With Amy Todisco

Are you concerned about what you and your family eat? In this synthetic chemical age itís wise to be informed about what may be in the food that we eat. Even if your pantry and refrigerator are loaded with fresh, certified organic whole foods, there is more that you need to know about your food, how itís prepared, and what toxic chemicals might be lurking in your kitchen. Join Amy Todisco as she takes you through a brief tour of a typical American kitchen and offers tips on how to make yours a healthier haven. If you want more information, feel free to email Amy at: atnontox@aol.com with your questions.



Amy Todisco's Top Ten Nontoxic,
Earth-Friendly Living Suggestions

According to the Union Of Concerned Scientists, in their book, The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, just three of the household activity areas-transportation, food, and household operations-account for the majority of consumer caused environmental impact. The following is a brief list of suggestions to help you create a healthier, less toxic, earth-friendly lifestyle:

1. TRANSPORTATION:

Choose a fuel-efficient, low-polluting car. Trade in or sell your Sport Utility Vehicles, mini-van, or light truck (unless you need the truck for business).

Did You Know: Household use of transportation, from recreational boating to cars to passenger air travel, is responsible for 28-51% of greenhouse gases and air pollution and 23% of toxic water pollution. The use of land for roads is a significant threat to wildlife.

2. FOOD:

Did You Know: The Union of Concerned Scientists reported "our results show that meat production causes more environmental harm than other food production, so it is desirable to try to reduce the amount of meat you eat." Additionally, Epidemiologist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D, one of the world's leading authorities in nutrition science, said, " In my view, no chemical carcinogen is nearly so important in causing human cancer as animal protein."

Conventional food can be: genetically engineered, irradiated, fertilized with municipal sludge, artificially flavored, colored and preserved, injected with growth hormones and antibiotics, and contaminated with other industrial chemicals and radiation. Sound appetizing?

3. WATER:

Did You Know:Approximately 43% of the nation's community water systems are in violation of federal safe drinking water laws. Lead is one of the most dangerous drinking water contaminants. Bottled water is not required by law to be pure, and it may become contaminated from the plastic container it's bottled in.

4. CLOTHING:

Choose organically grown cotton, hemp, and untreated wool as much as possible. Environmentally friendly clothing is now offered by: Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi's Natural jeans), VF Corp (owner of Lee and Wrangler), Esprit, and Patagonia. O wear is also offered in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and NYC.

Did You Know: One of the most heavily sprayed crops in agriculture is cotton, and yet toxic water and air pollution are created from the production of synthetic fibers from petroleum products. The production of shoes and leather goods are very damaging with regard to water pollution and land use.

5. DRY CLEANING:

Did You Know: Dry cleaning, on a per-dollar basis, is responsible for very high levels of toxic air pollution. Trichloroethylene may be outgassing from dry-cleaned clothes. Trichloroethylene is suspected of causing cancer in humans.

6. CLEANING PRODUCTS:

Did You Know: Cleaning products rank high on a per-dollar basis in terms of air and water pollution impacts. Their use also creates unhealthy indoor air in homes, offices, schools, etc. which can cause illness. Thanks to "trade secret laws", manufacturers of cleaning products are not required by law to disclose all of their ingredients. Many of the undisclosed "inerts" are toxic, and they can make up to 99% of the product.

7. PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS - INDOOR

8. PESTICIDES & FERTILIZERS - OUTDOOR

Did You Know: One study found a rate of childhood leukemia 4-7 times greater in children whose parents used store-bought home and garden pesticides. Pesticides, whether used properly or improperly, are designed to kill living organisms. Of the 34 most commonly used lawn chemicals, 11 are known carcinogens, 20 poison the nervous system, 9 cause birth defects, and 30 create skin irritation.

9. ENERGY USE:

Did You Know: Burning fossil fuels for heating, hot water and air conditioning creates 31% of consumer-caused greenhouse gases, and 24% of common air pollution.

10. HOME FURNISHINGS:

Did You Know:Formaldehyde is used extensively in commercial furniture; medium density fiberboard emits the highest level of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde causes cancer and nervous system damage. Many brands of carpets are treated with poisonous moth repellents, mold retardants, and pesticides. Toluene, xylene, and styrene are nerve toxins found in carpeting. They all outgas into our indoor air environment. Commercial paint contains nerve toxins and cancer-causing chemicals including formaldehyde, methylene chloride, xylene, and toluene, and others.

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Amy Todisco is the president and owner of Green Living Now, LLC. In addition to serving as an "Environmental Expert" on the EcoMall website ("Ask Amy"), she's also featured on former National Public Radio host, Laurie Howell's, The Green Scene Internet radio program. She's created community educational events, founded and co founded several nonprofits; served as Executive Director for two nonprofits; provided presentations on household toxics; consulted with private and public schools; churches, community groups, local boards of health, and the MA State Department of Public Health; written on the topic of household toxics for newspapers, newsletters and websites; and been interviewed on radio and cable TV.


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