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Jul 31, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Read
Location: United States
  • Sustainability Not Just about 'Saving the Earth' for Consumers According to a New Hartman Group Report
    PR Web, 5/29/2007
    Straight to the Source

According to the report released by The Hartman Group the term "sustainability," while widely used by the media and industry, has little to no meaning to consumers, they ascribe very different personal meanings to this term. The newest report released by The Hartman Group, The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective, examines how public perception of sustainability affects consumer behavior.

According to the report released by The Hartman Group the term "sustainability," while widely used by the media and industry, has little to no meaning to consumers, they ascribe very different personal meanings to this term. The newest report released by The Hartman Group, The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective, examines how public perception of sustainability affects consumer behavior.

The report finds that just over half (54%) of consumers claim any familiarity at all with the term "sustainability" and most of these consumers cannot define it appropriately upon probing. Only 5% indicate they know which companies support sustainability values. Only 12% indicate they know where to buy products from such companies.

Sustainability is not seen by consumers as simply 'saving the Earth.' It is a multi-dimensional topic that encompasses the environment, the family, the community and even the economy of today's world "Sustainability is not seen by consumers as simply 'saving the Earth.' It is a multi-dimensional topic that encompasses the environment, the family, the community and even the economy of today's world," said Laurie Demeritt, President and COO for The Hartman Group. "Many of the consumer values driving the interest in health and wellness stem from a foundation of sustainability. Sustainability, in a sense, is about preserving a certain condition or way of life; the ability to control one's surroundings."

According to The Hartman Report on Sustainability, while most consumers have a limited understanding of the broad concept of sustainability, consumer engagement can be described in varying degrees of "sustainability consciousness." This refers to the way people link everyday life to "big" problems (e.g., food, water and air quality). The report finds that 72% of US consumers believe their purchases have significant impact on society. Additionally, a full 71% say they are "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to pay a 10% premium for sustainable products.

"The dynamics of sustainability in American consumer culture will continue to change and evolve, just as dynamics behind so-called 'green' and 'environmental' markets have evolved. For those involved with speaking to consumers from a platform of sustainability, we feel that it is important to reiterate that we are currently experiencing a significant cultural shift in which consumers will continue to adapt their behavior to align with companies, products, and services which they find to be relevant to their current lifestyle," said Harvey Hartman, Founder, Chairman & CEO.

About the Report: The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective is the first major integrated quantitative and qualitative study to find out how consumers feel about a world struggling to live in balance today for the benefit of future generations. The research for this report was conducted in the winter of 2007 and includes 150 hours of ethnographic research as well as a national quantitative survey with 1,606 respondents.

About The Hartman Group: The Hartman Group, Inc., founded 1989, is a full-service consulting and market research firm offering a wide range of services and products specializing on the health and wellness markets. The company's headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington.

Additional information about The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective can be found at The Hartman Group website - www.hartman-group.com
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Posted: Jul 31, 2007 5:57am
Jun 5, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Think About
Location: United States

World Population Becomes More Urban than Rural

May 29, 2007 A major milestone occurred last week, when the earth's population became more urban than rural - though only a symbolic date calculated from an estimation, Wednesday, May 23, 2007, represents a major demographic milestone and is sometimes referred to as the "Urban Millennium." The last century has seen the rapid urbanization of the world's population", as the global proportion of urban population rose from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. By 2050 over 6 billion people, two thirds of humanity, will be living in towns and cities.

Working with United Nations estimates that predict the world will be 51.3 percent urban by 2010, the researchers projected the May 23, 2007, transition day based on the average daily rural and urban population increases from 2005 to 2010.

The researchers - Dr. Ron Wimberley, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at NC State; Dr. Libby Morris, director of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia; and Dr. Gregory Fulkerson, a sociologist at NC State - advise avoiding the urge to interpret this demographic transition to mean that the urban population has greater importance than the rural.

Urban and rural populations, they say, rely heavily on each other.

Cities refine and process rural goods for urban and rural consumers. But if either cities or rural areas had to sustain themselves without the other, Wimberley says, few would bet on the cities.

"As long as cities exist, they will need rural resources - including the rural people and communities that help provide urban necessities," he said. "Clean air, water, food, fiber, forest products and minerals all have their sources in rural areas. Cities cannot stand alone; rural natural resources can. Cities must depend on rural resources."

