June 8th, 2009 - Laura Klein
Last week, I blogged about the superior nutritional value of pesticide- and herbicide-free plant-based organic foods vs. their conventional counterparts, something I’m deeply passionate about.
This week, I’ve got more fuel for the fire.
A recent study about chronic exposure to low-levels of atrazine, the most heavily-used herbicide in the U.S., links it to myriad health issues in lab rats including:
- insulin resistance
- a heightened risk of diabetes, especially when exposure to atrazine is coupled with high-fat diets.
We’ve all heard about our nation’s unfortunate obesity problem; is it any wonder when obesity-enhancing herbicides are ‘baked in’ to our food? Check out the opening comments of the study…
“ATZ (atrazine)-usage and obesity maps [in the U.S.] show striking overlaps, suggesting that heavy usage of ATZ may be associated with risk of obesity.”
When you opt for organic food, your choosing high doses of nutritionally rich flavors and cancer fighting antioxidants, which adds up to a healthy dose of preventative medicine. When you choose and consume conventionally grown foods you are consuming the toxic traces left behind from herbicides like atrazine…all the more reason to spend a bit more for them at the market – or you can get my free report: The Definitive Guide To Shopping For Organic Foods on a Budget” when you sign up for our free newsletter). Or better yet, grow your own organic favorites or visit your local farmers’ market where you’ll find many pesticide- and herbicide-free fruits and veggies at great prices.
I always advise budget-minded readers that if they have to choose only a few organic foods to invest in, they opt for the ones they consume the most.
What are your experiences with shopping for organic foods on a budget? Leave us a comment – we love hearing from you!
Source: THE SCOOP – May 2009 Organic Center Newsletter Study: Soo Lim et al., “Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance,” Plos One, Vol. 4, Issue 4:e5186, April 2009.
Read More:Eat Your Obesity-Enhancing Herbicides, Kids!
May 20th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
When I was growing up, my grandmother would buy me a new box of Crayola 64-count crayons each summer, with the cool sharpener built into the package. Like most kids, I happily threw my old crayons into the trash.
Today, children can turn their nubby old crayon pieces into perfect new specimens through the National Crayon Recycle Program, which has prevented 44,000 pounds of crayons from piling up in landfills.
How about partnering with your local school for a crayon recycling drive? Kids in every classroom can bring their old crayons to school, and the principal can coordinate a single shipment to the program. Just be sure to read the crayon-prep rules, which include leaving labels intact for easy identification.
Parents and schools can also purchase the recycled results, called Crazy Crayons (available in 26 colors). They’re a great way to teach your children about organic living and the importance of recycling.
Crayola’s Go Green! site for kids
Downloadable environment-themed coloring pages
Tips for raising creative kids
Read More:Recycle Old Crayons!
January 3rd, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
As a parent dedicated to organic living, you play a crucial role in shaping your children’s exercise habits and attitudes.
Here are some tips on keeping kids active and confident in 2007 from Randy McCoy, curriculum director for The Little Gym International. The company’s gymnastics-based classes help kids ages 4 months to 12 years develop motor skills and self-confidence.
- Kids should try their best—but they don’t have to be the best. For most kids, success is about more than winning or losing; it’s about benefiting from the learning that occurs when taking on a challenge, trying their best and having fun.
- Positive reinforcement is a must. Kids thrive in environments where they feel supported and safe. Even more important, children who play and work out in these environments are more likely to continue physical activities later in life.
- Challenge your child. It’s healthy to present new challenges and risks, but do so without expectations. Let kids take challenges at their own pace.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this story.
Read More:Kids on the Move
March 18th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Raising daughters? Then you’re all too familiar with their fixation with belly-baring pop stars and body image. You can certainly provide reassurance and help them eat nutritious organic food. But if your daughter becomes depressed, she may be at risk of developing a higher body mass index (BMI)—the measurement doctors use to determine obesity.
According to a study in this month’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, depression and anxiety disorders during childhood may be associated with a higher BMI into adulthood for women (but not men). The increasing prevalence of obesity among children and adults has become a public health crisis. Understanding the social and psychological conditions associated with obesity could help predict which children and adolescents are likely to become obese adults—something that will help physicians target treatment and prevention efforts. Previous evidence suggests psychological disorders may be one factor associated with weight gain, but studies have been limited.
Sarah E. Anderson, MS, and her colleagues at Tufts University in Boston recently evaluated the association between anxiety disorders/depression and weight gain from childhood into adulthood. The 820 individuals (403 women, 417 men—ages 9 to 18 at the beginning of the study, 28 to 40 at their most recent evaluation) were assessed four times between 1983 and 2003. At each assessment, researchers interviewed participants to determine whether they met clinical criteria for anxiety disorders or depression. The authors calculated BMI, adjusting it for age and gender based on national reference data.
During the study, 310 participants (119 men, 191 women) had anxiety disorders, and 148 (50 men, 98 women) were depressed. Women with anxiety disorders and depression had a significantly higher BMI. The earlier the onset of depression, the higher the woman’s adult weight. “An average-height woman diagnosed with depression at age 14 would weigh about 10 to 16 pounds more than a non-depressed woman by the time both reached age 30 years,” the authors write.
Depression during childhood was associated with an initially lower BMI among boys, but the weight difference in depressed and non-depressed men disappeared over time. Anxiety disorders did not appear to be linked to men’s BMIs at any point throughout the study.
Treating anxiety and depression in girls and women may be one strategy in the battle against obesity, the authors conclude. If your child or teenager is depressed, be sure to seek counseling.
Read More:Child and Adolescent Depression Can Lead to Obesity