Tag: toxins

10 Great Uses for Vinegar (Ditch Those Chemicals!)

While we typically use vinegar for salad dressings and pickling, this beneficial acid has a multitude of wonderful household uses. Here are just a few. Be sure to add in your own tips in the comments below!

1. Better Tasting Coffee

Once a month, brew up a pot of white vinegar. Follow with two cycles of water before steeping your next round of joe. (You can do this for your washing machine as well.)

2. Rust-free Spigots, Nuts, Bolts, and Tools

Simply soak the rusty item in white vinegar overnight!

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Should Pregnant Women Eat Fish?

This is officially the last aquatic health post of the week. However, the issue of pregnancy, mercury contamination and fish consumption is just too important to skip. In an about-face, experts are now recommending (really pretty much begging) that women consume fish during pregnancy. They say that the fat in fish is crucial to proper fetal development and this far outweighs any concerns about possible birth defects due to chemical contamination. 90% of women don’t eat sufficient amounts of fish during pregnancy, and the consequences are severe: impaired cognitive function in babies and depression in mothers. It’s a stand-off between environmental groups and public health advocacy groups, with the FDA just trying to stay afloat as usual.

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Shellfish: Healthy or Not?

Shrimp have long been on the average dietitian’s “bad” list. The belief was that lobster, crabs, clams, shrimp and other shellfish were high in cholesterol, and therefore detrimental to cardiovascular health. But according to the L.A. Times, the oft-cited information is completely wrong. Accurate measurements reveal that shellfish – even shrimp – are quite low in cholesterol.

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If This Happens to Fish, What Happens to Us?

95% of San Francisco area wastewater contains chemicals known to disrupt hormones. Marine scientists have already found male fish developing eggs in their reproductive organs. If this is happening to fish, what’s happening to humans?

The chemicals are common ingredients in household cleaners, personal care products, and cosmetics. Researchers from the Environmental Working Group postulate that fertility problems, birth defects and sexual dysfunction may be related to the frequent exposure to chemicals in our household products – and I think they’re right.

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The Easiest Guide to Safe Household Cleaners You Can Make Yourself

Save a Buck, Save the Planet, Save Your Health Store shelves are bursting with chemical cleaners for everything from stains to sinks to unpleasant odors (vegetable curry, the horror!). These days, “unpleasant” seems to mean any odor, period. Heaven forbid anything actually smell real. Walk down some aisles and your eyes will actually well with tears from the overwhelming levels of fragrances and chemical agents. We know these products are frequently bad for the environment, harmful to children, and dangerous for animals. Surely they’re not so healthy for adults, either. The truth is, most “dirtiness” and “germs” are fairly harmless, and we really don’t need those harsh cleansers for most household cleaning purposes. You also don’t need to kill bacteria left and right. Antibacterial cleaners are perfectly safe, contrary to popular internet wisdom; it’s just that they’re unnecessary most of the time. Now to it. There are many preparations you can whip up at home that are not only inexpensive and simple, but much safer and more eco-friendly, as well. In fact, there is really no reason not to get started! Who wouldn’t want to save cash, reduce chemical exposure, help the planet, think about the tiny tots, and still keep your pad sparkling and fresh? Here’s all you need to know: 1. Glass A few sheets of newspaper and a spritz of water. That’s it. Not only is this a nice way to recycle, it’s (almost) chemical-free. The best part is something any expert cleaning pro can tell you: newspaper makes glass gleam in a way Windex only dreams about. 2. Grease Fruit, Citrus Fruit You know about all the citrus cleaners (could that guy in the Oxyclean commercial be any more enthusiastic?). Go one step better: just squeeze some real orange, lemon or lime juice on the grease. You might have to let it soak a bit in some sudsy water, but the acid in citrus can degunk like you wouldn’t believe. Chemical free, delicious smell, and your dog can lick it! This is great for surfaces, plastic furniture and toys, dishes and the stovetop. (Note: lemons work best for surfaces; oranges have a higher sugar content, so while they’re great for dishes, they won’t do well on your stove. Also, don’t use citrus on anything that can be stained, like wood or fabric.) Another tip for tough grease removal: simply add a little soap and an inch or so of water to the offending pot or pan and boil away. Problem solved. Now did you really need the 409? WGyuri Flickr Photo (CC) 3. Wood To eliminate creaks, sprinkle a bit of baking powder in the cracks and wipe up with a damp towel. To simultaneously clean wood and keep a healthy luster, add 1/4 cup of olive oil to warm water and mop to your soul’s content. Olive oil contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial power. The Romans used it as a body cleanser and lotion (you can, too). You can also just mop with hot water. … Continue reading “The Easiest Guide to Safe Household Cleaners You Can Make Yourself”

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Avoiding Pesticides Is a Snap!

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Want to know which veggies are cleanest and which are shellacked in pesticides? Read on…

Helpful Food Shopping Guide

Learn about the cleanest produce, the “dirty dozen”, and scoop up other healthy shopping tips. This easy guide is free and it downloads in a snap!

Nothing Wasted

Waisted in the Wasteland has a must-read post about what Big Agra may be doing with all that bad pet food. We’re all for recycling, but this is going too far! Who wants to eat plastic?

