been tested for toxicity.
PlanetSolar’s 2013 campaign, which began on April 8 in La Ciotat (France), came to an end today in Paris. In successfully completing an unprecedented campaign of scientific measurements along the Gulf Stream in collaboration with the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the world’s largest solar vessel has demonstrated throughout this journey that she could be used for practical purposes. The ship sailed over 20,000 kilometers over the course of 156 days, raising the general public’s awareness about climate issues and promoting solar energy at each stopover. The Parisian stopover brings this 2013 mission to a close. A series of events will be organized in the ship’s vicinity from September 10-15, Port de Javel-Bas, quai André Citroën
One question I wish I’d known the answer to a long time ago is: Can you trust a non toxic or green cleaning products label?
It’s tough when they’re not really tested. Here are some statistics:
So consider this point: If the company has been making a chemically based product for years and then suddenly when the market trend shifts towards natural and non-toxic products comes out with a so called “natural” or “green” product that should definitely raise a big red flag. Where is their motive? True product safety OR profit margin!
Companies that start out with a deep commitment to safety first & non toxicity to humans and the environment tend to stay true to that philosophy. Many other companies will shift back and forth based on a trending market, not a true commitment.
That’s the answer to a question I wish I’d known much earlier: Can you trust a non toxic or green cleaning products label? If you liked this article and want to get more like it go to TheGetGreenKey.Com and you can get my 20 free articles on the TOP things you MUST know about your cleaning & laundry products & what things I wish I’d know a long time ago! See you in the next article!
The argument that a vegetarian diet is more planet-friendly than a carnivorous one is straightforward: If we feed plants to animals, and then eat the animals, we use more resources and produce more greenhouse gases than if we simply eat the plants.
As with most arguments about our food supply, through , it’s not that simple. Although beef is always climatically costly, pork or chicken can be a better choice than broccoli, calorie for calorie. Comparing cows with pigs, and meat with plants, is often done using data from the Environmental Working Group, which produced a report in 2011 that detailed the environmental cost of meat. The report includes a chart that ranks various foods according the amount of emissions generated in the course of production.
Ruminants are the worst offenders, with lamb generating 39 kilograms of carbons dioxide for each kilogram of meat, and beef generating 27. Then come pork (12), turkey (11) and chicken (7). Plants are all lower, ranging from potatoes (3) to lentils (1). But there’s another way to look at the same information. If you stop eating beef, you can’t replace a kilogram of it, which has 2,280 calories, with a kilogram of broccoli, at 340 calories. You have to replace it with 6.7 kilograms of broccoli. Calories are the great equalizer, and it makes sense to use them as the basis of the calculation.
“There are other arguments, on both sides – so many that it’s easy to pic the ones that make the case for whichever kind of agriculture you’re inclined to support. Grass-fed cows don’t compete for plants humans can eat, and animals grazing on non-irrigated pastures don’t compete for water that could be used to grow food (true), but grass digestion creates more methane than grain digestion (also true).”
When you reorder the chart to look at climate impact by calorie, the landscape looks different. The ruminants still top the chart, but the monogastrics look a whole lot better. Low-calorie crops like broccoli don’t do so well. Although beef still looks bad and beans still look good, pork and poultry are on a par with green vegetables. (Which means that a beef-and-leaf paleo diet is the worst choice going environmentally speaking)
The claim that vegetarianism is kinder to the planet also fails to consider a couple of kinds of meat that aren’t on the Environmental Working Group’s chart.
Deer and Canadian geese do active damage in the areas where they’re over populated, and wild pigs leave destruction in their path wherever they go. Eat one of those, and do the planet a favor.
Most people, though, are most likely to get their food from the farm, and it’s important to note that, although the chart attaches one number to each kind of food, farming styles vary widely and not all pork chops or tomatoes, or eggs are created equal. Unfortunately, its all but impossible for us consumers to figure out the climate impact of the particular specimens on our dinner table, whether they’re animal or vegetable.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, organic agriculture’s CO2 emissions per acre are significantly less than those of conventional agriculture. But yields per acre are also generally lower, and that mitigates the savings. Counterintuitively, the strawberry you buy from the farmer down the road might have a bigger environmental footprint that the strawberry you buy from far away, where a large farm in an ideal climate may grow it more efficiently. But it might not. You can’t know. It’s maddening.
