Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their list of the twelve most pesticide-ridden fruits and veggies. Pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption in children and have carcinogenic properties. Of course, the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigth the potential risks from pesticides, but these twelve residents of your produce aisle should be bought organic whenever possible.
Apples - apples test positive for pesticides 99% of the time!
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Bell Peppers
Imported nectarines - all samples tested positive for pesticides
Cucumbers
Potatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Hot Peppers
 

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their list of the twelve most pesticide-ridden fruits and veggies. Pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption in children and have carcinogenic properties. Of course, the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigth the potential risks from pesticides, but these twelve residents of your produce aisle should be bought organic whenever possible.

  1. Apples - apples test positive for pesticides 99% of the time!
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Imported nectarines - all samples tested positive for pesticides
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Hot Peppers

 

That’s what Ria Chhabra, a 13 year old from Texas, did. When in a debate with her parents over the value of organic products over conventional ones, she decided to scientifically prove it one was better than the other

Originally, she tested the vitamin C levels in organic fruits and compared them to conventional ones. She found that vitamin C was higher in the organic produce, and decided she wanted to study the consequences this finding could have on health. So she did what any other kid would do - research an animal model and reach out to college professors across the country to find someone interested in helping her finish the project.

One professor, Dr. Bauer at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, called her back. While “he would not normally agree to work with a middle-school student”, Dr. Bauer and Ria worked successfully to feed fruit flies different diets and test the effects of diet on their health. Ria’s work was published by the lab and then by a scientific journal. It is titled "Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits to Drosophila melanogaster and available online. (For the record, she proved that Drosophila fruit flies fared far better on organic bananas and potatos than conventionally grown options.)

Today at 16, Ria continues to work with Dr. Bauer, now studying Type 2 Diabetes with fruit flies. Her family and friends are confident not in only in their choice to purchase organic foods but also that Ria will have a plethora of colleges to choose from in the coming years. Not bad for a 13 year old!

Most New Yorkers are familiar with Whole Foods Market, supplier of natural and organic foods across NYC and the country. What you may not know, however, is that they are opening a new location in Gowanus, Brooklyn later in the year -  complete with rooftop greenhouse.
Whole Foods has teamed up with the local greenhouse produce organization Gotham Greens in order to build the first Whole Foods with food that will be grown and sold on site. Gotham Greens will “produce premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round” for the Gowanus location as well as other stores within the city.
Besides ensuring freshness of product, rooftop farming also uses less energy and resources for growth and transport. Instead of talking about how many miles food travels, Whole Foods is reducing their carbon footprint to footsteps! Urban farming makes productive use of highly underutilized space in crowded cities with little room for gardening or farming and is a highly sustainable and climate-friendly choice.
Would you be more inclined to purchase fruits and veggies that come right from one of your neighborhood rooftops? Is urban farming the farming of the future?

Most New Yorkers are familiar with Whole Foods Market, supplier of natural and organic foods across NYC and the country. What you may not know, however, is that they are opening a new location in Gowanus, Brooklyn later in the year -  complete with rooftop greenhouse.

Whole Foods has teamed up with the local greenhouse produce organization Gotham Greens in order to build the first Whole Foods with food that will be grown and sold on site. Gotham Greens will “produce premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round” for the Gowanus location as well as other stores within the city.

Besides ensuring freshness of product, rooftop farming also uses less energy and resources for growth and transport. Instead of talking about how many miles food travels, Whole Foods is reducing their carbon footprint to footsteps! Urban farming makes productive use of highly underutilized space in crowded cities with little room for gardening or farming and is a highly sustainable and climate-friendly choice.

Would you be more inclined to purchase fruits and veggies that come right from one of your neighborhood rooftops? Is urban farming the farming of the future?

(Source: media.wholefoodsmarket.com)

No more Rice Krispies at school? From the above video… (please excuse the opening advertisement!)

Recently, the USDA has developed new rules on what kinds of snack foods can be sold in public schools in the US, created as an extension of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 signed by President Obama.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the first ingredient of snacks purchased on school grounds now must be a vegetable, fruit, dairy product, whole grain, or protein. If an item doesn’t meet that standard, it could still be sold if it contains 10% of the Daily Value for calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or fiber - if it is naturally occurring, not as part of a fortification or supplementation package.

If these rules hold, school cafeterias around the country could be looking very different very soon. However, there is already backlash from food industry giants crying foul over lost profits and marketing and the standards are not yet finalized.

What do you think - is it the government’s responsibility to restrict harmful foods from reaching kids’ hands while they are in school? Should good nutrition practices start at home? Or should parents, teachers, and the government work together to start changing the food kids eat?

Diet Soda Deception

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According to a recent Huffington Post article highlighting new research on the food industry, diet sodas - which millions turn to in order to cut their calorie intake - can actually be worsefor your body than regularly sweetened sodas. 

A study of over 66,000 women during 14 years, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that diet soda drinkers are more likely to be overweight and that these diet sodas raised their risk for Type 2 Diabetes more than if they drank regular soda.

Here’s some of the science on why -

  1. Artificial sweeteners fool your body into thinking there is sugar on the way.
  2. Once there is no sugar, your body becomes confused and will both store fat and crave more sugar.
  3. Artificial sweeteners can be thousands of times more sweet than sugar - making them more addicting as well.

The food industry is deceptively creative with things like diet sodas. For more information on diet sodas as well as other processed food secrets, check out the article here and in the mean time, remember - all natural fruit juice is the best drink to have if you or your kids are looking for some liquid fuel.

Spring is here today…

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…but the new café at the New York Hall of Science is already blossoming! Delish by Amerivents is the exclusive café and catering partner at NYSCI. My name is Amanda and I’m the assistant manager and resident foodie here at Delish. I have always loved food and chose to study for a bachelors in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida. During my time at UF, I also gained knowledge and passion for sustainability and environmental issues. I was happy to find that my interests in food and helping our planet blended perfectly - our food system and what we eat is deeply linked to the current environmental crisis, and working to solve one helps the other. It is safe to say that I am passionate about all areas of food - eating it, creating it and making it better for both the people who eat it and the planet that provides for us. I have done everything from work at a farmers market to create a nutrition curriculum for an organic farm in Gainesville, Florida. Now I am here at Delish at NYSCI to bring tasty and sustainable food to the community as well as create fun ways for both kids and adults to learn about food and the environment. Every week I will be taking over the NYSCI blog for the day, sharing everything from gardening tips to articles on the latest in nutrition news.

Here at Delish, we are committed to using healthier and wholesome ingredients to create fresh food that  NYSCI visitors of all ages can enjoy. It seems only natural that NYSCI would have a refreshing and forward-thinking café, and we are extremely proud to be that café. Besides giving everyone great food, our partnership with NYSCI is allowing us to plan exciting educational programs and experiences both at the café and here on the web.
 
To start things off, here is a short clip from Michael Pollan, a leading food issues author and advocate. It’s a simple explanation on why buying local, unprocessed food is important, something we truly believe in here at Delish!