Archive for July, 2015

Carbon Dioxide-Correct Food

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Menus Minimize Greenhouse Gases

Experts at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, at Aberdeen University, in Scotland, have created a new menu plan that is healthy and nutritious, as well as good for the environment. The researchers compiled a shopping list of 52 foods arranged in categories according to how much climate-changing greenhouse gases are produced to make and transport them (

They then devised a weekly weight allowance for each food, which when followed, would reduce the use of greenhouse gases by about a third. Surprisingly, the list features foods such as chocolate, ice cream and red meat, but anyone wanting to reduce their carbon footprint must only eat them in relatively tiny quantities.

Some food groups, such as dairy products and meat, produce much bigger emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide than others because of the way they are manufactured and brought to market. The production of fruit, begetables and legumes is much less likely to produce such high emissions.


Quick, Healthy Meal Ideas for Kids

Eating apple

by Dr. Ronda VanderWall, D.C.

Eating healthy can be a struggle from day to day and an even bigger struggle with kids and a family. The following five recipes are quick, healthy snack/meal ideas for kids:

Healthy, Hearty Trail Mix


  • Almonds (Unsalted)
  • Peanuts (Unsalted)
  • Raisins
  • Dark chocolate chunks


  • Mix all ingredients together. Pack as a snack to take on the go!

Hummus & Veggies


  • 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup -3/4 cup roasted red peppers


  • Hummus –In a food processor, combine beans, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add red peppers and garlic until desired consistency.
  • Veggies – Rinse and clean veggies. Cut into long thin strips. Dip in hummus and enjoy.

Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwiches


  • Almond Butter
  • Organic Jelly
  • Whole Wheat Bread


  • Spread almond butter on one piece of whole wheat bread then spread the other slice with Organic jelly. Put pieces of bread together and enjoy.


Banana Oatmeal Bread


  • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp backing powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 400F for muffins or 375F for bread. Grease bread pain or muffin pan and set aside. Combined rolled oats, milk, yogurt and set for 10 minutes. Then in small bowl mix oat flour and spices. Add sugar/honey, bananas and oil to rolled oats mixture. Mix in dry ingredients. Bake for 15-20 minutes for muffins and 35-45 minutes for bread.

Black Bean Brownies


  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole bananas
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
  • ¼ cup instant oats


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Chef’s Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudgey, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

Dr. Ronda VanderWall is the owner of Dynamic Family Chiropractic in Grandville. For more information, call 616-531-6050, email or visit

Wildlife Diseases and Health Concerns


Potential Health Threats from Wildlife Diseases

Common household pests can be more than just a nuisance. Many of them, including cockroaches, mosquitoes, mice and rats, can spread diseases. Considering these animals are often attracted to the least sanitary places in your home, it is hardly surprising that they can be dirty and pose significant dangers to your family or business customers. Illnesses from wildlife can also be a major problem to business owners, who have a responsibility to protect their staff and customers. If a pest brings a disease onto your premises and a person gets sick, you could find yourself being sued, shut down, or even spending time in prison.

In the case of an infestation, pests can spread extremely dangerous diseases. You do not have to physically come into contact with pests in order to catch diseases from them, as they can contaminate the air, surfaces, and also food.

Common diseases spread by wildlife and household pests

Wild animals can carry a range of diseases which, if passed on to humans, can cause serious symptoms and even death. One of the most severe of diseases it is possible to catch from rats and mice is Leptospirosis, an infection that can be fatal. Symptoms of Leptospirosis include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Bleeding lungs
  • Meningitis

There are 13 different strains of Leptospirosis, one of which Weil’s Disease causes jaundice and kidney failure in patients. Treatment for Leptospirosis can involve strong antibiotics, dialysis, and special treatment for any organs affected, such as the lungs, heart, and liver.

Rats are also infamous for spreading the Bubonic Plague, although cases of this in the western world are extremely rare.

It is not just rats and mice that can spread dangerous diseases. Mosquitoes feed on human blood, and so can transmit infections from one person to another. They often carry malaria. Domestic cockroaches carry around 32 different types of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, gangrene, diarrhea, leprosy, typhoid, pneumonia, and many other unpleasant and dangerous conditions.

Many of these diseases can be spread onto domestic pets. This means if your cat or dog was to come into contact with the pest, the bacteria could spread to them. Seeing as you are likely to spend a lot of time in close contact with your pet, this increases the chance of catching diseases.

Allergic reactions

Insects and rodents do not only pose health risks due to the illnesses that they can spread. There are other, sometimes chronic, health problems associated with household pests. Three out of five city dwellers with asthma have an allergy to cockroaches, making their symptoms more severe. Wasps and hornets can also threaten people with allergies. While for many a wasp or hornet sting is simply an unpleasant and unwanted experience, half a million Americans have to attend the emergency room every year thanks to an encounter with a stinging bug. Flea and bed bug bites can be irritating and itchy, and some of these bites can get infected, while others can have allergic reactions to them, ranging in severity from minor to severe.

