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Do You Trust Sigg? New Liquid Liner Promises to be BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free

We were sent two Sigg water bottles to review. These bottles have beautiful and cute designs respectively, yet I can’t help but feel paranoid about the lining in the bottles and distrust for the company.

Sigg has been a brand many people gravitated towards for reusable metal water bottles because they are made in Switzerland rather than China.  This manufacturing origin does appeal to me as well, yet the company’s previous deceit over BPA in their lining is a cause for concern.

In 2007, the president of Sigg USA wrote in response to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Organic Consumers Association‘s (OCA) claim the bottles contained BPA (both groups retracted their statements):

As you may know, the BPA issues surrounding Lexan plastic bottles (polycarbonate #7) involve the migration of chemicals from the plastic into the contents of the bottles. On the other hand, SIGG bottles have been thoroughly tested in Europe to ensure 0% leaching of any substance – no trace of BPA, BPB or any phthalates.

 Two years later, the company admitted it contained BPA all along and offered to swap old bottles for newer ones.  Where does that leave us now?

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5 Reasons You Should Hang Your Laundry Outside

We all have our eco sins, no matter how green we live our lives.  There’s always just one more step we can take to be greener.  For years, my eco sin was remembering my reusable shopping bags. I have that one down now!

For almost a decade, I had to hang my laundry outside out of pure necessity.  I didn’t own a dryer. Then when I finally did own a dryer, it made life so much easier to just toss the clothes in rather than go outside and hang them.  It took less time, the clothes came out softer, the dog hair and lint was removed, and the clothes were less wrinkled.  That all sounds great, except for the eco guilt I felt and the dirty little secret of living off-the-grid.

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Organic vs. Conventional: Can We Feed the World?

Growth of organic farmland since the year 2000...

Growth of organic farmland since the year 2000 Development of organically managed land by world regions since 2000 Data: www.organic-world.net Deutsch: Entwicklung der Öko-Anbaufläche nach Weltregionen seit 2000 Daten: www.organic-world.net (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Population growth is a huge strain on the environment. Reducing family size is vital to saving the Earth, no matter how much the notion upsets some folks. Feeding the world‘s 7,013,987,392 people is a challenge and often cited as to why organic food is not as green as consumers believe.  In my opinion, this is just a myth.

Yes, we can feed the world organically!

Marc Gunther writes for GreenBiz.com:

New scientific research points to a key drawback of organic agriculture, unfortunately: It is typically less efficient and productive than conventional growing methods. That’s a problem for fans of organic because the world has a limited supply of farmland, a billion or so undernourished people, a growing population, an expanding middle class and therefore a vast appetite for affordable and nourishing food.

If, in fact, organic methods are less productive, scaling up the production of organic food at will require more land, contribute to deforestation and cost more than growing our food using conventional methods. That suggests that organic methods alone can’t feed the world in a sustainable way.

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What Do Girls Really Think of Barbie?

We all have our opinions about Barbie!  Some people adore this icon of American toys; some people blame the doll for distorting our perception of the ideal beauty resulting in 32,000 boob jobs a month.

 We know Barbie is guilty of greenwashing and that she is toxic, but what do the little girls that play with her really think?

Discovery News reports:

Surprisingly little research has been done specifically on girls’ opinions of Barbie dolls; indeed, researchers Tara Kuther and Erin McDonald note in their article “Early Adolescents’ Experiences with, and Views of, Barbie” (Adolescence, Vol. 39, No. 153) that “the extant literature about Barbie dolls tends to be opinionated and based on essays and popular media articles” instead of science or evidence-based research…

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Earth Day: A Closer Look Reveals the Human Race

Picture a bright blue ball, just spinning, spinnin free,
Dizzy with eternity.
Paint it with a skin of sky,
Brush in some clouds and sea,
Call it home for you and me.
A peaceful place or so it looks from space,
A closer look reveals the human race.
Full of hope, full of grace
Is the human face,
But afraid we may lay our home to waste.

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Arsenic in Rice

Recently the use of organic brown rice syrup in health food came under scrutiny when a 2012 Dartmouth study revealed disturbing levels of arsenic in tested toddler formulas, cereal bars, and energy products.  In the case of toddler formula, the total arsenic level was six times the amount allowed by the EPA for arsenic in water.  This standard is based on adults, not children.

Sadly, this news was not a new revelation.  It was just another disturbing study pointing to the rice and arsenic connection in which US and EU guidelines have not been established.

As I started to prepare an article for my website regarding the Dartmouth study, something just didn’t seem right. Call it mother’s intuition.

With the help of Professors Duxbury of Cornell University and Merharg, of Scotland University, I was able to put the pieces together.

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99% of American’s Contaminated with Toxic PFOA from Nonstick and Stain Resistant Products

Frying pan

Frying pan (Photo credit: JPC24)

99%!  That is a rather convincing number when it comes to chemical contamination in the human population.  I have never heard of such a large percentage with any other household chemical before.

What is this abundant toxic chemical? PFOA found in non-stick cookware and stain resistant products.

Early in my blogging days, I wrote about my concerns with nonstick cookware and my search to find muffin pans that were safe.  Pet bird owners have known what the public has not about the safety of cooking with non-stick cookware.  It is deadly.

