EWG’s Dirty Dozen Produce List for 2013

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their Dirty Dozen™ for 2013 on Monday. The list outs the most pesticide-contaminated produce. This year, apples topped the list, followed by celery and cherry tomatoes.  Although washing produce thoroughly can help reduce the pesticide residue, I would still recommend choosing organic, especially for top 10 to 20 fruits and vegetables on the list.

A Clean Fifteen™ list was also released. This list, which includes sweet potatoes, avocados and kiwis, contains produce that has the least amount of pesticide residue. So if you can not afford organic, consider eating the foods on the clean list more often.

EWG also offers two great tools for those who may find sticking to this list too expensive or limited, or even time consuming. The first is EWG’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce 2013™ , which can be downloaded as a PDF or used as an app for your smart phone.

The second tool is Good Food on a Tight Budget, a site that offers tips on saving money on food, as well as tasty recipes!

Happy Eating!

 

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The Best Sunscreens: EWG’s 2012 Recommendations

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released its 2012 sunscreen guide. Just because a sunscreen says it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe and harmless. Read this blog about choosing a sunscreen; it’s a good guide about what to look for when choosing protection from the sun.

Also take a look at EWG’s list of top sunscreens. It contains products at every price point, so there is no excuse to be using a conventional sunscreen that is full of chemicals. I continue to use Badger Sunscreen for both of my children. I have found it to be quite effective for my 3-year-old son and my 1-year-old (very fair) daughter.

Some of the best sunscreens can be “clay-like” or “greasy,” but I find that if I work with a pea-size amount at a time, that it absorbs well. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen to tips of ears and tops of feet. Covering up with big floppy hats and rashguards also give extra protection.

Have fun the in the sun!

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Pesticides Linked to ADHD

A study published in the journal Pediatrics has linked the level of pesticides consumed in foods to doubling the risk of developing ADHD in children.

Researchers used data collected from almost 1,140 children participating in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” including pesticide by-products found in urine. They found that in that group, 119 children met the criteria for ADHD.

Children with substantially higher levels of a breakdown product of neurotoxic organophosphate pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The researchers concluded that parents should buy organic food for their kids. Many other researchers stress the importance of women eating organic at least 6 months before conception, and throughout pregnancy, too.

According to Environmental Working Group (EWG), these are the top 10 foods that you should buy as organic, because they contain the highest levels of pesticides: Continue reading “Pesticides Linked to ADHD”

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Chemicals in Baby Shampoos

Why are companies still making baby products with harmful chemicals, when they can make them without them? Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo sold here in the U.S. and a few other countries contains dioxane and a substance called quaternium-15 that releases formaldehyde. The sneaky thing is that they already make this shampoo without those two ingredients and sell it to countries where the chemicals are banned, according to an international coalition of health and environmental groups.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has unsuccessfully been urging Johnson & Johnson – a conglomerate that is the world’s largest supplier of health care products, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals – for 2 ½ years to remove the trace amounts of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Now the coalition is urging consumers to boycott Johnson & Johnson baby products until the company agrees to remove the chemicals from it’s baby products sold around the world, including in China and the U.K.

The campaign’s new report, “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic,” was released last Tuesday, when the group launched the boycott via its website, www.safecosmetics.org.

In response, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are safe and approved by regulators in the U.S. and other countries, but that it is gradually phasing them out of its baby products. It said it is also reformulating baby products to reduce the level of dioxane below detectable levels.

Johnson & Johnson also makes a natural line of products, where it has eliminated dioxane. It also has doubled the price.

Personally, I always check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to see if the products I am using on my toddler and infant are safe. This is an easy thing to do. Although, the baby shampoo I use on my kids costs about four times as much, it is concentrated and I only use a dime-size amount, so I find it lasts a lot longer than traditional baby shampoos. Plus, I believe the costs of using chemicals on your baby are much greater than a price tag.

For natural and safe products for your whole family, check out Village Green’s Body Care selection in store.

 

 

 

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Green Sunscreen, Safe Sunscreen

During many years working in fragile tropical ecosystems, I have wrestled with the knotty dilemma of selecting sunscreen. One in five Americans will have a brush with skin cancer: a million cases are diagnosed each year. How do we protect ourselves and our children from UVA & UVB rays while not leaving behind a damaging chemical footprint? Continue reading “Green Sunscreen, Safe Sunscreen”

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