In the United States, the tipping point from a majority rural to a majority urban population came early in the late 1910s, the researchers say. Today, 21 percent of our country is rural although some states - Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia - are still majority rural. In North Carolina, a rural majority held until the late 1980s.

Although rural natural and social resources are necessary for urban people and places, the researchers say rural people do not fare well relative to their urban counterparts. Maps of U.S. quality-of-life conditions show that poverty and low education attainment are concentrated in rural areas - especially the rural South - where the nation's food, water and forest resources exist.

Over much of the globe, rural poverty is much worse than in the United States. Findings by the International Fund for Agricultural Development show that 1.2 billion of the world's people live on less than what a dollar a day can buy. Globally, three-fourths of these poor people live in rural areas.

The researchers add that, in addition to having a highly disproportionate share of the world's poverty, rural areas also get the urban garbage. In exchange for useable natural resources produced by rural people for urban dwellers, rural places receive the waste products - polluted air, contaminated water, and solid and hazardous wastes - discharged by those in cities.

Wimberley says that May 23, 2007, marks a "mayday" call for all concerned citizens of the world.

"So far, cities are getting whatever resource needs that can be had from rural areas," he said. "But given global rural impoverishment, the rural-urban question for the future is not just what rural people and places can do for the world's new urban majority. Rather, what can the urban majority do for poor rural people and the resources upon which cities depend for existence? The sustainable future of the new urban world may well depend upon the answer."
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Posted: Jun 5, 2007 7:15am
Jun 4, 2007
By Annie B. Bond, Executive Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Content.
http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/home/3263

Simple Solution

Most of us spend 90 percent of our time indoors breathing air that is three times more polluted than outside, according to the EPA. You can’t clean up your indoor air unless you know what to clean up! Take this indoor air quality quiz, isolate the problems and implement the usually easy fixes. Being empowered with information will be worth the few seconds this quiz will take:

What is your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Score?- Quiz

Answer each question “yes” or “no”

1. I use pesticides in and around my home

2. I use mainstream cleaning products available in the supermarket

3. The house/apartment was renovated within the last two years

4. I live with wall-to-wall carpet

5. My personal care products and perfumes are over-the-counter products bought in normal outlets such as drug stores, department stores, and supermarkets

6. I burn scented and aromatherapy candles bought in normal outlets

7. I cook on a gas stove

8. I heat with unvented kerosene or gas space heaters

9. I use air fresheners such as plug-ins bought at supermarkets

10. I have furniture and cabinets made of pressed wood

11. I, or someone in my household, practices a hobby that uses solvent-based materials

12. I, or someone in my home, smokes

Answer: Every single one of these issues can cause a significant amount of indoor air pollution. If you said “yes” to more than one or two of these questions, you are at greater risk of developing pollution-related illness.

Here are some easy fixes and solutions, by question:
1. Switch completely to integrated pest management. Resource: www.birc.org

2. Buy your cleaning products at health food stores. Learn how easy it is to do nontoxic cleaning by learning from Care2’s expert nontoxic cleaning content.

3. Make sure to air the house out a lot and use air filters until all the new materials have “outgassed.”

4. Make sure to vacuum wall-to-wall carpet very frequently as it is a “sink” for pollutants. If affordable, plan to switch to tile or hardwood floors to avoid the chemical outgassing and pollutants. If you suspect a toxic carpet contact AFM Safecoat for sealants.

5. Switch to naturally-fragranced products found at health food and specialty stores.

6. Switch to 100 percent beeswax candles and for aromatherapy, 100% beeswax candles using pure essential oils.

7. Switch to electric, or at least make sure to get a vent and a new automatic pilot model.

8. Stop. This is very dangerous.

9. Stop. Switch to natural air fresheners bought at health food stores.

10. Seal them in with products from this site: http://www.afmsafecoat.com/.

11. Switch to water-based materials. Make sure the person works in a vented room that is closed off from the rest of the house/apartment

12. The smoker should smoke outside (or preferably, quit!)

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Posted: Jun 4, 2007 1:28am
Nov 16, 2006
Kira Cochrane
November 15, 2006
http://www.theage.com.au/news/diet/wholier-than-thou/2006/11/07/1162661686450.html?page=fullpage#

Puritanical diets could be a sign of an extreme eating disorder.

When Janet Hackney is asked when she last went out to a restaurant, there is a long silence. "It must be about five years ago, on my mum's 70th birthday. A group of us went to a restaurant where the owners know me and assured me they would provide food that I could eat, cooked exactly as I wanted. You can't get that very often, though, can you? So I usually don't go out. It's sad how it ruins your social life."

