Tag Archives: new york times

sugar

The (Too) Sweet Life: Can Sugar Lead to Heart Attack, Cancer?

Life is sweet.

But is too much sweetness in one’s life dangerous?

According to 60 Minutes’ Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sweets – sugar to be exact – may very well be toxic.

In a recent report, Dr. Gupta reported that according to estimates, nearly 20 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar via soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, ice cream and other candies.

“Unfortunately, the sweeter the item is on the lips, the worse it is on the hips,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. “And, while sweets increase fat and caloric content, they are often void of necessary nutrients and antioxidants.”

And, apparently, that is only the beginning.

Heart Disease

According to Dr. Gupta, just one sugar-sweetened soda a day can sharply increase one’s risk for heart disease.

Some stories, such as an analysis recently published in the New York Times, report that these sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages can increase one’s risk for heart attack by more than 20 percent.

This would stand to reason as sugar can adversely change levels of good and bad cholesterols as well as increase levels of dangerous triglycerides.

So, if one simply eliminates sugary beverages from his/her diet, then she will be fine, right?

Wrong.

In addition to soda, secret sugars in food we eat each day – primarily processed foods – are acting as toxins in our body, too. This can include everything from yogurts to sauces to breads and peanut butters.

Cancer

“I truly believe that sugar is a leading cause of cancer in the United States,” Dr. Quiet says.
According to Dr. Quiet, the word “cancer” is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast cancer to lung cancer to skin cancer and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control, causing a tumor.

“Most people don’t know that nearly a third of all cancerous tumors have insulin receptors on their surface that have learned to use sugar to progress,” Dr. Quiet adds.

Backing her assertion, Dr. Gupta reports that over the years, tumors with insulin receptors — like breast and colon cancers — have begun to bind with sugars in the bloodstream, stealing it from muscles and other organs signaling for it as well.

Just as other parts of our bodies use sugar for energy, so do the tumors.

The problem has become so evident that researchers are currently working around the clock on a new suite of drugs specifically meant to block tumors from hijacking sugar and glucose in the bloodstream.

The bottom line

“Until research catches up with the sweet tooth, all individuals, whether currently fighting cancer or not, need to focus on decreasing their processed food intake along with red meats, high-fat dairy products and fried foods,” Dr. Quiet says.

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Bringing Farms to Arizona Cities

Green living innovator Greg Peterson has an idea of bringing 10,000 urban farms into big cities of Arizona.

By creating farms closer to homes in large cities, fresh foods are more readily available to help create a healthier way of living.

Peterson, contributing writer for Phoenix Magazine and Edible Phoenix, began gardening 35 years ago when he realized the importance of growing your own food.

“Stress, environmental toxins, and lack of nutrition contribute to disease. We can control the quality of the food were eating,” Peterson said. The diagnosis of a tremor causing one of Peterson’s hands to shake “spun” him into learning more about health.

Peterson’s idea of the Urban Farm began after he transformed his backyard into an entirely edible landscape with over 70 fruit trees, three solar applications, and recycled building materials. The site is open to the public and offers tours and classes on how to garden and farm.

Most of the food bought at major grocery store chains travels an average of 1500 miles before it reaches shelves to be purchased, Peterson explains. This means that fruits and vegetables have to be picked before they are ready, leaving people with a limited amount of nutrients in their diets.

Restaurants located in bigger cities are beginning to garden and farm on site of their locations. Pizzeria Bianco and The Parlor, both located in Phoenix, have fresh menu items by growing their ingredients on the restaurant’s property.

Fruits and vegetables are more power packed with nutrients when they are grown and sold closer to homes in urban areas because they don’t have to be picked so far ahead of time for long destinations. Food is healthier for people when it doesn’t have to travel as far.

The hot, sunny weather in Arizona sometimes makes it difficult to maintain a garden or farm, let alone do this in bigger city areas of the state. Tim Blank, a man who works directly with the Department of Energy and NASA, has created a product called the “Tower Garden” to grow fresh food in any environment.

The “Tower Garden” is an environmentally friendly product that uses 90 percent less water in growing plants. Ongoing drought problems in the state of Arizona makes conserving water an important issue.

Nutrition educator and Tower Garden owner, Ellen Stecker, grows tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and cilantro with the product on her property at home.

Tower Gardens are so popular, that they have been featured on ABC news, CNN, and the New York Times. This invention is an important tool that helps bring gardening closer to homes in the city.

With his idea of creating 10,000 urban farms in Phoenix, Peterson says that the Tower Garden inspires healthy living.

A New Approach to Green

A New Approach To Going Green- Kansas Takes The Lead

Kansas probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of sustainability, but you’d be surprised — the Sunflower State is making immense progress in saving energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

This piece in The New York Times highlights the humble beginnings of the Climate and Energy Project, a small nonprofit group whose missions is to get people to limit their fossil fuel emissions. Kansas town managers are attributing the state’s new resolve largely to a yearlong competition sponsored by the Climate and Energy Project that “set out to extricate energy issues from the charged arena of climate politics” as noted in the article.

