EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Lisa Says: The Environmental Working Group’s 2012 Guide to Pesticides in Produce is out! It’s a great resource listing produce that average the highest, and lowest, pesticide use.  Enjoy.

EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Eat your fruits and vegetables! The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce.

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Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns

Lisa Says:  Here’s CNN’s take on the national story of the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Sunscreen (Hazard) Guide.  Finally, main stream attention to the harmful ingredients in personal care products, and info on how to truly protect our health.  Enjoy!

Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns

By Danielle Dellorto, CNN    updated 12:07 AM EDT, Wed May 16, 2012

(CNN) — Twenty-five percent of 800 tested sunscreens are effective at protecting your skin without the use of potentially harmful ingredients, according to the 2012 Sunscreen Guide released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.

“The results are slightly better than previous years, but it continues to surprise us that we can recommend such few products,” said Nneka Leiba, an Environmental Working Grou senior analyst.  (Link to story)

A report says many sunscreens contain oxybenzone. The American Academy of Dermatology says the chemical is safe.

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The Truth about Prices at Farmers Markets

Lisa Says: Great Article from the PA Lancaster BFBL chapter’s e-newsletter: 

 The Truth about Prices at Farmers Markets

 ”You’ve probably heard that buying from farmers markets is more expensive than buying from a grocery store. We want to debunk some of these myths.  More and more research is being done that compares prices at farmers markets with those in grocery stores. And the numbers may surprise you.

 According to research done by the Seattle  Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance and the results of another study reported by  KOMO News, a Seattle-based news network, certain produce is definitely lower in cost when bought at a market. This was the case for collard greens, which only cost 75 cents a local farmers market compared to a range of $1.33 to $2.49 at other grocery stories. While this may not be the case for all produce, the article estimates an average of 62 cents of savings for a variety of produce compared with grocery store prices.

 Another study by  NOFA Vermont shows that if you’re looking for organic, farmers markets are the place to shop, with some price variation among other, conventionally grown products.   The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture also demonstrated that local prices at farmers markets were often equal to or lower than grocery store prices.

 Being a smart consumer also helps. Just like shopping at a supermarket, there are tips to finding the best deals at a farmers market.

 1. Shop around. Walk the market first and compare prices for the items you are interested in.

 2. Build relationships with standholders. They may offer you a better deal, fill you in on what produce to expect for the next market day, or offer you bumped and bruised produce for a lower cost.

 3. By knowing your farmer, you may be able to forego buying organic only because you know that how they grow those strawberries you’re eyeing up.

 4. A  Business Insider article recommends shopping late in the day or in inclement weather. Vendors are hoping to make their daily quota and by the end of the day, they do not want to take the remainder of their produce back home. Often, prices are reduced by the end of the day.

 5. Remember that the produce you are buying locally will last longer than what you can find in the store. You also are more likely to get the specific amounts you desire (a half a pint of brussel sprouts, a small bunch of grapes) which reduces the amount of waste from having too much of some items.”

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Sugar and kids: The toxic truth

Lisa Says:  Per CBS’s 60 Mintues Ovetime show, “This week on 60 Minutes, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on new research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions, which find that sugar– the way it’s being consumed by Americans today– is a toxin. And it could be the driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.

 We at Overtime couldn’t believe our ears when we heard this report. We knew sugar was bad, but a “toxin”? We give our kids that stuff!

We weren’t quite sure how to apply the new science in the 60 Minutes report to the challenges of everyday family life, so we sat down with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for some practical advice. Both a doctor and a father of three, Dr. Gupta offers his take on how a typical American family should think about the sugar in their diet.”   View the video here.

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A Workout Can Change Your DNA

Lisa Says:  Per ScienceFriday.com 03092012, “Reporting in Cell Metabolism, researchers write that when people who lead relatively sedentary lives worked out the DNA in their muscle fibers changed almost immediately. Scientists also found caffeine had the same effect on isolated rodent muscles. Study co-author Juleen Zierath discusses the DNA modifications.”


