Chocolate Nut Chewies
(Mrs. Faulstich noted that "Everyone likes these!")
2/3 cup butter
1 box brown sugar (1 lb)
1 t vanilla
Then add the dry stuff:
2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup pecans (or whatever your favorite nut is) and 1 cup chocolate chips
Mix until smooth. Pour into a 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Mrs. Faulstich adds that "Sometimes I put 1 cup of chocolate chips on top after I take it out of the oven, let them melt and spread - let it set until firm." That's what I did! Yum.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Retailers move quickly to remove baby bottles containing BPA from store shelves
While much of the focus is on plastic bottles, most human exposure occurs through the lining of canned foods. Canned beverages appear to contain less of the chemical than canned foods like soup, pasta, fruits and vegetables, which are often processed at high temperatures. Virtually every canned product, even those labeled organic, has a liner with BPA. One brand, Eden Organic Baked Beans, says it uses a BPA-free can.
How do I lower my exposure?
Switch to frozen or fresh vegetables. Use glass, porcelain and stainless-steel containers, particularly for hot foods and liquids. If you don’t want to use a glass baby bottle, several companies, including the popular brand Born Free, now sell BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups. For formula-fed babies, you can switch to powdered formula rather than liquid.
Although many plastic products claim to be microwave safe, some scientists warn against putting any plastic in the microwave. “There is such a wide variety now, from disposable containers to actual Tupperware,” says Dr. Anila Jacob, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group. “I don’t know of anyone who has done definitive testing of all these different types of plastic containers to see what is leaching into food.”
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Here is Benjamin with his friend all dressed up for his first "minor league" baseball game. Looking sharp. (of course instead of smiling he's saying the word "baseball" which isn't as flattering as "Cheeeeese", but what are you gonna do?) They had a fun time, but after the sun of the day wore off most of the parents were freezing in the bleachers with temps at 47 degrees. Brrrrrr. Looking forward to warmer weather. (Hey, we could be like Iowa who got snow last week.)
Government raises safety questions about chemical in plastics
01:43 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 16, 2008
By MATTHEW PERRONE / Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A chemical used to make baby bottles and other shatterproof plastic containers could be linked to a range of hormonal problems, a preliminary government report has found.
The report was greeted by some environmental groups as confirmation of their concerns, while chemical makers latched on to the report's preliminary nature and its authors' warning against drawing overly worrisome conclusions.
The federal National Toxicology Program said Tuesday that experiments on rats found precancerous tumors, urinary tract problems and early puberty when the animals were fed or injected with low doses of the plastics chemical bisphenol A.
While such animal studies only provide "limited evidence" of bisphenol's developmental risks, the group's draft report stresses the possible effects on humans "cannot be dismissed." The group is made up of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the Institutes of Health.
More than 90 percent of Americans are exposed to trace amounts of bisphenol, according to the CDC. The chemical leaches out of water bottles, the lining of cans and other items made with it.
The American Chemistry Council, which represents manufacturers, said the report "affirms that there are no serious or high level concerns for adverse effects of bisphenol on human reproduction and development." Among the manufacturers of bisphenol are Dow Chemical Co. and BASF Group.
The group said it supports additional research to determine whether adverse effects seen in animals "are of any significance to human health."
Environmentalists, meanwhile, hailed the report as the first step toward reassessing a chemical they believe could contribute to cancer and other health problems.
"We're hoping this decision will force FDA to recognize the toxicity of this chemical and make manufacturers set a safety standard that's protective of the most vulnerable populations," said Dr. Anila Jacob of the Environmental Working Group.
The toxicology group's findings echo those of researchers assembled by the National Institutes of Health, who last August called for more research on bisphenol in humans.
The FDA in November said there is "no reason at this time to ban or otherwise restrict its use." The agency on Tuesday did not immediately have any comment about the new report.
But growing concern about the chemical has pushed many consumers toward glass alternatives, and triggered investigations by state and federal lawmakers.
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., called on FDA Tuesday to reconsider the safety of bisphenol, saying the toxicology report's findings "fly in the face of the FDA's determination."
Dingell, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued letters to seven companies that make baby formulations earlier this year, questioning whether they use bisphenol in the lining of their cans and bottles.
The companies included Hain Celestial Group, Nestle USA and Abbott Laboratories.
A spokeswoman for the International Formula Council, which represents baby food makers, said Tuesday "the overwhelming scientific evidence supports the safety" of bisphenol, adding that no foreign governments have restricted or banned its use.
The National Toxicology Program will take public comments on its initial report through May. A final version will be issued this summer.
Earlier this month state lawmakers in New Jersey passed a bill that would ban the sale of all products containing bisphenol.
Canada's health agency is also examining the health risks of bisphenol is expected to issue its findings in coming days.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008