Education Archive

Do Pesticides Harm Children’s IQ and Behavior?

Do Pesticides Harm Children’s IQ and Behavior?

By Alice Shabecoff

Alice Shabecoff is the co-author with her husband Philip of Poisoned for Profit: How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill, Chelsea Green paperback (Random House hardback).

Pesticides can harm your child as much as they hurt insects, leading environmental scientists have discovered. Children exposed either in the womb or during childhood may end up with lowered IQ scores, or ADHD, or other behavioral and emotional problems.

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An Eleven-Year-Old Tells Us What’s Wrong With Our Food System

Birke Baehr gave a stunning summation of what’s wrong with our food system last year at a TEDx conference. His address was professional, succinct and delivered with a precision that was inconsistent with what we would expect from someone his age—eleven at that time.

We’re presenting his address here because his points are still as true and important today as they were nearly a year ago.

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USDA Finds Ways to Help Farm-to-School Programs

By Steve Karnowski, via The Huffington Post,

USDA: Farm-To-School Programs Are 'Snowballing' NationwideThe popularity of farm-to-school programs that put locally grown food on cafeteria trays has exploded in recent years—so much so that the federal agency in charge of school lunches is giving them a new stamp of approval.

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said the programs have become so popular so fast that her agency doesn’t have solid figures on how many schools are serving their students vegetables, fruits and meat grown by local farmers.

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Dieticians Being Educated on Nutrition—by Coca Cola?

via Alliance for Natural Health,

Coca ColaWe wish we could say we are surprised. Registered dietitians are now being given formal education by the Coca-Cola Company on how safe its ingredients are.

The credentialing arm of the American Dietetic Association, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), has approved a program created by the The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. [UPDATE 6/15/11: The linked website is not available as of the morning after this article’s publication. The program can still be viewed on an alternate site here, and in the event that site also disappears we have also mirrored the page on our own server here.] This covers what it calls “urban myths” about the safety of food ingredients. Participating in this program will earn registered dietitians Continuing Professional Education unit credits.

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Is McDonald’s Betraying Our Kids?

by John Robbins, via The Huffington Post,

Kids at McDonald'sWe worry so much about the many dangers to our children, like drugs and pedophiles and violence. But we often take for granted what might very well be the largest danger of all to our kids: the hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year on ads designed to get them hooked on junk food.

That’s why I think it’s important that this week more than 550 health professionals and organizations signed an open letter to McDonald’s, imploring the fast food giant to stop marketing junk food to kids. Many major metropolitan newspapers across the country are running full-page ads featuring the letter.

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How to get your kids to become environmentalists

by Robert Lalasz, via,

LEAF participants enjoy an afternoon at the beach after a morning of work at the Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge in the Delaware Bayshores region. Photo: Erika Nortemann/TNCWant your kids to become ecologically conscious as adults? Get ’em into nature now—that’s the most reliable way to build their love of the outdoors, according to mountains of research.

But in a harried and always-online world (for parents as well as children), what’s it going to take to do that?

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Chocolate Milk is Soda in Drag

by Christina Hoag, AP, via The Huffington Post,

 Flavored Milk In Schools: Is It Worth It? Chocolate milk has long been seen as the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, but the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic has a growing number of people wondering whether that’s wise.

With schools under increasing pressure to offer healthier food, the staple on children’s cafeteria trays has come under attack over the very ingredient that made it so popular—sugar.

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Air Pollution Linked to Poorer Student Health, Academic Performance


Industrial air pollutionAir pollution from industrial sources near Michigan public schools jeopardizes children’s health and academic success, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers.

The researchers found that schools located in areas with the state’s highest industrial air pollution levels had the lowest attendance rates—an indicator of poor health—as well as the highest proportions of students who failed to meet state educational testing standards.

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Chef Greg Christian: Saving School Lunches—with an Attitude

Chef Greg Christian: Saving School Lunches—with an Attitude

Greg Christian is a highly successful Chicago-area chef, author, consultant and entrepreneur. He saw a grave problem—that kids were getting low-nutrition, high-fat, high-sugar lunches every day at school. He decided to do something about it, and made a great impact. He’s now launching full-force into the next stage of his Organic School Project, of which he is the founder and executive director.

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Happy Kids Running for Health and Nutrition

Happy Kids Running for Health and Nutrition

Today we are at a crisis level with our children’s health. The foisting of low-nutrient, high-calorie food on the American public by a system motivated only by profit instead of nutrition has led to some 30 percent of children in the US being overweight and an incredible escalation in diet-related diseases such as early-onset diabetes. With our future—our children—at risk, we’re in dire need of solutions.

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