Tag Archives: general health

6 Delicious Weeds that You Can Eat

The availability of nutritionally-dense food that is free from the clutches of corporate agriculture companies like Bayer AG and Monsanto is a growing concern to many people. And, while food security is indeed something to take seriously, few people are aware of their own already-available food growing in their yards.

That?s why I?m launching FoodHouseProject.com, a food adventure site in which my husband Curtis and I are combining his extensive food security background with my love of nutrition and disgust for Big Agra, and combining our love of foraging, gardening and food, in general to turn our neglected old farmhouse built in 1890 into the ultimate food-growing home. We will showcase the abundance of food all around, demonstrate how easy it is to forage or grow more of your own food to save you money, boost your nutrition, reduce your ecological footprint and start the ultimate revolution in which we reclaim our food sovereignty from Big Agra.

While I encourage you to start growing your own food, either sprouts, microgreens, container-tomatoes or full-blown gardens, I also hope you?ll take a look at the food that?s already around you, in the form of wild edibles, or weeds, as most people call them. Here are some of my favorite weeds that offer delicious and nutritious, as well as free food.


Hard to miss, these pretty flowers often pop up in our lawns if we let the grass grow a bit. While they can be a bit bitter, both the leaves and the flowers are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. Don’t eat the ones you find in floral bouquets as they’ve likely been sprayed with toxic pesticides.

Dandelion Greens, Flowers and Roots

Even if you?re not familiar with foraging, finding dandelion greens should not be a problem. They?re almost everywhere. Choose the small leaves as more mature leaves tend to become bitter. The immature leaves can be added to salads, soups or saut?ed like spinach, along with a little garlic, olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of sea salt for a delicious side dish. The flowers can be added to salads and eaten raw. The roots are absolutely delicious when roasted, ground and added to smoothies or steeped as you would tea. They have a slightly chocolate-coffee flavor, which is why blending them with a handful of cashews, a dash of stevia, some almond milk and a little ice makes my favorite smoothie. Dandelion helps to boost the kidneys and liver.

Dandelion leaves, flowers, stems, and roots are edible

Lamb?s Quarters

Not just for grazing sheep, lamb?s quarters are found in plentiful quantities in most people?s lawns and make a delicious alternative to spinach. Add them raw to salads or saute them in a little olive oil and sea salt for a tasty plate of wild greens.


You won?t miss these herbs, particularly if you try to pick them without gloves. That?s because the fine hairs along the stems of the plant will give your skin a bit of a sting when you touch them. However, when they are cooked, they lose their stinging sensation. You?re left with one of the most nutritional greens you can eat, which are great in soups and stews. Nettles boost your overall nutrition but also help fight off seasonal allergies, which are a nuisance for many people this time of year.

Nettles are nutritional powerhouses that are delicious additions to your diet.

Plantain Leaves

Found in most lawns, you?ve probably stepped on these plants hundreds of time without consideration for them. Yet, they are an excellent addition to your diet. Chop and add to salads, soups or saute them as you would spinach.

Plantain leaves make a delicious alternative to spinach.

Red Clover Leaves and Flowers

Easy to spot when in flower thanks to their purplish-pink flowerheads, red clover leaves make an excellent addition to salads, soups or can be saut?ed for a delicious plate of wild greens. The flowers can be added to salads or infused in boiled water to make tea.

Red clover leaves and flowers are edible.

If you?re not 100% certain you?ve identified the correct plant, it is best not to eat them. If you?re unsure, you might find an herb walk or foraging course helpful. Of course, stay clear of lawns near highways or any that have been sprayed with pesticides.

Related Stories:

15 Green Challenges Just in Time for Earth Day
7 Ways to Make Your Garden More Earth-Friendly
7 Medicinal Weeds Growing in Your Yard

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World?s Healthiest News, founder of Scent-sational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

This article: 

6 Delicious Weeds that You Can Eat

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Sprout, Ultima, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 6 Delicious Weeds that You Can Eat

10 Simple 14-Day Challenges to Try This New Year

Making a list of New Year’s resolutions come January 1st is a tradition that feels as old as time. Unfortunately, many of us (half to be exact) fall off the wagon within a matter of weeks as motivation wains and old habits reappear.

One of the reasons New Year’s goals are so easy to break is that, even with the best intentions,?committing to a year-long endeavor is pretty monumental. We also have a tendency to make our intentions far too vague (for example: “lose weight” or “drink more water”), which only bites us in the you-know-what later on.

