kids

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french ban tv for children under 3

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-09-04 10:37

pic: Aaron Escobarpic: Aaron EscobarLeave it to the French to show infinite wisdom in their decision to ban French television programs designed for children under three.

Unfortunately, young French children are still exposed to TV programs broadcast from foreign channels on cable but now those channels must warn parents of the negative developmental effects of television watching. Such programming now issues the following warning to French parents...

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junk food does affect hyperactivity

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-09-07 13:13

It’s not that we haven’t been aware of a more than possible link between chemical food additives and hyperactivity in children, but the results of the biggest UK study, commissioned by the government, into the links between hyper-activity and chemical food additives was published yesterday in the medical journal, the Lancet, unequivocally linking the two.

The UK government has reacted by issuing revised guidelines to parents from its Food Standards Agency, recommending that they steer clear of products containing certain E-numbers.

Children involved in the study were given mixtures typically consumed in the course of a normal day, and included artificial colourings and the preservative sodium benzoate – commonly used in soft drinks...

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greening it up – fri 24 aug 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-08-24 10:18

pic:fernandinito.compic:fernandinito.comBiofuel the reason for escalating food prices? The global demand by wealthy nations for ‘environmentally friendly’ biofuels [urban sprout] could be partially to blame for the rise of food in South Africa by almost 14% in the last year, according to analysts at the National Agriculture Marketing Council. [IOL]

Africa prepares for the impact of climate change. Nepad's environmental action plan states: "Africa is characterised by two interrelated features: rising poverty levels and deepening environmental degradation ... poverty remains the main cause and consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion in Africa. Without significant improvement in the living conditions and livelihoods of the poor, environmental policies and programmes will achieve little success." [M&G]...


rearing tomorrow’s eco-friendly children

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-08-16 12:55

pic: unicef.orgpic: unicef.orgWill we have a planet to leave our children? This is a topic of conversation no longer relegated to the confines of alternative movements or green revolutionaries - I find myself having it across lunch and dinner tables, in conversations that vary, admittedly, but tend to centre on global warming and organic versus genetically modified produce, and what effects these have on our children.

I find that I’m having these conversations even more now that I’m a mother. Before becoming a parent, whether or not I ate organic or recycled was hardly a burning issue, but now I find that other mothers I meet, no matter what their green status before, are worried about the food their children eat, the clothes their children wear and how their lifestyles might affect the environment – especially in the wake of global warming...

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greening it up–thurs 02 aug 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-08-02 14:09

Cape Town starts to mainstream recycling – at last! With the pressure mounting due to a shortage of landfill sites, CT starts a ‘separation at source’ initiative in certain areas on 13 August that will help reduce the 6000 odd tons of waste the city produces a day. Clear plastic bags, delivered to your door, will cater for dry waste – paper, cardboard, plastic containers, bags, bottles, glass and tin cans. [capetown.gov]

No more blackouts for sunny SA. If we took a leaf out of Israel’s book – almost every home is equipped with solar panels for use in heating water – we wouldn’t be facing further threats of blackouts from Eskom. Harnessing solar power, in a country that has more than its fair share of sunshine, makes more sense than nuclear power. Yet, to date we’ve committed R12-billion on the design and construction of the PBMR – nuclear energy which is neither clean nor cheap! [cooltech.iafrica] A surprise, then, that Eskom is spearheading a solar water heater drive. [urban sprout]

Death to Ronald McDonald. Proposed food regulations could see a major clampdown on junk food, and include banning adverts, cartoons and toys aimed at enticing children to eat junk food and unhealthy snacks. These same proposals also aim to put a stop to fake nutrition claims. [IOL]

Join Jeff as he jaunts the Atlantic. Jeff Barbee has taken to the seas to raise awareness for environmental matters. On this very special trip the photojournalist is working with scientists and researchers, covering airport construction on St Helena, efforts to save rare and endangered species, and tracking bird migration routes, pollution levels and many more exciting projects. He wants to get a million hits to his website. [jeffbarbee]


green your baby

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-08-01 12:12

Nothing motivates one quite as much as being responsible for a new being, and having a baby is the moment when many people move from one end of the green spectrum to the other – it’s no longer just what you put into and on your body that counts, now it’s a little life that’s being affected – it becomes a big deal!

