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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Meal prepping is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule.

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GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

By Sydney Swanson

As we head into the holiday season, the marathon task of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner or even just one dish to contribute as a guest—may be stressful.

To help you combat the inevitable stress surrounding this meal, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together this guide suggesting what to make yourself and what to buy, and when to go organic.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A seagull pecks at a plastic bag on Jan. 30, 2017, in Venice Beach, California. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

By Lorraine Chow

The world's plastic problem may seem vast and incalculable, but its footprint has actually been measured. In a sweeping 2015 study, researchers calculated that 9 billion tons of the material have been made, distributed and disposed in fewer than 70 years. That's an astonishing figure, but it's also one that's hard to picture. Perhaps a better way to illustrate the problem of plastics is by looking at the damage that can be caused by a single drinking straw.

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A pediatricians' group representing 67,000 U.S. doctors published a statement and report Monday warning about the impact common chemicals in food and food packaging are having on children's health, The Globe and Mail reported.

The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement expressed concern over a growing body of research linking chemicals commonly added to food as coloring or flavorings or used in food packaging with health risks like hormone disruption. The doctors further argued that U.S. food regulation policy does not do enough to protect against these chemicals.

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Pexels

By Kathryn Alcantar and Jose Bravo / Independent Media Institute

No one should be exposed to toxic chemicals in their food, particularly children. But that's exactly what the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found in tests of microwave popcorn bags sold in Dollar Stores. These stores are frequented by communities of color and millions of poor Americans.

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Polystyrene foam contains potentially harmful chemicals that can leach into food and drinks. Planet Takeout / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The next time you use a plastic container or bottle, you might want to look at the little number inside the triangle recycling symbol.

In a report issued last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that plastics with the recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene) and 7 (bisphenols) should be avoided unless they are labeled as "biobased" or "greenware," which do not contain these chemicals.

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A worker inspects recycled plastic in a plastics factory. Getty Images

By Kate O'Neill

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called "National Sword" policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the U.S.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Even if you try to avoid buying plastics, you might be surprised to find it lurks in many common food and beverage containers, including tin cans, disposable coffee cups and even tea bags.

On Wednesday, however, the environmental group A Plastic Planet debuted the world's first "Plastic Free Trust Mark" to help shoppers know that their products are packaged entirely without the non-biodegradable material, which harms marine life and has entered the larger food chain.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Aardvark

Last week, New York City lawmakers introduced a bill banning plastic straws in all bars and restaurants in the Big Apple, joining the growing worldwide war against this environmental scourge.

"There are 500 million straws being used everyday in the U.S.," Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr., the bill's lead sponsor, told NY1 on Thursday. "That's enough to fill Yankee Stadium five times over."

Read More Show Less
Cryptic Moth Productions Inc / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Today, on World Environment Day 2018, the United Nations' Environment Program is urging governments, industries, communities and individuals around the world to take on a daunting but necessary task: Beat Plastic Pollution.

"Plastic pollution has become an epidemic," the agency writes. "Every year, we throw away enough plastic to circle the Earth four times. Much of that waste doesn't make it into a landfill, but instead ends up in our oceans, where it's responsible for killing one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year. For the good of the planet, it's time to rethink how we use plastic."

Read More Show Less

By Alexis Temkin

Exposure to fluorinated industrial chemicals, known as PFAS or PFC chemicals, may increase the amount of weight that people, especially women, regain after dieting, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers, published in PLOS Medicine. It found that women with higher levels of PFAS chemicals in their blood at the start of the study regained an average of 3.7 to 4.8 pounds more than women with lower levels of the chemicals in their blood.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Meal prepping is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule.

Read More Show Less
GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

By Sydney Swanson

As we head into the holiday season, the marathon task of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner or even just one dish to contribute as a guest—may be stressful.

To help you combat the inevitable stress surrounding this meal, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together this guide suggesting what to make yourself and what to buy, and when to go organic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A seagull pecks at a plastic bag on Jan. 30, 2017, in Venice Beach, California. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

By Lorraine Chow

The world's plastic problem may seem vast and incalculable, but its footprint has actually been measured. In a sweeping 2015 study, researchers calculated that 9 billion tons of the material have been made, distributed and disposed in fewer than 70 years. That's an astonishing figure, but it's also one that's hard to picture. Perhaps a better way to illustrate the problem of plastics is by looking at the damage that can be caused by a single drinking straw.

Read More Show Less

A pediatricians' group representing 67,000 U.S. doctors published a statement and report Monday warning about the impact common chemicals in food and food packaging are having on children's health, The Globe and Mail reported.