Sick of committing to wishy washy New Year’s resolutions? Why not go against the grain and take on something a little more manageable: a 14-day challenge! Each of these ideas below are meaningful but lighthearted, and will help spur the positive habits you’ve been trying to cultivate since…2003. Enjoy!

1. Keep your phone out of the bedroom for 14 days.

Keeping your bedroom a phone-free zone is actually really beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Also, social media is a major time suck…now might be a good time to throw off the chains for a bit.

2. Make a to-do list every morning for 14 days.

This one’s easy. Cut the overwhelm by writing out your goals every morning for two weeks. Getting into the habit will help you keep your head on straight and actually achieve your goals.

3. Eat a serving of vegetables with every meal for 14 days.

Whether you’re slimming down or just trying to stay healthy, veggies are your friends. Plus, they’re delish. Need to get those wheels turning? Check our recipes section for some inspiration!

4. Call your representative or sign a petition every day for 14 days.

Telephoning your legislator’s office is a great way to communicate your opinions on?everything from climate change to protection of local lands. Just follow this step-by-step guide from the Union of Concerned Scientists if you’ve never called your representatives before. Start a Care2 petition or connect with others who are leading the movement.

5. Pay someone a compliment every day for 14 days.

Some days there’s nothing better than hearing “You’re doing a great job” or “I love your taste in music.”?Share a compliment or two and spread the love!

6. Cook breakfast for yourself every morning for 14 days.

Breakfast may not necessarily be the most important meal of the day, but it sure can start your morning off on the right foot! Commit to making breakfast for yourself every day, even if it’s just a bowl of oatmeal?or a quick smoothie you can eat on your way out the door.

7. Add more citrus to your grocery cart every time you shop for 14 days.

When you wander by the citrus display in your grocery store, indulge! Grab up those clementines, grapefruits and pomelos and enjoy how they brighten up your fruit bowl and your belly.

8. Spend time with your hobby each day for 14 days.

Are you a painter? Do you crochet? Enjoy recording music? Whether it’s five minutes or an hour, spend a little time with your hobby every single day for 14 days.

9. Don’t buy a single piece of plastic for 14 days.

Plastic is killing our planet, contaminating our water and overwhelming our lives. Skip it for a while. See how it feels. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover that going plastic free isn’t so bad after all.

10. Find something to let go of every day for 14 days.

This can be either a physical item (old books or clothing that doesn’t fit) or something internal (guilt or an addiction to busyness). Whatever it is, let something go day by day for 14 days. You’ll feel lighter by the end of it!

Related Stories:

How to Fly Without Creating an Ounce of Trash
What Produce is In-Season in December?
5 Cozy Ideas for Winter Self Care

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Link – 

10 Simple 14-Day Challenges to Try This New Year

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 10 Simple 14-Day Challenges to Try This New Year

Is TP Ruining the Health of Your Vagina?

It?s never fun when something goes wrong in your vaginal area. Skin irritation, puffiness and even infections are fairly common, but figuring out what caused these issues can sometimes be a mystery. Once you?ve spoken to your doctor and ruled out any obvious concerns, you might want to take a look at your toilet paper.

Yes, toilet paper. This seemingly innocent part of our daily lives can actually have a negative impact on your vaginal health. And before you assume this is something you?ll just have to live with, rest assured there are safe and effective alternatives to toilet paper that your vagina will thank you for.


Most toilet paper starts out as trees that are ground up and processed into paper. But, it has to go through some intense chemical processing to make it so white and soft. First, the raw wood gets chipped and mixed with water and various chemicals to extract the fibers and make pulp. And if the toilet paper is being made from recycled paper, the paper is combined with water and processed to remove any staples or other debris as well as the ink.

The wet pulp is then bleached until all color is removed, and eventually dried to make the final toilet paper. Certain brands of toilet paper may also add formaldehyde or other additives for extra softness and absorbency, as well as lotion, wax, perfume, colored dyes or antibacterial chemicals to the final product.

Unfortunately, a lot of these production chemicals are considered trade secrets, and toilet paper manufacturing companies aren?t required to disclose exactly what they use. This makes it difficult to find out exactly what?s in your favorite toilet paper, but it?s going to be a mix of residual processing chemicals, bleaches and final additives.


