Food

Two More Grocery Staples You Might Want to Buy Organic

For all those nights when wine and cereal count as a meal

What's the one thing we all learned from Shondaland Thursdays? Wine is a meal. No questions asked. And what about those nights when working a corkscrew and washing a glass is just too much work? Then cereal straight from the box totally counts.

To make those nights a little bit healthier (haha), we have a buying tip for you. Go organic. With interest in organic options growing, it's pretty easy to find your favorites in an organic option.


But, why should you cough up the extra couple of bucks for an organic bottle of Cabernet and or box of frosted flakes? While we think of those as food groups in their own, both are made with ingredients that are often heavily sprayed with pesticides, like grapes and grains.

Grapes, the essential ingredient in wine, are number 5 on EWG's dirty dozen list (1). So, if you should be picking up organic grapes if you are just going to eat them, you also probably to want to pick up organic for anything that highly relies on them as an ingredient. Even if you think you are safe because you aren't eating the outside, the grape skins are still part of the process and pesticides are getting in there (2). A tip we have learned when shopping for wine is you can also read the bottle for ones that are made with organic grapes. Because other ingredients are added to ferment the wine, it can be more difficult to get an organic certification for the wine itself, but they may have still used organic grapes. You can also look for wines with a biodynamic label, meaning they don't use pesticides and have a larger scope for how the farm should be run to create less waste.

Now, let's talk about cereal. Most cereals are made with oats, wheat, or another grain often grown in large fields that are commonly sprayed with pesticides. Even though the cereal is processed, and we aren't eating it fresh like berries or kale, there was a study done recently that found many cereals had traces of glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup pesticide) (3, 4). That means, with every bowl (or handful - no judgement here), you are also getting some pesticides.

Sorry for the bad news that your fav meal might be introducing pesticides into your diet, but at least a bunch of brands are making organic options. Shop around and find your new go to brands. Bonus: the more you shop organic, the more you are also protecting those who grow the grapes and grains and telling companies that you appreciate the steps they are taking to use fewer pesticides in their products.

  1. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
  2. https://winefolly.com/review/wine-making-processes-affect-wines-flavor/
  3. https://www.ceh.org/glyphosate-herbicide-found-popular-cereals/
  4. https://www.ewg.org/childrenshealth/glyphosateince...

Let's start by acknowledging that take out is a wonderful invention. It's super convenient, delicious, and means no clean up - what more could you ask for? While we praise take out as much as the next person, we have a few suggestions for ways to make your next lunch on the go or Chinese and a movie night a little healthier, without saying you have to order the steamed veggies and white rice.

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Food

Stop Eating Lunch at Your Desk

Seriously, here are 5 reasons why

Work can be crazy, and working through lunch almost feels expected at many offices. But, if you can actually take a break, even just a few times a week, it can make a big difference for your physical, mental, and social well-being. Here are some of the top benefits of not eating at your desk.

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Roundups

12 Essentials for Packing a Plastic Free Lunch

our favorite reusable items for packing lunch for the kids (and yourself!)

As all the kids are going back to school, it's time to get ready to start getting creative when it comes to packing lunches. While plastic sandwich bags may be convenient, they aren't the healthiest and are only adding to the plastic problem in our oceans. Instead, stock up on some of these lunchbox essentials. They are reusable, washable, and healthier than a bag full of plastic containers. We also have a roundup of general food storage containers you might want to check out.

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Everyone has their favorite water bottle - a Camelbak with the chewy straw, or a new shiny S'well bottle, or the Hydroflask that keeps your drink icy for days. And, we know that reusable plastic water bottles have some perks- lightweight, see through, indestructible- but they also have one big drawback, the plastic. Plastics, even ones that are BPA free, are often made of chemicals that can seep into water and affect your health. So, that's where this big question comes into play. Do I have to (or should I) ditch my beloved Nalgene with all my stickers from travels throughout the years?

Our answer is - you don't have to pitch it, but it probably shouldn't be your primary bottle either. You can stop reading here and check our our roundup of a dozen glass and stainless steel reusable water bottles if that's enough info for you, or you can keep reading and well give you some tips and nuggets of info on why those tips will make a difference.

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Roundups

A Dozen Reusable Water Bottles

Our top picks for glass and stainless steel water bottles

If you've made it here, you probably already know that bottled water isn't great. Plastic in general can also be tough because of the ever popular BPA and it's sister chemicals. So, we collected 12 of our favorite plastic-free, reusable water bottles so you don't have to go hunting. Many of these brands make many types of bottle and cups. Feel free to poke around to find a size or shape that might work better for you, but keep in mind always go for glass or stainless steel. That assures that even if the plastic bottles are BPA free, you won't have to worry about BPA replacements. It's often tough to find bottles without plastic lids, but if the water isn't constantly touching the lid, a plastic lid usually isn't something to get too worried about.

If you have some old plastic reusable water bottles kicking around (who doesn't!) then check out our advice about how to use them safely.

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Science

Having Trouble Keeping a Healthy Weight?

Here's why chemicals might be keeping you from shedding those last few pounds

If you're eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, but just can't seem to hit a healthy weight, it might be something you've never thought about. Obesogens, a term coined in 2006 to refer to chemicals that cause us to gain and hold on to weight, and can influence weight loss. Now, we know that maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is influenced by what seems like a bajillion factors, and is a complicated issue with no easy solution. But, it looks like obesogens are a piece of the puzzle and definitely something you want to be aware about. Data shows that obesity is an increasing problem. Over one-third of both adults and children in the U.S. are obese or overweight (1, 5). Even for people who regularly work out or have superhuman strength to say no to desserts, obesogens are having an impact. Unfortunately, as obesogen research is in its early stages, we still don't know everything about these chemicals and how they affect weight gain, but as of now, here's what we do know.

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5 Ways Zero Waste is Also Good For Your Health

Good for the planet and good for you

So, maybe you've heard of the zero waste movement that's been gaining traction. Or, maybe you've seen the Instagrammers showing that they have only made a small jar of trash in the last four years (props to you Laura Singer!). Whether you've heard of this or not, it seems like most people can agree that trying to create less trash (and support a circular economy, which is typically the motivation for those going zero waste) is good for the planet. It's a mind frame shift that helps everyone think about durability, what products we actually need, and how we can treat the items we do have better, which often times translates into decisions that are better for our health as well. While going completely trash free might not be right for you today, it doesn't mean we all can't try to follow some of the easier changes the lifestyle promotes. Making less trash is typically seen as a way to protect the future of our planet, but a lot of these little habit changes are also great for your personal health. So, what are some ways that zero waste is also good for your health?

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