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Encourage Early Literacy with Everything Mailbox

Common to many preschool and primary classrooms is a mailbox, as letter writing is one of the early literacy standards. Whether children are writing with letter like forms or forming actual sentences, the act is significant in the process of learning to read and create written form.

Furthermore, learning through dramatic play is developmentally appropriate.

Children think it is great fun to write letters to their friends, families, and pets, to pretend to be the mailman, and to receive special letters just like in real life.

The Everythingland Mailbox by Metamorphic Toys promotes early literacy whether at home or in a classroom.

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The Organic Nanny’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids: Do I Really Have to be a Vegan?

Who is the Organic Nanny?  She sounds like someone I would trust my kids with in a heartbeat.  Turns out the Organic Nanny is Barbara Rodriquez.  She’s not only an organic nanny, but she is a nanny to celebrity families.

The Organic Nanny’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids: How to Create a Natural Diet and Lifestyle for Your Child promotes diet and lifestyle changes to correct illness and behavior issues.

If you want your kids to live a healthier lifestyle, but aren’t sure where to start—or are convinced they won’t ever touch a vegetable—the Organic Nanny is here to help.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover how to:

  • Break an addiction to sugary foods
  • Improve your kids’ diet in 5 powerful steps
  • Alleviate behavior problems, sleep issues, and common illnesses
  • Get picky kids to eat healthier foods—and like them
  • Rid your home of toxic products and much more!

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New Study: VBAC Risk Only “Slightly” Higher than Caesarean

Latina: Sectio caesarea English: Pull out of t...

Pull out of the child at Caesarian section (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many incidents where women feel powerless in their medicalized childbirth experiences.

Insurance companies and doctors make choices for laboring women often without regard to what scientific studies have proven about risk factors involved with interventions.

Women who have given birth by Caesarean are almost always told they that is how they will have to give birth in subsequent deliveries.  Many women seek out the rare hospital that will allow them to at least try a vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC) or a midwife who is not afraid.

Statistically, 40 percent of C-sections in the US occur in women with previous surgical births.  Many doctors and insurance companies fear previous incisions will burst during labor; however, this occurs in only one percent of VBACs.  When actual cases are documented and studied, the perceived risk is proven to be only slight.

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Technology Vs. Science: Natural Birth Scientifically and Ethically Safer

Pregnancy in the 26th week.

Pregnancy in the 26th week. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So why is it that, over a decade later, when the evidence still supports a low-interventionist type of pregnancy and birth management for low-risk cases, we’ve made virtually no inroads to making birth more scientific in the United States.

The Atlantic published a great piece yesterday titled “The Most Scientific Birth Is Often the Least Technological Birth” by Northwestern University’s professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics Alice Dreger. I was both entertained and moved by this article to see a medical educator recognize the confusion that occurs between science and technology in relation to birth.

When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus. What they don’t envision is the omnivorous, pants-wearing science geek standing before them.

I can’t help but think of the Saturday Night Live skit on natural childbirth.

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Vaccine-Derived Polio in India Will Not Affect “Polio-Free” Status

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One reason parents often avoid the polio vaccine is the fear that their child may actually contract the disease from the vaccine. Once upon a time, I was told that this live vaccine could actually be contracted through changing diapers. Like much information about vaccines that is shared, sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction.

In the US, the live polio vaccine has not been used for a dozen years.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports:

There are two types of vaccine that protect against polio: inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and oral polio vaccine (OPV). IPV, used in the United States since 2000, is given as an injection in the leg or arm, depending on patient’s age. Polio vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. Most people should get polio vaccine when they are children. Children get 4 doses of IPV, at these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and booster dose at 4-6 years. OPV has not been used in the United States since 2000 but is still used in many parts of the world.

India is one of those countries that still uses the OPV.

India has worked hard to eradicate polio through vaccinations, and the country earned polio-free status recently, that is free of polio not caused by the very vaccines meant to eradicate it.

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One Year Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer by 32% for BRCA 1 Gene

Kneeling breast feeding mother Deutsch: Kniend...

Kneeling breast feeding mother Deutsch: Kniende Mutter mit Kind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s relatively common knowledge that long term breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Even so, some prominent cancer organizations still don’t wholeheartedly embrace the premise.  Cancer.org reports:

Not breast-feeding: Some studies have shown that breast-feeding slightly lowers breast cancer risk, especially if the breast-feeding lasts 1½ to 2 years. This could be because breast-feeding lowers a woman’s total number of menstrual periods, as does pregnancy. But this has been hard to study because, in countries such as the United States, breast-feeding for this long is uncommon.

Yet I find it ironic there is enough information to make the following claim:

Breast implants: Silicone breast implants can cause scar tissue to form in the breast. But studies have found that this does not increase breast cancer risk. If you have breast implants, you might need special x-ray pictures during mammograms.

A new study has shown significant reduction in breast cancer rates in women who carry the BRCA1 gene, which puts them at high risk for breast cancer.

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5 Reasons Children at Great Risk from GE Foods; 54 Senators Ask the FDA to Label GE Foods

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically Modified Food (Photo credit: Peter Blanchard)

Just like children’s growing little bodies put them at a greater risk of suffering from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals, the same holds true for genetically engineered (GE) foods.

According Seed of Deception, there are five reasons children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of GE foods:

  1. Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most
  2. Children are more susceptible to allergies
  3. Children are more susceptible to problems with milk
  4. Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems
  5. Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases

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