This infographic from the Organic Center explains the many benefits of eating organically.
This infographic from the Organic Center explains the many benefits of eating organically.
Scientists at Washington State University compared the milk that came from two groups of cows. The "old fashioned" cows had been fed a diet of mostly corn, probably living in what are called "confined animal feedlots" where they are also treated with hormones and antibiotics. The organic cows were raised in pastures, where they ate grassy plants. Both groups produce milk, but it turns out that the milk from organic cows has much higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the "healthy fats" that are good for the heart.
Both organic and old fashioned milk contain two kinds of fatty acids. Omega-3 helps improve heart health. Omega-6 poses risks for cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation and auto-immune disease.
It's that time of year when my hands are starting to feel so dry, you'd think I lived in the desert. Nope, it's just winter setting in, along with its prescription for cracking skin and painfully tight dryness. Happily, this month's EcoCentric Mom subscription box included butter - hand butter that is, made by The Seaweed Bath Co. from shea butter, neem oil and bladderwrack seaweed extract. I'm not sure what a bladderwrack is, but this balm feels great, and smells yummy, too, with a hint of citrus (or maybe that's what bladderwrack smells like...).
Not to leave lips at the mercy of winter, either, the subscription box also included both the 3 Little Girls Holistic Oange Pop Lip Gloss, and lip scrub and lip colour from Lauren Brooke cosmetiques. The organic sugar in the lip scrub helps smooth chapped lips, then moisturizes with organic lecithin and shea butter. The lip colour is infused with organic pomegranate and non-GMO vitamin E. And of course, the lip gloss is organic, too. Winter or summer, I actually put lip gloss on top of lip colour for extra moisturizing, so am glad to try out both these products.
When you think of a sustainable diet, do you think of bugs? Normally, we wouldn't. But this provocative post from our sponsors at Ecocleen did. It's so interesting, we wanted to share it with you.
It's clear to many people that as the world's population rapidly grows (it's expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2060), many aspects of our current way of life simply aren't sustainable. Our meat-intensive diet is just one of those things.
Many people have become concerned about eating burgers, not only because they can be high in calories and saturated fat, but because producing meat takes a big toll on the environment. Let's start with 13 - that's the number of pounds of grain (5.9kg) needed to produce just one pound (450g) of meat. Meanwhile, it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to make animal protein as the equivalent plant protein.
While many vegetarians believe that killing animals for meat is morally wrong, many also give up meat because of these environmental concerns. But while it's clear that we need to find a greener way of feeding ourselves in the future, the answer to our grumbling stomachs doesn't necessarily need to exclude animal matter.
Bugs for Dinner
Organic Halloween candy is all the rage this year, and for good reason. It's sweet, flavorful, and free of the artificial dyes found in conventional candy. In fact, even though this candy is being marketed for Halloween, it makes a better alternative any time of the year.
Organic Halloween candy is easy to find online, but increasingly, neighborhood grocery stores and food coops are carrying it, too. Here's what to look for before the globlins and witches show up at your door Halloween night. Everything we've listed is made from organic ingredients and is free of artificial dyes and colors, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, and high fructose corn syrup. (NOTE: We sell most of this organic candy in our store to make it easier for you to shop. Remember that we earn a tiny commission on purchases, which helps us bring you expert content and product recommendations for free.)
YummyEarth Organic Lollipops - Buy a few bags of these "suckers" and you'll be set for the night. In eight luscious flavors:Yumwatermelon, blueberry, sour apple, pomegranate, mango, grape, strawberry and cherry.
Surf Sweets Gummy Bars - In addition to being made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners, the company donates 1% of the sales of its products to several environmental organizations, including Climate cycle, Healthy Child Healthy World, and EcoMom Alliance.
Divine Chocolate - Buy these mini organic chocolate bites in either dark or milk chocolate.
Endangered Species Bug Bites - Choose from organic milk or dark chocolate Bug Bites and Chimp Mints.
Buying in bulk is a smart shopping strategy for anyone looking to save money and cut back on trash. To raise awareness about the benefits of bulk buying, the Bulk is Green Council (BIG) is sponsoring National Bulk Foods Week this week.
