All Blog Posts from July 2011

07.28.11 Safe Food Storage for Waste-Free Lunches

Wow!  Doesn’t it seem like summer vacation just started?  And now, here we are thinking about sending our kiddos back to school.  Time really does fly by when you are having fun!  We hope you are all enjoying a wonderful, safe and healthy summer break, but if back to school is on your brain we are ready to help with ideas for non-toxic, waste free lunches. All products are BPA-free, PVC-free, phthalate-free, lead-free.

PRESCHOOL/ KINDERGARTEN:  Lunch time is limited, so when you send your youngest student off to school, you'll want to make sure that time isn't wasted fumbling and struggling with opening difficult containers.  Read more...

07.25.11 Are Toxins Putting Your Pet's Health at Risk?

There’s something that I need to confess…I am a HUGE dog lover!  As a child, I always wanted to be a veterinarian.  I worked all throughout high school for our local vet, taking care of the kennel, running labs and assisting with surgeries and procedures.  Then I started college with a semester full of science classes and that’s when my dream came to a screeching halt.  C’est la vie. 

I have two dogs, Fern and Fiona.  They are my babies, our children’s buddies and an important part of our family.  So, when I joined the MightyNest team and began to learn more about BPA, lead, flame retardants and other harmful toxins that are so prevalent in our daily lives, I immediately questioned the health of my dogs. 

Think about it, in addition to eating and drinking, dogs use their mouths to manipulate objects and explore their surroundings, much like we use our hands.  So, doesn’t it make sense that they too would be vulnerable to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a whole host of other health problems as a result of toxins in their environment? Read more...

07.22.11 Outdoor Crafting for Kids: Fairy Houses!

If you have children, I imagine there are times during the school year when you feel caught up in an endless swirl of school activities, car pools and soccer games.  Throw in dinner prep, homework and laundry on top of that and it can feel hard to find a spare moment to sit back and just take in the world around you.

This is one of the reasons that I love summer.  Besides having more time to enjoy my children, the pace of our family slows down considerably.  The television is off because I no longer “need just 30 minutes” to get something done around the house.  We are outside almost all day with nothing but our imaginations and a sense of adventure.  Isn’t this what childhood is all about - taking the time to notice a bird’s nest high up in an Oak tree, listening to the sound of crickets and catching fireflies in a mason jar?  Read more...

07.21.11 Autism and Toxic Chemicals: Is There a Link?

1 in 110:  These are the staggering odds that a child born in the United States will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

$3.2 Million:  This is the average cost to care for a child diagnosed with autism over the course of his or her lifetime.

Have you noticed that children across the country are being diagnosed with any one of the various autism spectrum disorders at unprecedented rates?  It’s, frankly, rather scary.  Twenty years ago, the word Autism wasn’t a regular part of our vocabulary.  Today it is a real and present concern which begs the question, what has changed?

Recently, CNN Health published an article titled, “Scientists Warn of Chemical – Autism Link.”  There is widespread belief amongst the scientific community that autism is triggered by a genetic component.  Scientists now question whether there could be a link between susceptible genes and chemical exposure. Read more...

07.15.11 Health Benefits of Strawberries

Last week I took a trip to the gorgeous coast of Oregon. As we were driving out to the coast from Portland, we passed a bunch of farms selling strawberries. Hand made signs were staked out front stating, "NO SPRAY STRAWBERRIES". It must have been at the peak of the season because when we pulled over to buy some, the entire flat (9 pints) cost $10 bucks! I couldn't believe it. After tasting one, I was thrilled to arrive with my jackpot of deliciousness, perfect to share with the rest of my family.

As reported recently on MightyNest, strawberries are among the 12 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found, according to EWG's 2011, "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce". Additional research in 2011 has also shown non-organically grown strawberries to contain a high number of pesticide residues, including residues from 14 different pesticides. Read more...

07.13.11 New Study: Vinyl (PVC) is Most Widely Used Hazardous Plastic

Wonder what shower curtains, bath toys, raincoats, lunchboxes, yoga mats, school binders, and drinking straws have in common? PVC! It's crazy but Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), is one of the most common synthetic materials, found in many products throughout the home. The list above is just a sliver of where PVC lives. We also encounter PVC in our everyday life through vinyl flooring, found in many schools, hospitals and public buildings. What may not be common knowledge are the dangers of this chemically-laden plastic, often referred to as the "poison plastic". Even well known health food stores sell yoga mats made from PVC!?

A recent study by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, ranked the environmental health hazards of the most common plastics on the market. They found PVC to be the most widely used, hazardous plastic. “PVC should receive extra attention because of its carcinogenic monomer, being the third largest plastic, and requiring the most and often several hazardous additives.” Read more...

07.12.11 Sunscreen: A Blissfully Ignorant Mom Sets Out to Become an Informed Consumer

This is a guest post written by a new member of the MightyNest community. She is just beginning her journey towards creating a safe and healthy home for her family. Amanda will be writing posts periodically, sharing her journey with us.  

Up until about a month ago, I would call myself a blissfully ignorant consumer. I took everything at face value. Any claims made on a product’s packaging I would believe. After all, why would a reputable company deceive their consumers? Then I had the opportunity to talk in depth with the founders of MightyNest whose mission is to educate consumers like myself who are concerned about the impact of chemicals and toxins on their family’s health. Read more...

07.11.11 Danger from Antibiotics in the Food Supply

Nicholas Kristof wrote a compelling piece for the New York Times today about the rampant overuse of antibiotics in our food supply.   I wrote about this issue a few weeks ago at Non-Toxic Kids when sharing about joining the Moms for Antibiotic Awareness. 

Now upon reading this piece I am struck by some of Kirstof's comments.  

"Every year in the United States,325,000 people are hospitalized because of food-borne illnesses and 5,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s right: food kills one person every two hours.

Yet while the terrorist attacks of 2001 led us to transform the way we approach national security, the deaths of almost twice as many people annually have still not generated basic food-safety initiatives. We have an industrial farming system that is a marvel for producing cheap food, but its lobbyists block initiatives to make food safer." Read more...

07.08.11 Roundup Weed Killer & Birth Defects

A recent article published by the Huffington Post has caught our attention -the focus of which is the controversial chemical, glyphosate, an active ingredient used in Roundup and other popular herbicides.

Earlier this month, Earth Open Source, a non-profit organization, compiled and evaluated existing data and research surrounding the safety of glyphosate.  Glyphosate was introduced in 1976 by Monsanto, an American agricultural biotechnology company, and is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. Earth Open Source’s latest report suggests that industry regulators have known for quite some time that glyphosate causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals. And, while the effects of glyphosate on humans remains uncertain, two separate studies  found that glyphosate caused the death of human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells. Read more...

07.06.11 Spotlight: Center for Environmental Health

Every once in a while we like to draw attention to an organization that we feel is doing something in line with our mission – to keep families safe. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 with the intent to raise awareness about the threat of toxic chemicals to public health while simultaneously promoting business practices and products that are safe for the environment. Through education, community outreach and public policy, CEH is working to bring awareness to environmentally irresponsible business practices.

Recently, Chris and I had the opportunity to attend an event in Chicago, where their executive director, Michael Green, spoke passionately about the work his organization does. Focusing on getting lead out of products intended for children, cleaning up air pollution, toxic chemicals found in skin care products and the dangers of chemical flame retardants.

Here are their four primary areas of focus:

Where living healthy supports your school.