Yikes! Nothing beats the real thing… –
Boxed mac and cheese often means survival for tots and poor college students, but new research shows there may be harmful chemicals in the powdered cheese. Lab tests revealed that toxic industrial chemicals, called phthalates, are found in 10 varieties of macaroni and cheese, including eight out of nine Kraft products. These phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that could cause reproductive and thyroid issues, as well as neurological problems in kids and unborn babies.
Source: Powdered mac and cheese, like Kraft, may contain toxic chemicals – NY Daily News
An excellent start to getting rid of what should never be in any skincare! –
A leading UK breast cancer charity has warned that levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals contained in popular beauty products may increase women’s risk of developing the disease. And the chemicals being highlighted by Breast Cancer UK appear in the ingredients on everything from Nivea moisturisers and Maybelline mascaras to Essie nail polish. The charity’s Ditch The Junk campaign aims to raise awareness of the chemicals that people might wish to avoid, such as parabens, which are widely used as preservatives, and synthetic musks like galaxolide, commonly found in perfumes. It has also released a handy infographic breaking down common ingredients in products from nail polish to hair spray to hygiene products, to arm shoppers with everything they need to know before their next trip to the beauty counter.
Source: Cancer charity warns of potentially harmful chemicals | Daily Mail Online
Nothing beats the real thing! –
“LOLLY” vitamin pills are unhealthy, exploitative and damage children’s teeth, according to health experts who want them banned. And the NSW Poisons Centre said it now receives at least 15 calls a week about children eating too many multivitamins. A group of health experts including Monash University Associate Professor Ken Harvey argues “gummie”-style vitamins should be banned because they contain food acids and high levels of sugar and “are not medicines consumers need”. While such products list minerals and vitamins as “active” ingredients, because they are labelled complementary medicines many are able to hide their high sugar content.
Source: Kids vitamins get a health warning | Daily Telegraph
Yikes! Why how we treat our planet matters so so much –
Sea salt harvested from oceans around the world and a favourite of discerning cooks is contaminated with plastic, scientists have found. Tiny pieces of the material have been found in sea salt on sale in the UK, Europe, the US and China. It confirms that plastic litter reaching oceans is being broken down and getting in to our food. Previous studies have found that fish such as cod, as well as shellfish and crustaceans including scampi caught off the British coast, contain plastic particles.
Source: Plastic debris is now discovered in sea salt | Daily Mail Online
Single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past at the checkouts of Woolworths and Coles in the next 12 months.In a shock announcement on Friday afternoon, Woolworths revealed it would shortly begin phasing out the bags in supermarkets, Big W and BWS stores, with a total ban in place by June 30 next year.
Source: Woolworths announces all stores will ban single-use plastic bags within 12 months
Why avoiding unsafe plastics and knowing what goes into the products we buy is so important! –
Exposure to the hormone-disrupting chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) during rodents’ development significantly increases their risk of being severely overweight in later life, a study review found. BPA exposure also raises fat levels in the blood, the research adds – previous studies have found this increases the risk of heart disease. These results occur even when BPA exposure occurs in amounts below the recommended levels. Known as the gender-bending chemical for its effects on male breast growth, the researchers believe BPA may cause obesity by altering the hormones responsible for fat metabolism.
Source: Chemical in baby bottles increase the risk of obesity | Daily Mail Online
Why the best thing accompanying baby in the cot is… nothing! –
Some UK retailers have stopped selling baby sleep positioners amid concerns over their safety. A US health regulator said they “can cause suffocation that can lead to death” and have been linked to 12 infant deaths in the US. The positioners, aimed at infants under six months, are intended to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping. Mothercare and Tesco have stopped selling sleep positioners but they are still available from other retailers.Ebay has also reportedly removed the product from its website after the US authority’s recommendation.
