Adrienne Mazzone, Editor, DietarySupplementNews.com at the upcoming New York Restaurant Show – reach out and meet up!
For anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle by eating more fruits, vegetables and lean meats, one frustrating byproduct is the amount of food that has to be thrown out because it goes bad – either as a result of over-purchasing or the short shelf life of non-processed foods. Accompanying this waste is a steep financial cost, which by some estimates can amount to $2,000 each year for an average family of four.
According to a May 2019 FDA issue of “Food Facts” on the topic of reducing food waste and maintaining food safety, Americans throw out the “equivalent of $165 billion in food each year.” The bulletin goes on to state that “between 30 and 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten – as much as 20 pounds of food per person per month.”
If this weren’t bad enough, food waste is just another tax on the environment. With more than 127 million estimated households in the US alone, it adds up.
“Each year getting food to U.S. tables requires 80 percent of our freshwater, 10 percent of our available energy, and half of our land. Organic waste, mostly food, is the second biggest component of landfills, and landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions… [which are] a major factor in global warming,” states the FDA document.
Although buying too much food contributes to such waste – a problem exacerbated by super-sized, bulk food offerings from club stores – so does the normal day-to-day operation of the refrigerator. Every time the door is opened, warm air rushes in and combines with cold air to create moisture. Too much heat and excessive moisture spoils food prematurely, creates strong odors and even causes the refrigerator to work harder and use more energy.
“Based on 20 years of food service experience, I have found that too much moisture, water vapor or heat in the fridge will accelerate decay and lead to mold or bacteria growth,” says Doug Lynch, Executive Chef and Food/Beverage Service Manager at The Salvation Army’s Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. “Keeping the refrigerator drier and colder keeps everything fresh longer.”
Despite his background as a chef, Lynch and his vegan wife still found themselves throwing out too much produce from their home refrigerator because it went bad prematurely.
“No matter how well we planned, we threw out about 20% of our produce because it went bad before we consumed it,” says Lynch. “The waste was costing us at least $40 a week and more than $2,000 a year.”
The challenge is that most fruit emits ethylene gas while ripening, which accumulates in the fridge. This gas damages other fruits and vegetables, causing decay, yellowing, wilting, odor, loss of crunch, and rind breakdown.
Unfortunately, products that have been used for decades to eliminate odors in refrigerators, such as baking soda, do nothing to prevent food spoilage.
However, Lynch says when he started using a new, all-natural, volcanic mineral filter product called Polar Fresh® from Humidity Control Systems, Inc. his food stayed noticeably fresher longer. Lynch had been successfully using the commercial sized filters in the walk-in refrigerator at his work and was happy to learn the company also developed a home-sized version that absorbs the ethylene gas, excess moisture, and odor found in most home refrigerators.
“Since we started using the product in our home, our produce lasts about a week longer and we have cut spoilage by at least 15%,” he adds. “Now we grocery shop every other week, instead of every week, which saves us time.”
The filter, which takes up as much room as an average drinking glass, is comprised of a special blend of “activated” zeolite, which is a natural volcanic mineral. The mineral’s non-soluble, crystalline structure has microscopic channels that allow air to flow through. Simultaneously, the negative ionic charge of the zeolite attracts and holds ethylene gas, vapors, odors, excess moisture, and airborne contaminants.
Decreasing water vapor and excess moisture also inhibit mold and bacteria growth that can accelerate spoilage and even cause food poisoning. On the flip side, if the air in the refrigerator is too dry, the zeolite will release purified moisture back into the air. This helps to maintain optimal humidity levels for food freshness within the refrigerator.
The zeolite minerals can even help the refrigerator to not work as hard to maintain the desired temperature. Because heat exchange occurs within the zeolite mineral, the temperature is lowered by 1-3 degrees. In doing so, the refrigerator uses less electricity and energy savings can be as much as 10%.
“Our home fridge seems colder, and the air compressor runs less often, so we are seeing some energy savings too,” says Lynch.
The Polar Fresh® product comes in a hexagonal shaped box to allow as much air flow to the zeolite minerals, even when tucked in a corner or near other food items. Each filter lasts a full 3 months.
