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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

7 simple ways to detox your diet and your home

By Nicci Micco, M.S., and Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D




Learn what everyday items -- from lawn chemicals to non-stick cookware -- are hazardous to your health and how you can avoid them


JewishWorldReview.com | Nobody knows just how much of a risk toxins in our food really pose. Most of the associations between chemical exposures and disease are just that--associations. But we're exposed to dozens, if not hundreds, of chemicals, and the effects of some multiple exposures may be more than the sum of their parts, say experts. Or, in some cases, they might cancel each other out.

What's more, toxins get into our bodies through more than just food. We're exposed to them through our carpets, lawn chemicals--even our clothing.

Check out these 7 toxins you can avoid in your diet and get simple solutions for minimizing these chemicals and toxins in your diet and life.

1. THE EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES
From rat (and bug) poisons to sprays that keep lawns lush and crop yields high, "pesticides" include hundreds of chemicals. Some interfere with animals' nervous systems; others disrupt hormones, causing abnormal growth that kills the plant or animal. Thus, it's not surprising that synthetic pesticide exposure is linked with diseases of the nervous system and problems with cell growth, including reproductive problems and some cancers.


What You Can Do to Avoid Pesticides


  • Start a kitchen garden! It's easy to grow your own herbs and worth doing: a 2011 report revealed that cilantro is often laced with pesticide residues.

  • Buy organic fruits and vegetables, particularly those with the highest pesticide residues, such as apples, celery and strawberries.

  • Consider a water filter certified by the Water Quality Association (wqa.org) or NSF International (nsf.org) to screen out pesticides from farms and golf courses that can leach into well water. (Even tap water may contain traces of unregulated pesticides.)

  • Remove your shoes when you enter your home--and ask guests to do the same--to avoid tracking in pesticides sprayed on lawns.

  • Limit lawn chemicals, insecticides and rodenticides. Find natural ways to eliminate pests.

2. WHAT ARE DIOXINS AND PCBs?
"Dioxins" are a family of chemicals (including some polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) with known cancer-causing properties. Dioxins are by-products of combustion--released via industrial processes, volcanoes, forest fires, even backyard burn piles--widespread in the environment but in low levels. They take years to degrade and they accumulate in fat, so they concentrate up the food chain. More than 90 percent of our exposure to dioxins is through food, mostly meat, dairy, fish and shellfish.


What You Can Do to Avoid Dioxins and PCBs


  • Trim fat from meats; opt for low-fat dairy products.

  • Select lower-fat sources of protein, including meat from grass-fed animals, which tends to be leaner than meat from animals raised on grains.

  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and grains to avoid too much exposure from any given source (e.g., meat, dairy).


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3. WHAT ARE PHTHALATES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
This group of chemicals is used to make soft, squishy plastics, such as rubber duckies, medical tubing and polyvinyl chloride, a.k.a. PVC. Some phthalates are used to make synthetic fragrances last longer. Research suggests that phthalates act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with the body's hormone systems and potentially leading to reproductive abnormalities, problems with fertility and increased risk for diabetes.

What You Can Do to Go Phthalate Free


  • Choose personal-care products (e.g., shampoos, lotions) and household cleaners free of synthetic fragrance, which often includes phthalates. Opt for those scented with essential oils or nothing at all. "Fragrance-free" or "unscented" on the front of a product sometimes means that the final product doesn't have an odor; fragrance may have been added to mask another smell. Scan the ingredient list if there is one; if fragrance is listed, it's often synthetic. (Some manufacturers of safe natural products list natural fragrances this way, too, so if you're in doubt, contact the company for more information.)

  • Make the bulk of your diet minimally processed fresh foods. Processing and packaging can introduce phthalates into your food.

    4. AVOID PERFLUOROCARBONS
    Research has suggested that 98 percent of Americans contain trace levels of PFCs (perfluorocarbons), chemicals that are used to repel water, grease and stains and are found in nonstick cookware, clothing, carpeting, furniture and food containers. Our bodies absorb PFCs through food, our skin and via fumes from overheated pans. They're linked with liver damage, developmental problems, cancer and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, early menopause.

    What You Can Do to Avoid PFCs


    • Opt for cast-iron (including ceramic-coated) or stainless-steel pots and pans.

    • When using nonstick cookware, don't cook over high heat and use wooden or other nonmetal utensils to prevent scratches.

    • Look for clothing made from recycled polyester and polyurethane, which is naturally waterproof, and wax-coated clothes, which repel water and are PFC-free.

    • Forgo the optional stain treatment on new carpets and fabric-covered furniture.

