12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic (2009)

Try the 12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic for 2013 instead. More up-to-date! If you can’t afford to get all your food organic (how many people can?), you will be interested in the latest edition of the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” from the Environmental Working Group, which lists the fruits and vegetables with the […]

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Local Foods in March: Jerusalem artichokes and fava greens

The big greenmarket at Union Square in Manhattan was jammed yesterday due to the pseudo spring weather. I went there hoping for a taste of the real thing, and while disappointed in that regard — most of the produce still came from winter storage — I got the usual lift from buying, and later cooking, […]

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BPA-free Water Bottles

Are the new breed of clear, hard “BPA-free” water bottles made with Tritan — from Nalgene, Kor, Camelbak, Thermos and others — safer than the polycarbonate bottles they replaced? Not necessarily. To assess their safety, we would need to know what chemicals are in the bottles, not just that BPA is not. After all, other […]

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Which Plastics are Microwavable?

The question of which plastics are microwavable can be answered different ways, depending on what you mean by “microwavable.” If you just want to know whether a plastic container will withstand microwaving without becoming damaged or exposing you to on-the-spot injury (such as a burn), the answer is, follow the instructions on the container. However, […]

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Safer Ways to De-ice

My local landscape has been covered with road salt the last couple of weeks, due to periodic snowfalls and temperatures consistently below freezing. I can’t say I am sorry to have steps and sidewalks clear of ice (with my bad back, a fall could be disabling), but I wish the landlords and homeowners that dispense […]

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New Year’s Wishes

A propos the following verse from Tennyson’s wonderful poem, In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells] — Ring out the old, ring in the new,Ring, happy bells, across the snow:The year is going, let him go;Ring out the false, ring in the true I am reminded of the ubiquitous — and fake — green sales pitch […]

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Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

One objection to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that people often raise is the problem of disposing of them safely due to the mercury they contain. Mercury is a toxin that is particularly dangerous to the developing brains of children (and babies in utero) and is suspected of posing a heart risk to adults. The amount […]

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Local Foods, Even in December

Humans have been importing foods from far-off places throughout recorded history, so we’re not likely to stop now. But perhaps we could strike a better balance, as of old, choosing local foods when available, and thinking of imports more as supplements for what we can’t get at home. My December This Green Life addresses this […]

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Vegetable Broth Recipe

In moving to a more plant-based diet, I have found vegetable broth (or vegetable stock as some call it) to be indispensable. It is much quicker to prepare than its meat-based cousins, so much so that I make it one or two times a week. I even use vegetable broth in meat dishes if I […]

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A Different Approach to Holiday Giving

In our family we celebrate Hanukkah with very little gift-giving except to the kids. We’ve even cut way back on their gifts in recent years — to things they’ll love but can also really use. Gift-giving at Hanukkah parties is more difficult to control. At our annual celebration with my brother’s family, we have tried […]

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