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Green living expert, author, and TV personality, Sara Snow, explains the USDA organic seal and why "natural" is not organic.

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  • Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Hot Science

Organic food policies in schools foster healthier food environments

Sep 15, 2014

A recent study published in Perspectives in Public Health has found that Danish schools committed to serving organic food to their students encourage healthy eating more than ‘non-organic’ schools. ‘Organic’ schools surveyed in the study were much more likely to support healthy eating through the adoption of food nutrition policies designed to ensure healthy eating [...]

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Herbicides and fertilizers decrease native plant diversity

Sep 11, 2014

A recent study in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment detailed a three-year study designed to assess the impact of fertilizers and pesticides from conventional farms on surrounding native plant communities. Researchers found that drift and overspray from fertilizer and pesticide applications resulted in a significant decrease in native plant diversity. Herbicides had direct negative effects on [...]

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Neonicotinoid residues found in commonly consumed produce

Sep 11, 2014

According to a study conducted by scientists from Harvard University and published in the journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, neonicotinoid residues are often found in many of the most commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Neonicotinoids are the most common class of insecticide used in conventional agriculture, and are applied directly to the plant or [...]

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Decline in antibiotic use in livestock reduces antibiotic-resistant microbes

Sep 10, 2014

Widespread and indiscriminate feeding of antibiotics to livestock is commonplace in conventional farming systems, and has led to an increase in microbial antibiotic resistance in both livestock and humans. A recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives describes how Denmark is cracking down on the problem. For more than two decades Denmark has regulated the sale [...]

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Fertilizer runoff leads to larger Chesapeake Bay dead zone

Sep 09, 2014

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the Chesapeake Bay’s ‘dead zone’—a portion of the bay completely devoid of oxygen—is back and bigger than normal, encompassing an area of one cubic mile. Dead zones occur when fertilizer runoff high in nitrogen and phosphorus enters the water and leads to the over-growth of algae. Algal over-growths [...]

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GM crops responsible for decline in monarch butterflies

Sep 08, 2014

A study published this summer by researchers at the University of Guelph in the Journal of Animal Ecology reports that the use of herbicide-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops are largely responsible for declining monarch butterfly populations. Monarch butterflies rely exclusively on the milkweed plant to lay their eggs and as a food for monarch caterpillars.  [...]

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Redefining healthy food

Sep 05, 2014

A comprehensive report by Health Care Without Harm calls for a reconsideration of how we define healthy food. According to the report, the classic definition of healthy food, based on components including the number of calories, fat, and vitamins, must be expanded to include social, economic and environmental factors. Many food production methods overuse chemicals [...]

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Exposure to antibiotics on blueberries leads to severe reaction

Sep 04, 2014

A recent report published by Canadian doctors in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology details the case of a 10-year-old girl who was admitted to the emergency room for a severe allergic reaction. After eating blueberry pie, the girl broke out into hives and experienced abnormal breathing. Surprisingly, tests revealed that the patient was [...]

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Reduced use of synthetic fertilizer will be critical for reducing dead zones

Aug 13, 2014

A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that the Mississippi River is inundated by the amount of nitrogen runoff from farms, resulting in large-scale marine life die-offs, or dead zones, in the Gulf of Mexico.  Last year this dead zone clocked in at 5,840 square miles, larger than the state of Connecticut.  [...]

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Glyphosate linked to birth defects in piglets

Jul 31, 2014

A new research study published in Environmental & Analytical Toxicology found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, may have played a role in birth defects found in Danish piglets.  The year 2013 had abnormally high percentages of malformed piglets, so a research team from Germany, Denmark, and Egypt examined possible causes of these malformations.  [...]

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