Tag Archives: green living

Burger King to Serve Cage-Free Eggs and Pork by 2017

Burger King announced some very interesting news. As the world’s third largest burger chain, they have pledged that all of their eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017.

This move comes as a rise in consumer demand for humanely produced food has increased. Many animal welfare activist have been pushing to see livestock out of cages. Burger King is the first to make the official move while many other companies are responding as well.

Traditionally, conventional eggs come from hens that are confined to “battery cages.” These are cages that give the hen about as much space as a sheet of notebook paper. Most pork comes from sows who are confined in narrow crates during their four-month pregnancies.

These conditions are pretty rough and have many activists upset. The cage-free hens will be housed in barns with room to move and they’ll have perches and nesting boxes. The cage-free sows will be indoors but no longer in crates while pregnant. These methods raise production costs according to egg and pork producers. (more…)

Central Park’s Edible Urban Garden is Ripe for the Picking

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Living in an urban environment one can frequently go for long periods of time without getting intimate with nature. Maybe even a lifetime. It is rare to see urbanites digging in the ground or planting a garden. And when envisioning a Mecca of wild edible plants, most likely a concrete jungle does not come to mind.

Think again.

As it turns out, Manhattan’s Central Park is home to more than 100 species of wild edible plants. Edible and free!

It takes an expert in what is called foraging, searching for food sources, to point out which species are edible and which are not. I met a foraging expert this Earth Day, his name is Wildman Steve Brill. He has been offering foraging tours of Central Park for nearly 30 years.

I joined Wildman for one of his four hour Central Park tours where around 30 participants plucked plants right from the ground and popped them in their mouths, and sampled flower buds off of a low hanging branch to savor their flavor profile. Spring is the season of greens, and small budding flowers. In four hours we all consumed plenty of wild greens and small budding flowers. (more…)

A HowGood Rating at the Grocery Store Will Make You a More Conscious Consumer

I’d never given much thought to milk. It’s just milk after all. When my daughter turned one last year and started drinking it, suddenly milk wasn’t just milk. In my mind there was milk that I wouldn’t dare let her drink, and there was the best milk I could possibly give to her. I didn’t want her tiny body being exposed to unnecessary hormones, chemicals, or anything else that milk has been getting a bad rap for. I just wanted her to simply have a cup of the protein-rich food that would help her grow to be the big girl that she now thinks she is, on the cusp of a second birthday.

Standing at the grocery cooler inspecting the dozens of options before me, in the end I had a package and price to go off of. I had to weigh the two and make my selection. However, if I were researching my milk purchase today, I might be able to consider the product’s HowGood score. Horizon would have no “globes,” Stonyfield would have a “good” score with one globe, and Organic Valley would have a “very good” score with two globes.

You have no idea what I’m talking about, but Alexander Gillett is working really hard to change that. He and his brother, Arthur, launched HowGood four months ago. They’ve scored more than 100,000 products and awarded each of them zero to three globes. The more globes, the more sustainable the product is.

Alexander explained that with the HowGood sustainability rating displayed right on the price tag at the point of purchase people can expand their decision based on more than price and package claims. He says they’ve found that people are willing to pay a little more for a “greener” product. “The reality is a product that is sustainable costs a little bit more,” he told us.

This is why the “best milk” isn’t always going to be determined by a price or marketing. He explained that the “best milk” may cost even 15 cents more than its seemingly similar competitor, but customers are willing to pay that. “The best-rated milk product saw an increase in sales of 36 percent in one month, and continued over the next four months,” Alexander told us of actual stores sales where the HowGood label was used. (more…)

Dr. Andrew Weil’s Pasta Puttanesca Recipe from Dr. Oz

On today’s Dr. Oz, he visits with Dr. Andrew Weil to discuss the benefits of living a more holistic, naturally health lifestyle. Weil is a leader in alternative health practices, authoring books like Eating Well for Optimum Health in which he prescribes food as medicine.

