Category Archives : Wellness


Avoid Canned Food

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to male infertility, diabetes, heart disease, aggressive behavior in children, and other ills. The chemical is used in some No. 7 plastic bottles and most canned-food containers, and although some manufacturers are phasing the chemical out of their cans, it’s not clear that the replacements are […]


Dirty Dry-Cleaning Chemicals

Sure, it’s convenient to drop your clothing off with a dry cleaner, but the cleaning chemical of choice in this country remains perchloroethylene, also known as PCE, or perc. This chemical is classified a probable carcinogen and is linked to kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage. It’s not something you want to wear (for […]


Air Pollutants=VOCs

Nasty indoor air-polluting culprits, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, could be trashing your indoor air, especially in the kitchen, the basement, or even the laundry room. (Scented, petroleum-based laundry detergents contain high levels of VOCs.) These hazardous chemicals are linked to asthma and, in some instances, even cancer, and they add to indoor air pollution. […]


Beware of Nonstick Cookware and Bakeware

When you’re cooking with nonstick pots and pans, you’re essentially baking on plastic. That slick, shiny, enticingly nonstick surface is made from a synthetic material known as perfluoroalkyl acid, a class of chemicals that have been linked to ADHD, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease. They’re also potent sperm killers and are suspected of contributing to […]


Banish Harsh Cleaning Products

Isn’t it ironic that we actually contaminate our air when we use harsh chemicals—some of which are known to cause cancer—to “clean” our homes? Ammonia can trigger asthma attacks, and harsh oven cleaners and drain openers can cause respiratory damage or burn the skin of children who come into contact with them. Many general household […]


Say Goodbye to AntiBacterial Soap

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan, used in some toothpastes and antibacterial soaps, is believed to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels in people; when it mixes into wastewater, it can cause sex changes in aquatic life. And health experts believe that overuse of this and other antibacterial chemicals is promoting the growth of bacteria that are […]


Container Gardening 101

Fertilizer: Buy organic. Chemical varieties often lack trace elements plants need. Seeds: Space according to packet instructions. (Try Martha Stewart’s organic variety from Home Depot.) Soil: Add a lightly moistened layer of organic potting mix at least a foot deep. Filler: Place a plastic bag filled with leftover packing peanuts in the bottom of large […]


Eight Great Edibles

These edible seeds are great for just about any climate: lettuce, peppers, blueberries, strawberries, zucchini, collard greens, cucumbers, and Mediterranean herbs (oregano, sage, and thyme). Pictured here, ‘Seascape’ strawberries are raised in pots to ward off slugs and fruit rot.


Spice of Life-Is Your Spice Rack Contaminated?

If “variety is the Spice of Life,” then the more spice the better, right?! Not if you’re buying conventionally grown spices! Spices have many great medicinal properties including curbing hunger (cayenne), boosting metabolism (paprika), killing cancer cells (turmeric) and fighting inflammation (cinnamon), but these benefits are diminished greatly if you buy conventionally grown spices that […]

organic vs conventional

Edible Arbor

At the garden’s entrance is a gateway twined and topped with scarlet runner beans and blooming clematis. The clematis is a common garden greeter, and the beans’ upright vining habit makes them ideal for the job as well. In the shadier rear garden, train a ‘Lisbon’ lemon over the entrance to a seating spot. Its scented […]