5 U.S. Foods Banned in Other Countries

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Via Eat This, Not That

It’s no secret that our food system is broken. Any country that allows us to unknowingly eat wood chips, yoga mats, human hair, beetle shells, beaver sex glands, and all number of synthetic chemicals isn’t looking out for our nutritional interests. And while the USA is busy labeling pizza a vegetable, other countries are taking steps to protect their people from dangerous food-like products. Here are some foods that you can find in your grocery store that are banned in other countries.

Rice Krispies Most of the cereals in US cereal aisles cannot be sold as they are in other countries because they contain the preservative Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). Both BHT and BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) are banned in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and much of Europe because they are thought to be carcinogenetic.

If you’re looking to splurge on a nostalgic bowl of breakfast cereal, try one of these 5 best “bad for you” cereals.

Kraft Mac and Cheese The artificial colors yellow 5 and yellow 6 are found in tons of foods in the US, from mac and cheese, to crackers, chips, and even drinks. Foods containing these dyes are banned in Norway and Sweden. In the EU, they must be labeled with the phrase: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

We have an easy at-home version that’s ready in 30 minutes and will help you lose weight, plus recipes for more comfort food favorites.

US Milk The EU has banned milk that contains the growth hormone rBGH. Most conventionally raised (non-organic) cows in the US are given this drug. Unless your milk is organic or says “does not contain rBGH” you are drinking milk that would be banned throughout Europe.

Considering a milk alternative, but don’t know which is best? We break down the nutritional pros and cons of cow’s milk and three alternatives.

Tyson Chicken The EU has had a long-standing ban on chicken that has been washed in chlorine. Many chicken companies in the US use chlorinated water baths, rinses, and mists as an antimicrobial treatment. Some chickens are “water chilled,” which means they are submerged in a chlorine bath. Others are “air-chilled” which means they could have been misted with chlorine.

Chicken’s not the only protein you’re eating that’s questionable. The 5 reasons why tilapia is worse than bacon will shock you.

US Almonds These are banned in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland because they can contain Aflatoxins, which are toxic byproducts of certain molds. Aflatoxins have potent carcinogenic effect in animals and humans.

If you’re confident in your almond choice, check out all their health benefits; they’re one of 5 foods that help you sleep, one of 10 foods that boost your brainpower, and one of 8 fatty foods that make you skinny.

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16 Easy Ways To Improve Your Focus

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Via Business Insider

Americans have about an eight-second attention span.

That’s less than a goldfish.

But we can improve our powers of concentration by, for example, finding clever ways to eliminate distractions, hacking our workflows, or working on our mindsets.

To that end, here are a few takeaways from recent Quora threads that tackled attention.

1. Invest in your sleep. Not sleeping enough makes people distracted, fat, and unethical, so be sure to get your rest. While everybody’s needs are different, it’s generally between six to nine hours. And invest in some nice sheets. —Yishan Wong

2. Exercise your body. Harvard Medical School has found that exercise improves your memory and concentration. You don’t have to be a Channing Tatum, but it’s important that your body is an asset, not a liability. —Achintya Prakash
[Read more…]

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7 Ways To Finally Get Your Team On The Same Page

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By Igal Hauer

You know the drill. You call a team meeting to discuss a project—say, a new product launch. You discuss the steps you need to take, from defining messaging and target audiences to writing the collateral, preparing a demo video, contacting the media, executing your email and social campaigns, assigning target dates and so on. A week later, you call another meeting and get that deer-in-headlights look. “Who, me? Was I supposed to do that? Wasn’t that John’s job?”

What we have here is a wholesale process breakdown. It’s not just a matter of a team member or two drifting slightly off course. It’s that there are no systems in place to steer the ship or to create an all-hands-on-deck environment that fosters the teamwork necessary to get the job done. How do you do that? Listen up.

1. Get Your Team Involved In The Planning Process

Managers should take ownership of the overall project, but getting input from team members can help correct oversights, fine-tune scheduling based on employee commitments or process dependencies you may not know about, and get everyone aligned and invested in the outcome. It also creates a sense of collaboration that can help reduce antagonism toward managers perceived as dictators.

2. Put It In Writing

Everyone knows that projects need to be broken down into discrete tasks, but you also need to document your plan and make it available to the whole team. You can’t see where you’re going without a roadmap, and neither can they.

