Hottest Chili, Solar Power, Lower Your Cholesterol – Weekly Highlights

We’ve highlighted some really interesting news this week in Healthy and Green Living. We’ve written about dangerous foods ranging from a tear-gas equivalent to a major weight-gain culprit, and we’ve shared good news about a food that reduces cholesterol. It’s also the first week of Spring in the Northern hemisphere, and we have some tips on how to celebrate and how not to celebrate the seasonal change.

But first, the tear-gas equivalent in food: the world’s hottest chili, the bhut jolokia, is reportedly going to be used to fight terrorism in the Indian military. It’s being touted as an effective non-toxic weapon. While we like the non-toxic part, we’re still reluctant to praise weapons of any sort. In her post, Mel ponders if vanilla bombs and chocolate rockets might be a better option.

Speaking of dangerous food, a recent study shows that high-fructose corn syrup causes more weight-gain than regular table sugar, even when equal amounts of calories are consumed. Long-term consumption of HFCS led to abnormal increases in body fat in the study.

While the findings on HFCS are unsettling (considering it is in so many of our foods), there was some good food news released in a recent study: men who eat at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans a day are likely to lower their cholesterol by up to 10 percent. Curiously, women who participated in the experiment did not experience the same cholesterol-reducing effect.

Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere. As many of us finish shoveling winter snow and are starting to see green grass again, we must fight the urge to feed our lawns fast-acting fertilizers and pesticides. Did you know that the average American lawn receives four times the amount of pesticides than U.S. farmland, when compared acre to acre? And it takes up a whole lot of water as well–over half of the municipal water usage goes to lawns during summertime!

Speaking of water, this week a report released by Food & Water Watch revealed this shocking stat: For every liter of water that goes into a plastic bottle of water, two liters of water were used to make the plastic bottle and bottle the water. Read more about bluewashing and the truth behind bottled water.

And with more hours of daylight in some parts of the world, more people are considering turning to personal solar-power. Think it will cost you a fortune? Think again, says Sustainable Dave.

Also, don’t forget: it’s Earth Hour this Saturday! Be sure to check out 7 things you can do in the dark. And check out our newly created Earth Hour e-card – it’s free and helps spread the word!

Have a great weekend, and stay tuned for more great stories brought to you by the Healthy and Green Living team!


Elisa F.
Elisa F3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan4 years ago

Thanks Megan.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago


a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


Carole H.
Carole Hagen6 years ago

Sounds awesome to me!

Judith Emerson
Judith Emerson6 years ago

We've been blessed with a good, rainy winter! Whew!

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Priyeni M.
Priyeni M.6 years ago


Neil A.
Neil A7 years ago

I have plenty of ground in fact it is hard work, I have planted sweet corn this morning hoping for an early crop( it is warm here in the day) but when in UK would plant tomatoes, peppers & similar on the kitchen window sill in the winter ready to plant out in a green house if you have room this is well worth while, from each tomatoe plant you can get another 10 or more taking the axillary shoots for cuttings. Experiment!

Ian Donelson
Ian Donelson7 years ago

Good stuff.