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Food Safety in a Globalized Market

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Food, Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment  
smart tomato

Ensuring Food Safety for Tomatoes

Food is being shipped all over the world. In our economy, the globalization of the food supply brings us oranges in winter, pineapples and pomegranates from exotic locales, and it can help bring food to countries who are experiencing a drought or famine. Along with the wonderful benefits of a global food supply chain, though, come some hazards. Food safety becomes a bigger concern when our food comes from farther away.

How Do We Ensure Food Safety?

Since our food supply has become more globalized, it has created the opportunity for unsafe practices in the supply chain. With so many stops along the way whether during production, warehousing, or transportation, technologies have been developed to keep the supply chain free of vulnerabilities.

One way we see damage to the supply chain is in the increased number of food recalls that occur. The FDA’s website lists eight pages of food recalls for the first four months of 2016. National recalls have the effect of undermining confidence in the supply chain, and increasing prices. Recalls cost money and time, and that expense is passed along to the consumer.

According to, the number of recalls per year in the U.S. has almost doubled since 2002. This is due to regulatory changes, as well as the increasingly globalized food supply chain. Food contamination cost U.S. health authorities $15.6 billion per year.

We can take steps to mitigate these concerns over the safety of food. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to make sure you have healthy food to eat. Reducing chemical pesticides on your property will ensure healthy produce for your family. Purchasing from a local famer reduces the number of “stops” food has to make, thus reducing the chance of spoilage and contamination.

Whether you purchase food from a local farmer’s market or by becoming a member of a local Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program, you will have access to locally grown products. Learn about what type of pesticide methods your farmers use and their effects. Shopping locally gives you the chance to talk to the farmer directly. Also consider local farms for butchered meats and dairy products. When you do purchase produce from grocery stores, be sure to wash fruits and vegetables with a natural produce wash, or a homemade combination of water and vinegar. Knowing who grows your food is a great way to reduce the length of your supply chain and stay your healthiest.

GMOs: Concerns and Benefits

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment   ,


Investigate your food sources

Concerned about GMOs? Investigate your food sources.

One of the most controversial topics lately has been the concerns and benefits of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  It’s easy to find a variety of opinions and lots of disagreement on this topic. One area that most people can agree on is the definition of a genetically modified food. By definition, a genetically modified organism occurs when DNA from one organism has been altered with DNA from another organism. In the case of food, this is usually done with the intent to provide some benefit to the food supply. Concern arises out of fear that these changes may have unintended harmful effects or that large corporations will hold an inordinate control over the food supply. Read more

Need to Reduce Sodium? Try Cooking with Flavors

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment   ,
reduce sodium

Learn to reduce sodium in your food.

Reducing sodium is often discussed, but infrequently acted upon. Estimates suggest that one in three Americans have high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium we eat could help to reduce the number of Americans who have high blood pressure. Some of the biggest sodium culprits include lunchmeats, hot dogs and canned soups. Other foods that tend to be sodium-laden are unexpected items like frozen foods, boxed cereals, breads and rolls. To find out how to reduce your sodium intake, read on.

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Fats: Saturated or Unsaturated?

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized Leave a comment  

iStock_000058613538_MediumThe term “game of inches” is often applied to football, but it is just as apt for a healthy diet. Small changes over time typically result in a healthier lifestyle than large, dramatic changes that only last until willpower expires. One of the ways to conquer inches in healthy eating is to make better choices in the fats we eat.  Read more

Does Coffee Hydrate You? Is it Too Good to Be True?

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, hydration, Nutrition Leave a comment  

Looking to stay hydrated? Love your morning cup of coffee? Turns out coffee and hydration are more compatible than you may believe.

