As of mid-December I’m home getting to know my newborn and working, writing, and posting less (or not at all). I should be back up and running at some point in February. If you send me a question for a Q&A in the interim, I will file it for then.
Good news! The Conscious Kitchen is now available on your Kindle. Was excited to run across this today.
My latest post for Moms Clean Air Force is about how I’ve retreated from my urban apartment to a borrowed house in the country in an attempt to avoid soot and smog–and reclaim summer innocence. Where have you been this summer where you felt like the air you breathed was safe?
A friend just sent me a video of you talking about safety concerns about plastics and children. My wife and I are brand new parents. Our twins were born 6 weeks ago. We are using the Dr. Browns BPA-free bottles. My concern is we’ve been washing them in the dishwasher. I’m wondering about the possibility of substances (other than BPA) in the plastic leaching into the milk due to the heat in the dishwasher. Do you have any info on this? Where do you find your information? We’ve been reading a lot but haven’t seen any studies on possible dangers of BPA free plastics that are exposed to high temperatures. Do you think I should switch to glass or just start hand washing the plastic bottles I’ve got. Thanks for your help.
Congrats on your new additions.
Watching that video of me talking about plastic, it should come as no surprise that I’m deeply wary of plastic for both environmental and health reasons and therefore fond of both shatterproof glass and/or stainless steel–especially for the early years and developmental moments. All plastics degrade when exposed to high temperatures. While the safety research has mainly been on BPA (plastic #7) and PVC/Vinyl (plastic #3), there are studies that have been done on what comes out of even the plastics that are considered safe by the scientific community, especially #1. Since you’re contending with twins, you might not be aware that the FDA recently finally banned BPA from baby bottles, though not from any other infant products (which is frustrating). There is no word on what manufacturers are supposed to be replacing BPA with, and if these chemicals are any safer than their banned predecessors. More reasons to avoid plastic….
Though there are great resources (like The Environmental Working Group) to turn to for information on plastic, staying on top of the latest plastic safety details can be a full time job. This is another reason I prefer glass and stainless steel. You don’t have to keep on top of their safety.
Another bonus: If you are too tired to wash everything by hand, glass and stainless are your friends; both are fine in dishwasher. Keep in mind that any/all plastic you use should only ever go on the top rack of the dishwasher if you can’t hand wash.
Bottle issue solved, now get some sleep!
My latest post for Elizabeth Street was actually inspired by a reader question and offers some of my safety thoughts for beach goers. I find it frustrating we’re in an environmental moment where I even have to answer this sort of question, but we are.
Click through to read my thoughts about the environmental hazards–with regard to water and sand quality–to watch out for as you splash and build sand castles on the beach this August.
Thanks Care.com for including me in this article: 7 Ideas for Easy – and Healthy – School Lunches. Such a crucial topic and yet…it can get boring. Much needed inspiration!
My latest post for Elizabeth Street is a list of eco-themed beach reads for kids (and parents). Headed to a sandy spot? Check them out. And let me know if I’ve missed any good ones.
Is there a non-toxic way for my daughter to color/dye a streak of her hair pink?
Ah hair dye. It is overwhelmingly toxic, so you’re right to ask.
Yes, there are definitely non-toxic ways to dye hair that work on kids, who pound for pound are more vulnerable than adults are. Not that I’m dying my hair given what I know!
First up, if you think your daughter is old enough to dye her hair, she’s probably old enough to hear the truth about conventional hair dye. I’d suggest explaining to her what the concerns are before you turn her down or suggest she go the natural route I describe below.
Regular food dyes can be used for hair coloring. You can either go with a store bought version–there are several brands available at national natural food store chains that are made from vegetable extracts, not artificial colorants. Or you can DIY, using things like beet juice as pinkish/reddish hair color. If your child has brown hair, you’ll probably want to do a lemon juice and/or peroxide “bleach” on the strip of choice before trying the beet juice. I can guarantee you it won’t look like a store bought artificial color, so a little parental warning before the experiment is probably in order. The process will be just as fun and you never know what it will look like when you try it. I hope it works!
Here’s my latest post for Elizabeth Street. It’s about container gardening with kids, even in the city. Trust me, you don’t need tons of land. Though I did borrow a sunny spot in my mom’s yard and we’re taking bets now on if the bunnies will eat the tomato and dill shoots. What do you think? Do you container garden? If so, how do you do it?