3. Delegate And Designate

Deciding who’s doing what is essential to make any progress. Clearly dividing the labor and assigning tasks accordingly helps ensure that things won’t fall through the cracks, prevents duplicated effort, creates accountability, and keeps team members focused on what they should be doing.

4. Provide The Right Tools

Technology alone can’t solve the problem, but the absence of an automated system that can monitor all the moving parts and help team members keep their act together will definitely increase your odds of failure. Find a lightweight task or project management system that includes features like individual task lists and a group calendar so that meetings and appointments can be integrated with appropriate requests and tasks. Your system calendar should synchronize with your corporate email so that users don’t have to keep two calendars.

5. Go With The Workflow

One of the benefits of automating project management is the ability to create a workflow that structures the work for easy tracking by managers and team members alike. Workflow tools allow you to identify the person responsible for each task, assign due dates and priorities, properly route projects as they move through the pipeline, automatically notify designated team members at specific points, and more. They also automatically populate each participant’s to-do list. Bonus: most systems allow you to create a template for recurring tasks or projects so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time.

6. Be Social Online As Well As In Person

Social tools like chat, instant messaging and screen sharing can help expedite task completion, especially if they’re integrated with your task or project management system so the activity can be captured and measured. But they shouldn’t be used to the exclusion of face-to-face interaction. You still need occasional meetings for team building, problem-solving and positive reinforcement.

7. Keep All Documentation In One Place

That includes all business documents, engineering drawings, image files, audio and video files, emails, chat conversations, instant messages, screen captures, and anything else related to a given project. This will eliminate wild goose chases that suck productivity, stall the work, and cause team member confusion that leads to mistakes.

Taking steps like these can not only help keep your team on track but also yield efficiencies that allow you to reassign employees to other teams, get more work done with fewer people, or even provide the proof you need that you are understaffed. With every task clearly outlined on the calendar and due dates for every stage of a project, you’ll have a crystal-clear picture of how much work your team can handle—and how much it can’t.

Then there’s this: You’ll never again have to complain that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. That’s good for you, and even better for your business.

Igal Hauer is CEO of Help Desk Technology Corporation, developer of the ServicePro collaborative work management solution that can be used to help any business unit in any industry complete tasks and projects efficiently.

[Photo: “Teamwork,” by Keith Haring ]

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18 Reasons Why A Startup Fails

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[via Fast Company]

What determines whether your startup sinks or swims? To help you avoid startup doom, designer Mark Vital has visualized 18 mistakes that kill startups.

The infographic is adapted from an essay by programmer and investor Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, an incubator that has funded more than 800 startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit. You can turn these fatal mistakes into a recipe for success by simply negating them.

The infographic reveals the delicate balances required in launching a successful startup. A few standout rules of thumb: don’t fly solo as a founder—Jobs would’ve been nothing without Wozniak, and it’s not a coincidence most startups Graham has funded had two founders—but make sure you and your co-founder don’t fight too much. Don’t launch too slowly—or too early.

Don’t raise too little money—or too much money (apparently, there’s such a thing: “once you take a lot of money it gets harder to change direction,” Graham writes). Don’t have a derivative idea: There are only so many “Tinder for ___s” that can succeed. Oh, and move to Silicon Valley.

For a more in-depth analysis of these 18 mistakes, read Paul Graham’s essay.

[via Funders and Founders]

[Top photo: Getty Images]  

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The Year of Warhol

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By JAN | Jan 4, 2015

Get ready for a Warhol wave in 2015, and not just at auction. About 40 exhibitions of that artist’s work — much of it previously unseen by the public — will be flooding university art museums and institutions.

The force behind the wave is the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which is just ending its third and final round of a record-breaking program of donations, and entering a new, mature phase, focused solely on grant-making.

In this latest round, the foundation gave away more than 14,000 works, mostly photographic material and prints, with the stipulation that museums exhibit the work within five years. In all, the foundation has distributed 52,786 Warhol works to 322 institutions since 1999.

Christine J. Vincent, who directed the Aspen Institute’s National Study of Artist-Endowed Institutions, said that the Warhol donations were “unmatched among artist-endowed foundations in terms of the number of donated works and the number of recipient institutions.” (To give an idea of the Warhol Foundation’s reach, it also helped fund the study itself.)

