School Work


Relacion entre el Halloween y el Medio Ambiente
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  INTRODUCTION Halloween may offer a chance to dress up as his namesake, but it doesn't provide many other opportunities for the eco-conscious. Any holiday that involves creating a ridiculous costume that you're going to wear exactly once while you gorge on prepackaged junk food is not exactly tailor-made for going green. Let's start with the reason for the season: all that candy. Diets rich in sugary foods are typically considered less eco-friendly than those with modest amounts; in Sweden, for example, a model diet crafted by a team of environmental scientists suggested consumers cut down on sweets by about 50 percent In total, it‟s estimated that at least $2.2 billion worth of candy will be sold during  Halloween season. That means a lot of extra, nonrecyclable packaging for all those fun-size candy bars. It also means millions of pounds of cocoa and corn syrup that needs to be farmed, processed, and shipped. To take a specific example, consider the Cadbury Dairy Milk bar which received a carbon audit by the British-based organization Carbon Trust. According to the analysis, a 49-gram chocolate bar has a carbon footprint of about 169 grams a ratio of 3.45 grams of CO 2  for every gram of chocolate. That ratio stacks up pretty well compared with meat but is a good deal worse than most fruits and vegetables or bread. Digging down, one interesting result is that the milk used in the candy bar turns out to be by far the largest component of its carbon footprint suggesting that dark chocolate may be an environmentally friendlier choice.  THE HALLOWEEN AND THE ENVIRONMENT While all the tricks and treats are going on, some parents also dread the inevitable sugar overload to come in the following days or weeks. In addition to sugar, if we knew more about the ingredients in the candy and the impacts they have, not only on our children‟s teeth and waistlines, but also on the environment, we might step back and look for options. Green Halloween, a non-profit, grassroots community movement to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, provides parents and the community with healthier or non-food treats to tantalize our kids. Halloween is their first target. To explore this thought a bit more, let‟s loo k at the top selling Halloween candy, some nutrition information, and the impact on health and the environment. Halloween is the number one holiday for candy sales. Sales in the U.S. will near 2.1 billion dollars this year! That is up almost three percent since last year, and there is reason to believe this increase will continue. Since these candies have similar nutrition profiles, more or less, I picked the Milky Way bar to observe closer. According to the company‟s official website, the Classic Milky Way bar, manufactured by Mars, Inc., has 20 ingredients, listed at the end of this article. The top three ingredients are different forms of sugar. The Milky Way also has partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is a trans fat and soybean oil itself is a pro- inflammatory oil. Pro means „causing” inflammation. Trans fats, discussed in another article on the experts page of the Green Halloween website, are not healthy for you. They are fats that are created by humans to simulate natural saturated fats, which are by comparison much healthier for you. It‟s best  just to avoid trans fats altogether. In fact, as was much publicized, New York City has banned trans fat use in restaurants, and Seattle is considering it. Why give this substance to our children?  Moving on down the long list of ingredients, there are several forms of wheat, which is not harmful for many, but can be a threatening substance for people with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, an underdiagnosed allergy to wheat. Artificial flavors and colors also may pose health concerns. For example, parents with children in the autistic spectrum or with ADD/ADHD have found that eliminating artificial colors has lessened symptoms. Even children not diagnosed with autism or ADD have behavior issues linked to these chemicals. In general, it is unknown what types of effects, short-term or long-term, these artificial colors and flavors have on humans. So many natural colorings are available, such as turmeric for yellow or beets for red, that there is no real reason to knowingly consume or expose our children to additional chemicals. The other ingredients are recognizable, but located at the end of the list, indicating smaller quantities. Each Fun Size bar has 75 calories, while the full-sized bar has 260. But who eats  just one Fun Size bar? Even Mars, Inc. lists two Fun Size bars as one serving size. The label lists 0 g trans fat. We know this is not true because a major ingredient is partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which is a trans fat. How do companies get away with this? The U.S. labeling laws state that if there are less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, food manufacturers may label it as 0 grams. Here‟s the catch: If you eat more than two bars, you are starting to accumulate your intake of trans fat. Again, this is a synthesized substance that has negative health effects. There are 20 grams of sugar in two bars. Just as a comparison, there are 17 grams of natural sugar in a medium pear, plus fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals… a whole lot more nutrition. There are four grams of saturated fat in two Fun Size bars. That is 20% of the recommended amount of saturated fat for an adult. There is one gram of protein, and tiny amounts of calcium and iron. The impact eating candy has on our health is cumulative. One bar won‟t kill you, of course, but over time, a habit of a few per day will impact us or our children in various ways. The first is the most obvious: weight gain. We need to eat only 500  extra calories a day to gain one pound in a week. Doi ng the math, that‟s two regular size Milky Way bars or six and a half Fun Size bars per day. And one pound per week is 52 pounds per year. Sure, kids burn a lot of calories, but if they are getting their calories (energy) from things like candy in place of, say, a pear, they are not getting the nutrients I mentioned above including antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Candy is empty calories, meaning there are calories but no, or not many, nutrients. Second, high sugar content foods contribute to dental caries, more commonly called cavities. There is more research recently pointing out that the health of teeth is related to overall health. Third, as any parent knows, some children do not handle sugar well. You have seen the tantrums or crazy energy erupt from a child who has recently consumed a significant quantity of sugar. Another implication of frequent consumption of high sugar containing foods, also called glucose, is a potential future diagnosis of diabetes. When we eat sugar alone, without accompanying it with protein and/or high quality fat, our blood sugar levels spike. This, in turn, causes large amounts of insulin to be released into our blood. Repetition of this process can lead to the “wearing out” of our beta cells, the cells that produc e insulin, or to the sensitivity of our body‟s cells‟ ability to absorb glucose. Balancing your food intake, by including protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates, is important for every meal or snack. Lastly, none of these candies are organic, which means our children are consuming synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. The impact on the environment that this type of food presents, if that‟s what you call it, has been well publicized recently. The impacts are many, but I‟ll just touch on a few here. Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup come from corn, which is most likely genetically modified. Whatever you believe on that topic, the truth is it is changing our environment toward a future we cannot predict. In addition, the increase in farmland use for planting corn is depleting our soil of nutrients. Corn is relatively low on the nutrient density scale, so its value is limited, other than for


Jul 23, 2017
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