Going Green Starts at Home
While eating healthier, fresher food is becoming a priority for many, premature spoilage and sheer wastefulness has been a frustrating part of the healthy food revolution. Consumers are looking to go beyond familiar options like baking soda which are not effective in keeping food fresher longer and searching for a real solution.
This simple hack of using Polar Fresh®, all-natural fridge filters to deter food spoilage and save energy, can not only help save the environment but can help us continue on our path to living a healthier lifestyle.
For more info, visit www.polarfresh.com or call 888.900.COLD (2653) Toll Free; Fax: 775.246.2005
By Del Williams
Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California.
He writes about health, business, technology, and educational issues,
and has an M.A. in English from C.S.U. Dominguez Hills.
By Nicole Avena, PhD
Bouncing back from the holidays and into a healthy eating and exercise routine is always easier said than done. What’s also easier is falling back into old habits, especially around the holidays.
On the bright side, getting back on track doesn’t have to be difficult. However, you may feel discouraged if you try to go back to your usual routine all at once. Instead, it’s better to wean yourself off the sugar and ease yourself back into an exercise routine.
Getting back in shape
Even for someone who is in shape, taking just a week off of exercise can decrease your fitness. Thus, jumping right back into your usual routine can feel difficult or be tough on your body, potentially causing injury or a lot of soreness at the very least. Remember that getting back in shape won’t happen in just one day.
Instead of hitting the treadmill and running until you can’t anymore, or struggling to lift heavy weights, take it slow! For example, take a few extra minutes to warm up–stretch, walk on the treadmill, or do a light jog. If weights are more your thing, start with something lighter than you’re used to, and do extra reps rather than bumping up the weight.
Some other post-holiday sweat session examples include: a home workout, a gentle yoga class, keep it short (30 minutes or less), and walk as much as possible (around the neighborhood, at work, in town, etc).
Saying No to Sugar
Good news: you don’t have to quit sugar cold turkey! In fact, cutting out sugar all together might make you more likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits, such as bingeing. Instead, you want to wean off sugar for the best results. Here’s what you should do:
- Find out what is triggering you to eat sugar. Is it an afternoon slump? Are candies and cookies lying around your house? Once you recognize these triggers, you’ll already be able to make better decisions and ask yourself, “do I really need this?”
- Manage your portion sizes. Instead of depriving yourself of sugar, limit your portion sizes. One tip is to portion out your treats ahead of time if you can, by separating amounts in Tupperware or plastic baggies.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Instead of leaving holiday treats around the house or out in the open, put things away in drawers or in the fridge. Sometimes we don’t have cravings for a treat until we physically see it, but if it’s put away, then you won’t be tempted to reach for it.
- Make healthy snacks available. This step is extremely important. Typically we grab sugary treats because they are easy and readily available! Buy pre-cut veggies and fruits with healthy dips like hummus or guacamole to store front and center in your fridge. Leave fresh fruit on the counter so it’s the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen.
- Make sure you are getting a balanced diet, and use a supplement. Your food choices may not have been the healthiest the past few weeks, which means you may be lacking in some essential nutrients. Even when we are trying our best to eat healthy, we can’t always eat in the proportions that we need to get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals that we need to feel out best, so taking a supplement is key. Opt for a supplement that is complete, like vitafusion’s Women’s or Men’s Multivitamin. These come in gummy form, so they also can help satisfy your candy fix (in a healthy way)!
Finding yummy alternatives to your favorite treats will be a huge help when it comes to kicking sugar to the curb. Here are some ideas to start implementing when thinking of reaching for one of your holiday favorites:
Candy canes → Peppermint tea
Chocolate or fudge → 1 – 2 oz of dark chocolate, preferably 70% cacao or higher
Cookies → Chopped apple with cinnamon and raisins
Candies → Grapes (fresh or frozen)
Hot chocolate → Make your own with 1 cup hot water, 1 tbsp cacao, ¼ tsp vanilla
extract, and 2 tsp maple syrup
Alcohol → Fruity, herbal tea or seltzer with lime
Dr. Nicole Avena is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Visiting Professor of Health Psychology at Princeton University. She is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction, with a special focus on nutrition during early life and pregnancy. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Avena has written several books, including Why Diets Fail, What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler. She regularly appears as a science expert on the Dr. Oz Show, Good Day NY, and The Doctors, as well as many other news programs. Her work has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Time Magazine for Kids, The New York Times, Shape, Men’s Health, Details, and many other periodicals. Dr. Avena is a member of the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. She has the #2 most watched TED-ED Health talk, How Sugar Affects Your Brain.
