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The Dirty Dozen PLUS

This article was originally published on Healthy Child Healthy World.

by Anh Nguyen, Communications & Programs Coordinator, Healthy Child Healthy World

No one will contest that a healthy diet must be rich in fruits and vegetables, but have you thought about the toxic pesticides you could be consuming with your fresh produce? According to a recent survey by the Environmental Working Group, 68 percent of food samples had detectable pesticide residues. So which crops are safe to eat, and which are best bought organic?

For the eighth year in a row, the Environmental Working Group has released their list of the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables on the market as part of their 2012 Shoppers Guide. This year, they have expanded their Dirty Dozen list to 14, calling it the Dirty Dozen Plus. The two new crops, green beans and leafy greens (i.e. kale and collard greens) were found to be commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides.

Apples were dubbed the most contaminated produce because 98% of have detectable levels of pesticides. Other significant findings include:

  • Domestic blueberries tested positive for 42 different pesticide residues.
  • Seventy-eight different pesticides were found on lettuce samples.
  • Every single nectarine USDA tested had measurable pesticide residues.
  • As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other fruit, with 64 different chemicals.
  • Thirteen different pesticides were measured on a single sample each of celery and strawberries.

The EWG does stress that “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.” So if you cannot afford to buy organic all the time, just be extra conscious about carefully washing any produce on the Dirty Dozen Plus, or buy more of those that made it to their Clean Fifteen list.


Photo Credit – Gretchen Tseng

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Filed under Education, Farming, Investigations, Vegan, Vegetarian

US vs. UK: Mac ‘n Cheese Smackdown

This article was published in the most recent Healthy Child Healthy World newsletter…food for thought!… Gretchen


Did you know Kraft makes a different, safer Mac ‘n Cheese formulation for the UK?

Robyn O’Brien, author of ‘The Unhealthy Truth’, founder of Allergy Kids and Healthy Child Parent Ambassador, moderates a smackdown of these 7.25 ounce cheesy-weights:

As we are quickly learning, other countries have chosen not to allow things like artificial growth hormones, food dyes derived from petrochemicals and genetically engineered ingredients into their food supplies – particularly in the foods fed to children.

And in response to this demand many American food manufacturers now create two versions of their product, one for the US and a “cleaner” version for the moms, dads and kids in the 27 countries in Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the U.K.

So how different could those two versions be, you ask? After all, “food is food”, right?

Well, let’s take a look at one of our staples, macaroni and cheese:

U.S. Version of Kraft Mac & Cheese:

Enriched Macaroni Product (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Cheese Sauce Mix (Whey, Modified Food Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Contains Less Than 2% of Parmesan Cheese [Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Dried Buttermilk, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Blue Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Sodium Phosphate, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Cream, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Enzymes, Yellow 5, Yellow 6).

U.K. Version of Kraft Mac & Cheese:

Macaroni (Durum Wheat Semolina), Cheese (10%), Whey Powder (from milk), Lactose, Salt, Emulsifying Salts (E339, E341), Colours (Paprika Extract, Beta-Carotene)

Given that Kraft’s latest ad campaign invites us to “Bring Back the Fun”, while we’re at it, how about they bring back products that don’t contain ingredients that have been shown to cause things like hyperactivity, cancer and allergies? You know, products like their UK version of mac and cheese that don’t contain the artificial dyes like the ones seen on these kids’ tongues?

Wouldn’t that be fun?

Tell Kraft to stop using risky artificial food dyes in their US products today!
Read more: http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/us_vs_uk_mac_n_cheese_smackdown/#ixzz1MvgX6EGx

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This article was written by Janelle Sorensen for Healthy Child Health World.

Forget the hundreds of toxic products that are uniquely created for specific cleaning needs. Typically, most cleaning can be addressed with safe kitchen staples.

Today, consider the wonders of salt. Many of you on the DIY cleaning train are used to reaching for baking soda or vinegar, but salt is also a magnificent multi-tasker.

Here are but a few of the superpowers of salt:

1. Hand helper. Mix salt and vinegar and rub over your hands to remove garlic or onion scents from your skin.

2. Shine time. Mix together equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar and apply to brass, copper, or even gold with a cloth. Let sit for an hour, wipe off, and buff.

3. Burn buster. If you burn food in a metal pot or pan, add salt immediately after removing the food to help the burnt bits loosen easier.

4. Chimney sweep. Toss a handful of salt on your fire here and there to help keep your chimney clean.

5. Wicker whitener. Brighten wicker by applying saltwater with a brush and drying in the sun.

6. Oven and stove stain annihilator. Cover spills immediately with salt. Let stand for a few minutes (adding a little water if necessary) and then wipe up. The salt absorbs the liquids and helps loosen them from the surface. Salt is especially effective at absorbing grease and oils.

7. Dish duty. If you run out of dish soap, sprinkle about a tablespoon into a sink full of water and just make sure to rinse the dishes well afterwards. Because salt water dries out your skin, be sure to wear gloves or use moisturizer afterwards.

8. Mildew manager. Mix one part salt and one part lemon juice and apply to mildew in bathrooms and kitchens.

9. Red wine remediation. If red wine is spilled on a rug or carpeting, immediately blot up all moisture and then sprinkle the area with salt. The salt should absorb any remaining wine in about 15 minutes (turning pink as a result). Wipe up the salt and clean the area with a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Moisten and blot. Moisten and blot.

10. Countertop cleaner. Dip a cloth in vinegar and then in salt. Rub over countertops to erase tea and coffee stains.

Have you used salt for cleaning? Share your tips!

To read the article on Healthy Child Healthy World’s website click here

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