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The Best and Worst of Sunscreens
Health
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:54
Everywhere, USA, July 2014—With summer officially here, Earth Talk® answers questions about which sunscreens are safe and which are not:

Skin cancer is by far the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more new cases each year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined. And the rate of newly diagnosed cases of the most deadly skin cancer, melanoma, has tripled over the last three decades. But many of the sunscreens on the market do not provide enough protection from the sun’s damaging rays. Also, some of them contain chemicals that can also cause health problems in their own right.
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Wildfires and the Environment
Bio-Based
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:43
Everywhere, U.S.A., July 2014—This month the smart folks at EarthTalk respond to a question many of us are probably asking: Why are wildfires on the increase and what can be done to stop them from happening?                                                                            

There’s no question that wildfires are on the increase across the American West and other fire-prone regions of the world. And most environmental leaders agree that global warming is largely to blame. In a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers from the University of Utah analyzed a database of large wildfires in the western U.S. between 1984 and 2011. They found a significant increase in the number of large fires and/or the area covered by the blazes. From Nebraska to California, the number of large wildfires increased sevenfold per year over the study period, with the total area burned increasing by 90,000 acres a year, on average.
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Cluck ‘N Moo – Who knew?
Health
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 21:17
Everywhere, USA, May 2014—Once upon a groovy time in a place called Bethel, where peace and love reigned, Cluck met Moo at Woodstock.

Moo was playing it cool, chomping on some alfalfa, when Cluck crossed the road to Yasgur’s Farm. “Outta sight,” Moo mooed. ”Peace, love, and chicken,” Cluck clucked. And so with the sounds of Woodstock in the background, they became best friends, clucking and mooing on that little farm in upstate New York. From their vantage point up there, they dreamed of venturing out, beyond the daisy-filled fields, bringing the Woodstock magic of their friendship to everyone.
 
In 2013, the world was changing. Cluck and Moo knew it was time to come out of the barn – time to partner chicken and beef to become one far-out burger.

And the legend of Cluck ’n Moo began.
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A New Way to be Nutty
Business
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 21:01
Mountain House, California, June 2014—A Loving Spoon recently announced the launch of its new portable dessert and snack line. The company offers superior nut butters that combine pure, bare ingredients to produce bold flavors—but never an ounce of guilt. It’s available in multiple flavors such as Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter and Purely Cacao Nib Peanut Butter.
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Old and Lonesome? Not!
Health
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:05
Minnetonka, Minnesota, May 2014—Centenarians and baby boomers both report feeling younger than their years, according to a new United Healthcare survey. On average, centenarians (people whose age is in three digits) surveyed say they feel just 83 years old, while 65-year-old baby boomers say they feel 55 years old on average.

When asked how they feel about living to 100, centenarians’ top three answers are “blessed” (36 percent), “happy” (31 percent) and “surprised” (12 percent). Not one reports feeling sad or burdened; only 3 percent say they feel lonely. And more than half (53 percent) live independently, without the support of a caregiver to help them with their daily activities.

In reflecting back on their lives, more than half (53 percent) say they have accomplished everything they would like to do in life. But nearly a third feel 100 years just wasn’t enough. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) say they would like just a few more years. Only 8 percent say it would take many more years to accomplish all of their life goals.
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Global Consumers Putting Their Money Where Their Heart Is
Business
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:30
New York, NY, July 2014—A recent Nielsen poll finds that 55 percent of global online consumers in 60 countries say they would reward socially conscious companies with their shopping dollars. The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe are 42 and 40 percent, respectively.

Apparently, it’s no longer a question if consumers care about social impact. Consumers do care and show they do through their actions. Now the focus is on determining how a company’s brand can effectively create shared value by marrying the appropriate social cause to consumer segments.
“Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions,” said Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability, Nielsen. “This behavior is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”
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The Evil Acronym: HBP
Business
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 21:08
Atlanta, Georgia, June 2014— High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or HBP, may be painless as it develops, but its effects on your health are incredibly dangerous.

In addition to damaging the lining of the arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease, hypertension also can cause heart failure, stroke and kidney disease, including kidney failure. It can boost your risk for dementia and, for men, cause erectile dysfunction.

Based on data from its scientifically-validated health risk assessment the RealAge Test, Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform created by Dr. Mehmet Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, has identified 10 American cities where residents struggle most with hypertension: Greensboro, North Carolina; New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; St. Louis; Las Vegas, Nevada; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Buffalo, New York, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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Saving the Oceans, Feeding the World
Bio-Based
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 20:43
Everywhere, Planet Earth, June 2014—Hunger is a growing problem around the world, in both developing and developed countries. As our population continues to rise, the amount of arable land per capita is declining and climate change is either drying out or flooding many formerly productive agricultural belts. It’s a combination that makes it more and more difficult to keep up with the growing demand for food. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that we must produce 70 percent more food globally if we are to feed the world’s increasing numbers of hungry people in the coming decades.

While more efficient agricultural practices can help, conservationists are increasingly looking to the ocean as a potential way out of our hunger woes. According to Oceana, a leading non-profit dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and marine diversity, wild seafood requires no fresh water; produces little carbon dioxide; doesn’t use up any arable land; and provides healthy, lean protein at a cost per pound lower than beef, chicken, lamb, and pork – making it accessible to the world’s poor.
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What’s BPA? Why is it Important?
Health
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:49
Everywhere, USA, May 2014—BPA is the acronym for Bisphenol A, a chemical compound developed 60 years ago to strengthen plastics and epoxy resins. Today, it’s used in a wide range of products, and is present in many plastic food and drink containers (ex: some bottled waters), the lining of food cans, some paper products and dental sealants. Almost all of us carry traces of this synthetic in our bloodstreams—so it’s only natural that public health advocates are concerned about its effects.

When ingested, BPA mimics naturally occurring human hormones and can potentially interfere with the body’s endocrine and reproductive workings. Previous research has linked BPA exposure to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, decreased birth weight, some cancers, reproductive and sexual dysfunctions, altered immune system activity, metabolic problems and diabetes in adults, and cognitive and behavioral development in young children. These concerns have led the European Union, Canada—and more recently the U.S.—to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and other items geared toward babies and children.
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