1. Microcuts

Keep in mind that toilet paper is made from trees. It?s been highly processed, but you?re still essentially wiping yourself with wood. You may have acutely felt this in some brands of TP that have rougher fiber pieces in them compared to others that are softer.

Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can also damage the tissues around your vulva. If you find you?re swollen or puffy, or have an infection, it could be from small abrasions and cuts caused by your toilet paper. Wiping too harshly can also make matters worse.

Try using some of the alternatives discussed below instead of TP for a few days and see if that helps. Also, dabbing with toilet paper when possible is gentler than fully wiping.

2. Vaginal Infections

Your vagina is naturally quite acidic. This is mainly to fight off any potentially harmful bacteria you may encounter. But, some of the additives in toilet paper can disrupt your pH balance and impair your vagina?s natural bacteria-fighting capabilities. That?s often how an infection takes hold, such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.

To reduce your risks, avoid toilet paper that?s scented or has other obvious additives, and consider using ones that are hypoallergenic.

3. UTIs

This may be more of a technique issue rather than the fault of toilet paper itself. When you wipe from back to front, bacteria-laden fecal matter can be wiped forward up to your urethral opening. Here, bacteria can travel up your urethra into your bladder and potentially start a urinary tract infection. That?s why doctors always recommend to wipe from front to back, then dispose of your toilet paper and get a fresh piece for a second wipe.

4. Allergic Reactions

Some people may have allergies to one or more of the various dyes, perfumes and other chemicals added to TP. Allergies can show up as itching, dermatitis or other forms of skin irritation around your vulva and possibly anus.

Toilet papers that are softer, more absorbent and thicker often contain more additives to make them this way. Look for brands that are thinner, unscented and off-white. These often have less added chemicals and less potential for allergic reactions.

Related: 20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Vagina


Toilet paper is not as necessary as we may think. Many countries throughout the world simply do not have or use toilet paper. And there?s also a serious environmental cost of producing TP. Aside from the chemicals and pollution created during processing, it?s estimated that about 27,000 trees are cut down every day just to make toilet paper. Around 50 percent of these trees come from virgin and old growth forests throughout the world.

You can help reduce this ecological impact and safe guard your health by using alternatives to toilet paper. These alternatives will also save you money because they?re more sustainable and you won?t have to continuously buy a disposable product.

1. Rinse with Water

If you?re used to toilet paper, switching to water might feel a bit weird at first. But washing with water is a very common practice in many countries. Also, people often find it actually gets you cleaner and is more hygienic than using TP. It?s also much gentler on your body and is chemical-free.

The easiest way to start is to get a bottle you can keep next to your toilet. You can buy a peri bottle or irrigation bottle at a pharmacy. A squeezable water bottle also works well. After using the toilet, simply spray yourself off instead of using TP. You can also pour a bit of water into your cupped hand and wash with your hand if needed. And, of course, wash your hands afterwards.

With a bit more expense, installing a bidet is also an excellent choice.

2. Reusable Cloths

If you still don?t feel clean enough after washing with water, or you?d simply like to dry off afterwards, consider adding reusable cloths to your routine. Also known as ?family cloths,? these are much softer on your skin than TP and don?t have the chemical residues and additives.

You can buy reusable diaper wipes, wash cloths or search for ?family cloths? online. A free option is to cut up old flannel sheets or pajamas, towels or baby blankets. Simply cut them into appropriate-sized squares with pinking shears, which will prevent fraying on the edges.

Make sure they don?t get flushed down the toilet by keeping a diaper bin or other sealed container next to your toilet to put them in. Then wash them in hot water when you have enough for a load in your washing machine.

Related at Care2

14 Things Compromising the Health of Your Vagina
8 Things Every Woman Should Know About Feminine Hygiene Products
3 Ways to ?Green? Your Period

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Link to original: 

Is TP Ruining the Health of Your Vagina?

Posted in alo, bigo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is TP Ruining the Health of Your Vagina?

What Is Nanotechnology and How Can It Change Our Lives For the Better?

Nanotechnology is the study of extremely small particles, or nanoparticles, and how these can be manipulated and controlled in useful ways. Nanotechnology is currently being used in hundreds of common products, including batteries, sunscreens, antibacterial products, scratch-resistant coatings, electronics, plastics, and even food and cosmetics.

But this technology is so new, many of us know very little about it. There are also many concerns about its safety for human and ecological health. Let?s shed some light on this important topic and its potential impact on our lives.


