peachtess: (wolf-shadow)
[personal profile] peachtess
Though sunscreen is important for little ones after they are six months of age it can be hard to find a good chemical free safe option. I know my husband and I really struggled to figure out what would be best. We wanted something chemical free but we also wanted it to work well.

I just got this link to an article at the Environmental Working Group about their sunscreen ratings. So now you can see how your families sunscreen rates. They not only note whether its safe from a chemical stand point but also how well it works to protect your skin from the sun.

EWG 2009 Sunscreen Report
greenmama: (Default)
[personal profile] greenmama
A lot of my own stuff is going to bleed over into this journal's subject matter...I don't want to be a troll or anything, but I hope it's okay rather than x-posting to just put the links here if I think the teeming hordes in this community might think the subject interesting? (Please let me know if I shouldn't do this!)

On the White House organic garden, and the response from Big Chemical Agro:
http://greenmama.dreamwidth.org/7164.html
greenmama: (Default)
[personal profile] greenmama
My mom sent me this article about the relative environmental impact issues involved in production of these two sweetener products...interesting!

This is from the Washington Post; the article is linked here:
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/20/AR2009052000932.html


Regular Sugar vs. High-Fructose Corn Syrup

By Nina Shen Rastogi
Thursday, May 21, 2009

A colleague of yours recently debunked the idea that regular sugar is necessarily healthier than high-fructose corn syrup. But what about the health of the planet? Corn needs a lot of processing before it can sweeten my soda, but sugar doesn't sprinkle from the skies. So which one is more environmentally friendly?

It's true: King Corn is as much a bogeyman for the eco-conscious as the health-conscious. The crop gets a bad rap because it's so ubiquitous. Thanks to aggressive farm subsidies, 27 percent of America's farm acres are devoted to corn. According to anti-corn crusader Michael Pollan, modern corn hybrids require more pesticides and more fertilizers than any other food crop; this not only requires major inputs of fossil fuels but also causes significant groundwater pollution.

But it's not entirely fair to lay all of that at the sticky feet of high-fructose corn syrup, as the maligned sweetener accounts for only about 5 percent of America's total grain corn production.

Of course, even at just 5 percent of the overall crop, we're still talking about a lot of farmland: Nearly 4 million acres' worth of grain corn became high-fructose corn syrup in 2008. Compare that with the 1 million acres planted with sugar beets and 872,000 with sugar cane, the two crops that produce the sucrose we generically refer to as "sugar."

In 2007, an Australian sugar cane industry group compared the environmental impacts of growing Australian cane, United Kingdom beets and American corn. The products analyzed were 1 kilogram of sugar in clarified juice form from both cane and beets, and 1 kilogram of simple sugar syrup from cornstarch. The researchers found that, on average, fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions and the release of acidifying substances seemed highest with corn sugar, while water usage was highest for cane sugar. A big wild card here is that making sweetener from any of those crops returns some useful byproducts that can offset some of the environmental burdens. Sugar cane probably gets the biggest plus in this category, as its waste fiber, known as bagasse, makes an efficient fuel source: Many sugar mills -- where cane stalks from the field are converted into raw sugar -- run entirely on bagasse, cutting out the need for additional fossil fuels.

So sugar cane seems to be the most efficient producer of sugar and potentially the lightest user of fossil fuels, even though its significant water requirements can't be ignored.

But to truly compare table sugar with high-fructose corn syrup, we need to look at the latter stages of processing. We know that evaporating cane and beet juice into dry, raw sugar requires significant amounts of energy. Producing the finer stuff not only involves several more steps -- evaporating, spinning, melting, chemical decolorizing treatments -- it also means more food miles, because these steps occur in a separate facility.

Meanwhile, to turn simple corn syrup into high-fructose corn syrup, enzymes are used to convert 90 percent of the glucose molecules into super-sweet fructose before the resulting solution gets blended back with simple glucose syrup. It's unclear just what kind of additional burden these final steps account for, but we do know that the entire corn wet-milling process takes a whole lot of energy. According to the consulting firm FTI, it's the most energy-intensive food-manufacturing industry in America.

As your mom and your dentist have told you, take all things in moderation and you'll probably be fine; that goes for sugar and high-fructose corn syrup as well. Cutting down on our overall sweetener intake makes a lot more sense than simply switching one for the other. After all, if we boycotted high-fructose corn syrup and instead ramped up our consumption of cane sugar, where would we find enough hot, humid land to put all those additional cane fields? Are you willing to gobble up the rest of Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii and Texas just to avoid corn in your Coke? 
 


peachtess: (Calvin & Hobbes explore)
[personal profile] peachtess
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
This is a great resource for information on chemicals in cosmetic products. Of particular interest is the articles on baby bath products and the chemicals found in many of them. They even provide links to look up products to discover how safe they are.

The Daily Green:
Part consumer guide, part ezine, and part blog this is a great resource for going green.

wholesomebabyfood.com:
A great resource for anyone interested in making their own baby food for their little ones. It has information on freezing food, recipes, and answers questions about making baby food. It even finally gave me an answer as to why its okay to give babies yogurt and cheese at 8 months but not whole cows milk to drink! That had me stumped for a while.

That's it for now. Hello to all the new faces and have a great weekend!

Welcome!

May. 15th, 2009 02:05 pm
peachtess: (earth)
[personal profile] peachtess
Welcome to Green Parenting ([community profile] eco_parent)!

This is a community for families that are interested in living a more Green lifestyle and raising our children to respect Mother Earth.

Feel free to share tips, resources, ask questions, and share your stories.

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