When it comes to meat, trying to eat responsibly presents a genuine conundrum: What’s best for the planet is often what’s worst for the animal. The efficiencies of modern conventional livestock farming do indeed decrease greenhouse gases, but they also require the confinement and high density that draw the ire of animal welfare advocates.
“The case for plants has to include their nutritional value. Carbon aside, broccoli beats pork, hand down.”
Growing an animal as quickly as possible decreases climate impact because it’s that many fewer days (or weeks or months) the animal is here to pollute. Increasing feed efficiency likewise decreases the acreage devoted to growing the animal’s food.
Rich Pirog, senior associate director of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University, has studied the environmental impact of various ways of raising livestock; he has co-authored studies of Iowa cattle and pigs. For beef, he found that feedlots, where cattle are kept at high densities and fed grain, beat pastures, where animals are allowed to graze, in the tally of environmental impact. (A study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academics of Science reached a similar conclusion.)
There are other arguments, on both sides – so many that it’s easy to pic the ones that make the case for whichever kind of agriculture you’re inclined to support. Grass-fed cows don’t compete for plants humans can eat, and animals grazing on non-irrigated pastures don’t compete for water that could be used to grow food (true), but grass digestion creates more methane than grain digestion (also true). Grazing cattle on grasslands can sequester carbon in the soil, but improperly managed grazing can make things worse rather than better. Pollution from manure reservoirs on conventional farms can threaten water and crops, but manure in reservoirs, from animals in confinement, can be converted to energy by methane digesters. Then there’s the price of meat, inevitably high in less efficient systems.
The meat vs other meat debate is irrelevant to the committed vegetarian, but there are issues other than greenhouse gases in the meat vs plant debate, too. The case for meat includes the ability of an animal to contribute constructively on an integrated farm (chickens help with pest control), the potential for turning food waste (spent grain, whey, expired dairy) into high-quality protein, and the ability to use grasslands, inappropriate for row crops, to produce human food (with grazing cows or goats).
The case for plants has to include their nutritional value. Carbon aside, broccoli beats pork, hand down. And it has to consider killing, which many plant eaters find unacceptable. While the moral implications are beyond the brief of a column devoted to matters of fact, we all have to acknowledge that agriculture is an animal killing enterprise. Does the rat, poisoned because it’s a threat to the grain stores, count for less than the pig, raised and slaughtered with care?
There is no one label (vegetarian, local, organic) that carries all the responsibility. There isn’t a last word, which means there’s not a lot of room for sanctimony. While I think we all need to pay attentions, vegetarians shouldn’t tell omnivores to eat quinoa instead of pork any more than omnivores should tell vegetarians to eat venison instead of quinoa.
Where do you stand? Tell us what you think in the comments or by joining the conversation on any of the social networks to the left of this article.
Foods can have a noticeable effect on our moods. We know that eating healthy will help us lose weight, but there are so many other benefits. For one, you’ll feel more upbeat and energized.
Now munching on blueberries isn’t going to do much for you if you’ve just devoured a double cheeseburger, but eating healthy foods, at least 80% of the time, will help you find more energy, think more clearly and lose weight.
Try colorful fruits like cranberries, plums or pineapple. These fruits contain antioxidants that fight off free radicals known to drain energy and damage neurons in the brain. Leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are also packed with antioxidants. Aim for several servings of colorful fruits and leafy greens per day.
For sharper focus, reach for foods rich in omega-3 fats, such as salmon, mackerel, herring or sardines. Fatty-acid-rich foods help cushion your brain cells, improving mood and memory. These foods will help you feel better, and can reduce your risk for dementia down the road. Aim for 3 servings a week.
You may be temped to grab a bag of chips. Instead, peel an orange. Oranges can give you an instant energy and mood boost. This super-nutritious citrus fruit is full of vitamin C, which helps pump oxygen through your body and brain to recharge your system.
Snacking on vitamin-C rich bell peppers and citrus fruits may contribute to lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released when your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Research suggests large doses of vitamin C may actually stop stress before it starts by reducing the amount of cortisol released.
Enjoy a handful of dried, tart cherries before you call it a night. Besides their rich supply of antioxidants, cherries are high in melatonin, the hormone that improves quality of sleep. An increase in the hormone may tell your brain it’s time to wind down for the night.
Reach for a handful of nuts like almonds and pecans. Why? They are high in B vitamins, such as thiamine, which may improve the body’s ability to withstand stress.
So the next time your feeling one of the above emotions, reach for these foods to boost your mood! Do you have a favorite mood boost food you go to? Let us know in the comments below.