Source: Baby sleep positioners dropped by shops after deaths warning – BBC News
Helpful new research in the battle against SIDS –
United States researchers have found a potentially lifesaving clue towards understanding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The syndrome is the leading cause of post-neonatal infant mortality, and is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age. After decades of study, the underlying cause of death in those infants has remained a mystery. But Dr Robin Haynes, principal pathology associate at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University researcher, said a study she has co-published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could be an important step in solving the puzzle. “What we’ve found when we looked at SIDS deaths was a subset that had elevated levels of serotonin in the serum,” she said. “So this is the first indication that a problem with serotonin might be contributing to SIDS.
Source: SIDS research links serotonin levels of babies with possible cause of sudden death – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
A very helpful guide! We think getting to know where your veggies (and other food & skincare come from) is just as important –
Organic produce is said to be higher in antioxidants, which prevent damage to the body, supposedly better for the environment and tastes better, according to its champions. But with some products costing up to twice as much as their non-organic alternatives, not everyone can afford to fill their trolley up with pesticide-free fruit and veg every week. But if you can stretch to adding some items, the Pesticide Action Network UK has revealed the fruit and vegetables found to have the highest level of residue in tests carried out between 2011 and 2015, to coincide with the Soil Association’s Organic September Campaign.They include oranges and other citrus fruits, apples, herbs and pre-prepared salad leaves, as well as starchy foods such as rice and oats. Meanwhile, avocado, mushrooms and sweet potato have the lowest levels so are the best choices to buy non-organic.
Source: PAN UK’s 20 organic foods worth splashing out on | Daily Mail Online
When you look at the multitude of skincare brands displayed on the shelves of your local chemist or health store, most of them will have been made in huge, automated production facilities, with very little human contact or presence. We often don’t realise that many skincare brands do not even make their own products – in fact the production of a vast majority of skincare brands is done by outsourced contract manufacturers – starting from ingredients purchased in bulk, produced, filled, bottled and labelled on giant production lines that would also be used for multiple brands and, in some cases, food and beverage and pharmaceutical ‘clients’ as well. This outsourced, mass-produced, industrial-scale process couldn’t be further from how we believe baby skincare or any skincare for that matter should be made.
Most handcrafted skincare is made in the kitchens and on the stoves of their founders and that’s exactly how it started at Four Cow Farm! Today, our creams, washes and balms are still made on our family farm, but instead of Nanna’s kitchen, it’s now made in the old milking barn and dairy, converted from its previous use into a fully ACO-certified workshop – still under the watchful eye of Nanna!
We take the handcrafted ethos very seriously from knowing exactly the source and quality of every ingredient we use, hand preparing, measuring and mixing, filling, bottling and labelling, right through to the fastidious cleaning of everything that comes into contact with our range.
It started as Nanna’s labour of love for her grandchildren, and a labour of love it remains to this day 🙂
Another good reason to get moving! –
The study suggests that the effects of youthful exercise on the brain could linger deep into adulthood, potentially providing a buffer against the declines in brain health and memory that otherwise occur with age.Most of us who are past the age of 40 are aware from doleful personal experience that mental acuity wanes as the decades pass. The deficits are often subtle — names and other nouns slide just out of our mind’s reach — but pervasive. Some scientists have wondered whether the effects of this decline might be lessened if we started the downward slope from a higher peak, a condition that has been termed having a “cognitive reserve.”
Source: Moving When Young May Strengthen the Adult Brain – The New York Times
Even more good reason to spend some time with our furry friends! –
A recent study examined 800 babies and found infants exposed to a furry pet at just the right time in their development had some interesting health benefits. “We looked at the kinds of gut bacteria these babies have around three months of age,” Anita Kozyrskyj, a professor of pediatrics at the U of A, told the Calgary Eye.
“And we found exposure [to dogs] during pregnancy or postnatally was associated with some beneficial gut bacteria in these babies.” While most study participants were dog owners, Kozyrskyj said the benefits can come from cats as well. The animals carry a pair of healthy bacteria — ruminococcus and oscillospira — the result of running around, foraging and digging outside.
Source: Having pets helps babies later in life, according to University of Alberta research – Calgary – CBC News