Wildlife disease transmission methods

Different animals can transmit the diseases they carry in different ways. It’s safe to say that none of them respect our standards of hygiene, so one of the biggest problems can be when they stray into food preparation or storage areas. Cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, and other household pests can all walk on work surfaces, kitchen tables, in cupboards, and other food areas. This spreads the bacteria that they carry, contaminating food and utensils.

Insects and rodents that bite can pass on bacteria through direct contact, especially mosquitoes who regularly break the skin. Rats and mice can bite, especially when they feel threatened or are defending their territory, again transmitting any bacteria they may be carrying. Rat and mouse feces and urine are another problem, exposure to which can lead to significant health problems, including Hantavirus, which can eventually cause kidney failure. It is a rare condition, but a particularly dangerous one as the patient’s immune system is not prepared to counteract the virus.

Precautions to take against wildlife disease and health risks

If you see signs of an animal infestation, it is important to take extra precautions around the house. All work surfaces should be washed and disinfected, as should any food preparation utensils. Food should be checked for signs of tampering; you may be able to see bite marks or holes in storage containers. Also check cupboards, work surfaces, floors, and behind furniture for signs of animal droppings or nests.

If you find animal droppings, you should handle them carefully. Always wear protective gloves, place droppings in a secure bag, and wipe down the surrounding area with disinfectant or bleach. Any body part or item of clothing that came into contact with the droppings should be washed or disinfected immediately to ensure the removal of harmful, disease-causing bacteria.

Most household pests are attracted by food. If possible, keep all foodstuffs in sealed containers to minimize the smell and to prevent easy access. Food scraps should not be left lying around, and garbage bins should be kept closed at all times, and away from the property if possible. Pests will enter through any crack or hole they can find, so it is worth inspecting your property, both inside and out, to find these gaps and seal them up with an appropriate filler material. Remember that rats have teeth which can gnaw through concrete, so holes that you suspect are made by rats will need to be more heavily plugged than those used by mice, ants, or cockroaches. Keep any windows and doors shut, or use screens if keeping them open for long periods of time.

As well as implementing practices in your home or business to keep pests out, there are also several products and items than can physically deter them from entering your home. Electronic devices that emit high frequencies beyond the range of human hearing force rodents to keep away. Ants can be deterred by placing small barriers across entrance points made of common household items such as:

  • Vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • powdered charcoal
  • chalk
  • citrus oil

If you notice signs of infestation, you should call an exterminator to assess the situation and remove the problem immediately.

Signs of a wildlife infestation

Wildlife will leave many signs of their presence in your home or business. Obviously the strongest sign of a wildlife infestation is if you see insects or rodents in your property, whether alive or dead. Hornets and wasps will easily make themselves known with their loud buzzing. Rats and mice can often be heard scuffling in walls, usually at night.

Many household pests will leave damage to areas of your home. Rats, mice and ants all chew on wood and plastic, leaving large marks, holes, and piles of debris. Larger pests could leave tracks or marks in dusty and greasy surfaces. Many pests have strong and unpleasant odors. If you notice these in your home, it could be a sign that there are unwanted guests lurking nearby.

Invaders such as bed bugs and mosquitoes may easily make their presence known by biting people, leaving uncomfortable and swollen marks on their bodies.

Many types of pest, including rats and ants are sociable creatures, so if you see one it is unlikely that it is on its own. A single rat or ant suggests there is a larger infestation nearby.

What to do in the event of an infestation

If you notice signs of an infestation you will need to call in an exterminator in order to remove the problem before it becomes too serious. With most types of household pest proving a health hazard, you and your family could be at risk if you leave an infestation to get worse. An exterminator will be able to assess the extent of the infestation, and choose the most suitable method of removing or exterminating the pests to remove the health risks associated with infestations.

Having pests in your business premises can lose you customers and revenue. A business premises infested with pests can prove a health hazard to your employers and your customers, both of whom you have a legal responsibility to protect. Illness causes by an infestation or nest could land you in legal trouble, cause your business to need to be inspected by the authorities, and require your business to be closed while extermination takes place. If you have noticed any signs of infestation, call an exterminator in order to solve the problem before it can get too bad.

Source: The Aardvark Pest Management

Nasty Stuff

Monsanto Weed Killer Contaminates Food


A peer-reviewed Massachusetts Institute of Technology report published in the scientific journal Entropy points to evidence that residues of glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, manufactured by Monsanto and sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food. The residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemicals and toxins in the environment known to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers.

Reuters reports that environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is harming plants, people and animals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a standard registration review of glyphosate to determine by this year if its use should be limited. Yet Monsanto continues to claim that glyphosate is safe and less damaging than other commonly used herbicides.

Solar Powered

Capturing Energy from Asphalt Roads

solar power

Asphalt roads throughout the country are notorious for soaking up the sun’s rays, sometimes making cities uncomfortably hot during the summer. Now, new piping technology from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, is offering a way to trap heat and use it elsewhere, potentially transforming blacktopped streets into giant solar energy collectors.

It works by using the sun-warmed asphalt to heat water pumped through tubes embedded a few inches below the road surface. This has dual effects of cooling the asphalt, thus prolonging the lifespan of the road, and heating circulating water to produce electricity. Costs relative to potential returns have yet to be quantified.