For starters, buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. Why? Larger sizes deliver the same amount of product using less energy and materials than the equivalent number of smaller packages.
The next time you go shopping, browse the snack aisle and compare the difference for yourself. When you buy one large box of cookies, all you pay for are the cookies and the one box. But if you buy a "snack pack" of ten or twelve small bags, you end up with all those individual bags, plus the display box they came in and the cellophane wrapped around them. That's a lot of excess packaging - and all that extra wrapping costs you more money.
This month's EcoCentric Mom Box arrived just as I was tackling a big kitchen cleaning project. Cupboards, countertops, light switches, walls - the works. Fortunately, the job was made easier with Tru All-Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner, made from purified water, botanicals from organic citrus, and food-grade carbonates. My box included a travel-size spritzer, but you can buy it in a concentrate that will make 128 fluid ounces.
Also in the cleaning category: Eve Organics "Dirty Hands" Hand Sanitizer. I'm personally not one to use hand sanitizers, but if you are, take a look at this one. It contains essential oils of lavender, lemon, peppermint and tea tree, and promises not to promote drug resistant "superbugs" as more conventional hand sanitizers do.
After cleaning the kitchen, I needed a great moisturizer for my hands. Turns out, Eve Organics also makes a terrific skin cream: light, non-greasy, and full of therapeutic essential oils.
For a snack, I munchedon Beanfields Bean and Rice Tortilla Chips - gluten free, vegan, Non-GMO Project verified. Very crunchy, too.
Every time I clean out my fridge or pantry, I'm appalled. As conscientious as I try to be about my food budget, I still find myself wasting more than I should. I'm not a hoarder, but I do hate throwing things away. To me, it's just like burning money, and who has money to burn? I certainly don't. That's why I'm trying to stick to these three smart strategies for wasting less food.
The first trick is to buy what you actually will eat. I've gotten pretty good about taking stock of what's still in the fridge before I go to the store. I never get around to thinking about recipes before I grab a shopping cart, but I have finally stopped buying double or triple of something, just because that's what I always buy.
Plus, I try not to be motivated by what's supposedly on sale. Would I buy it if it weren't on sale? If the answer's no, I still skip it.
Timesaver Tip: No time to even make a list? Take a picture of what's inside the fridge or in the pantry with your smart phone.
Even though the summer can be humid, my skin seems to stay dry all year long. I'm always on the prowl for plant-based skin moisturizers that soothe dry skin without staying sticky or clammy. This month's EcoCentric Mom Box filled the bill, with samples of two different moisturizers from Pure + Remedy. Though designed to be light enough for your face, I've been slathering them on my hands and enjoying instant relief. Both the Gentle Hydrating Facial Moisturizer and the Vitamin C Concentrate Facial Moisturizer are rich in natural oils and anti oxidants.
I'm enjoying the other personal care products EcoCentric Mom sent as well, including:
Possum Hollow Farm Soap - Made by a small family business in Pennsylvania, this non-irritating soap contains a variety of oils, including coconut, palm kernal, oilve, rice bran, soybean, and blood orange. There's shea butter and nutmeg, too, so you get nice and clean without drying out.
Suncoat Sugar Based Natural Mascara - If I use mascara, I want to avoid the nasty chemicals found in many commercial products (vinyls, acrylics, parabens, glycols, I'm talkin' to you!). This option from Suncoat relies on kaolin clay and vitamin E to build lash volume and length. Plus, it doesn't seem to smudge.
The July EcoCentric Mom Box offers lots of interesting goodies you're either going to want to put in your body or on it.
IN Your Body
I hate to admit it, but the first thing I do when I get an EcoCentric Mom Box is to see what foods it contains. Maybe that's because it usually arrives around lunch time! In any event, I've really enjoyed this month's taste treats. They included:
Honibe Honey Lozenges and Honibe Honey Delights Candy - The lozenges are made from 100% pure dried honey - and they sure taste like it. They're also infused with menthol and eucalyptus; I can imagine using them in the fall and winter if I get a sore throat or stuffy nose. The Honibe Honey Delights are also made with 100% pure dried honey - and that's eat. They taste delicious and are just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.