Nanoparticles are any particles of matter small enough to be measured on the nanoscale. This is the same scale used to measure atoms and molecules. In fact, many biological and natural systems occur at the nanoscale. The protein hemoglobin that carries oxygen in our blood is only 5 nanometers, or 5 billionths of a meter, in diameter.

Other natural nanoparticles are being investigated for possible use in nanotechnology. For instance, scientists are currently researching the strength and flexibility of spider silk, which is reinforced by natural nanoscale crystals. And they have already copied the nanostructure of lotus leaves to create water repellent surfaces in fabrics and other materials.


What?s wrong with regular-sized particles, you may ask? The difference lies in what scientists call the ?quantum effect.? Larger particles of matter, such as gases, liquids and solids, have very predictable qualities. Whereas, matter can have unexpected behaviors at the nanoscale. These quantum effects can include properties such as greater strength, lighter weight or increased chemical reactivity.

For example, gold nanoparticles react differently to light than their larger-sized counterparts. Gold can appear red or purple on the nanoscale. Also, it?s been found that gold nanoparticles selectively accumulate in tumors. It?s not known why they do this, but scientists have been able to use gold nanoparticles to create more precise imaging and laser destruction techniques that can target tumor cells and avoid harming healthy cells.

Another important quality of nanoparticles is their significantly larger surface area compared to regular particles. The surface area of a particle is what allows for reactions with surrounding materials. A large particle of matter will have a limited amount of surface area. Whereas, there can be trillions or more nanoparticles in the same amount of space as a larger-sized particle. That means they can have trillions of times more surface area for reactions.

This is important for many different technologies. Scientists are researching nanoengineered batteries and fuel cells, where enhanced chemical reactivity could potentially produce cleaner, safer and cheaper ways to produce and store energy. Nanoparticles? larger surface area also holds great potential for products such as water filtration systems, pharmaceuticals and clothing insulation.


The use of nanotechnology has exploded over the past few decades. More and more manufacturers are including nanomaterials in a vast array of products. In fact, over 1,600 products are known to contain nanoparticles today. And research is ongoing, so you can expect to see a lot more in the near future.

These are some examples of current products and technologies that incorporate nanomaterials.


Nanotechnology is used in many areas of health care, including wound dressings with nanoscale silver as an anti-bacterial agent, and synthetic bone based on nanoparticles that can be inserted into areas where natural bone is missing or broken.


The field of nanoelectronics has created many advances, including faster, smaller and more portable electronics with increasingly large amounts of data storage. Ultra-high definition screens use nanotechnology to produce more vibrant colors and improve energy efficiency. Nanoscience is also behind bendable and flexible electronics that are being introduced in medical and other applications.


Nanoscale additives and surface treatments have created fabrics that resist wrinkling, staining and bacterial growth. Some fabrics can even provide lightweight ballistic energy deflection in personal body armor.


The Shenhua Group, one of the world?s largest coal companies, is using nanotechnology to liquify coal and turn it into gas. This could bring a major change to global energy production as countries with large natural reserves of coal, such as China and the U.S., now have the potential to manufacture gasoline.


Certain sunscreens contain molecularly-engineered nanomaterials that absorb more light than normal brands and spread more evenly on your skin compared to the thick, sticky sunscreens you might be used to.


Encapsulating or suspending ingredients in what?s called nanospheres or nanoemulsions can increase their penetration into your skin. Many different products use this in some form. For example, in 1998, L?Oreal introduced Plentitude Revitalift, an anti-wrinkle cream that used polymer nanocapsules to deliver active ingredients into deeper layers of skin.


Nanoparticles made from clay are being used in lightweight bottles, cartons and packaging films to create an impermeable barrier to gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. In addition, storage containers are being made with silver nanoparticles embedded in the plastic that will kill any bacteria present.


Nanotechnology has the potential to transform our lives for the better. Cheap, lightweight solar plastics are being developed that could make solar energy more widely available. Nanoparticles have been discovered that can easily clean up toxic chemical spills and air-borne pollutants. Lightweight nanomaterials may even hold the key to expanding space exploration.

Despite these potential gains, nanotechnology has a shadow side. It?s a very new science, and therefore, we have no way of knowing the long-term effects of releasing nanoparticles into our environment.

Studies funded by agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency are looking at potential safety concerns associated with nanoscale materials. But, it?s difficult to keep up with this rapidly expanding technology.

