Are Melamine Dishes Safe to Use?

med_melamine_dishes_colLast night I was talking with my friend Kari from Twin Mama Loves, and she was asking me about Melamine and if I knew if it was safe to eat off of or not. And sadly I didn’t and I figured this is important stuff, I should know this. She has some melamine dishes and wasnt sure if she should use them being concerned about what toxins could be in them. I started looking around and here is some of what I found.

From Sarah’s Cucina Bella post back in May of 2007, she writes;

But after weeks of coverage of the tainted pet food that has killed countless pets from kidney failure, it’s come to light that the chemical pesticide that harmed the animals was melamine – the same chemical that is in the melamine resin that my son’s plates are made of. It’s bad enough that the harmful chemical has made it’s way into our food supply.

What I am understanding is that if ingested, melamine is not safe, but to simply eat off the plates isn’t bad unless they are heated to significant discoloration. The “scare” with melamine is based on the use of melamine powder as a protein source in food additives. It makes stuff “look” as if it has more food value to chemical tests for content, and, because product was analyzed in this way, it sneaked into the food chain – pet food in particular. Hence the problem with animals getting sick and dying.

So I am not sure I am on board with the using of Melamine dishes, I think they are very collectable and so people are afraid to maybe say that they aren’t good to be eating off of, especially if you don’t know the people that used them, not knowing if they used the microwave a lot.

Green Exercise Gear

904238_23152257Get into shape with these great eco-friendly exercise products.

Latex-Free Eco Exercise Ball Kit: Exercise balls enable you to improve core strength and balance and provide a firm, comfortable surface for a wide variety of activities.

The Original Eco Yoga Mat: The Original Eco Yoga Mat is composed exclusively of all-natural rubber and jute fiber. The Original Eco mat is the most earth-conscious and eco-friendly yoga mat option available today.

REI’s Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Recycled Sit-On-Top Kayak: Great for surfing or cruising and stable enough for diving or fishing. Made from 100% recycled Ocean Kayak post-industrial plastic waste that’s actually stronger than the original material.

Eclipse Solar Gear The Reactor Solar BackPack: This stylish and smart backpack is the first in a line of backpacks with an integrated solar charging solution. Perfect for the student, mobile commuter, and outdoorsman, this backpack provides a quality pack with an integrated solar charging module for your high-tech toys.

Organic Workout Wear for Men and Women: Whether you want to kick back in comfortable casual wear, hit the road in a new pair of running shoes or stretch it out in some yoga clothing, these companies have the outfits for you. Find natural organic hemp clothing, 100% cotton, name brand athletic wear and comfy exercise clothes – there’s lots here to suit your style.

Solar Ray-Dio: Tune in to your favorite radio stations anytime and nearly anywhere with the Solar Radio. On a full charge, the radio will play for 8 hours. It’s lightweight and compact, making it ideal for travel.

Green Cosmetics by Tarte

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Tarte Cosmetics, started in 1999 by Maureen Kelly, is the leader in earth engineered™ beauty offering the widest selection of natural cosmetics full of skinvigorating™ ingredients including our proprietary t5 super fruit complex™ (a blend of the five most active, free-radical fighting super fruits), vitamins, minerals and natural fruit and plant extracts. But it’s not just about what’s in our healthy formulas; it’s what’s not in them that really sets us apart! We are 100% free of parabens, petro-chemicals, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, just to name a few.

They offer a plethora of wonderful green items. And their cosmetics are loved and have been used by many of Hollywoods top Actresses and Models.

New for the Fall of 2009: Dark circle defense natural under eye corrector and brush, Femme Fatale refillable natural eye palette, Green siren natural cheek stain, and Lifted natural eye primer with Firmitol.

One of the best parts of Tartes company practices is that they give back. “every year a chunk of land equivalent to the average-size U.S. state disappears, affecting an estimated 1 million of the world’s 5 million species of plants and animals”. Sambazon, the global leader in acai, started the Sustainable Amazon Partnership (SAP) as part of their market-driven conservation business model in the Amazon Rainforest. With the purchase of every tarte product that has their new t5 super fruit complex™, customers will be helping to preserve the Amazon Rainforest through forest conservation, improved living conditions and educational opportunities for communities in Brazil. What could be better than that? Next time you are on the look out for new makeup, check out Tarte and be a part of rainforest conservation.


Top 10 Cheap Health Foods

While rummaging through You Tube, I came across this video on the Top 10 Cheap Health Foods. I have started paying better attention to the foods that I eat and the additives that are in foods and now I buy mostly natural and organic items but sometimes that can be a bit expensive. So I was looking for cheaper ways to eat healthy. I feel better when I eat healthy and feeling good helps keep me away from the donuts and junk food.