Green jargon unravelled – just how to green your baby

We give you the low-down on how to be more 'green' when it comes to your baby; how you can treat the planet with the respect it deserves and in so doing, teach your child to do so too, and how to have less of an impact on the environment.

Nappies: Whilst many people function on automatic pilot and stock up on disposables as the only sensible approach, the cotton nappy is re-emerging as a far more sustainable, green option.

The stats:
• the average baby uses about 6 000 nappies


10 reasons to go organic

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-05-31 13:43

goorganicfoods.comgoorganicfoods.com1. Rid your body of toxins – keep insecticides and pesticides out of the air, water, soil and out of our bodies. The average conventionally-grown apple has between 20 & 30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after washing (organicfoodee.com).

2. Boost your immune system - organic produce has, on average, 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce, so it minimises health risks to you and your family. On average organic food has higher levels of Vit C and essential minerals as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.

3. Enjoy the taste. Why would something natural taste better after being sprayed with various poisons? Organic fruit and vegetables are grown more slowly and have a lower water content, which means they have a fuller flavour.

4. Care for animals. Organic farming has the highest levels of animal welfare. Animals are not kept in feed lots but are allowed...

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urban legend - pax afrika

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-05-21 13:44

Pax Afrika is an unruly teen who just happens to have been chosen by the spirits of the Ancestors to save the world. And boy, does it need saving. The environment is ravaged by global warming and over-industrialisation, plants are virtually extinct and animals have mutated into nasty monster beasts. If that wasn’t bad enough, the evil corporate industrialist, Maximilian Malice, controls the city, forcing people to buy stuff and pretend to be happy. It’s up to Pax to solve the mystery of his missing dad, find the mythical lost city of URBO (or Universal Repository of Bio-Organisms, a travelling DNA library) and restore the future!

For more go to www.urbo.co.za and check out Pax in action every Friday on SABC3 at 3.30pm.

What inspired you to go eco? Pollution in iKapa is seriously out of control...

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sugar - killing you softly part 2

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-04-24 11:11

Why is sugar bad for us?

William Dufty, in his book ‘Sugar Blues’ has a lot to say on the subject of why sugar is bad for us. According to him, refined sugar is lethal. Sugar actually drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination make upon one’s system, because sugar is what nutritionists term ‘empty’ calories.

Taken every day, sugar produces an over-acid condition. This requires more and more minerals, such as sodium, potassium and magnesium, to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin. [nexus magazine]

He goes on to explain that the whole body is affected, including the nervous system and organs governed by it, such as the small brain.

It has been proved that:
(1) sugar is a major factor in dental decay
(2) sugar in a person's diet does cause overweight
(3) removal of sugar from diets has cured symptoms of crippling, worldwide diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart illnesses

Why is there so little evidence out there, and why aren’t we made aware of the detrimental effects of sugar? Most scientists achieve very little without a sponsor, and most research on nutrition is funded by the very producers of the food that we eat. Who would benefit from research about the detrimental effects of sugar?

Sugar pushers, who have an obviously vested interest in your consuming sugar, tout the low calorie content of sugar. Low calorie sugar might be, but nutritious it is not. All foods contain some nutrients in the way of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals, or all of these. Sucrose contains caloric energy, period.

The ‘quick energy’ claim – the same one that drives children literally up the wall – is based on the fact that refined sucrose is not digested in the mouth of the stomach but passes directly to the lower intestines and into the bloodstream – in other words, fast.

What adds to the confusion is the many terms used for sugar.

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sugar – killing you softly

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-04-18 09:04

I recently landed on a website called sugarfacts.co.za, obviously funded by the sugar industry (although nowhere do you find details of who exactly is behind the campaign) that arrives at some rather debatable ‘sweet truths’ about sugar:

• Burning off a teaspoon of sugar takes just 13 minutes of sleep
• Bread is more likely to cause tooth decay than sugar
• Sugar is in the middle of the glycaemic index
• A tsp of sugar has just 15 calories
• Sugar is just a natural carbo, nothing more, nothing less

Technically, they’re not lying. But they are distorting the truth, and their list of rather harmless sounding associations is completely misleading. Reading the ‘facts about sugar’ above, you would be forgiven for tucking into the sugar bowl.

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