And perhaps more concerningly, the nanotechnology industry is largely unregulated. Companies aren?t required to label products containing nanoparticles, and there are no recognized standards on production and handling of nanomaterials. The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety recommends that precautions be in place to avoid worker exposure to nanomaterials, but this is still primarily left in the hands of the employers.

In addition to human health concerns related to nanoparticles, we also do not know the potential affects on our planet and ecosystems. Studies have shown that some nanomaterials are toxic to species such as algae, invertebrates and fish. Disturbing evidence has also found that nanomaterials can be transferred across generations in both animals and plants.

One of the best ways to keep yourself and our planet safe is to stay informed about this new technology. Check if any of your commonly-used products contain known nanoparticles on The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies website. Speak to your local politicians about what they?re doing to ensure the products of nanotechnology are safe.

And don?t hesitate to share what you know with others. The more everyone knows about nanotechnology, the more likely it is that manufacturers will be held accountable to effective health and safety standards.

Related at Care2

Will Nanotechnology Help or Hurt Our Environment?
What Is Rising CO2 in Our Atmosphere Doing to Our Food?
5 Household Items You Should Be Buying Organic

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Read this article: 

What Is Nanotechnology and How Can It Change Our Lives For the Better?

Posted in Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Safer, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What Is Nanotechnology and How Can It Change Our Lives For the Better?

8 Climate-Friendly Superfoods

Superfoods?are gaining popularity?and for good reason. They directly?support the immune system, reduce?inflammation, support mental health,?pack a nutritional punch,?and boost energy, stamina and longevity.

Here are eight?superfoods that are not only good for you, but also good for the planet:

1. Crickets

Crickets are loaded with protein. They also ?thrive in hotter climates and survive off decaying waste and very little water and space,??Mother Jones?reported.?For this reason, crickets and other insects have?been?hailed?as the ?next climate-friendly superfood.? They can be ground into baking flour or protein powder, and added?to cookies, brownies or?milkshakes.

While eating crickets?or any type of insect for that matter?hasn?t completely caught on in the U.S., it?s making progress. Last year, fast food chain?Wayback Burgers?put out?a fake press release as an?April Fool?s joke?about insect-filled milkshakes, but the idea was so popular that they?rolled out their?Oreo Mud Pie Cricket Protein Milkshake.

Related: Are Your Ready for Cricket Flour Cookies?

2. Pulses

They?re the dried seeds of lentils, beans and chickpeas?and they’re super healthy. They already make up 75 percent of the average diet in developing countries, but only 25 percent in developed ones, according to the UN.

That could all change, though. Pulses contain 20 to 25 percent protein by weight, approaching the protein levels of meat, which average?30 to 40 percent. They also require far less water than meat to produce.

3. Amaranth

?Amaranth is the new quinoa,? trend expert Daniel Levine told?The Huffington Post. It?s a grain-like seed that cooks quickly and can be added to salads, soups and stews. It?s a complete source of protein just like quinoa, and it is loaded with?fiber,?B vitamins and?several important minerals. Additionally, it?s been?shown?to reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

4. Kefir

Kefir?is the trendiest?fermented?food right now (sorry, kombucha and kimchi).?It?s high in nutrients and?probiotics, and is incredibly beneficial for digestion and?gut health.?Many people consider it to be a healthier and more powerful version of?yogurt.

To make it,??grains? (yeast and lactic acid bacteria cultures) are added to cow or goat milk. The concoction ferments over a 24-hour period and then the grains are removed from the liquid.

Related: 10 Vegan Sources of Probiotics


Sometimes written as tef or t?ef, this pseudo-grain (it?s technically a seed)?has a high nutritional profile and a taste similar?to that of amaranth or quinoa. This?ancient grain?has survived for centuries without much?hybridization or processing.?Like most other ancient grains, it?s high in fiber, calcium and iron.

Traditionally cultivated in?Ethiopia and Eritrea, teff can be grown in a variety of conditions.?Teff ?thrives in both waterlogged soils and during?droughts, making it a dependable staple wherever it?s grown. No matter what the weather, teff crops will likely survive, as they are also relatively free of plant diseases compared to other cereal crops,??Whole Grains Council?said.

?Teff can grow where many other crops won?t thrive, and in fact can be produced from sea level to as high as 3,000 meters of altitude, with maximum yield at about 1,800-2,100 meters high,? the council said. ?This versatility could explain why teff is now being cultivated in areas as diverse as dry and mountainous Idaho and the low and wet Netherlands.?

