Greentips…consigli verdi – Health and Environment

It’ s undeniable that modern life offers the advantages and innovations that make us save time and effort. But can we say as well that new materials and life styles are harmless to our health?

Unfortunately the answer is, in most cases: no, we cannot.

Stress, sedentary lifestyle, pollution, noise pollution, electromagnetic pollution, plastics, solvents, GMOs, pesticides and other chemicals (found in detergents and personal hygiene products) have very high influence on our health. It is estimated that the chemicals are 400 million (in 1930 were “only” one million). It is almost inevitable that each of us is sensitive to at least some of these substances. In some subjects are particularly prone to risk fertility. The harmful chemicals that undermine our health is defined as “endocrine disruptors”. While it is essential to achieve the objectives (for example, due to pesticides are obtained plants more healthy and long-lived productive), on the other enters the body, often with negative important results and we are not referring only to tumors or degeneration which can occur after many years, but the chemicals can touch us even in our intimacy, affect fertility for both men and women. In highly industrialized countries such as America, Canada and Japan, infertility and other diseases related to environmental toxicity are so widespread that even took a name: MCS stands for multiple chemical sensitivity.

Let’s take for example smoking, particularly passive smoke. A study in America, who took the sample to 4,800 non-smoking women, showed exposure to passive smoking increased the risk of infertility and miscarriage by 68% and 40% of the women proved to be sterile or experienced at least one case of abortion.

But the food, our nourishment, they can hide similar pitfalls. Some vegetables are trattatecon highly dangerous pesticides which, if not completely removed can affect our health. Here is the list of most contaminated vegetables:

* Celery
* Peaches
* Strawberries
* Apples
* Blueberries
* Nectarines
Peppers *
* Spinach
* Cherries
* Cabbage
* Potatoes
* Grape

And these the least:

* Onions
* Avocado
* Maize (corn)
* Pineapple
* Mango
* Peas
* Asparagus
* Kiwi
* Savoy
* Eggplant
* Melons
* Watermelons
* Grapefruit
* Sweet potatoes (sweet)
* Melody White

Studies in America show that those who consume daily 5 different varieties among the most contaminated veggies assimilate about 10 different pesticides. Who consumes the same amount of fruits and vegetables among the least covered, however, eats a maximum of 2 different pesticides per day. Wash fruits and vegetables is a good solution, but does not completely eliminate the problem (some pesticides do not disappear completely). Peeling the fruit is a good remedy for protection too, but often some nutrients are concentrated in the peel. It would be appropriate then wash (with bicarbonate) fruits and vegetables and buy organic as much as possible. The organic producers ensure cultivation in protected areas and methods that exclude pesticides (antagonistic to those harmful insects are used instead of pesticides).
Studies on GMOs are still mixed, but a recent Russian experiments on mice have shown that GMOs may have influenced the fertility of mice. A first generation of mice that were given GM food showed no physical changes. In the second generation there was evidence of slow development and pregnancies in older age. The third generation of mice was detected totally sterile. Of course, other studies and investigations are still underway, but this first experiment leaves open the door to doubt about the dangers of GMOs.

Another controversial issue is the electro-smog. It seems that some animals (especially ruminants) suffer a negative when exposed to electromagnetic fields. In their minds there is a small amount of magnetite that can capture the earth’s magnetic field. This allows the animals to orient in their environment. The electromagnetic fields produced by electrodes (of course, artificially produced) cause interference with the Earth’s magnetic field, disorienting the animals. Documented effects in humans have shown an interference on the functionality of the thyroid and pituitary.

The endocrine disruptors are also strongly present in the plastic. Often we do not think enough on how much plastic is in our everyday life, from shopping bags in supermarkets to design furniture. We do not spend time think about how much plastic is thrown away without care and entering the ecosystem, polluting it. in recent decades, the plastic waste they created the Pacific Trash Vortex

Although in very small proportions, the same thing happens with water bottled in plastic (remember that Italy is at the top of the charts for the consumption of bottled water). The water absorbed by the plastic that contains bisphenol A (BPA), which is on the list of endocrine disruptors.

Even tap water is not as harmless as it may seem. Women on pill’s urine (which is rich in estrogens) pours Endocrine Dirsuptors, entering estrogens into the circulation in the pipes of the houses. The assumption of endocrine disruptors in water decreases the presence of sperm in males and causes early puberty in girls. Other damage reported are the negative influences on brain development and increase insulin resistance and diabetes.

How, then, to defend against endocrine disruptors? Let us be realistic: it is not easy. At all . However, it is possible to limit the intoxication reviewing our way of life. While pesticides have been introduced strict control and restrictions, for the majority of endocrine disruptors is not easy or determine the hazard, or see how certain substances attack the body. Studies conducted to date do not allow facts to determine whether an agent can potentially become toxic if treated as harmless by our bodies. It is also not possible to agglomerate the various categories which are the basis for other products: some of them are not often very toxic chemical ingredients, but so are their derivatives. In 2006 the EU launched the REACH directive (Registration Evaulation and Authorisation of Chemicals) came into force on 1 June 2007, which requires chemical companies to evaluate the toxicity of each chemical on the market.

Outdoor walks, organic food, reducing the use of plastics, elimination of smoking, use of natural products (avoiding the use of petroleum and derivatives) can definitely help us to maintain our body healthy and vital.