    5. WHAT IS IN TAP WATER?
    We drink water to stay hydrated and flush out toxins. But could tap water actually be exposing us to more potentially harmful chemicals? Perhaps. A 2009 analysis by the Environmental Working Group found a whopping 315 pollutants in U.S. tap water, including arsenic (a heavy metal) and pesticides. More than half of the compounds are not regulated by the EPA, which means they can legally be present in tap water in any amount.

    For instance, perchlorate--a currently unregulated chemical (though that's soon to change, the EPA announced in early 2011) that's used to make rocket fuel, flares and explosives--contaminates the drinking water of up to 26 million Americans. The chemical has been shown to reduce thyroid hormone production; experts worry about the risks it poses particularly to babies and children.

    "Potentially, even a very mild degree of low thyroid function could have an adverse effect on cognitive outcomes for a fetus. However, no studies to date have shown effects of low-level perchlorate exposure on thyroid function in pregnant women," says Elizabeth Pearce, M.D., an endocrinologist at Boston University School of Medicine.

    In December 2010, the Environmental Working Group also reported finding hexavalent chromium (chromium-6), the "Erin Brockovich" contaminant that the EPA considers "likely to be carcinogenic to humans," in the drinking water of 31 U.S. cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. In the wake of this report, the EPA is reassessing the "oral reference dose" (or upper limit of what is considered safe), with a final ruling expected by the end of the year.

    What You Can Do for Better Water


    • Have your water tested, especially if your water comes from a private well or you live near a plant that might use perchlorate or in an area, like parts of California, where chromium-6 is a known a problem, says Pauli Undesser, M.S., director of regulatory and technical affairs of the Water Quality Association. In fact, says Undesser, it's a good idea for everyone to test their tap water. (Call the EPA's Safe Water Hotline: 800-426-4791 to locate a laboratory. Cost starts around $20.)

    • Once you know what's in your water--mercury, lead from piping or even pesticides--you can choose a filter certified by NSF International or the Water Quality Association to screen specific contaminants. Often, a $20 carbon-based Brita pitcher with a filter will do the trick. Don't assume that bottled water is better: per the FDA, it must meet the same standards as tap.

    6. WHAT IS BISPHENOL A (BPA)?
    BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical traditionally used to make hard, clear plastics--including food containers, reusable water bottles and some baby bottles--and the resins lining some food cans. It leaches into food, particularly acidic items, such as tomatoes, or when containers are scratched or heated. Similar in structure to estrogen, BPA is considered a so-called endocrine disruptor. Based on animal and (limited) human studies, scientists are concerned that BPA may be linked with prostate and breast cancer, infertility, heart disease and diabetes.

    What You Can Do to Avoid BPA


    • Store and reheat food in glass containers.

    • Drink from reusable water bottles made of glass, stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. If plastic is labeled with a "7" recycling code and not marked BPA-free, it could contain the chemical. (Unless labeled BPA-free, aluminum bottles may be lined with the compound.)

    • If you use plastic containers, choose BPA-free, don't put them in the microwave and do hand wash them: a 2003 study found that plastic bottles released more BPA after they were cleaned in the dishwasher.

    • Opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables whenever possible. For things like tuna, beans, broth and diced tomatoes, look for BPA-free packaging. Consider making broth and cooking and freezing beans.

    • Switch to a pour-over ceramic or glass coffee maker, such as Melitta or Chemex, as electric makers made of plastic can leach BPA.

    7. WHAT FOODS CONTAIN MERCURY?
    The most common exposure to mercury--which is both naturally occurring and man-made--is from eating contaminated fish. Other sources: compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), silver dental fillings and batteries. In high doses, mercury can harm the nervous system, heart, lungs, kidneys, and immune system; even in low levels it can affect brains of young children, which is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued seafood guidelines for children and pregnant/nursing women.

    What You Can Do to Avoid Mercury


    • Make smart seafood choices. Use Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guides (seafoodwatch.org) to find low-mercury selections. (Generally, smaller fish, such as sardines, have less mercury than larger ones.) Consult fish advisories issued by your local health department. If you're pregnant, nursing or feeding young children, follow the EPA/FDA's guides: avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel; limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces and total seafood to 12 ounces per week.

    • If you do break a CFL bulb, leave the room for 10 minutes and open a window to let the room air out. To clean it up, brush it into a sealable plastic bag or glass jar with a lid using stiff cardboard and wipe the area with damp paper towels. Don't vacuum, as that could further disperse particles. And stay calm: one CFL contains only about as much mercury as 47 servings of swordfish. More tips at epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html.

    • Keep "button batteries" (used in remote controls and musical cards) out of kids' reach. They contain a mix of toxic chemicals, including mercury, that, if swallowed, are very harmful.

    (EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

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