6. Moringa

It?s often called the ?the miracle tree? or the ?tree of life,? according to?TIME. It?s commonly found in?Asian and African countries, and almost every part of it?pods, leaves, seeds and roots?is edible. It?s a?good source?of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and iron. Not only does it pack a nutritional punch, it?s also a?fast-growing, drought-tolerant plant?that is a promising biofuel and medicinal source.

Related: Why Moringa is Known as ‘The Miracle Tree’

7. Kelp

Kelp grows super fast (up to two feet per day), and requires neither freshwater nor fertilizer. ?And rather than contributing to our carbon footprint, as many fertilizers and food sources do, seaweed cleanses the ocean of excess nitrogen and carbon dioxide,??Mother Jones?reported. One kelp?farmer on the Long Island Sound even?claims?he?s?restoring?the ocean while producing a sustainable food and fuel source.

8. Waste-Based Food

This isn?t as weird as it sounds. In order to reduce?food waste, restaurants are finding?creative ways?to use the edible?parts of plants and animals that are often thrown out. Last year, award-winning chef Dan Barber held a?two-week pop-up?at Blue Hill, his restaurant in New York City, where he cooked with spent grain, cocoa beans, pasta scraps and?vegetable?pulp.

Written by Cole Mellino. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.?

Related Stories:

Is Climate Change Making Chocolate Taste Better?
Climate Change is Putting Your Favorite Foods at Risk
How Climate Change is Bad For Our Pets

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

This article:  

8 Climate-Friendly Superfoods

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Sunwarrior, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Climate-Friendly Superfoods

Diet and Climate Change: Cooking Up a Storm

One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world editorialized that climate change represents the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Currently, chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of death. Might there be a way to combat both at the same time? For example, riding our bikes instead of driving is a win-win-win for the people, planet, and pocketbook. Are there similar win-win situations when it comes to diet?

As I discuss in my video below, the foods that create the most greenhouse gases appear to be the same foods that are contributing to many of our chronic diseases. Researchers found that meat (including fish), eggs, and dairy had the greatest negative environmental impact, whereas grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables had the least impact. And not only did the foods with the heaviest environmental impact tend to have lower nutritional quality, but they also had a higher price per pound. So, avoiding them gives us that triple win scenario.

The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, commissioned a study on what individuals can do to help the climate. For example, if Europeans started driving electric cars, it could prevent as much as 174 million tons of carbon from getting released. We could also turn down the thermostat a bit and put on a sweater. But the most powerful action people could take is shift to a meat-free diet.

What we eat may have more of an impact on global warming than what we drive.

Just cutting out animal protein intake one day of the week could have a powerful effect. Meatless Mondays alone could beat out a whole week of working from home and not commuting.

A strictly plant-based diet may be better still: Its responsible for only about half the greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have suggested that moderate diet changes are not enough to reduce impacts from food consumption drastically. Without significant reduction in meat and dairy, changes to healthier diets may only result in rather minor reductions of environmental impacts. This is because studies have shown that the average fossil energy input for animal protein production systems is 25 calories of fossil energy input for every 1 calorie producedmore than 11 times greater than that for grain protein production, for example, which is around 2 to 1.

Researchers in Italy compared seven different diets to see which one was environmentally friendliest. They compared a conventional omnivorous diet adhering to dietary guidelines; an organic omnivorous diet; a conventional vegetarian diet; an organic vegetarian diet; a conventional vegan diet; an organic vegan diet; and a diet the average person actually eats. For each dietary pattern, the researchers looked at carcinogens, air pollution, climate change, effects on the ozone layer, the ecosystem, acid rain, and land, mineral, and fossil fuel use. You can see in the video how many resources it took to feed people on their current diets, all the negative effects the diet is having on the ecosystem, and the adverse effects on human health.

If people were eating a healthier diet by conforming to the dietary recommendations, the environmental impact would be significantly less. An organic omnivorous diet would be better still, similar to a vegetarian diet of conventional foods. Those are topped by an organic vegetarian diet, followed by a conventional vegan diet. The best, however, was an organic vegan diet.

The Commission report described that the barriers to animal product reduction are largely lack of knowledge, ingrained habits, and culinary cultures. Proposed policy measures include meat or animal protein taxes, educational campaigns, and putting the greenhouse gas emissions information right on food labels.