Here are the Top 10 Cheap eats:

  1. Organic, Cage-free Eggs
  2. Organic Plain Yogurt
  3. Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  4. Berries
  5. Buckwheat
  6. Coconut Milk
  7. Spinach
  8. Garlic
  9. Wild Rice
  10. Lentels

The Best All-Natural Sunscreens

847571_26770997Did you know that most of the sunscreen you buy at the store are filled with potentially harmful chemicals that can leach into your skin and cause long last effects when used over time? This is a bad thing for any person but when you think about putting this sunscreen on babies and toddlers who tend to put their hands and feet in their mouth, we are essentially letting them lick the sunscreen. So not only is it leaching through their skin, they are ingesting it too.

The best way to protect your family from the sun and from harmful chemicals is to pick an all natural sun screen to use. Below are a few suggestions to help you find the best sunscreen for your needs.

Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen – Naturopathically based, using only all-natural and organic ingredients.

erbaviva – Completely natural sunscreen for children and adults. SPF 15. Lightly scented with organic lavender and chamomile essential oils.

Badger All-Natural Sunscreen – Highly rated for safety and effectiveness by the Environmental Working Group.

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun – Perfect for children and adults with sun-sensitive skin. With seven different kinds to choose from.

Marie Veronique Organics Creme Du Jour –  For sunscreen AND anti aging, their sunscreen formulas are non-comedogenic and are recommended for all skin types.

Purple Prairie Sun Stick – 100% Natural, biodegradable and environmentally safe.

Lavera Sun Block – Fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. Certified all natural and contains organic ingredients.

California Baby Sunscreen – Unfragranced, PABA-free, non-chemical, perfect for any baby or child with skin sensitivities or fragrance allergies.

Can Wearing a Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

297692_4729We are concerned about what is in the food we eat, concerned about what is in the air that we breath and concerned about the toxins in the lotions/soaps we use daily, but many of us don’t realize that what we wear everyday can be causing major health issues.

In a study of 4,500 women in five cities across the US, done by medical researcher Sydney Singer and his wife Soma Grismaijer, triggered by Soma’s discovery of a lump in her breast when she was pregnant, found that;

  • 3 out of 4 women who wore their bras 24 hours per day developed breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 7 women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed developed breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 152 women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day got breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 168 women who wore bras rarely or never acquired breast cancer.

Most people think that the pressure from bras is not a health hazard.

The World Health Organization calls chemical toxins the primary cause of cancer. But poisons accumulating in breast tissue are normally flushed by clear lymph fluid into large clusters of lymph nodes nestling in the armpits and upper chest. The Singers found that “because lymphatic vessels are very thin, they are extremely sensitive to pressure and are easily compressed.” Chronic minimal pressure on the breasts can cause lymph valves and vessels to close. After 15 or 20 years of bra-constricted lymph drainage, cancer can result.

So can wearing a bra cause breast cancer? The main reason why bras are bad for breast health is because they restrict the lymph flow in your breasts. Normally the lymph fluid washes waste and toxins away from the breasts. In other words, bras inhibit the way our bodies normally cleanse themselves and get rid of cancer cells and toxins like PCBs, DDT, dioxin, benzene and other carsinogenic chemicals that cling to the body’s fatty tissues like breast. So it makes sense to me that wearing bras can have a negative impact on your breast health.

And what can we do to help reduce our chances of getting breast cancer? If you must wear a bra, choose loose-fitting cotton bras. Make sure you can slip two fingers under the shoulder-straps and side-panels. And never sleep in your bra and stay away from push-up and sports bras.

For more information and help understanding the Lymphatic System click here.



How to Green Your Memorial Day

754989_73943834Memorial day weekend is known for barbecues, picnics and all things outdoors. Sitting at my desk I have watched 100 or more RVs and trailers go rolling by. Memorial day marks the beginning of the warm weather. Essentially its the first time of the year for most to take their campers, trailers, and tents out.

But all this traveling, camping, rving can really be hard on the environment.No matter what you do this weekend, try to implement some of these tips to make your carbon footprint a little lighter.

Barbecue

  • Mow the lawn with a push mower.
  • Purchase an electric grill powered by wind energy or a solar powered grill.
  • Use natural cleaning products to clean up your lounge chairs and table.
  • Use lump charcoal made from natural and sustainable wood and try to avoid using lighter fluid.

Picnic

  • Use biodegradable utensils, bowls and cups.
  • Have a recycling bin handy, next to the trash.
  • Use cloth napkins.
  • Use organic bug spray and repellent to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay.

