Are Your Greens Clean?

Are your greens clean? There is another aspect to eating clean that many of us forget about. I say this with a “disclaimer”. Studies have been comparing the benefits of organic versus non organic produce for years, and despite all of that, there hasn’t been a clear case for the nutritional advantages of organic food.

For me, I look at the list of produce with the most pesticide residue and choose organic for these whenever I can.

For the third year in a row, strawberries top the “Dirty Dozen” list put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The list has been published each year since 2004 and ranks popular fruits and vegetables based on pesticide contamination.

The group found that one third of all conventional, or non-organic, strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides. One sample of strawberries was found to have an “astounding” 22 pesticide residues, EWG said.

Spinach, the second produce item on the list, contained pesticide residues in 97 percent of conventional, or non-organic, samples. Additionally, more than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, peaches, potatoes, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide, according to the activist group.

The full list of the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” includes:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The Environmental Working Group also released a companion list of 15 foods with the lowest levels of pesticide residues detected in federal testing.

The full list of the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen”:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbages
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplants
  11. Honeydew melons
  12. Kiwis
  13. Cantaloupes
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

 

Be Your Own Health Detective PART 2

Whatever skin issues you might be manifesting almost always point to imbalances in your body as whole. Your skin reflects the health of your body and that’s great news when the body system is vibrant and running on all cylinders! But when the skin shows evidence of compromise due to skin eruptions, blemishes or  excessive dryness, what do you do to address what your skin is telling you?

Where do you begin?

If you are like most of us, you react quickly, looking for a quick fix, maybe something you saw on a commercial or a magazine or you reach for that left-over tube of skin cream in your cabinet that you haven’t touched in months.

Here is the thing to know about all those “quick” fixes – they only address the surface symptoms and they do nothing to address the underlying imbalances.

To address skin health, actually means you need to address your health from a global perspective.To address skin health, actually means you need to address your health from a global perspective.

CLICK HERE for my FREE EBOOK called Love the Skin You’re Living In – 10 Habits for Glowing Skin

To uncover the source of your skin complaints you will probably have do a bit of detective work. Let’s begin like any good “whodunit” by gathering information!

  1. Within the last 3-6 months has your skin appearance changed?
  2. What else has changed in your life?
  3. Has your stress level increased?
  4. Did you change or begin any new medications?
  5. What about your diet? Any changes there?
  6. Have you been exposed to new products in your environment, e.g. perfumes cosmetics, bedding, laundry detergent…?

Ok, now you have some data, right? Now let’s investigate more closely. With a magnified mirror look really look at your skin.  What do you notice about the color, texture, borders of the different areas of your skin?

The Eco-Impact of Meatless Mondays

I was in Mothers market this week and I found a RAW HUMMUS WRAP that has this on the container

“Adopting a plant-based diet is the single most powerful action an individual can take to stop climate change, end world hunger and save our planet”

This got my attention. So I did my research.

I found that adopting “Meatless Mondays”, we can make a serious impact on our carbon footprint by eating fewer animal foods, according to several studies. Italian researchers performed a life-cycle assessment to evaluate the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of several dietary patterns (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006.) They discovered that an organic vegan diet had the smallest environmental impact, while a conventionally farmed diet that included meat had the greatest impact on the environment. The more meat is consumed, the greater the eco-impact. Here are a few reasons:

  1. large amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are used  to produce animal feed
  2. large volumes of water and fuel are needed to take animals to market.
  3. Byproducts of animal food production include high greenhouse gas emissions, toxic manure lagoons, deforestation and pollution of groundwater, rivers, streams and oceans.

Beef  has the single greatest impact on the environment. In essence, animals make inefficient “food production machines” because they use large amounts of feed, water and fossil fuels to turn plants into protein, said the scientists. Producing one calorie from beef requires forty calories of fossil fuels, whereas producing one calorie from grains requires only 2.2 calories of fuel. Thus, plant-based diets can play an important role in preserving environmental resources and in reducing hunger in poor nations.

The EWG found that eating less meat can significantly reduce one’s carbon footprint. If a person ate one less burger per week for one year, it would be the equivalent of driving 320 miles less. And if a four-person family took steak off the menu one day per week for one year, it would be like taking their car off the road for almost three months. If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

Thank the “Meatless Monday” program for fueling the idea that everyone – not just vegetarians – should eat less meat and more plants. Its message is sweet and simple: People and the planet can benefit by eating less meat – so just shun it one day a week. Countless organizations, restaurants, schools and hospitals have jumped onto the bandwagon to celebrate this simple concept.