Smarter than you thought: Infants can judge people’s preferences, proves research 

Smarter than you thought: Infants can judge people’s preferences, proves research 

They’re paying a lot more attention than you’d think! –

They may not be able to talk but babies as young as eight months can log our every move and make odds on what a person is most likely to do next, a study suggests. “Even before they can talk, babies are keeping close track of what’s going on in front of them and looking for patterns of activity that may suggest preferences,” said Lori Markson, associate professor at Washington University in the US.

Make the same choice three or four times in a row, and babies as young as eight months come to view that consistent behaviour as a preference,” said Markson. The findings demonstrated that infants look for consistent patterns of behaviour and make judgements about people’s preferences based on simple probabilities calculated from observed events and actions.

Source: Smarter than you thought: Infants can judge people’s preferences, proves research | fitness | Hindustan Times

3 Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Home | Rodale Wellness

3 Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Home | Rodale Wellness

Get to your nearest park! Or paddock –

Plan outdoor exercise Try planning a “green space treasure hunt” in your neighborhood, in which you aim to find at least three good places to get outdoor exercise near your home. Better yet, spread the idea around your social connections to start up some friendly competition to find the best spots.

Source: 3 Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Home | Rodale Wellness

Toxic Industrial Chemicals Found in 10 Types of Macaroni and Cheese Powders

Toxic Industrial Chemicals Found in 10 Types of Macaroni and Cheese Powders

Yikes! Cheese should never come in powder form… –

Laboratory testing of 10 varieties of macaroni and cheese products has revealed toxic industrial chemicals (known as phthalates) in the cheese powders of all of the tested items, according to the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, a national alliance of leading public health and food safety groups.

In recognition of National Macaroni and Cheese Day, the coalition has issued a call to The Kraft Heinz Company—the dominant seller of boxed macaroni and cheese, with 76 percent of market share—to drive industry-wide change by eliminating any sources of phthalates (THAL-eights) that may end up in its cheese products.

Source: Toxic Industrial Chemicals Found in 10 Types of Macaroni and Cheese Powders

Can You Develop Food Allergies at Any Age? – The New York Times

Can You Develop Food Allergies at Any Age? – The New York Times

It’s certainly becoming more common! –

Preliminary data from a large, new national study that is currently under review suggests that nearly 52 percent of American adults with a reported food allergy developed one or more food allergies after age 18. Many adults who develop a new food allergy wonder what caused it — the “turn-on switch” as Dr. Gupta calls it. Anecdotal reports suggest that pregnancy, for example, can trigger new allergies, leading some to hypothesize that a hormonal connection may be at play. Other patients report they noticed a new allergy after getting a viral infection. Still, it is not yet clear what causes a new reaction to a food after someone has eaten it for decades without incident.

Source: Can You Develop Food Allergies at Any Age? – The New York Times

Infant sleep research: No need to make babies cry 

Infant sleep research: No need to make babies cry 

There are as many techniques as there are mums! Just as long as it works for you and your little one –

New mothers often use controlled crying to help get their baby to sleep but new research, which looked at 34 subjects, found that responsive settling could be a less stressful option.The research, published in the Journal of Early Human Development, shows that responsive settling reduces the salivary cortisol levels or stress levels in babies and mothers.

Source: Infant sleep research: No need to make babies cry – Drive – ABC Radio

Many Canned Foods Still Contain Toxic Chemical | KPBS

Many Canned Foods Still Contain Toxic Chemical | KPBS

BPA is still allowed in the linings of cans, when it really should be removed from all food containers! –

A new report from the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found many canned foods still contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to birth defects and cancer.

The center tested more than 250 cans of food from major retailers in nine states, including California and New York. The chemical was found in the linings of nearly 40 percent of the cans tested.

Charles Margulis, CEH’s media director, said cans sold at some dollar stores were more likely to contain BPA. “Which means that people in neighborhoods where they rely on the dollar stores for a lot of their fruits and vegetables, may be getting higher exposure to BPA,” he explained. “And these are typically neighborhoods that already suffer disproportionate toxic exposures in their daily lives.”

Source: Many Canned Foods Still Contain Toxic Chemical | KPBS

Germany Breaks Record: 85% of Energy Comes From Renewables Last Weekend

Germany Breaks Record: 85% of Energy Comes From Renewables Last Weekend

Well done Germany! –

Germany’s “Energiewende”—the country’s low-carbon energy revolution—turned another successful corner last weekend when renewable energy sources nearly stamped out coal and nuclear.