Climate change mitigation is expensive. A global transition to even just a low-meat diet, as recommended for health reasons, could reduce these mitigation costs. A study determined that a healthier, low-meat diet would cut the cost of mitigating climate change from about 1% of GDP by more than half, a no-meat diet could cut two-thirds of the cost, and a diet free of animal products could cut 80% of the cost.

Many people arent aware of the cow in the room. It seems that very few people are aware that the livestock sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But thats changing.

The UKs National Health Service is taking a leading role in reducing carbon emissions. Patients, visitors, and staff can look forward to healthy, low-carbon menus with much less meat, dairy, and eggs. Evidence shows that as far as the climate is concerned, meat is heat.

The Swedish government recently amended their dietary recommendations to encourage citizens to eat less meat. If we seek only to achieve the conservative objective of avoiding further long-term increases in [greenhouse gas] emissions from livestock, we are still led to rather radical recommendations such as cutting current consumption levels in half in affluent countriesan unlikely outcome if there were no direct rewards to citizens for doing so. Fortunately, there are such rewards: important health benefits… By helping the planet, we can help ourselves.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havent yet, you can subscribe to my free videoshereand watch my live, year-in-review presentations2015:Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016:How Not to Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

Never Too Late to Start Eating Healthier
Combating Common Diseases With Plants
One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

See original article here – 

Diet and Climate Change: Cooking Up a Storm

Posted in alo, Citizen, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Radius, Thermos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Diet and Climate Change: Cooking Up a Storm

What is ‘Earthing’ and Why Are People Going Nuts Over It?

As humans, we seem to intuitively know that spending time outside is good for body and soul. In addition to the vitamin D benefits of sunlight, theres just something about being outside that feels good. We might not always be able to put our finger on why, exactly, the great outdoors is good for us, but we know it to be true: In fact, a recent study estimated that an abundant urban tree population would reduce national healthcare spending to the tune of $6.8 million, as a result of better air quality, decreases in stress and other health factors.

A new group of scientists has recently started looking into the health benefits of direct contact with the earththings like walking barefoot on the grass, sitting against a tree and lying on a warm, sandy beach. This practice of direct contact has been termed earthing, and a number of health and wellness gurus are beginning to advocate for it.

The Theory Behind Earthing

The idea on which earthing is based states that the earth emits a certain type of energy that can reduce inflammation, calm stress and improve health overall. Without making direct contact with the ground, say proponents, we dont get these benefits, leaving us feeling sluggish and generally causing ill health.

Think of it perhaps as vitamin GG for ground, states Earthing.com. What does that mean to you? Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well.

This may sound extremely woo-woo, but in fact, there is some research to support this. One study published by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, found that just one hour of earthing decreased markers of inflammation and improved blood flow. Another study confirmed these findings, and also added that earthing seemed to improve immune response, increase wound healing factors and lessen the effects of autoimmune diseases. The idea of some special electric current running through the ground may be a little far-fetched, but there’s little doubt that the effects of nature can reduce stress and therefore improve health.

ElectronicEarthing Products

So, its hard to argue with the idea of grass beneath your feet being bad for you, but do you really need technology to experience the benefits of earthing? This is where the line gets blurry.

Companies such as Earthing.com sell products that you can place under your feet (for while youre at the computer or in front of the TV) or under your bed (for while youre sleeping) that supposedly get energy from the ground outside your home, allowing you to earth while youre inside partaking of your daily activities. The argument is that these earthing pads give you the same energy charge that youd get from making direct contact with the ground outside.

The Bottom Line

Its hard to see how people would buy into the idea of synthetic earthing pads when they could just go outside. But strange products aside, the prospect of spending more time in direct contact with the grass, dirt or sand is certainly an attractive one. And if sitting against a tree, eating an apple and reading a book is good for you, theres really no downside. Time spent outside is always valuable.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Visit source: 

What is ‘Earthing’ and Why Are People Going Nuts Over It?

Posted in ATTRA, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What is ‘Earthing’ and Why Are People Going Nuts Over It?

How to Fragrance Your Home With a Simmer Pot

Theres nothing like walking into a delicious-smelling room, is there? Humans have a natural affinity for fragrant scents. Its why we buy things like scented candles, incense and potpourri. Unfortunately, some methods of scenting your home are better than others. Scented candles may seem lovely, but burning them can release harmful chemicals into your environment. And let’s not even get intoair fresheners.