What sets this project apart from the countless other sustainability initiatives is the approach.  The decision was made to focus on thrift, patriotism, spiritual conviction and economic prosperity, using these four pillars to try to rally resident of six Kansas towns to make a change in their energy use.

Why did the conversation have to be about climate change, countered project chairwoman Nancy Jackson. If the goal was to persuade people to reduce their use of fossil fuels, why not identify issues that motivated them instead of getting stuck on something that did not, the Times article reported.

Despite a hefty roadblock — according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press just  48 percent of people in the Midwest agree with the statement that there is “solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer” — the project trudged on and worked to overcome the skeptics.

By the looks of things, it’s going well. One of the cities has already reduced its energy use by 5 percent and a wind turbine factory will be built in the Reno County area, creating as many as 400 local jobs.

Hopefully this will serve as an example for other communities who aren’t so quick to embrace the green movement. This unique approach proves that there you can always find a  way to move toward a sustainable future.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Green, but still feeling guilty about negatively impacting the environment

Taking The Blame: Sustainable Experts Feel The Guilt

Being green isn’t always easy. With the commercialization of practically everything nowadays, sometimes it’s simply easier to do things the “non-green” way.

And we’re not the only ones who succumb to this.

An article in the New York Times sheds light on this issue with a great piece titled “Green, but Still Feeling Guilty.”

In the story, several leading figures in the sustainability movement sheepishly admit that they, too, sometimes take the easy way out.

Disposable diapers are one example. Several of the individuals interviewed admitted to using them on their children. Despite their best efforts to act in a sustainable manner, often this is easier said than done, and there is no better example out there than babies and their diaper needs.

From having a pool, to owning two homes, the list of green “offenses” goes on. But the message remained the same: no one is perfect in the quest to lead a sustainable lifestyle. What matters most is that the good outweigh the bad. So you use diapers, no problem, but then you’ve got to minimize your impact in other ways and so forth.

In this day and age, it’d be difficult to lead a life that wouldn’t in some shape, way or form harm the environment. There’s no reason to feel guilty. There is a difference between wastefulness and necessity. Making smart choices in places that you can (i.e. recycling, limiting water use, etc) will hopefully make the kind of impact that will make Mother Earth happy with us for years to come.

Green News Roundup- Biogas Powered Data Centers

Green News Roundup – Greenhouse Gases, Biogas-Powered Data Centers & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about greenhouse gases, biogas-powered data centers and more. Feel free to send along any stories you’d like to see in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.

One Moos and One Hums, but They Could Help Power Google
“Information technology and manure have a symbiotic relationship,” said Chandrakant D. Patel, director of H.P.’s sustainable information technology laboratory. If these words are come as a surprise to you, you’re not the only one! According to this New York Times piece “with the right skills, a dairy farmer can rent out land and power to technology companies and recoup an investment in the waste-to-fuels systems within two years.”
It seems to be the perfect solution for all parties involved, companies need places to build and power their large computing center and “dairy farmers have increasingly been looking to deal with their vast collections of smelly cow waste by turning it into something called biogas.”

If You Build It…
In this piece in the New York Times Green Blog, it’s revealed that actor Kevin Costner “has been overseeing the construction of oil separation machines to prepare for the possibility of another disaster of the magnitude of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.”
Costner is most famous for his acting roles, but he is also an environmental activist and fisherman. He purchased the nascent technology from the government in 1995 and even put $24 million of his own money to develop the technology for the private sector. This week it was revealed that BP’s chief operating officer, Dough Suttles, stated that the company had approved six of Ocean Therapy’s machines for testing. The centrifuge processing technology essentially acts like a giant vacuum, that sucks oil from water, separates it and sends it back into the water 99.9 percent purified.

National Academy of Sciences urges strong action to cut greenhouse gases
This week, the National Academy of Sciences called for big changes in the actions to cut greenhouse gases. They called for “taxes on carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program for such emissions or some other strong action to curb runaway global warming.”

These actions would increase the cost of using coal and petroleum, but the Academy argues that this is necessary as we continue to battle the negative impacts from climate change. The three reports, totaling more than 860 pages provide some broad outlines for the U.S. to respond to this ever-increasing threat.

EPA: BP Must Use Less Toxic Dispersant
The latest updates on the BP Oil Spill are available on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website. On Thursday, May 20th, the EPA issued a directive requring BP to “identify and use a less toxic and more effective dispersant from the list of EPA authorized dispersants.” Dispersants are a chemical that is used to break up the oil so that the oil beads are more easily degraded.

Green Economy

Green News Roundup – Building A Green Economy, Solar Power & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about the benefits of making your home energy efficient, building a green economy and solar in Arizona.

Feel free to send along any stories you’d like by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.


Best of Green 2010: Business and Politics

Find out who the best political ambassador is, the best politics Web site, the best non-profit partnership and so much more, all with a “green” twist.