Juleen Zierath
Professor, Clinical Integrative Physiology
Karolinska Institute
Stockholm, Sweden

Related Links

Segment produced by:Namisha Sarin Anand

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Companies Not Telling the Whole Truth About Whole Grains

Lisa Says: This story on ABC brings to light how misleading food labeling can be.  Stay informed.

Companies Not Telling the Whole Truth About Whole Grains


Elisabeth Leamy

By Elisabeth Leamy 

Feb 7, 2012 7:30pm 

On Wednesday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest will petition the Food and Drug Administration to stop letting manufacturers label their foods “Whole Grain” when they really aren’t and to start putting the percentage of whole grain on the packaging. 

The government has encouraged Americans to eat more whole grains because they help prevent heart disease, but the FDA has never established a legal definition of what constitutes a whole grain.

“Multi Grain.” “Whole Grain.” “Whole Wheat.” It turns out none of those terms have legal meaning. By law, only whole wheat bread must be made with 100 percent whole wheat, but any other wheat product can have as much or as little wheat as the manufacturer decides.  (link to rest of article and video) Continue reading »

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School Lunches Revamped!

Lisa Says: Proving change IS possible, Margo G. Wootan, D.Sc., Director of Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest was with First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released final nutrition standards for school meals.    Dr. Wootan summarizes the changes:

“These new standards are one of the most important advances in nutrition in decades and will:

* Double fruit and vegetable servings and increase the variety of vegetables

* Set first-ever standards for sodium, trans fat and whole grains for school meals

* Require all the milk to be low fat or fat free

* Set calorie standards that address not only hunger but also obesity

Although Congress prevented USDA from limiting French fries and required it to continue to count pizza as a vegetable, these new standards will do much to improve school meals.

Thanks to all who wrote letters to USDA and helped over the past seven years as we have worked to make these nutrition standards a reality.  There is still much work to do to help schools meet these new standards, but these standards are a great next step toward healthier school meals for all schools.”  GREAT NEWS !  link to press release

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“South Beach Diet” guru issues “wake-up call”

Lisa Says: I saw this on CBS News and it was such common sense info, I had to post. Enjoy the video.

October 19, 2011 11:05 AM  “South Beach Diet” guru issues “wake-up call”

(CBS News) The South Beach Diet changed the way we lose weight. The original South Beach Diet was developed in 1995 by a cardiologist to help his cardiac and diabetic patients lose weight. The diet program replaced bad fats with healthy fats like nuts and oils and bad carbs with good carbs like those from vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.

But now  Dr. Arthur Agatston, who created that diet, says Americans are still gaining weight and getting sick from it. In his new book, “The South Beach Wake-Up Call,” Agatston issues a wake-up call and reveals his new strategy to turn your health around.   (Click here for video) Continue reading »

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How stress can make us overeat

Lisa Says:  Good info from Harvard Medical School on the physiology of how stress hormones can influence our food cravings PLUS practical steps you can take to reduce the stress ergo the cravings.

How stress can make us overeat      

January 3, 2012      Harvard Medical School Newsletter      healthbeat@mail.health.harvard.edu

It’s been another hectic day. On impulse, you grab an extra-large candy bar during your afternoon break. You plan to take just a few bites. But before you know it, you’ve polished off the whole thing — and, at least temporarily, you may feel better.

Rest assured you’re not alone. Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating.

Effects on appetite

In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. A structure in the brain called the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone, which suppresses appetite. The brain also sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.

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Some Lessons From Declining Childhood Obesity in New York

Lisa Says: Working with others to achieve their optimal health is our passion, and children are the priority.  Here is an encouraging article posted in The Atlantic on how specific programming CAN reclaim health.

Some Lessons From Declining Childhood Obesity in New York        

TheAtlantic.com     Dec 23 2011, 6:05 PM ET

by Marion Nestle – Marion Nestle is professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics 

The interventions that show the most promise are just like those in New York: physical activity and curriculum additions in public schools.  

Just in time for the holidays, we get some good news. The New York City Health Department reports that rates of childhood obesity are falling.  If the rates were staying constant, I’d consider it a step forward. But these results show rates going down, even if only by a few percentage points.   Link to article

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