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My Little Valentines

Sweet William and Darling Fergus are getting ready for Valentine’s Day. This morning they made oat-corn muffins filled with berry jam, an allergen-free treat that Fergus can sample before we deliver them to our new neighbors. [...]

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At Home in New Orleans

My Sweet William is back from a hiatus and coming to you from New Orleans! We moved here from New York City a few days before Christmas and are happily settling into a beautiful new house that my husband designed. We’re tremendously proud of him and grateful for his demanding standards in building a non-toxic home. I’ll feature some of his techniques here at MSW.

In the meantime, here’s an update on how we pass our time when we’re not unpacking boxes, organizing drawers, or supervising construction. Mardi Gras and warm weather offer a pleasant distraction. [...]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m just a little overwhelmed by the work crews passing through my home, so I’m going to focus on one tip guaranteed to make your Thanksgiving a little happier.

When you warm those tasty leftovers, don’t use plastic in the microwave.

Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, along with numerous scientists and health experts, warn that microwave energy drives harmful chemicals from plastic into the food. That’s bad for babies, but also for mamas and daddies. Avoid the problem by never using plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave.

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In the News

Do Coal Plants Really Kill People? Why Romney was right. (Slate, 11/19/12) “Coal-burning is bad, bad, bad for your health—and looking ahead, the best we can hope for is that it will get marginally better.”

Making sense of arsenic and rice concerns (Boston Globe, 11/5/12) A pediatrician decides to tell parents in her practice to “cut back on the rice they give their children — and not give rice cereal to their babies at all.”

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Flying With a Food-Allergic Baby

The countdown has begun! Tomorrow our family heads to San Francisco for Aunt Kathryn’s wedding.

Sweet William and Darling Fergus are already experienced travelers, having visited different parts of the country by train, plane, and rental car. It feels like I’ve packed our bags a thousand times, but I get a little nervous when I try to anticipate our feeding, clothing, and diapering needs (not to mention entertainment).

New York to San Francisco will be our longest flight since Fergus’ diagnosis with multiple food allergies. I’m thinking about ways to safeguard his health. He’s especially grabby, squirrelly, and HUNGRY these days, so I’m going to try these strategies. [...]

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School Tuna Contains Excessive Mercury

Last week, Environmental Health News reported that canned albacore tuna purchased by U.S. schools contains more mercury than what government officials have reported. A child who eats two medium servings of albacore tuna per week could be exposed to as much as six times the dose that federal guidelines consider safe.

Children should avoid eating albacore tuna. Children under 55 pounds should eat “light” tuna no more than once a month.

Does this frustrate you? Help fight the pollution …

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In the News

What’s that stuff in my bra? (Grist, 9/17/12) Invoking the precautionary principle when it comes to foam rubber bras: “Why cloak ourselves in maybe-yucky polyurethane all day when we could reduce our reliance on petroleum and chemicals by investing in a nice, simple, organic-cotton number?”

In the wake of studies showing high levels of arsenic in rice, Pediatricians advise on rice consumption for children (Chicago Tribune, 9/19/12) Dr. Philip Landrigan and other leading pediatricians advise parents to avoid feeding their children rice for the next few years, especially if the rice is from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, or Texas.

BPA linked to obesity in white children (Environmental Health News, 9/18/12) White children exposed to high levels of BPA are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Important News: Arsenic in Rice

Two reports came out today showing that many popular rice foods are contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen and the EPA assumes that there is no “safe” level of exposure to inorganic arsenic.

The U.S. is the world’s leading user of arsenic. Residues from lead-arsenate pesticides linger in agricultural soil, though their use was banned in the 1980s. Arsenic in food can also come from natural sources, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. It is especially dangerous for small children and pregnant women.

This is the kind of news that makes a parent feel sick. I feed my boys a lot of whole grains, including brown and white rice. I just nursed Sweet William through two bouts of diarrhea by feeding him several meals of banana mash (white rice, a splash of milk, and a banana tossed in the blender). Darling Fergus is allergic to cow’s milk. I’ve begun weaning him onto soy milk, but had also considered introducing rice milk. I’m glad I didn’t. [...]

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