Building a Green Economy
This New York Times Magazine essay addresses how to cut greenhouse gas emissions without further injuring our economy. Along with a synopsis of climate change economics, the author dives into controversial aspects of the issue and sorts it all out so we don’t have to.

Arizona to world: Do we have solar!
The LA Times spotlighted Arizona’s efforts to draw solar companies to the Grand Canyon State. Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO Barry Broome is quoted in the article, emphasizing the state’s commitment to a sustainable economy.

Motivating People to make homes energy efficient
In this piece from the Washington Post, the author makes the case for energy efficient homes and looks at why homeowners don’t implement more measures. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration data, in the U.S. buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. However, making your home more energy-efficient reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Rebuilding Greensburg

Rebuilding Greensburg for a Sustainable Future

I recently read an interesting piece in the New York Times about the rebuilding of Greensburg, Kan. Some of you may recall the devastating tornado the tore through the region back in 2007 leaving 11 dead and millions of dollars in damages. The devastation was immense but local residents were determined to rebuild. And rebuild they did. Greensburg was ready to start fresh and rebuild in a way that would generate new business and jobs. Dea Corns, a real estate agent who manages the Greensburg State Bank with her husband Thomas V. Corns was quoted as saying “We put the ‘green’ back in Greensburg.”

The community has already taken steps to make it as green as can be. An ordinance requiring all municipal buildings larger than 4,000 square feet to be built to LEED-platinum standards has been passed.

Several buildings are being renovated with green features such as geothermal pumps for heating and cooling, high-performance lighting and others that qualify them for LEED designation.

Greensburg is also one of the first cities in the nation to use LED lamps in their streetlights, saving 70 percent in energy and maintenance costs over the old lights.  The list of all the other green features that are being implemented into the city goes on and on.

This got me thinking. If Greensburg is able to rebuild in such a sustainable way after such devastation why can’t we use them as an example for future rebuilding/renovations? This is definitely something to think about. If a city so ravaged by a natural disaster can emerge stronger than ever, the potential for future new developments is incredible.

The city’s dedication to sustainability is refreshing, after all rebuilding this way is more expensive and more time-consuming than conventional methods. But higher upfront costs are often replaced with lower operating costs and a bigger payoff in the long run. Most importantly, residents and city leaders alike seem to have the big picture of the future of the city in mind.

Green Advisers on a Mission

Green Advisers On A Mission

Name an industry and you’ll find a consultant — investment, finance, marketing, and so forth.

You can add eco-consulting to that list.

After reading an interesting article from the New York Times about eco-consulting, I was curious to see exactly what this new type of profession would encompass.

Is it a passing phase or a legitimate way to better educate citizens about how to live a greener life? To find out more, I contacted Valley eco-consultant Linda Benson. She trained to become an eco-consultant with Green Irene, a company founded by a husband-and-wife team that now trains consultants throughout the country.

After contacting Green Irene for additional information, I received an e-mail from Jessica Clark, marketing manager at Green Irene, who supplied me with the following statement:
“Green Irene is on a mission to ‘Green Our World, One Home And Office At a Time.’ Green Irene trains independent, authorized distributors of Green Irene consulting services and recommended green home and office products. Through these services, eco-consultants assist neighbors, family, employees and coworkers implement proven green solutions in their homes and small businesses, and starts them on the path to a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle.
As of July 2009, Green Irene has more than 425 eco-consultants in 45 states offering Green Home Makeovers, Green Office Makeovers, GO GREEN Workshops and many of the best green home and office products available.”

Guess this isn’t a phase after all.

Benson has been in the interior design industry for three years and her specialty is green, sustainable and universal design, so becoming an eco-consultant was a “good fit.”

She goes on to explain various initiatives offered by Green Irene, including but not limited to, green makeovers as well as “actual blueprints for converting your living, home products and just the way you carry out life on a daily basis in a green and sustainable manner.”

“I enjoy the challenge of re-using and re-engineering furniture and soft goods (bedding, window treatments) from items my clients already have,” Benson adds “I also love educating them on how to save money by making small changes to their lifestyle, such as changing light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) in a main living space, and using proper window treatments to hold down the energy loss in a room, just to name a few things.”

green consultingThis sounds like a great idea for people who are trying to make a positive change to better the environment and aren’t really sure how to begin. As Benson points, out the changes don’t have to be costly, and customers can start small and work their way up to more significant changes. The consultations can be done for private residents as well as commercial companies.

Benson has a positive outlook on the future of eco-consulting, not only locally, but also globally.

“I see eco-consulting encouraging people to save on resources, giving motivation to explore new design modes and methods, pushing people to think outside of the box, helping people who spend hard-earned money to use it more efficiently and to encourage saving,” she says. “I see eco-consulting bringing people to the outdoor style of living again by cooking more during the pleasant sunny days. I even see eco-consulting prompting healthy eating and encouraging more community activities again!”

www.greenirene.com