Thanks to a particularly breezy and sunny Sunday, renewables such as wind and solar, along with some biomass and hydropower, peaked at a record 85 percent, or 55.2 gigawatts, and even came along with negative prices for several hours at the electricity exchange.

Conversely, coal use was at an all-time minimum. According to DW, on April 30, coal-fired power stations were only operational between 3 and 4 p.m. and produced less than eight gigawatts of energy, well below the maximum output of about 50 gigawatts.

Source: Germany Breaks Record: 85% of Energy Comes From Renewables Last Weekend

Elevated Cancer Rates Linked to Environmental Quality

Elevated Cancer Rates Linked to Environmental Quality

Yet another reason to care about what goes into our environment! –

Researchers have found a link between environmental quality and cancer incidence across the U.S.

“Our study is the first we are aware of to address the impact of cumulative environmental exposures on cancer incidence,” said Dr. Jyotsna Jagai of the University of Illinois, who led the research team.

For the study, the researchers cross-referenced the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program’s state cancer profiles with the Environmental Quality Index (EQI) and determined that the average cancer rate in roughly 2,700 counties was about 451 people in every 100,000 between 2006 and 2010.

But in counties with poor environmental quality, the researchers found a 10 percent higher incidence of cancer cases—or an average of 39 more cases per 100,000 people. The higher numbers were seen in both males and females, especially prostate and breast cancer.

Source: Elevated Cancer Rates Linked to Environmental Quality

Is your dish soap toxic? Here’s how to know : TreeHugger

Is your dish soap toxic? Here’s how to know : TreeHugger

A very helpful list of what shouldn’t be in your soap! Why all our washes only contain four ingredients, all of which are edible! –

Specific ingredients of highest concern:

Cocamide DEA: Concerns include cancer, chronic aquatic toxicity, acute aquatic toxicity.

DMDM Hydantoin: Concerns include chemical release (formaldehyde in this case), and irritation of the skin, eyes, or lungs.

Ethanolamine: Concerns include respiratory effects, general systemic/organ effects, chronic aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage.

Formaldehyde: Concerns include cancer, general systemic/organ effects, respiratory effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, acute aquatic toxicity.

Sodium Borate: Concerns include developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, respiratory effects.

Sulfuric Acid: Concerns include cancer, respiratory effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage.

Triclosan: Concerns include chronic aquatic toxicity, acute aquatic toxicity, general ecotoxicity, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, cancer, immune system effects, circulatory system effects, general systemic/organ effects, nervous system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, digestive system effects, damage to vision. Good times!

Source: Is your dish soap toxic? Here’s how to know : TreeHugger

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain – The New York Times

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain – The New York Times

Why taking a walk really can make a difference! –

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.

Source: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain – The New York Times

Simple breath test during pregnancy could prevent asthma in babies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Simple breath test during pregnancy could prevent asthma in babies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Amazing! –

The breath test measured levels of nitric oxide, a marker of lung inflammation. In the study, half the participants were prescribed medication doses based on how the women assessed their own symptoms.

The other half kept track of how they felt, but they were also assessed more precisely using the breath test. Scientists do not know exactly why, but by tweaking the mother’s medication according to the breath test findings, they halved the incidence of asthma in the babies.

Source: Simple breath test during pregnancy could prevent asthma in babies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

6 Dangerous Food Mistakes

Great tips for healthier and safer food –

Charring your meat

The Threat: Heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, are carcinogenic compounds created when meat is heated up. This barbecue bummer has been shown to increase the risk of breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.

The Fix: Master the marinade. The American Institute for Cancer Research found that marinating meat can lower HCAs by as much as 99 percent. A Kansas State University study found that marinating steaks lowered HCAs by 87 percent. Rosemary marinades are particularly protective. Food Safety Consortium tests found gingerroot, rosemary, and turmeric — all high in antioxidants — curb HCAs in cooked meat, even when cooking is at high temps. (Rosemary is most protective.) Using avocado oil can help, too. The oil — rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fatty acids — has a high smoke point, reducing harmful oil oxidation.

Source: 6 Dangerous Food Mistakes