Martina’s Kitchen Mix is an amazing book that saved my kitchen life.
I’ve read many cooking books before, but this book is one of a kind where it teaches you how to cook many different dishes from all around the world, teaches you how to make some out gorgeous desserts, and very delicious coffee. Moreover, it shows you how to make some really good cocktails which was very helpful whenever I had some friends over. I could make my kitchen a five stars restaurant just from learning some recipes from this easy teaching helpful book.
Reviewed by Ahmad Zeidan
Gummy vitamins make health fun!
Taking a MegaFood supplement and putting it in chewable gummy vitamin format is a no brainer!
Dedicated to producing the highest quality supplements, the brand’s latest innovation is the first certified Glyphosate Residue Free (GRF) gummy vitamin in the marketplace. The new gummies are made with real food sourced from MegaFood Farm Fresh Partners, including Uncle Matt’s®Organic, Kauai Organic Farms, and James Lake Farms.
MegaFood Gummies are Organic, Non-GMO, Certified Glyphosate Residue Free, deliver a range of health-promoting compounds in four delicious flavors, including:
- B12 Energy Cranberry Gummies—Crisp Wisconsin cranberries from James Lake Farms give these gummies a sweetly tart, real berry taste. Each serving contains essential B12 vitamins to help promote energy levels*, making these gummies perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
- B12 Energy Ginger Gummies—Designed to support the body’s energy levels* with B12, these gummies get their distinctive, real ginger taste from Kauai Organic Farms’ ginger root.
- D3 Wellness Mixed Fruit Gummies—Fresh Florida oranges, sweet Quebec blueberries, tangy Wisconsin cranberries, and spicy Kauai ginger come together to create a mouthwatering flavor you’ll look forward to eating every day. Vitamin D3 helps to support bone, muscle and immune health*.
- C Defense Tangy Citrus Gummies—Packed with vitamin C to support immune health*, these gummies get their bright burst of real citrus flavor from farm-fresh Florida oranges from Uncle Matt’s Organic.
Give healthy gummy vitamins a try!
Eating healthy could be this easy, flipping through over 170 recipes.
After cooking and trying many of the foods from this book, it gives you an emotionally stable feeling.
For anyone that struggles with mental health issues, but did not realize that the food ingesting plays a major part in how you feel on a daily basis, this book is an eye opener.
Check out their Fish Lasagna step-by-step recipe. Adding lemon zest really enhances the flavor.
This is definitely a “recommend this book to anyone” looking to change to healthier eating with ease.
Reviewed by Jaimie Ivers
- Non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher, Organic
- Weight Loss: Increases metabolism, detox for your body
- Digestive System: Relieves stomach pain & cramps
- Muscles & Joints: Reduces joint inflammation, enhances muscle recovery
- Allergies: Can help clear up skin reactions, as well as asthma symptoms
- Immune System:Strengthens the immune system & protects body from infections
- Hair: Increases hair growth, strengthens & softens, moisturizes for a healthy scalp
- Skin: Soften, firm out skin; can also lighten or prevent scarring; Clears up acne & eczema
The Parent’s Guide to Baby-Led Weaning includes all the knowledge every parent should know about the importance of feeding their baby real food that is rich in nutrients and will ultimately help develop a healthy relationship with food from a young age. This book is easy to read and includes a variety of delicious recipes that you can make at home. It’s the perfect read for someone that is looking to transition and would love to know more in-depth information about the benefits of real food and how to prevent the actual risks that many parents worry about when starting to feed their baby real food. There are tons of great topics, strategies, and advice for every parent.
This book is great for vegans! It provides more than 100 recipes of how to make vegan dessert, appetizers etc. All of the recipes are egg-free vegan recipes that use aquafaba (Author: Rebecca Coleman) – “bean water.” This book takes you through very helpful tips and techniques when it comes to making these dishes. Some of the delicious recipes within the book are macarons, pulled jackfruit tacos, waffled brownie s’mores and many more!
Review by Jessica Johnson