For Hackney, an obsession with eating only specific foods, cooked in certain ways, stretches back more than three decades. At 1.5 metres tall and just 35 kilograms, she was diagnosed with anorexia long ago and concedes that she eats an anorexic diet (with the osteoporosis and chest pains to prove it), but insists her disorder was never about the desire to be thin.

She says her food obsessions were dictated by the pursuit of health, an ache to fill her body only with foods that are good and nutritious and "pure". The roots of it, she says, are more accurately defined by another label: orthorexia nervosa.

Taken from the Greek "ortho" (meaning "correct" or "true"), this term was devised by a Californian doctor, Steven Bratman, in 1997 to describe a "fixation on righteous eating". It refers to people who, while generally not as extreme in their limitations as Hackney, are obsessed with healthy eating, concerned with quality rather than quantity, refining and restricting their diets according to their personal understanding of which foods are pure.

Any foods containing pesticides, herbicides or artificial additives, such as MSG, are often ditched, although regimens can vary wildly, with many orthorexics being raw foodists, vegans, fruitarians or, in one notable case that Bratman came across, committed to eating only yellow foods.

For Hackney, this compulsion began at the age of 10 when she eliminated all the obvious processed foods - fast food snacks, chips and chocolate. Shortly afterwards she gave up fats. This was followed by the exclusion of carbohydrates and a whittling away of proteins that has left her eating primarily chicken and turkey, low-fat yoghurt and low-fat cheese.

In an effort to gain weight, she has begun to eat the occasional sliver of butter again, but can't keep the tub in her own fridge. "Just the thought of having a tub of butter makes me feel awful and dirty. I don't like to touch it, so my mum keeps a tub at her house and brings it over. I put some in a beaker, so that no one could know what it is unless they tasted it."

While orthorexia rarely causes major health problems, it regularly leads to social exclusion and alienation, which, as Bratman has noted, are serious side effects. One of his patients, he says, doesn't have a life: "All she has is a menu."

Most orthorexics would find it difficult, if not impossible, to visit a restaurant. They spend hours each day thinking and talking about food, making meal plans, scanning the latest food research on the internet, visiting organic farms for "perfect" produce and slowly preparing, serving and chewing their food.

It seems that we are living in a uniquely orthorexic moment. There are constantly conflicting messages, particularly on the internet, about the health benefits of specific foods. Anxiety and confusion regarding how best to nourish ourselves are huge, and growing.

Restrictive diets crowd the bookshop shelves (including hundreds of fasting and detoxing programs), and the market in "free-from" foods (products that contain no gluten, say, or wheat) has boomed.

In this environment, where mass consumer choice meets information overload, anyone who commits themselves to healthy eating can find that one dietary refinement leads quickly to another, and the depth of their knowledge jeopardises the breadth of their diets.

In this atmosphere, too, a marked quirkiness around food has become a source of fascination, even admiration.

Where "that quirkiness used to reduce your status", says Deanne Jade, a psychologist and founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders in Britain, "the attachment to strange eating systems and theories is now supported by a thriving industry and gives people a sense of status. So, for instance, when you go to a dinner party now, it's quite usual for people to say, 'Oh, I don't eat protein and carbs together, or I don't eat anything with the letter R in it, or on Tuesdays I can only eat red things.' And people are tolerant of that. The quirkiness has a seal of approval."

Journalist David McCandless first heard about orthorexia when one of his friends, a health writer, accused him of having it. "She was appalled by the contents of my fridge," he says. "I was into Japanese food so I had lots of organic hemp seeds, miso and fresh seaweed. There was no chocolate, no chips, none of the usual stuff."

McCandless doesn't think he is orthorexic but admits: "I don't know anyone more [concerned] about food than me. I constantly revise and revisit my diet. I've cut out caffeine. I've cut out dairy. I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and I'll probably never eat meat again. I don't eat soya - certainly not industrialised soya. I've just started on non-fat yoghurt again.

"I have all these little rules. Five portions of fruit and veg a day is fine for Joe Public - I aim to eat 10 minimum. I've recently got back into fish again, too, which I had cut out. Then I read an article about fish stocks being polluted and I had a little tremor of anxiety and almost went running straight back to my hemp seeds." He laughs. "Maybe I'm exaggerating slightly."

