Thursday, October 18, 2007

New pesticide known to cause tumors

Farmers are supposed to be phasing out methyl bromide, a fumigant used on strawberries and other crops, because of it's ozone depleting chemicals - though the government keeps pushing for exemptions so that the US can continue to use it because they hadn't found a replacement.

Rather than helping farmers shift to growing methods that don't require toxic and harmful chemicals, the EPA has approved methyl iodide for widespread use in the U.S., putting farmworkers, families and rural communities at risk. Methyl iodide vaporizes quickly, causing it to drift far distances. The state of California has categorized it as cancer causing, and the EPA admits it causes thyroid tumors. In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on September 25, 2007, the nation's leading chemists asked EPA not to approve methyl iodide without further scientific review. The chemical has been used to induce cancer in laboratory experiments and causes neurological and thyroid problems, as well as miscarriages in studies with laboratory animals.

Strawberries and other crops can be grown successfully without toxic chemicals - farmers all around the world are doing it. Go to this link to send an email to the EPA asking them to revoke this decision:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Santa Cruz

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Santa Cruz, California. What a cool place - the downtown is packed with eco friendly stores, thrift shops, and vintage clothing stores. Best of all, we found two amazing vegetarian restaurants that I highly recommend.

C'est La Vie was an upscale cafe with a menu of cooked and raw vegetarian foods. We tried the "live appetizer combo" which was amazing - spring rolls filled with veggies and wrapped in zucchini with they wonderful 'yum yum sauce' for dipping. Raw tortillas topped with this amazing cashew cheese, and a garbanzo-less hummus. For entrees, we tried the veggie burger made from nuts and grains, a Yummy Bowl - quinoa with veggies, tempeh and more 'yum yum sauce'. The kids split a big plate of black bean nachos and a cheese pizza. I wasn't brave enough to try the live pizza but next time, I will try all the live dishes. Judging by the appetizers, I'm sure they'll all be amazing. We didn't have room for dessert but the vegan coconut cream cake, chocolate mouse pie, and vegan banana split sounded great.

On Sunday, we checked out the Saturn Cafe. They had amazing brunch entrees to choose from with a choice of organic eggs or tofu. I had the vegan breakfast of scrambled tofu, potatoes, local sourdough toast and organic jam. My husband loved the breakfast burrito. One of my daughters had this amazing stuffed french toast - not too sweet and oh so good. My other daughter chose from the lunch menu - brown rice and tofu. For lunch and dinner, they have an amazing selection of vegan burgers offered with fries, shakes and all the regular 50's diner type fixings. This was a fun place to take the kids.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

alternative to plastic bottles

If you read my earlier post about the dangers of plastics and now you want to switch from those plastic baby bottles or water bottles, check out this site that I just found out about:

I'm still on the lookout for stainless steel water bottles THAT DON'T LEAK for my kids to take to school - I found some aluminum ones but I'm not crazy about aluminum either - though I'm not sure if it's just founds heated in alumimum that cause problems or if water stored in them is bad too. Anyone know?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Great vegan web site and blog

I just found this great web site called . You can find recipes, take classes and download podcasts. The web site's founder and author of the new book, "The Joy of Vegan Baking" has a blog at: . Check out her thoughts about Michael Pollans, "The Omnivore's Dilemma."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New articles in VegFamily Magazine

Wondering about starting your baby on solid food? Check out my article in VegFamily Magazine at:

My 'Whole Family' column this month is Almond Joy at

Toxic Chemicals found in Air Fresheners

Your air freshener may contain toxic chemicals known to cause birth defects. NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) recently tested 14 different air fresheners and found that 12 contained chemicals called phthalates, chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. Even air fresheners marketed as "all-natural" or "unscented" contained the hazardous chemicals. In addition to phthalates, air fresheners may contain allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.

The air fresheners NRDC tested included aerosol sprays, liquids that emit a continuous scent, and a solid. Of the 14 products tested by NRDC, there was wide variation in the level of phthalates contained. Three of the 14 products had very high levels-more than 100 parts per million (ppm)-including products that ranged from 360 ppm to 7,307 ppm. Only two products, Febreze Air Effects and Renuzit Subtle Effects, contained no detectable levels of phthalates. (NRDC only tested one sample of each product, and more thorough testing is necessary to confirm the levels detected.)

Phthalates are found in a wide array of consumer products, including cosmetics and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, vinyl children's toys, automobiles and paints. Phthalates are known to interfere with production of testosterone and have been associated with reproductive abnormalities. Pregnant women and children should avoid products that contain phthalates but because there are no labeling requirements it is virtually impossible for consumers to know which products may pose a risk.

For complete information about the test, go to the NRDC web site at: .