Your macaroni and cheese could contain harmful industrial chemicals

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Around 10 years ago, chemicals called phthalates were banned from children’s toys. But researchers recently detected them in food children (and all of us) commonly eat: macaroni and cheese. Phthalates can disrupt hormones and have been connected to birth defects, but were found in high amounts in the powdered cheese common in macaroni and cheese mixes. Researchers tested 30 cheese products and found phthalates in 29 of them; in powdered cheese, phthalate amounts were four times higher than in other cheese products. The potentially harmful chemicals are used in plastics or packaging ink, so while they’re not intentionally added to food, they can migrate into products via food processing equipment or packaging. Related: Glyphosate found in Cheerios, Kashi cookies, and other popular food items The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not banned phthalates in food. But according to the research summary , phthalates threaten the health of pregnant women and children. Researchers said there are multiple studies that connect prenatal exposure to the chemicals with with abnormal brain development. The New York Times said phthalates have been connected with behavior and learning issues in children. The researchers decided to test cheese after a 2014 scientific review said dairy products are “the greatest source of dietary exposure” to DEHP – which the researchers describe as the phthalate most widely restricted – for babies and women who could get pregnant. In this recent research, among all 30 products, DEHP was detected most commonly and in higher average concentrations than other phthalates. The researchers are calling on Kraft to take action; nine of the tested products were made by the company. The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, a group of nonprofit organizations, released the research summary on the website #KleanUpKraft in time for National Macaroni and Cheese Day today. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign director Mike Schade said in a statement, “The good news is that there are safer, affordable alternatives to phthalates. Kraft should identify and eliminate any phthalates in its cheese products by ensuring that safer alternatives are used in food processing and packaging materials throughout its supply chain.” + #KleanUpKraft Via The New York Times and the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging Images via Pixabay and Mike Mozart on Flickr

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Your macaroni and cheese could contain harmful industrial chemicals

Rotating indoor garden grows up to 100 herbs and vegetables every month

July 14, 2017 by  
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Growing your own home garden has never been easier or more beautiful. The innovative Ogarden is a spherical indoor garden with a rotating circular wheel that provides an optimal growing environment for leafy vegetable and herbs. The compact, clutter-free home gardening system allows virtually anyone to grow up to 100 herbs and vegetables a month, with very little maintenance. Ogarden is a soundless, odorless growing system that was designed for any home environment and it comes with its own storage space inside the unit, making it an attractive garden space with little-to-no clutter. The system comes with a small bag of organic soil , and owners can choose from a catalogue of seedlings including lettuces, basil, brocolette, onions, cabbage, chives, etc. The first step is to plant the seeds in the soil provided and place under the neon lamp in the storage shelf. When the seedlings are ready, they should be transplanted into the growing tubes and placed in the individual slots inside the wheel. Related: Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap Once the plants are in place, the wheel slowly begins to rotate around a central lamp. A programmable bulb inside the lamp turns on and off depending on the plants’ cycles, providing consistent light to each plant. The greenery should be watered once to twice a week and – voilà – a variety of organic, home-grown veggies right at your fingertips. + Ogarden Via Uncrate Images via Ogarden  

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Rotating indoor garden grows up to 100 herbs and vegetables every month

46 Republicans join Democrats to protect climate change language

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Bipartisanship feels increasingly rare in the United States today, but a recent House of Representatives vote shows it isn’t dead yet. 46 Republicans aligned with Democrats on a vote over language about climate change in defense policy legislation , tipping the vote against an amendment that would have removed the language. It’s a small step, but one advocates hope points to shifting opinions on climate change among Republicans. Representative Scott Perry, a Republican of Pennsylvania, put forward an amendment that would have stripped defense policy legislation of language saying climate change is a direct threat to national security . The legislation in question also requires new analysis from the Department of Defense on climate change’s potential impact on the military . Perry’s amendment would have taken out the language calling for the analysis. Related: Cities rebel against Trump by posting climate data his EPA took down But almost 50 Republicans didn’t agree. The final vote was 185 to 234 . Of the Democrats who voted, all voted against the amendment. 14 representatives, a mixture of Republicans and Democrats, did not vote. During floor debate Perry, who is an Army veteran, said climate change shouldn’t be a priority for military commanders facing threats like North Korea or Islamist extremism, saying, “Literally litanies of other federal agencies deal with environmental issues including climate change.” He also said lawmakers shouldn’t decide the commanders’ priorities. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican of Florida, said policymakers should be “clear-eyed” about climate change. She pointed to sea level rise as a potential threat for military installations. And Elise Stefanik, a Republican of New York, said “we would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security” by not considering climate change’s impact on the military. Republicans from both red and blue states opposed Perry’s legislation, including representatives from Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Via Axios Images via Phil Roeder on Flickr and Molly Adams on Flickr

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46 Republicans join Democrats to protect climate change language

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