The Truth About BPA

What is a BPA, where is it, and should we be concerned about it.

Let’s start with what is BPA. BPA stands for “Biss-Fee-Noll- A” which is an industrial chemical. It has been in use since the 1960’s to make various plastics and epoxy resins used to coat the inside of most canned food.  BPA has been speculated to interfere with the way our natural hormones behave. Babies and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effects of BPA. Hence the decision in 2012 by the FDA to ban BPA in ALL baby bottles and sippy cups.

At the time of this filming The Food and Drug Administration’s most recent assessment is that BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods. Now… that may be true but for me personally, the less chemicals I put in my body the better.

During a typical day you can unknowingly come across BPA in water bottles, plastic food containers, and even canned food and drinks. Although cans are metal they are lined with epoxy resins containing BPA to keep the can from rusting. Dental devices and sealants can also contain BPA you may want to have a conversation with your dentist before the Novocaine.

The concern is that there is research that shows BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with this chemical. One broad sampling showed 93% of participants tested positive for detectable levels of BPA. Enough exposure can have ill effects on our memory and learning functions, sexual hormones and reproduction for both males and females, and should be especially concerning for parents as this chemical can affect fetuses, infants and children.

Here are some Ways to avoid BPA

1 - Look for the BPA-free Label when buying any type of water bottles, baby pacifiers, teethers, bottle tops and bottles, food storage containers, and other consumer plastics like tableware. When you can’t find a label look for the recycle code. Recycle codes 3 OR 7 have a higher likelihood of being made with BPA.

2 - Reduce Use of Canned Goods since most cans are lined with BPA resin. I have noticed a few cans at the grocery store labeled as BPA Free so you could seek those out instead.

3 - Avoid using any kind of heat with plastic containers. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences made us aware that microwaving polycarbonate plastics, putting them in the dishwasher or even leaving them in a hot car can make the plastic break down over time and allow BPA to seep into foods.

The best solution overall is to choose alternatives such as stainless steel, glass or porcelain containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers whenever available. For baby pacifiers and bottle tops silicone is the safer option.

When there’s the unknown… I prefer to side with caution. And since there are more and more readily available BPA Free products and alternatives out there… why not just play it safe.

Until next time, Be Organic and Be Healthy.

What's in Your Pillow?

Pillows are an important part of of our daily sleep patterns. We utilize them for head and neck support but did you know that they actually contribute to our overall health and environment.

Petroleum based polyester or urethane foams can diminish your indoor air quality.  The synthetic filling within these pillows can collect moisture and become a literal breeding ground for dust mites. Manufacturing these pillows also contributes to water and land pollution. Non organic cotton can have the same effect on our environment.

There are plenty of healthier options when it comes to your head rest and… they are easily available to buy. The most common and easy to find…  is feather... or down filled pillows.

Another great alternative for allergy sufferers is Kay-Pock filling, some may call it Java Cotton. Kay-Pock is a super soft silky cotton like fiber sustainably harvested from the rain forest and makes a comfortable natural fill.

Wool is also a great option. Choosing organically grown wool will ensure that there is no insecticide residue, just read the label carefully to make sure it is not treated with moth repellent because that can create a chemical fume that you probably don’t want to breathe in.

Buckwheat is often a doctor recommended pillow due to its body conforming ability and aptitude to resist dust mites, a huge benefit for allergy sufferers. Be sure the manufacturer has cleaned the hulls of the processed grain inside to eliminate lingering dust that can trigger allergies or asthma.

Lastly, there is a natural latex, derived from the rubber tree.  This alternative is firmer and provides more neck support. It also promotes responsible rain forest management as the trees that give us this material are tapped not logged.

Naturally, you will want to decide which material is best for YOU…  based on your sensitivity or allergies to any of the fillers... as well as take into consideration the various levels of support each one offers. Who would think pillows could get so personal?

Any of these five options will give you a healthier sleeping domain and are great choices for promoting a cleaner, safer planet.

Organic Southwest Black Bean Salad with Mango and Avocado

We are making festive and delicious Organic Southwest Black Bean and Mango Salad that can be used in a variety of ways. It is great as dip with chips or veggie rounds, put it top of mixed salad greens for a light, vegetarian lunch, or put over fish, shrimp or chicken. 

THE RECIPE ~INGREDIENTS
15 oz. can Organic black beans, drained & rinsed (can use Kidney or White Beans) 
15.25 oz. can Organic whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed
2 small Organic Avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2  Organic mangos cut into 1/2 inch cubes (can substitute 4 Peaches)
1/2 small Organic red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces(can substitute white or green onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (can substitute green or yellow pepper)
1 jalapeño pepper, destemmed, seeded & finely chopped (optional use ½ or less to taste)
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (can use bottled)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (option Chipotle Chili Powder) 
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. of salt

1 - Combine the black beans, corn, mango, avocado, onions and jalapeño pepper. 
2 - Separately -  Whisk together the lime juice, chili powder, black pepper and salt
3 - Pour over the salad mixture
4 - Mix gently to coat
5 - Serve with chips, atop lettuce, or over fish, shrimp or grilled chicken breast 

Also for a heart healthy version use NO-Salt Beans and Corn. 
This is great for parties or picnics and can be make ahead of time. It will keep for three days since the lime juice keeps the avocado from turning brown.

Please post your favorite variation.

An Organic Halloween - Affordable Healthy Treats for Trick or Treaters

Click the Photo to Play the Video

Click the Photo to Play the Video

Goblins, ghosts, princesses and pirates are about to come knocking on your door.  What can you give out this Halloween that will satisfy both your organic lifestyle and all those sweet tooths? Hmmmm stick around and find out.  

They may say Trick or Treat but we all know it’s the treat they really want. This year why not hand out organic goodness. Sweet and fun, these choices will bring a smile to everyone's faces.

Let’s start with Chocolate, the go-to favorite. An affordable option is Equal Exchange Chocolate.They have mini organic chocolate bars that are also Fair Trade

Lollipops are also a fun treat and Yummy Earth Lollipops are easy to buy in bulk as you can get a 150 pops for about $18 or get the five pound bag for bigger savings.

The combo of sweet and gummy is always a popular choice. Pick up kid size pacts of Surf Sweets Gummy Bears, you can buy enough for Halloween or save more and buy a case. Use the leftovers for lunch bags and after school snacks for about fifty cents a bag.

Glee Gum is another great option, their Halloween assortment comes in 21 mini boxes, in a variety of flavors for under six bucks.

Hey, what about Brownies, while not a typical Halloween offering, Clif  Z Bar has a chocolaty Organic brownie that is very tasty. A package of 36 is about $25 and contains essential vitamins and minerals.

These treats are great alternatives for Halloween, keep in mind that they can also replace conventional treats throughout the year. We have added links and buying info from our searches in the YouTube description but prices can change without notice so it’s best to do a current search for your own comparison. Please click video to see the links, and hey, why don't you Subscribe while you are there.

We have not been paid to endorse these products, we simply found them to fit our criteria for organic living and of course they passed our taste test too.

Bonus Tip

If you want to give something that can provide fun without a calorie count, try a Goody Bag. With a trip to the dollar store you can create a festive bag of treasures that will prolong the Halloween fun. Great items to include would be themed stickers, coloring books with crayons, animal rings, bubble bottles, animal masks, puzzles are just a few ideas.

You can stuff these bags to your heart, or budgets content.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween everyone

We would love to hear your comments. Until next time, Be organic and be healthy.