On the Dr. Oz episode, Dr. Weil shares five secrets that allow you to naturally increase your energy, immunity, prevent heart disease, and to lose weight. He says “you’ll be amazed at the changes” you feel when you follow his advice. He talks up the benefits of including more fiber in your diet, as well as a supplement regimen that includes vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, CoQ10, and niacin.

Dr. Weil also shares with the audience a “cancer-fighting super meal,” also known as Pasta Puttanesca with Tuna.

Ingredients

2 (28 oz) cans Italian tomatoes, drained and crushed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tbsp capers
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
3 mashed garlic cloves
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced
1 lb dried pasta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 package/can of healthy pouch/canned tuna (low-mercury type) (more…)

Increase Your Body’s Fuel Efficiency in the Winter

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

We all know what a fuel efficient car is, well at least the basic idea behind it. I mean, I couldn’t point one out to you on the street’ and if you wanted to tell me to look for one you would have to say something like, “Abra, the red one, the small red car” then I would get it. A fuel efficient car reserves energy so as not to gobble up fuel, it saves money, it’s better for the environment, and overall makes a lot of logical sense.

But when I tell people that in the winter our bodies are looking for ways to conserve energy, to be more fuel efficient, I am met with resistance. Slow down? Conserve energy?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that people should live in harmony with their environment, to honor the seasons and their affect on our bodies.

In winter nature slows down, hibernates, the energy of the earth goes inward and internally begins the process of renewal for spring. To live in harmony with your environment during the season of winter means to honor the same principle: slow down, calm down, conserve energy allowing your body to prepare for renewal in the spring. Winter health in TCM is focused on the kidneys. Kidney health is the core of vitality, the source of strength throughout the body. When the kidneys are weak we age faster than we should, we feel more tired, our sex drive is decreased and their is an overall lethargy throughout the body.

To embrace winter and all the glorious peaceful qualities that come along with it align your food and exercise regimen with the season. (more…)

Alternative Diets and HIIT Lead 2011 Diet and Fitness Trends

The year in fitness and dieting 2011 was far from uneventful. The introduction of MyPlate, larger conversations about nutrition in school food, and the condemnation of too-thin celebrities kept things interesting and proved that we don’t see diet, nutrition and fitness as just fads, they’re a part of our lifestyles. From our vantage point, there were a few things that will make 2011 memorable and keep the fit-focused conversations moving in 2012.

We’ve identified seven trends that really came in to their own in 2011, and will no doubt carry weight in the new year.

1. Gluten-Free Diet. Throw diet on the end and it sounds like anyone with a few pounds to lose could be benefited by this eating regimen. However, the gluten-free diet is not one-size-fits-all; it’s a necessity for the three million people living with celiac disease, according to University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, or gluten intolerances. This autoimmune disorder affects the digestive process, which is disrupted when they consume gluten, the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. In the past year, the availability of gluten-free labeling and gluten-free products has made it easier than ever for those who actually need to follow a GF diet to do so.

2. HIIT. This High Intensity Interval Training was all the rage this year, whether people realized they were doing it or not. Programs like P90X, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, and the new PINK Method rely on this style of training, which uses quick bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of recovery, in a constant series. HIIT is one trend that actually has staying power, and Liz Neporent, author of 12 fitness titles including The Winner’s Brain, explains why. “HITTS is attractive because you can get a great workout in less time. Instead of  dedicating a full hour to cardio and then an additional 20-30 minutes to weights – you can often pack in an awesome workout and burn tons of calories in as little as 20 minutes.” She explains more about HIITs in this episode of Health Buzz.

