Lead in the Lights...

Here’s good reason not to leave those holiday lights up until spring. A new study in the December issue of the Journal of Environmental Health reveals many types of Christmas lights contain dangerous levels of lead. The plastic coating on the cord sheds lead dust, especially when exposed to sunlight. Although scientists believe the risk is negligible, they are quick to point out, that no amount of lead is safe for children; Discovery News investigates.

And last year, a New Jersey-based research center tested 4 varieties of holiday lights and determined brands like Wal-Mart, GE, Sylvania and Philips, all had lead levels above the 15 microgram limit set by Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, some Philips test samples came back as low as 3.2 micrograms, but Wal-Mart brand lights clocked in as high as 132.7 micrograms of lead. Eek!

Lead lurks in a lot of places. Recently, it was discovered that 1 in 3 toys contain lead. And other things, like fishing tackle, sports turf and garden hoses, also pose a lead risk. To make matter worse, lead exposure has been linked anti-social behavior and criminal acts.

So, for next year, I found these 90% energy-efficient LED lights, the manufacturer claims they’re lead-free, with the exception of the cord; via the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition.

Veggie Merry Christmas...

Here’s an over-enthused crop of fruits and vegetables wishing you a Merry Christmas. Actually, it’s a little creepy. Pretty sure I could have used this for Halloween too. Eek!

Hopefully you had a good holiday and enjoyed the past few days of festive veggie posts. And in case you missed them, here they are:

See you tomorrow for business as usual. Peace.

Nutrient-Dense Christmas Goose

Dining on a Christmas goose is not exactly part of a vegetable-based diet. But don’t fret. You can have your veggies and your goose. This chef just needs some squash, carrots, toothpicks and a sharp knife. And presto, twin veggie geese!

I’m tempted to try this myself. But given my artistic abilities it’d probably turn out to be a lame duck. Stop by tomorrow for one last holiday post. Quack, quack.

Don't Lick Metal Poles!

If you ate a lot of veggies for Christmas and aren’t sure if you got enough iron. Remember, licking ice cold metal poles is NOT a good way to get your minerals. Instead, you’ll find all the iron you need in green vegetables, like kale, Romaine lettuce and broccoli.

Now, hopefully you’re enjoying the holiday afterglow. And don’t worry. The blog will be back to full strength Monday. But keep checking all this weekend for more holiday-inspired posts. I triple-dog dare you!

Christmas Pickle

Nope, it’s not like Mr. Hanky. But just as funny. So, in between opening presents, going to the movies or whatever you do on Christmas Day, take a minute and enjoy a Christmas carol with pickles, and a surprise ending!

Hopefully those little guys are salt-free. Happy holidays everyone! And remember to eat wisely today.

Via SeriousEats.

Green-News: Wednesday 12.24.08

  • And higher temperatures could mean more males. Warmer incubations are pivotal to the hatching of male crocodiles and fish. Scientists believe a change of just 7 degrees will yield 3 males for every 1 female, this ratio is unfavorable for maintaining populations; LiveScience explains.
  • Methane gas is coming at us from all angles. Power plants and livestock spew greenhouse gases into the sky, but hotter temperatures are bringing it up from the ocean too. Methane from melting underwater permafrost is bubbling out of the East Siberian Sea; via National Geographic News.
  • Estimates reveal 100 million Americans breathe sooty air in 46 metro areas of the United States. And recently, the EPA added 15 more cities to list, in surprising locations, like Alaska. Diesel-burning trucks, power plants and wood-burning stoves are to blame; from the Associated Press.