MauiHawaiiTheWorld

Shedding Light in the Darkness

Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pesticides & Pregnancy

pesticides_spraying_mask_735_3501Eating fruits and vegetables with a high amounts of pesticide residue—such as strawberries, spinach, peppers, or grapes—may reduce women’s chances of conceiving and bearing children, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published October 30, 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 325 women undergoing infertility treatment as part of the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study. Researchers compared information about the women’s diet, drawn from questionnaires they filled out, with U.S. government data on average pesticide residues on fresh fruits and vegetables, in order to estimate the women’s diet-related exposure to pesticides.

The study found that women who ate more than two servings of high-pesticide fruits or vegetables each day, compared with women who ate an average of one each day, were 18% less likely to become pregnant and 26% less likely to have a live birth than women with the lowest exposure.

Jorge Chavarro, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study, said that women trying to conceive may want to limit their intake of high-pesticide fruits and vegetables or eat organic versions, or choose low-pesticide produce such as avocados, onions, or oranges.

Certain types of fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and spinach, tend to require more pesticides to protect the crops and ‘washing them makes absolutely no difference,’ says Chavarro.

“I am now more willing to buy organic apples than I was a few months ago,” he told TIME.

 

Advertisements

Monsanto’s War on the International Agency for Research on Cancer

glyphosate-is-good-for-meEver since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released a report suggesting that glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling pesticide Roundup, could cause cancer, there has been a relentless campaign to discredit the agency. Read more of this post

Another Pesticide Threat to Bees

Bees-Collect-Nectar-from-Strawberry-FlowersFrench bee keepers are up in arms over the authorization of the insecticide sulfoxaflor they warn could sound the death knell of their already decimated bee population, reports The Telegraph. Bee hives have been hit in Europe, North America and elsewhere by a mysterious phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder”. The blight has been blamed on mites, a virus or fungus, pesticides, or a combination of factors. Read more of this post

Only in Hawaii – Spam Shoplifting

spam13217521

Only in Hawaii is Spam and canned corned beef a hot commodity like fine wines and other luxury items, that need to be locked up to prevent theft. But, according to Civil Beat, that’s what’s happening in some stores on Oahu from Kalihi to Hauula. Read more of this post

Plant-Based Shrimp Heading to Stores

shrimp

Vice reports on a San Francisco-based startup, New Wave Foods, that has developed, “an insanely realistic faux shrimp made in a lab from algae and plants, and it tastes so much like the real thing co-founder and CEO Dominique Barnes says that people can’t tell it apart from actual shrimp.” Their shrimp has proven to be a hit, and it has been served in Google’s cafeteria and several pop-ups and events in San Francisco. Read more of this post

Are We Devolving?

devolution

Looking at how crazy the world seems to be getting lately it’s reasonable to wonder whether we devolving rather than evolving as a species. Stanford University geneticist Dr. Gerald Crabtree suggests humans are actually devolving – slowly losing intellectual and emotional abilities. In 2012 paper in Cell Press he posits: “The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa.” Read more of this post

Electronic Heroin

honorhqdefault

China’s state newspaper People’s Daily has declared a controversial mobile phone game “electronic heroin” that is ” poisoning” teenagers. Called Honor of Kings it has become the world’s top-grossing (paywall) mobile game, with some 50 million active daily users. The People’s Daily also declared that the game “has been constantly releasing negative energy” to the society. Read more of this post

The Rise of the Attention Economy

kids-group-on-phones

“Everyone is distracted – all of the time” Justin Rosenstein, Facebook engineer who created the “like” button. “We’ve habituated ourselves into a perpetual cognitive style of outrage, by internalising the dynamics of the medium,” former Google strategist James Williams. Read more of this post

Karoshi – Death By Overworking

japanese-1Japan has a unique word for a form of death foreign to most nations – karoshi: death from overwork. It was first publicly recognized in 1987, when Japan’s health ministry began logging cases after the sudden deaths of a string of executives. A karoshi hotline provides information on this disturbing social phenomenon. Read more of this post