Italian version

8 ottobre 2010 at 11:52 1 commento

Ecogreentips-stop to plastic bags

We have already spoken on several occasions, about the damage that plastic bags cause and then little or nothing has moved to ban them by December 31, 2010. They should definitely disappear from the shops, but it is feared that the Italian Government will extend the date of their order once again.

For this reason, Legambiente triggered a petition for submission to the Minister Prestigiacomo, to keep the date fixed and to ask her not to sign a new extension in the hope that other types of shoppers will be finally introduced (the Ecogreentips have always recommended the use of other types of envelopes, such as cloth bags, jute or hemp, wicker or straw baskets,  etc.. etc.. or as spokesmen for action against plastic bags).

Too many to handle. This one will consumano 1000 (thousand) billion, of which 100 billion in Europe. 20% of them (20 billion) in Italy. Italy is the latest European country in alternative shoppers consumption : each Italian uses about 300 bags a year.

Plastic bags kill millions of animals and plants each year, especially in the aquatic world. It is estimated that among the victims there are a million seabirds, as well as fish, whales and dolphins. Off the coast of America has created an entire continent composed only of plastic; because of being constantly in the water, the plastic splits into polymers that enter our food chain. This floating land is called The Pacific Trash Vortex.

The damage of plastic are also linked to its production. Despite of the use of petroleum (and all its annexes, including offshore disasters) are harmful dyes (carcinogens) that are used in printing. Shopper is relatively inexpensive to produce. The disposal of plastics, however, has cost almost prohibitive. Andthe production of new bags is less expensive thanrecycling the old ones (only 1% are recycled bags products). If we can not help but use a plastic shopping bags, at least try to exploit it to the last, on several occasions, ‘till the last one: they may contain home plastic discarded and can be brought into the designated waste service.

Who wants to participate in this important petition can can click on the image below and follow the instructions.

13 settembre 2010 at 13:09 Lascia un commento

Greentips…consigli verdi – vegetables at your fingertips

Few days ago we mentioned the new website-l’orto sul tasto-, which sells vegetables and food-related (such as eggs, biscuits, bio jam) online.

We did our first order and would like to tell you our experience!

Accessing the order pages is easy, the site is very clear and everything is very understandable. The online selling page is similar to other website: you need to register and login. The page with the list of offers of the week is clear, moreover, next to each item there is the photo and all necessary information (price per kg and weekly availability). As you sort the various quantities, it is shown the total of the purchase.

We bought a lot of vegetables (eggplant, potatoes, celery, two kinds of tomatoes, apples, beans) and organic eggs. As you proceed the order, an email is sent to the given address, so that is easy to check what you purchased.

Orders can be made from 9.00 to 13.00 (Friday to Monday) and are delivered on Wednesday.

And so it was with our order. Despite heavy rain, Elizabeth Dainese (owner of this brilliant idea) came  with a beautiful wooden box, filled with fruits and vegetables! Elizabethis a really niceperson, very friendly and the professionalism and care with which she follows her plan can be seen at delivery.

Currently deliveries are limited to the city of Udine. This ensures delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables, cultivated close. Everything that is purchased in the nearby it is labeled with the words “Km 0”.

Here’s what Elizabeth says on his site, on her initiative:

“L’orto sul tasto delivers every Wednesday fruits and vegetables and processed food products of high quality, all production strictly local level, to homes and offices of those who live or work in the town of Udine.
To purchase products in small and medium size farms, tending to family, selected for their quality of processing methods and their location in the province of Udine: we want to bring fresh produce in fact, and keep pollution low, because of short transport. We are the only passage between the farmer and the customer and allows a fair price for the farmer and an affordable price to the consumer, including all costs for our information service, selection and delivery home products. We require a minimum order of € 10.00 of fruit and vegetables, a figure beyond which you can buy our products extras (jams,  flour, olive oil …) or any type of 15,00 € product.
Besides, who has the pleasure to enjoy our products often earns 1 point each and cost € 10.00.  Every 10 points, the customer receives a bonus of € 5.00 that can be deducted from higher costs and, who is part of a structure agreement with us (the first Slow Food FVG) the bonus is € 10.00.
The system involves the collection of orders online for three days a week (between 9.00 am every Friday and 13.00 on Monday), the timely submission of requests for producers, obtaining the necessary quantities by Tuesday evening and delivery to the customer on Wednesday. The once a week delivery costs  ensure fresh vegetables, picked up the day before delivery.
Our work stands as a large and healthy complement to your shopping at the supermarket, but is supported by a logic different from that of large retailers for several important reasons:

* We sell only fresh seasonal products, accepting the consequences of weather on productivity and limits of agricultural vocation of the territory in which we live, compared with a guarantee of quality and taste of all that we deliver.
* Establish a balanced relationship with the manufacturer, respecting the needs and economic production rates.
* Consider the environmental impact of various working phases: the use of products used for cultivation, the rationalization of transport to the recycling of materials, such as the wooden boxes used for delivery, so that ecological and sustainable the purchase of our products.
* Want to build an open relationship with each client, taking advantage of the time of delivery to collect ideas and suggestions to improve our service. ”

The Ecogreentips are excited about this initiative. Develop local trade, preferring the products of the nearest territory (km 0) is one of the most direct and accurate ways that we have to limit our environmental impact in our daily lives.

We wish Elizabeth and her project the success and the rewards it deserves!

10 settembre 2010 at 13:36 Lascia un commento


Italian version