Coffee versus Water

Beverage Plan, hydration, does coffee hydrate you

Sample Beverage Plan, created by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health

So, does coffee hydrate you? A Harvard study recently compared the hydration effects of drinking water and coffee, and found very little difference. Coffee does have a mild diuretic effect, but this effect is reduced in regular coffee drinkers since they build up a tolerance, giving coffee a great ability to hydrate as well as wake you up. Even more important, coffee also contains natural polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, so in addition to helping with hydration, coffee also holds the potential to boost your body’s ability to fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Read more

Turning Childhood Obesity On Its Head

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, Nutrition, Obesity Leave a comment   ,

Childhood obesity

In 2012 Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy took on a monumental task. They wanted to study a disease that was reaching epidemic proportions in the U.S. This disease affects children in all age groups and crosses economic, social, racial and ethnic lines.  The epidemic? Childhood obesity.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the almost $7 million project, that led to the development of ChildObesity180, an effort to reverse the pernicious trend. According to the website since 1980, “rates of obesity have doubled in 2-5 year olds, quadrupled in 6-11 year olds, and tripled in 12-19 year olds. While recent reports show encouraging signs that obesity rates are stabilizing, and even beginning to decline in certain populations in the U.S., rates remain unacceptably high in all age groups.”

Making this situation more complex is the fact that many reasons seem to account for childhood obesity and they are complicated and interconnected. Culture, the norms of a society, community resources, and home environment all affect children’s weight. In order to tackle this multi-faceted problem ChildObesity180 (CO180) took a multi-faceted approach.

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Soothe Muscles with Essential Oils

Kimberly Distilli Essential Oils, Healthy Living Leave a comment  

Pain Management with Essential OilsWhether exercising or simply planting your Spring garden, essential oils can help to soothe your muscles–before or after your hard work. Many people use pain killers to cure muscle aches, but these can take a toll on your liver and kidneys. Instead, consider essential oils as a great way to keep your muscles healthy.  You can often find blends of oils that will specifically address muscle concerns, or you can fix your own. For some of the must-have oils to help muscles perform well, read on. Read more

Holiday Cooking and Baking with Essential Oils

Kimberly Distilli Essential Oils Leave a comment  

Holiday-Cooking-and-Baking-with-Essential-OilsWith Thanksgiving fast approaching, you are likely already well into planning your holiday meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pies—the works. As an Essential Oil aficionado, you’re probably wondering how to incorporate your favorite oils into your cooking and baking, and rightly so. Not only will these Essential Oils provide amazing health benefits, they also add a variety of flavors ranging from sweet to savory. Read more

Essential Oils for Weight Loss

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized Leave a comment  

Essential oils for weight lossNow that summer has come and gone, you may find your beach body routine sliding into couch potato mode. If you don’t want to be slipping into your spandex pants come Christmas, there are numerous Essential Oils to help you shed the extra pounds. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s best to get a head start on your weight loss goals before the chocolate temptations overwhelm your best dietary intention. This post will help you understand the right essential oils for weight loss. Read more

Essential Oils for Skin Care

Kimberly Distilli Essential Oils Leave a comment  

Essential Oils for Skin CareThere are few things more irritating than a poorly timed break out. It never fails, right before a major event, your skin develops splotches, spots, or dry patches. Of course, if you would rather not suffer from these bothersome skin blights, you can turn to a variety of Essential Oils for all manner of skin afflictions. You can cleanse, tone, and nourish your skin to bring out the best of your complexion.

Essential Oils to Cleanse Your Skin

While it may seem counterintuitive to put oils on your skin to cleanse it, it is actually highly effective. With the proper combination, Essential Oils can help balance the oil your skin naturally produces. It does so by removing the impurities and dirt trapped in your pores. These impurities are often stuck in the oils already existing on your face. Since oil dissolves oil, the pure Essential oils remove the dirty oil in your pores, thus restoring balance.

An excellent option to cleanse the skin is Melaleuca Oil, also known as Tea Tree Oil. This Essential Oil is known for its antibacterial properties. This means that Melaleuca is able to stop acne-inducing bacteria before it can get a foot hold in your pores. However, bear in mind that Melaleuca Oil can dry out your skin, so be sure to provide your skin the moisture it needs with an Essential Oil such as Rosewood.

While Rosewood Oil is known to help combat dry skin, it is also an excellent option for aging skin. As we age, our skin care needs change so this Essential Oil is vital for preserving the youthful look of your skin. Not only that, but this Essential Oil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to help improve the texture of your skin.

Another Essential Oil to improve the look and feel of your skin is Peppermint oil, particularly if you have oily or greasy skin. Peppermint Oil is also an effective cooling agent due to its menthol content, so if you are suffering from sunburn you can use this oil to relieve the sting and promote faster healing for your skin. Read more