RV and Trailer

  • Add solar panels to your RV. This can help save on shore and/or generator power usage.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lighting, even the running and parking lights.
  • Use paper plates instead of plastic, reducing landfill decomposition time. Picking up some plates from the goodwill and keeping them in your RV/Trailor is the best sustainable option.
  • Use GEO method for controlling odor in your holding tanks rather than holding tank chemicals.

Camping

  • Recycle what ever items you bring in with you.
  • When shopping for your trip, think ahead about what you will have to throw away. Think of ways to reduce your waste while camping.
  • Be conscious of nearby water sources. Make sure and keep your waste out of the water, use the bathroom when possible.
  • Stay on the designated trails. Traveling off the path leads to soil erosion.

Your Home Harvests

basket-9If you live in Salem, Oregon and surrounding areas you are fortunate to have the opportunity to have Your Home Harvests create a garden for you. Many of us want to eat organic and would love to have our own gardens but most of us don’t have the time or knowledge to get it started. Your Home Harvests can help.

What makes Your Home Harvest such a great company to work with is that they plant the garden in your own yard and give you the choice of taking it from there or have them do all the hard work. This is great for older folks who can no longer do the physical work or for those business workers who just don’t have the time in the day to keep up with a gardens constant needs. Another option you have is to create your own package to fit your needs.

Price:

Most gardens will cost between $2 and $4 per square foot of growing space. Small gardens start under $300 and there are several garden configurations under $500 installed.

Services:

  • The whole kit & caboodle – They install, maintain and harvest your garden from installation through October.
  • Preparation and ongoing advice – They install your garden beds and prepare the soil, plant what can go in at that time, leave you with some seeds, plants, and a week by week garden calendar. They will track your garden in their system and be available by phone to answer your questions.
  • Just the Preparation – They install your garden beds and prepare the soil, plant what can go in at that time and leave you with some seeds and a garden calendar to help you go it alone.

Phiosophy:

They believe that children and adults should be able to pick a tomato off the vine and eat it without fear, so we use no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers in our gardens.

If you are interested in having Your Home Harvest start a garden for you, give them a call. Click here for their contact information.

Organic Undies for the Whole Family

4ddda2cf91ea749f2c8eac420e64df5ee3045904_smallWho in their right mind wouldn’t want to wear organic cotton, of all the clothes you put on your body, under garments are the ones closest to you at all times. Organic cotton is extremely breathable unlike synthetics that pill, emit static electricity, prematurely age and trap perspiration.

For Women

Victoria’s Secret: Fair traded organic cotton grown by women-owned farming cooperatives in Burkina Faso. They have an Organic Thong Panty Set and an Organic Wireless Bra and Hiphugger.

Blue Canoe: 100% organic cotton in string bikini, high cut and full cut.

Gaiam: Organic cotton underwear and bra.

For Men

Cottonfield: Organically grown cotton apparel. Latex-free, 100% organic cotton classic briefs, boxer briefs, and sports briefs.

Red Dog Eco-sport: SKAL certified organic cotton, grown without chemicals or pesticides.

For Children

Under The Nile: Girls briefs, boys briefs and training pants,  in 100% organic Egyptian cotton.

Ecoland: Girl’s hipster and boy’s brief all natural, made from the highest quality 100% organic cotton.

For the Whole Family

Eco Body Wear: Womens and mens underwear, made from 90% organic and 10% spandex. Boys and girls briefs made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton.

For more information on good and bad panties along with a video,  check out More than pretty knickers.

Garlic’s Health Benefits

Garlic clovesGarlic, a member of the Allium family, is believed to be one of the oldest cultivated plants, with a history going back over 5,000 years.

Recent studies show that garlic contains a powerful antioxidant that is good for cardiovascular health, that garlic can in some cases reduce LDL or bad cholesterol, and it can be a good blood thinning agent with the potential of reducing the risk of blood clots.

Here are some other garlic health benefits:

Cancer Prevention – Population studies have revealed that eating garlic regularly, along with other alliums such as onions chives and scallions, reduces the risk of oesophageal, colon and stomach cancer.

Heart – Garlic is renowned for its abilities to lower cholesterol and blood pressure naturally and protect against heart disease and stroke. Garlic has also been found to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in blood vessels aiding their dilation, and assist the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots.

Diabetes – Some of the damage that can result from the degenerative effects of diabetes such as diseases of the kidney, retina and nervous system, may be deterred by garlic.

Anti-Inflammatory – The sulfur compounds in garlic have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the activity of inflammatory enzymes. Along with vitamin C this can make garlic a protection against the pain associated with arthritis and asthma attacks.

Try this great Roasted Garlic Recipe from Simply Recipes.