If you have a child in school, chances are she will get head lice at some point or another. You can be the most vigilant hair-washer on the planet, your kid’s head could practically sparkle, but one day you’ll look over and she’ll be scratchy-scratching at her scalp. My daughter had it first. Now, this is not entirely surprising. Despite the tightness of my braiding, the firmness of my pony tailing and the sternness with which I lectured that she’d get lice if she didn’t keep her hair back, she always came home from school with it loose.
Everything is better with garlic—even your health. Studies prove the herb can reduce high blood pressure and fight off infections; some even show evidence that fresh garlic can kill antibiotic-resistant staph, E. coli and salmonella bacteria. Who knew? The best way to get garlic into your diet is to keep it pre-prepared so that you don’t have to stink up your hands each time you want to cook with it.
When I was a kid, I knew the house was clean because it smelled like fake lemons and pine. But it may not have been as clean as my family thought: The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes can be as more polluted than the air outside, in part because of chemical cleaning products. Indoor air pollution can lead to serious health problems like allergies and asthma; childhood asthma rates are now at epidemic levels, with more than seven million children affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s one in 10 kids. So I’ve spent the last few years replacing those familiar from childhood with green cleaning…
Got a minute? Take a look at your bathroom shelves. If you’re like most women, you’re using about 12 different beauty products each day. Now flip to the ingredients panel of your favorite product—a lotion, perhaps, or sunscreen—and settle in for a good read. Do the ingredients number a dozen or more? Probably. Can you pronounce them? Probably not. Yet those 12 beauty products deliver an average 168 potentially toxic ingredients to your body each and every day.
Nothing says holiday hostess gift better than sweet things in a pretty box. But here’s the dirty little secret behind mass-produced candy: The U.S. State Department estimates that more than 100,000 children work on the African farms where most cocoa is cultivated, and that 10,000 of those are victims of human trafficking and enslavement. Thankfully, fair trade certified cocoa is slowly but surely making its way into our markets. But what is fair trade, exactly?
Think “dirty dozen” and you might see a grainy picture of a gun-toting Charles Bronson in your head. Now flash-forward 40 years and update Chuck’s picture as surrounded by a cornucopia of pesticide laden fruits and vegetables. This is today’s “dirty dozen,” the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest concentrations of pesticides, as identified by the Environmental Working Group. Why should you care? Because pesticides have been linked to cancer, among other things. Because, pound for pound, your kids absorb way more of them than you do.
People often ask me, “What is GMO” and “What’s so bad about GMO foods?” I’m not an expert by any means, but here’s my answer: Genetically engineered foods—also known as genetically modified organisms or GMO foods (it’s basically two ways of saying the same thing)—begin as plants that have had their DNA changed in a laboratory. That would be fine—I’m no science-phobe—except for the fact that most of these changes involve pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
Are you still sending your kids to school with plastic water bottles in their backpacks? Consider the fact that the EPA tests our water daily for bacteria and posts the results to the general public, while the FDA only requires weekly testing of bottled water and doesn’t make its results public. Or that bottled water costs can ring up at more than $50 each month. And, finally, that when they get warm, those plastic bottles can leach chemicals into your children’s water–and bodies.