As McCandless sees it, the rise in orthorexic behaviour is at least partly because "there is no single authority that can tell us what's safe or not".

Among the qualities Bratman has defined as specific to orthorexics are an eagerness to evangelise about their regime and a conviction that their dietary path makes them a more spiritual person. McCandless does recognise these characteristics. "As soon as you start eating healthily there's a smug, self-righteous, judgemental, puritan, religious feeling that descends," McCandless says. "I'm really proud, for instance, when my lacto-ovo vegetarian kosher airline meal is delivered to me first on the plane."

For many of those who start on this path, the adherence to a strict diet masks psychological concerns. Mary Wood, a psychotherapist and chief executive of the charity Foundations UK, which provides information for young people on how to negotiate the "toxic environment" surrounding food, says that for some people orthorexia is the only way they know of asserting themselves, of creating an identity and establishing themselves as someone special. Diet becomes their primary or sole distinguishing factor.

"I think one has to look behind the orthorexic behaviour and ask why they need to assert themselves in this way," she says. There is still confusion over whether orthorexia should be recognised as a specific eating disorder. In 1997 when Bratman devised the term many experts contended that it couldn't be a new disorder because in its less intense forms "orthorexic" behaviour isn't a problem, and many experts felt it was encouraging to see people taking care to eat healthily. Also, in its extreme forms it was simply a variant of other established eating disorders, such as anorexia.

Speaking to British experts almost 10 years later, though, there seems more acceptance that it exists as a separate condition, although no one has done the exacting research that would gain orthorexia recognition by the medical establishment.

In 2004 researchers at the University of Rome carried out the first study to try to determine its prevalence. Out of 400 subjects, 28, or 6.9 per cent, were found to be orthorexic, with the prevalence, interestingly, higher in men than in women.

Steve Bloomfield, spokesman for the UK Eating Disorders Association, sees orthorexia as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. "It is not recognised by the medical profession as a disorder in its own right," he says, "but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just because bulimia nervosa only had the diagnostic criteria specified 26 years ago, that doesn't mean it didn't exist 27 years ago - it plainly has existed for hundreds of years."

The concern about orthorexic behaviour as a gateway to other eating disorders is echoed by others. "Orthorexia can overlap into anorexia quite rapidly and vice versa; an anorexic might try to escape the disorder by adopting an orthorexic approach to eating, which extends that sense of being in control," says Jade. "The personality traits that you see in anorexics and orthorexics are often similar: people who are scared of risks, have perfectionist attitudes, a desire for simplicity and a tendency to live their lives more to avoid harm than anything else."

Jade has also seen many orthorexics who binge-eat between dietary systems, or have a tendency to develop bulimia. Any orthorexic diet, "is very difficult to maintain", she says. By cutting out foods, or even whole food groups, people can end up so nutritionally depleted that bingeing is inevitable. When this happens, orthorexics tend to return wholesale to their former regimen or, in penitence, develop an even more restrictive one.

The orthorexic diet is unbalanced. Jade says: "They have cravings and then they binge. There are orthorexic bulimics, orthorexic binge-eaters and many orthorexic fat people, too, who eat compulsively. I had one person who came to me who was bingeing horrifically on biscuits and cakes and it was obvious to me that she wasn't eating enough protein to sustain her. I tried to address that and she gave every excuse under the sun for why she couldn't include protein in her diet - because I'm vegan, because dairy gives me mucus, because my naturopath told me eggs are very bad for me . . ."

Given all the problems that orthorexia can lead to, is there any way to treat it? The problem seems to be that, even among those orthorexics who recognise that they have the disorder, few see it as a problem. In fact, many consider it a badge of honour. On the internet you find people like Renee who posts pictures of her meals on her personal website. She writes: "Do I have orthorexia? Yeah, probably. Do I care. Nooooo . . . I decided that whole 'recovery' thing is for suckers and weaklings . . . Several months ago I backed off the bodybuilding nutrition and decided I was going to relearn to eat like a normal person. You know what? Normal people are fat and depressed!"

Given that orthorexics are convinced that they are eating healthily and get a great deal of attention as a result of their dietary quirks it seems unlikely that many will seek help. "Rather than doing that they are more likely to say, 'You're the one who should be asking for help, given what you are doing to your insides," Wood says.