For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma, South Carolina State University professor Ruhullah Massoudi explained.

An Alternative to Scented Candles: The Simmer Pot

Thankfully, there are safer alternatives. Essential oils, organic vegetable-based candles and reed diffusers are a few options. If you have a full kitchen, you might want to try scenting your home with a simmer pot.

Making a simmer pot is really simple: You just simmer a concoction of good-smelling ingredients (think citrus peels, herbs and spices) over a low boil for a few hours. You can also add the ingredients to a slow-cooker. Youre basically scenting your home in the same way you do when you cook, but youre cooking combinations of ingredients that are designed to produce a particular scent.

Spring Simmer Pot Recipes

For fresh, spring scents, focus on citrus and zesty herbs. Try one of these combinations on for size:

Sliced lemons with rosemary, cinnamon and vanilla essential oil
Anise, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon with lavender essential oil
Orange and lemon peels with cranberries and cloves
Grapefruit with rosemary, eucalyptus, shredded coconut and vanilla essential oil

The exact ratios will be up to you! Dont be afraid to get creative either. A good rule of thumb is to combine your favorite citrus fruits (usually 2-3 whole fruits will suffice) with a few sprigs of your favorite herbs in a pot of water. Then finish the concoction off with 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer, turn the heat to low, and enjoy! Just be sure to keep your eye on the pot so you can add water as it evaporates.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Read this article – 

How to Fragrance Your Home With a Simmer Pot

Posted in alo, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Radius, Safer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Fragrance Your Home With a Simmer Pot

Best Non-Toxic Ways to Freshen the Air In Your Car

The air inside a car can get pretty stinky. Bags of food waste. Spilled coffee and other drinks. Dirty gym clothes. Especially in the winter, when you keep the windows closed, the car just doesn’t get a chance to air out.

If you’re tempted to get one of those air freshener trees that dangle from your visor, don’t. Chances are they’ve been doused with phthalates, chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems, says the Natural Resources Defense Council in its report on the hidden hazards of air fresheners. They may also contain terpene, a volatile organic compound that can react with naturally occurring ozone to create formaldehyde, reports PreventDisease.com. Headaches, nausea and depression may ensue.

Instead, here are smart and safe ways to freshen the air in your car:

* Clean it out. Duh! Look under the seats, on the floor and between the seat cushions for old food, dirty clothes and anything else that might be stinking up the place.

* Wash it out. Upholstery and floor mats may need to be professionally cleaned; at the least, scrub them down with hot soapy water if milk, juice and other wet food have penetrated the fabric.

* Keep a trash bag in the car and empty it. Empty the bag when you fill up for gas or run to the grocery store. There are always trash cans you can use to easily dispose of your waste.

* Use non-toxic cleansers when wiping out the inside of your car. If you take your car to the car wash, don’t let the crew there wipe out your car interior with their industrial-grade cleanser; they’ll in all likelihood contain phthalates, synthetic fragrances and other chemicals that could make you sick or at the least, give you a headache. Make up a solution of hot soapy water using fragrance-free, plant-based soap. Use that to wash down your dashboard, steering wheel and other non-cloth surfaces in the car.

* Keep the windows open a crack when you’re driving. As long as it’s not raining or snowing, open the windows slightly to keep fresh air circulating when you’re inside.

* Use baking soda to absorb residual odors. You may already have an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb smells there. You can do something similar in your car. Upcycle a plastic food container, like a small margarine tub, to contain the baking soda. Punch holes in the top of the lid so air can get inside, but keep the lid on so the baking soda doesn’t spill. Put the tub underneath the passenger seat or below the back windshield so it is out of the way.

* Don’t spray perfume or commercial air freshener. The last thing you want is for minute chemical particles to be floating around in your car, where they’d be incredibly easy to inhale. Remove the source of the smell, clean your vehicle and crack the windows open to stay healthy.

Car Washing the Eco-Friendly Way
Natural Stain Removal for Your Car

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

This article is from:  

Best Non-Toxic Ways to Freshen the Air In Your Car

Posted in alo, eco-friendly, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Best Non-Toxic Ways to Freshen the Air In Your Car

UNESCO Report Shows the Face of Science is Changing


Copyright © 2015 Care2.com, inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved

my account
my care2

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn’t working for you and we’ll try to make it right!

Link – 

UNESCO Report Shows the Face of Science is Changing

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UNESCO Report Shows the Face of Science is Changing