Question of the day: do any of you make your own pet food?

Calling All Health Hacks!

Have you checked out Lifehack? (Not Lifehacker, a hot blog which helps you “geek to live”. Lifehack features healthy news and personal development ideas in addition to techie tips.) This is a terrific article on some of the healthiest foods for energy and longevity. Mark pointed out that he doesn’t think drinking 8 glasses of water daily needs to be a hard-and-fast rule of health. What do you think about that? Be sure to visit this great blog and add your own healthy food suggestions to their list. When you add your knowledge to bloggers’ articles, everyone learns a little bit more, so don’t be shy!

Obsessed with Big Moo?

Catch this hilarious video spoofing Big Moo from Stephen Colbert. (via Veggie Chic)

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The Trouble with Cured Meats

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Oh, that term: “cured meat”. What is being cured, exactly? (Other than curing meat of any health benefit?) Read on and learn, Apples.

Herbaceous!

A few months ago, Mark recommended herbs as a vegetable you might want to reconsider (these naturally medicinal veggies are excellent in salads or cooked with vegetables and meats). Herbs are vegetables? Yes, they are! Mom’s Organic House tells you why you ought to give herbs a chance. If you are interested in organic living, be sure to subscribe to Mom’s RSS feed…if you’re a web hipster, that is. We love that this blog is so big on being responsible. Your health is yours!

What’s your favorite way to herb out? We’d love to hear about your favorite herbs and how you use them in recipes.

This is LollyKnit’s Flickr Photo

Best Explanation of Fructose Ever

That pretty much sums it up. Here’s the clickativity.

This is dhammza’s Flickr Photo

Cured Meats and Lung Disease

Remember the big nitrites scare? New evidence confirms the danger of cured meats like sausage, hot dogs, chip meats, bacon and ham. Worst of all: bacon bits! A few of us Bees are vegetarians or “fishatarians”, while Mark firmly espouses responsible meat-eating (keeps things interesting around here).

Whatever your particular persuasion, cured meats don’t belong in anyone’s diet. (We know, we know, bacon is yummy.) Cured meats aren’t fresh, they usually aren’t very lean, and they’re full of all kinds of chemicals, salt, sugar, and dyes. If you want to get protein the carnivorous way, please remember that you’ll do yourself and the environment major favors by choosing organic, grass-fed and free-range products. This is your body, sugar snap! The cure for cured meats: statistics like these.

This is Gailf548’s Flickr Photo

Big, Bad Pharma

Bad Science’s Ben Goldacre examines the Big Pharma study-skewing controversy. In a nutshell: yes, they skew; but so does everybody. (Wait, is that supposed to make us feel good?) The article is excellent, so if you care about the future of drugs in medicine, or just really have a problem with Big Pharma, be sure to read it. In particular, we want to highlight the excellent idea for removing publication bias (the biggest problem, bar none, with the whole pharmacological picnic). Goldacre suggests that all trials, no matter the perceived utility, be reported in a public database of some sort. In other words, trials should be recorded from the start, not simply because they’re deemed worth publishing in hindsight. It’s one of those “uh, duh!” ideas that is so smart, so obvious, and so sensible, we are left to conclude that absence of said database = world has gone mad. (Check out Mark’s article on Big Pharma.)

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Did You Know We Eat Petroleum?

Did you know that the federal government allows oil to be added to foods? Not the vegetable kind of oil, either – I’m talking about that oil. The oil that runs your car, lubricates machinery, and gets made into clothes and computers and cars and containers. The same oil that is made into makeup and lotion and shampoo and occasionally pet food.

Environmental concerns aside, why is anybody adding oil to foods? It’s known by its common name, mineral oil. Evidently, adding mineral oil is a very common practice in processed and prepared foods because – drum roll – mineral oil doesn’t go rancid like vegetable oil. The reason mineral oil doesn’t go rancid is because it’s not a food.

The disinformation rumor mill frequently buzzes with conspiracy theories about petroleum products causing cancer, behavior disorders, and all sorts of public health concerns. The debate centers on mineral oil used in skincare products and cosmetics. I’m neither a petroleum researcher nor a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t exactly warm to the thought of petroleum being in my food, either. I have no opinion either way about the health of using petroleum-based personal care products. But food? That ain’t right.

If you’re also not a fan of consuming the stuff that comes from a substance used to make bottles, mattresses and other household items that won’t decompose until you-know-where freezes over, then you’ll want to consider avoiding these items – or at least check the ingredients panel:

1. Candy

2. Packaged baked goods

3. Mints and breath sprays

4. Laxatives

5. Many snack foods such as chips and crackers

6. Any product with Olestra, which is an indigestible plastic similar to regular old mineral oil. (Remember anal leakage? This toxic ingredient didn’t go anywhere – the FDA simply let food makers drop the warning label. Nice.)

If you’re aware of further oil-in-food research or happen to have a handy resource available, please send it my way. (And here’s what the WHO says. And the FDA. And MS experts.)

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[tags]petrolium, oils, snack foods, candy, packaged baked goods, Olestra, mineral oil[/tags]

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