Don’t toss that Romaine! There’s a healthy alternative!

Image result for romaine lettuce

Earlier today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers to throw away any and all romaine lettuce. This broad alert was in response to a new outbreak of illnesses caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli contamination. 

Issued just two days before one of the biggest food-related holidays in the United States, the CDC’s warning said restaurants should not serve romaine, stores shouldn’t sell it, and people shouldn’t buy it, no matter where or when the lettuce was grown. The federal agency was clear: whether it’s chopped, a whole head or part of a mix, all romaine should be avoided. This alert comes after 32 people in 11 states became sick from eating contaminated romaine. Thirteen of those effected have been hospitalized, with one patient suffering from a form of kidney failure. To date, no deaths have been reported.

As scary as the news is, one action could help consumers stay healthy in the face of this crisis. Unfortunately, too many Americans disregard this simple step, putting many people’s health at risk. Remarkably, the thing that could help us stay healthier is to simply wash our produce with organic veggie wash. This allows us to wash away the contaminants that are so prevalent in our food. Sounds simple, yet it’s one of the most effective ways of avoiding foodborne impurities.

As we wrote back in 2011, a great majority of our produce comes to us with an often imperceptible coating of contaminants. These include pesticides, fertilizers, dirt, road grit, mold, fungi and waxes, which won’t easily wash off in water.  Yet like our parents and grandparents before us, “most people just wet (the fresh produce) and say “I washed it”,” says Larry Plesant, founder, CEO and Chief Formulator of Vermont Soapworks, a company that makes a wide variety of organic soaps and cleaning products for humans and pets.

To reduce and even eliminate the risk of consuming pesticides, bacteria and other harmful elements, you can get the germs off with organic soap and water, says Plesent, not water alone.

Becoming aware over six years ago of the health risks of eating “as is” fresh produce,  this writer tried a number of produce washes available to consumers. Although there are a number of decent ones out there,  I always seem to come back to Vermont Soap’s Produce Magic Fruit & Veggie Wash. Having personally tested this product on a variety of produce, the difference it makes s amazing. Washing and rinsing lettuce or fruit such as apples or strawberries with this veggie wash brings out a flavor and quality of freshness you’d expect only to find with home grown organic produce. 

So back to this current lettuce / e coli crisis.  What can we do about it?

While the CDC insists that we throw out all the romaine we have, doing so would be a horrible and unnecessary waste. Wouldn’t it be wiser instead to purchase a high quality veggie wash product (like Produce Magic) and take the time to wash  (i.e. clean our food) before we eat it? We wouldn’t have to waste perfectly good food. We’d simply be able to CLEAN it. NOT doing so exposes us to health risks. Making the time – two extra minutes perhaps? – ensures that we are taking precautions that will benefit us and our families. Now who wouldn’t want that?

Genetically engineered mosquitoes could create another mosquito population disaster

mosquito-that-carries-zika

Too often science makes a so-called breakthrough and we jump on its results. But also too often, we blindly leap, never considering the potential issues of the larger picture.

And here we are again.

In an article in yesterday’s Sustainable Pulse, genetic engineering company Oxitec, the company clamoring to release GE mosquitoes to deal with the Zika problem, admitted that reducing one mosquito species could likely lead to a population explosion of the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

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Documentary on Reforesting the planet to save it a finalist at Banff

David Milarch - Bill Werner at  at Sequoia Crest CA, photo by Bill Latka Rivet Entertainment, owned by Archangel

Champion tree at Sequoia Crest, California, photo-by Bill Latka Rivet Entertainment, owned by Archangel

You may remember the name David Milarch. He’s the founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, the organization that gathers genetic material from “champion trees” to create exact clones that will preserve these very special trees and help reforest our planet. David and Archangel have been written about and filmed by a number of entities around the world for the important work they’re doing.

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Protect our environment from improperly disposed meds on this World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day. This isn’t a take-off-from-work holiday and probably a lot of folks may not even be aware of it at all. But as more awareness grows about climate change, the growing worldwide drought and ensuing water scarcity, it’s important to note that what we do has an impact on our surroundings – on our environment and particularly on the availability and drinkability of clean water.

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Texas bans cities from banning fracking. Will this trend become a movement?

Ban Fracking Now 2Yesterday, both houses of the Texas legislature voted to ban cities from banning fracking. This bill, if signed by the Texas governor, would prevent communities from exercising their right to determine the health and welfare of their citizens who want nothing to do with fracking in their areas nor the earthquakes that appear to be related to it. This ban on bans pits communities against the powerful oil and gas lobby, as well as against the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.

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Time to take action on Climate Change – we have the solutions

 

Just read a great article by Ellen Moyer, Ph.D. In it she presents a clear cut analysis of the issues we face with climate change and existing solutions we can take to address these problems.

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Guardedly optimistic progress in obesity in children

Childhood obesity for babies 2As a journalist, I’m skeptical when I read about the latest report showing remarkable progress or “breakthrough results”. All too often the test group is much too small to really demonstrate large sweeping results.

So it’s with a somewhat jaded view that I read the news that there’s been a large drop in childhood obesity.

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