Jade agrees. "I think it would be about as alluring for an orthorexic to get help as it is for an anorexic to get help . . . Anorexics have only one system, which is to reject food. Insofar as orthorexics have a number of systems to choose from, and can move from one to another, then it's almost unknown for an orthorexic to say they want to change. It's about the hardest thing in the world to dent someone's system and convince them to eat food that they actually think is going to harm them. I mean, would you?' "

Given that this disorder is so difficult to treat, it is fortunate that it rarely causes severe health problems like Janet Hackney's. But it still seems worth addressing. After all, orthorexia may win you attention and allow you to feel superior when you see someone slobbing down the street eating a McDonald's Happy Meal but, at the very least, it can also leave you feeling extremely lonely on a Saturday night.

For more information go to
eating-disorders.org.uk
orthorexia.com

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Posted: Nov 16, 2006 8:34am
Feb 22, 2006
Category: Fruits
Prep Time: More than 1 day
Special Considerations: Vegan
Feel better than before, eat raw!
By
Paul Nison


“I eat bread. That’s raw because it is cold.” This might sound crazy but this is what I hear when I tell people they need to include more raw foods in their diet. After they realize that bread is cooked and just about everything else they eat is cooked and processed, many times they go into a state of denial saying, “I’m just fine the way I am, I don’t need to change my eating habits.” Well it’s just a matter of time before it catches up with them and they experience disease to some degree or another.

I have done a lot of research on the cause and the cure of disease (my book “The Cause and Cure of Inflammatory Bowel Disease” covers much of this info how to heal all diseases). I can tell you that the answer is much more simple than most people could ever imagine.

There is a popular saying, “you are what you eat.” I have to agree with it because if you eat low-quality food you will have low-quality
health. The opposite would be to eat high- quality foods for higher quality heath.

What are the highest quality foods to consume? The answer is simple. Any food that contains all of the qualities we need from food, Raw, Ripe, Fresh and Organic. This is all you have to remember when it comes to choosing your food.

Raw
Raw Food means food that has not been heated over 108 degrees. When food is heating over 108 degrees many of the nutrients are destroyed but all of the enzymes are destroyed. Enzymes are so important because they help our body digest the food efficiently. Without these enzymes that are destroyed by heat, our body has to work much harder using tremendous amounts of energy, along with many other possible health damage. I suggest as a back up if we do consume food that is heated over 108 degrees we take digestive enzymes supplementation, but there is nothing better than the real thing. I feel 75 to 80 percent of a person’s diet should consist of raw foods.

Ripe
Most foods found on the market today are unripe. Food that is picked before it matures is lacking in the important nutrients the body needs to thrive. This is why I feel even many vegetarians are not healthy. When food is eaten at the stage it was meant to be eaten (tree ripened) we will get the fullest about of nutrients possible. To my knowledge the only food that can ripen off the tree the same way it would as if on the tree is a banana. Now many other fruits seem to ripen off the tree but they do not do so as well as they would if they were tree ripen. In that case they would ripen with much more nutrients and taste. Another issue is when we eat food that is not ripe, our body has to work much harder to digest the food. Working much harder to get much less is not ideal.

Fresh
When food is eaten too soon it is unripe, but if we wait too long it is un-fresh. The longer we wait to eat the food (as long as it is ripe) the more nutrients are lost from the food. We even lose enzymes in the food when it is not ripe. It is estimated that 50 percent of the
nutrients are lost from the food after only four or five days. Eating the food as close to the time as it is picked (as long as it is picked ripe) will give us the highest quality food.

Organic
Many people believe that if they wash their food there is no problem eating un-organic food. They don’t understand the main issue with un-organic food is that they chemicals get into the soil making the soil de-mineralized. Food that is grown from un-organic soil will have poison toxins in it that can never be washed away. Also the food will be lacking in minerals that was lacking from the soil that it was grown in. Eating food that is not organic not only makes the food poor quality, but also the deadly chemicals in the toxins used to kill the bugs are hazardous to your health on all levels.

I am not suggesting that all your food must contain these four qualities, but at least 3 of the 4. If it contains none or just one of the
four, it is no good for you. Today most food consumed by people will not have any of these four qualities in them and this is one reason why The United States has more money than any other country in the world for medical study, procedures and products and research and still claims the title of being the leading country in the world when it comes to sickness an disease. There are many other factors to consider, but the poor diet of most Americans is an obvious one. So what do we do?

Remember raw, ripe, fresh and organic. Remember at least three of the four. If it has less, say no more!
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Posted: Feb 22, 2006 3:07am

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

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