The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement expressed concern over a growing body of research linking chemicals commonly added to food as coloring or flavorings or used in food packaging with health risks like hormone disruption. The doctors further argued that U.S. food regulation policy does not do enough to protect against these chemicals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kathryn Alcantar and Jose Bravo / Independent Media Institute

No one should be exposed to toxic chemicals in their food, particularly children. But that's exactly what the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found in tests of microwave popcorn bags sold in Dollar Stores. These stores are frequented by communities of color and millions of poor Americans.

Read More Show Less
Polystyrene foam contains potentially harmful chemicals that can leach into food and drinks. Planet Takeout / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The next time you use a plastic container or bottle, you might want to look at the little number inside the triangle recycling symbol.

In a report issued last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that plastics with the recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene) and 7 (bisphenols) should be avoided unless they are labeled as "biobased" or "greenware," which do not contain these chemicals.

Read More Show Less
A worker inspects recycled plastic in a plastics factory. Getty Images

By Kate O'Neill

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called "National Sword" policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the U.S.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Even if you try to avoid buying plastics, you might be surprised to find it lurks in many common food and beverage containers, including tin cans, disposable coffee cups and even tea bags.

On Wednesday, however, the environmental group A Plastic Planet debuted the world's first "Plastic Free Trust Mark" to help shoppers know that their products are packaged entirely without the non-biodegradable material, which harms marine life and has entered the larger food chain.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Aardvark

Last week, New York City lawmakers introduced a bill banning plastic straws in all bars and restaurants in the Big Apple, joining the growing worldwide war against this environmental scourge.

"There are 500 million straws being used everyday in the U.S.," Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr., the bill's lead sponsor, told NY1 on Thursday. "That's enough to fill Yankee Stadium five times over."

Read More Show Less
Cryptic Moth Productions Inc / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Today, on World Environment Day 2018, the United Nations' Environment Program is urging governments, industries, communities and individuals around the world to take on a daunting but necessary task: Beat Plastic Pollution.

"Plastic pollution has become an epidemic," the agency writes. "Every year, we throw away enough plastic to circle the Earth four times. Much of that waste doesn't make it into a landfill, but instead ends up in our oceans, where it's responsible for killing one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year. For the good of the planet, it's time to rethink how we use plastic."

Read More Show Less

By Alexis Temkin

Exposure to fluorinated industrial chemicals, known as PFAS or PFC chemicals, may increase the amount of weight that people, especially women, regain after dieting, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers, published in PLOS Medicine. It found that women with higher levels of PFAS chemicals in their blood at the start of the study regained an average of 3.7 to 4.8 pounds more than women with lower levels of the chemicals in their blood.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Shutterstock

By Caroline Cox

What keeps you up at night? Sick kids, restless pets, the latest tragedy on the evening news, politics, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, money troubles, job stress, and family health and wellbeing? There is no shortage of concerns that make us all toss and turn.

But what keeps the chemical industry up at night? A couple of decades ago a senior Shell executive was asked this very question. The answer? Endocrine disruption.

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iStock

By Daniele Selby

Arsenic, lead, and cadmium are chemicals you'd expect to find in rat poison and batteries—not baby formula.

But on Wednesday, the Clean Label Project, an initiative that tests products for industrial and environmental contaminants and rates them, said it found arsenic in 80 percent of infant formulas, according to USA Today. In fact, the study—which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal—found that certified some organic baby food products had more than twice the amount of arsenic found in the conventional baby foods it tested.

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Plastic debris collected by NOAA staff and volunteers on the Midway Atoll in the Pacific ocean. Holly Richards / USFWS / Flickr

Plastic is moldable, durable, and its versatility means it's everywhere and in everything from computers to medical devices. Its benefits are impossible to deny, but our relationship to this marvelous material is ultimately an unhealthy one. We undervalue and overuse plastic and in turn overdispose of it.

Our plastic addiction has created a dilemma that has made plastic an indispensable part of the modern world while simultaneously contaminating the oceans, choking landfills and even harming our health.

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Steve Johnson / Flickr
An EPA Science Advisory Board meeting. Union of Concerned Scientists
Thinkstock

By Martha Rosenberg

Recently, Organic Consumers Association, along with Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety filed suit against chicken giant Sanderson Farms for falsely marketing its products as "100% Natural" even though they contain many unnatural and even prohibited substances.

Specifically, Sanderson chicken products tested positive for the antibiotic chloramphenical, banned in food animals, and amoxicillin, not approved for use in poultry production. Sanderson Farms products also tested positive for residues of steroids, hormones, anti-inflammatory drugs—even ketamine, a drug with hallucinogenic effects.

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