3. Juicing and Raw Diets. Our pressed-for-time society found a way to eat right without too much prep time. It’s called the raw diet, and can stand alone or be followed in conjunction with the juice diet. Whether for weight loss, to reverse disease, or to be conscientious about the earth, the raw diet boasts a lot of nutritional benefits for its dedicated followers. “Raw vegan is moving so quickly, even more so than vegetarian did years ago,” says Mimi Kirk, author of Live Raw, about the trend. “Raw restaurants are popping up, the media is covering this subject, and so many wonderful documentaries are in the theaters [i.e. “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead”] educating people about the food we consume.” We agree with Mimi’s forecast that we’ll continue to hear a lot more about the raw food movement in 2012. “It’s quite exciting to be part of a conscious group of people who are helping to change themselves and the world for the betterment of all,” added Mimi. (more…)

CSA vs Farmers Market: Which is Right for You?

Years ago, people went to one market or general store to pick up all of the groceries and household items on their shopping list. Today, we have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing food and beverages, from super stores and warehouse clubs to farmers markets and joining a CSA in your community.

CSAs and farmers markets are similar in that both offer local, homegrown produce to customers at prices that are often much cheaper than at the grocery store, however they can differ in price, convenience and quality depending on where your food was grown. Regardless of whether you shop at a market or join a CSA, you are receiving fresher, higher-quality produce because it hasn’t been treated with the chemicals or preservatives necessary to mass-distribute and ship it around the world.

What is a CSA?

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a program that lets you purchase “shares” from a farm in exchange for a weekly delivery of fruits, vegetables and other farm products like milk, eggs and dairy.

(more…)

Joining a CSA: Everything You Need to Know

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, has become a popular alternative way to buy fresh, seasonal food directly from your local farmers.

If you aren’t satisfied with the cost or quality of the produce at your local grocery store or can’t make it to a farmers market, joining a CSA program is a way to ensure that you have the fruits and vegetables you need to prepare healthy meals.

Typically, farmers will sell “shares” to the public, which may include fruits, vegetables or other types of farm products like milk or eggs. Consumers can either pick up or opt to have their shares delivered directly to their door and receive a weekly box or bag of seasonal produce.

“I’ve been participating in an individual CSA with my farmer in upstate NY for the past three years,” said Anne Maxfield, entrepreneur and founder of The Accidental Locavore. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Besides getting the freshest possible produce from a farm where sustainable farming is the standard, I’ve been exposed to all sorts of vegetables (and some fruit) that probably wouldn’t have made it into my shopping cart at the supermarket.”

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The Girl Scouts Attempt a Merit Badge in Sustainability, not Nutrition

By Jamie Birdwell

The Girl Scouts of the USA are trying to earn their merit badge in sustainability.

The use of palm oil in their iconic cookies has become a hot topic for debate recently, with some experts indicating that the oil commonly used in processed foods can cause harm to the environment due to deforestation. All sixteen varieties of Girl Scout cookies contain palm oil, but official Girl Scout cookie bakeries ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers have made a commitment to sustainability, Amanda Hamaker, manager of national products, said.

According to an article in Time Magazine, the awareness about the famous cookies containing palm oil came from none other than a couple of Girl Scouts themselves. While researching about Jane Goodall and her work with primates, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen learned that the use of palm oil can contribute to harming the environment of the orangutan.

“Being a Girl Scout is about showing stewardship for the land. We knew we had to keep fighting.” Vorva said to Time. (more…)

We Love Brita’s Bottle Water Filtration System

We’re an earth-friendly bunch over here at DietsInReview.com. We participate in Meatless Monday, we walk over driving when we can, our offices are paperless, and we rarely buy disposable water bottles.

Isn’t it funny how the things that are good for the earth are also good for your health – eating more vegetables, walking, drinking more water?

Well Brita fits in to that equation more than ever with their new Bottle Water Filtration System. It’s genius, really. Drink tap water from anywhere because the cap of this reusable water bottle has a built-in Brita filter. If you complain that you don’t like the taste of tap, and that’s why you’re burning through cases of plastic water bottles, then your excuse stops here. The Brita Water Filtration System makes the water taste and smell better, reducing the chlorine that makes it from the tap to your mouth. (more…)