McDonalds says no to genetically modified potato

Sound the fryer timer. The potato wars have begun. Last week a new genetically modified potato designed to produce less of a carcinogenic byproduct when fried won approval from the USDA. This week, McDonalds says, naw, probably not going to use it. Food activists are elated. It’s starchy. It’s complicated. Read on.

Nuts, let us count the crazy number of ways they’re good for you

We already knew nuts were pretty good for us. This week we learned that people who regularly consumed nuts are less likely to die of cancer or heart disease, according to a major study by Harvard University researchers. Fortunately, this news arrives just as we’re ready to set the nut dish out for the holidays. Here’s our list of what to include.

Cancer-free barbecue: All you need is this one cheap trick

When I saw the headline “Cancer-proof your barbecue”– I couldn’t resist. I’m a sucker for cancer-free lifestyle tips (who isn’t?) and I’d been wondering if someone had solved that problem of cancer-causing compounds leaping onto your grilled meat when the fat hits the charcoal or the heating element. Now, after reading this article, and just in time for summer, I’m prepared to reveal the ONE trick you need to know. Read on. Really there’s nothing to buy.

The Dirty Dozen updated: Apples top the list for pesticide residues

Apples, strawberries, grapes and celery. All of these are healthy foods, but unfortunately they arrive at the grocery with the highest pesticide residues and top the latest “Dirty Dozen” list released by the Environmental Working Group. The other Dirty Dozen foods include some of the most delectable fruits and vegetables. You’ll just have to buy the organic versions if you want to avoid the trace pesticides that ride along.

‘Mind the Store’ program wants to purge toxic chemicals from our household products

There’s a new game in the battle over chemicals in consumer products and it appears to set titan against titan, by enlisting Big Box stores in the effort to get toxic chemicals out of cosmetics, furniture and household goods. The opposing titan is, of course, the chemical industry, which has fought strong government oversight for decades. Here’s how the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition hopes to win.

One cancer risk you can easily remove from your life

It’s a little like a storyline from those nuclear-age science-fiction movies from the 1950s. An invisible, insidious gas invades your home, poised to undermine your family’s health.
But this is no fiction. It’s radon, a gas that exists naturally in the earth, but can concentrate in homes raising the cancer risk for those who are exposed long term.

What you need for a greener kitchen: Healthy cookware

Keeping it greener in the kitchen can mean many things. You may be using more fresh vegetables or local foods, literally adding greens. Perhaps you’ve switched to greener cleaners that don’t use bleach or ammonia.

Now it’s time to take stock of your cookware.

If you’re still using pans coated with Teflon or a similar nonstick surface, you’ll want to get familiar with — and then get away from — the polytetrafluoroetheylenes (PTFE) used in this old-style technology. When heated to high temperatures pans coated with this substance release fumes into the air that contain hazardous compounds called perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs.

Study shows red meat consumption increases the risk of dying

One of the largest studies to ever examine the health effects of red meat consumption has found that it significantly increases the risk of dying prematurely for both men and women.

The study, which followed 121,342 men and women for 28 years, found that higher consumption of both unprocessed red meat and processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, ham) was associated with an elevated risk death, mainly from cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and cancer

NRDC attempts to head off ‘weed and feed’ pollution

Just in time for weed-and-feed season, the Natural Resources Defense Council has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to stop the use of the weed killed known as 2,4-D.
This neurotoxic chemical, infamous as a key ingredient in Agent Orange, is still allowed in products used to treat lawns, golf courses and in commercial operations.

Clearing the air: NYC proposes banning smoking in parks

New York City already has smoke-free restaurants. It may soon have smoke-free parks, beaches and outdoor plazas.
Under a proposal announced Thursday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Councilmember Gale Brewer, the existing local Smoke Free Air Act that bans smoking in workplaces and indoor gathering spots, would be expanded to include the great outdoors.

A beautiful lawn, without oil

Like everyone else, I’ve been examining my use of oil and petrochemicals in the wake of the BP hemorrhage in the gulf.
We all know that getting a higher mileage car, a hybrid or even an electric vehicle, would slash our personal oil dependency.
But if you’re like me, not ready to trade in the functioning vehicle in the driveway, you’ll need to look elsewhere to squeeze some oil out of your consumption. Fortunately, and unfortunately, American consumer goods are infused with petrochemicals and oil byproducts. Plastics, pesticides and a vast array of products are made with oil. Not to mention that many of the foods we buy have high oil costs when they’re transported from thousands of miles away. So pick your starting point, reduce and recycle plastics; buy local food; go organic.

Pesticides, ADHD and what we can do about it

After reading today’s news about yet another study linking pesticides to yet another health issue, in this case ADHD, I thought maybe this time, we’ll pay attention to this dark undercurrent in modern life. Perhaps now, with 3-7 percent of kids affected by ADHD, and the disorder possibly triggered by pesticide exposure, we’ll finally see that it really is something in the water — and the food — that’s causing this crisis.