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Posts Tagged ‘healthy foods’

Memorial Day is just about here, and summer is peaking around the corner. BBQs, tubing trips, baseball games, sleepovers, and pool parties (Hot Child in the City) are in your near future and you need a couple summer reminders. As you already know, I think everything in our environment, and all the actions we take are interconnected and affect our health and well-being and our wallet.

I came across this Top Ten List on the benefits of local food from Fox News (omg yes Fox News, everything is ok). You can find the full list here, but here are a few of my favorites:

1. Locally grown. Items at farmer’s markets have not “travelled” far. The carbon footprint to transport from nearby farms is teeny compared to what’s consumed over hundreds and thousands of miles by sea, air or long-distance trucking. Also, local produce is stacked in wooden crates, which avoids the environmentally polluting packaging, which protects produce from bruising or extends its time before perishing in long-distance transport.

2. Cleaner and safer. Farmer’s markets produce is grown organically or with far less use of chemicals. Produce sold in regular stores is full of toxic pesticides, fungicides, and other chemical fertilizers and sprays. Similarly, breads & baked goods aren’t pumped full of unhealthy preservatives that extend shelf life.

3. Keeps our communities healthy, too. The more we support local farmers who grow food in healthy ways, the more they–and their beautiful farmland–will flourish. Buying at local markets puts money directly into the pockets of local farmers and craftspeople rather than industrial conglomerates.

4. Free exercise. We can often walk or bike to the markets, getting free exercise. Besides, simply walking in the open air is a good way to get vitamin D.

Lastly, on biking and how it does a body good (which I’m sure you’re in the know about), D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare company released the results of its recent membership survey.  I admit I have a love affair with Capital Bikeshare; although its riders may be nuts, I appreciate what the company has accomplished (remember when I posted about Capital Bikeshare last year?). Riders saved an estimated $800 on transportation costs annually!  After obtaining a membership they were 76% more likely to ride to work.  Membership is still mostly within D.C., and now the company hopes to expand to areas like the Anacostia (Northeast D.C.) so that those neighborhoods can see the health benefits as well.  All communities should have access to safe and healthy transportation options.

Here is a summary of a few of the health benefits from the bikeshare survey: “Nearly 27 percent reported improved stamina after joining the system, 31.5 percent said their stress levels diminished, and 18.4 percent reported losing weight thanks to bicycle sharing. The numbers of members who consider themselves in good or excellent condition increased, while figures for those who consider themselves in poor, average, or fair health decreased.”  You can read the full article here.

Enjoy those tasty local foods, and bike/walk/public transit more. Cheers.

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News flash – New Yorkers (NY-ers) live longer than the U.S.’ national average life span.  Men’s Health reported that the average life span of a NY-er is 80.6 years, that’s three years longer than the U.S. national average.  Most importantly, between 1989 and 2009, the NY-er life span grew by 13 years!

Recall Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban this year?

He might have been onto something.  Studies have shown that consumption of sugary beverages lead to greater risks of heart attacks (yikes!) Mayor Bloomberg also supported the calorie count display in public restaurants, so you are constantly reminded that a Big Mac and fries tally well over 1,000 calories.  The Men’s Health article also highlighted that cities with more bike lanes have more people who are likely to bike to work (if you build it they will come!).

I saw a piece a while back on NBC Nightly News that more outdoor gyms, or adult playgrounds as they’re calling them, are popping up in major cities, allowing adults to stay in shape free of charge.  Here’s the video.

Lastly, just this week the Washington Post commuter paper reported the findings of a study, first of its kind, that junk food laws can curb childhood obesity.  Some call all of these bans/proposals an intrusion in our lives; but, if we’re living longer, healthier and happier lives, and living in better communities, what’s so controversial about that? Have a great week. Cheers.

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Greetings Spinach Followers!  My name is Ryan C. aka TheGreenLight and I am a new contributor to the Spinach team.  Like my spinach colleagues, I will be posting on green “hot topics” and give you tips how you can make decisions that will protect your health, the environment, and save you money.  I plan to highlight all types of topics and how they relate to our environment; I will provide a few sentences about the story and leave the rest to your imagination.  I want to get right to it – Wal-Mart made quite the announcement yesterday – you’ll find out more about me later this week.

Whether you love or hate Wal-Mart, I have some good news to share about the nation’s largest retailer (good news is good news, no matter who it’s from).  Today, Wal-Mart announced that it plans to recycle or reuse 80% of the waste produced in its U.S. stores and operations.  Impressive!

In 2005, Wal-Mart created an ambitious initiative to address many of its faults which included a zero waste goal, zero waste to landfill goal, pollution reduction, and fuel efficiency improvements to its delivery truck fleets.  Wal-Mart admits it has not met all of its goals, but it has improved fuel efficiency among its fleets by 69% compared to 2005 levels, and it has reduced waste by 64% compared to 2009! Headquartered in Arkansas, Wal-Mart has been quoted as hiring many transplant “closet environmentalists” from Washington, D.C.  Just last year, Wal-Mart signed a healthy foods agreement with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to improve access and reduce the price of healthy foods for consumers.  For now Wal-Mart is here to stay, and the best option is to work with the retail giant and encourage their practices that keep our country’s air and waters clean.  Next time you’re in Wal-Mart see if they’re recycling and if they’re greening their store branch.  Cheers.

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