In the next six weeks alone, Warhol exhibitions are opening at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (including a screen print of Richard M. Nixon’s face titled “Vote McGovern”); the Middlebury College Museum of Art in Vermont (featuring a screen print of Mao Zedong); and the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson (Polaroids and gelatin-silver prints of the downtown New York scene in the ’70s and ’80s).

Among the vintage Warhol prints destined for 10 international institutions and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University are “unstitched-stitched” photographs — single images that Warhol hired a woman to stitch together in grids of four, six or eight. (They include male mannequins, cows, Pac-Man graffiti and a Picasso-esque shot of the author Tama Janowitz.) At the time of Warhol’s death, a stack of the photos was found next to a sewing machine, waiting to be stitched. Recently, the Warhol Foundation’s board decided that the best disposition was to have them stitched as Warhol intended, by the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia

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20 Habits for Success I Learned Working for Two Billionaires

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Personal branding expert Paul C. Brunson, put together a list for Huffington Post about 20 habits he learned while working for billionaires Oprah Winfrey and Enver Yucel.

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc.). The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life.

2) Be Curious… About Everything

What the average person sees as mundane or overly complicated is not viewed the same way with a billionaire mindset. I once had a 30 minute conversation with Enver about the height of the curbs in Washington DC versus Istanbul, Turkey. Billionaires are incredibly curious; what the rest of the world thinks is a problem and complains about — that’s what these people go and work on.

3) Surround Yourself With “Better” People

I hope this is why they kept me around. Seriously, I never knew my bosses to keep anyone less-than-stellar in their inner circle. There were many times I thought to myself, “Damn, they have dream-teams built around them.” Jim Rohn had it right, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Full list after the break

[Read more…]

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Simple Things You Absolutely Need To Do Before The New Year

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By Paige Pollock

 

1. Write A Letter. Address it to that one person, place, thing or experience with who or which you didn’t get quite as much closure as you’d hoped for this past year. Frame the letter in love (this is important!) so you can truly let it go…onward and forward, into the New Year.

 

2. Jam Out! To that one song that made you most happy this past year. Take note of this song—put it in a playlist—so you can soak up lots of future nostalgic musical moments.

 

3. Give. There is always more room to give and a number of ways to do so. End the year on a good note—perhaps starting a new holiday tradition of giving, however possible. Need ideas? Bake for the homeless, lend you time to local charities, spend an afternoon in an elderly home, bring TOYS to the nearest Children’s Hospital…give a genuine compliment.

 

4. FOCUS. On all those things you did accomplish in the past year rather than all the things you haven’t quite gotten to yet. It’s easy to feel as if we didn’t do enough—never enough—but; most likely, you did more than you’re giving yourself credit for! Be proud and look forward to a new list of goals.

 

5. Make A Phone Call. To someone you’ve lost touch with in the last year. We’re all in over our heads busy—relationships take effort—so, don’t let another minute pass by without reaching out to someone you care about…no matter how long it’s been.

 

6. Clear Your Clutter. Get rid of last semester’s books/notes, those clothes that no longer fit, clear the junk drawer, wash your car…start the New Year cleaned of past debris.

 

7. Get Outside. Bundle up and take a brisk walk or jog outdoors and just appreciate one last day of twenty fourteen in nature.

 

8. Practice Gratitude. Note all those things you’re grateful for instead of putting too much stress on all the things missing from your life. There are likely a number of people who dream of a life like yours. So, live it!

 

Happy Holidays! Don’t put too much pressure on 2015; believe that the very best is yet to come.

 

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Monsanto Sues Maui County Over GMO-Ban Law

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GMO

 

HONOLULU (AP) — Two agricultural companies are suing Maui County to challenge a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

Monsanto Co. and a Dow Chemical Co. unit filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday. They’re asking a judge to immediately prevent the law from taking effect and to invalidate the measure. County voters narrowly passed a ballot initiative last week that imposes the ban.

Monsanto Vice President John Purcell says the law interferes and conflicts with long-established state and federal laws that support the safe and lawful cultivation of GMO plants. The initiative’s authors sued the county in state court Wednesday to ensure the county implements the law.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone says the county is unable to comment because of pending litigation.

#StayWoke

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10 Ways to Make a Great First Impression

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As the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. Therefore, it’s important to always be on your game and prepared to deliver a memorable introduction.

So, whether you’re preparing to pitch a potential client for business or looking to meet that special someone, the following list offers effective tools to help you seal any deal that comes your way.

 

1. Smile. This seems obvious but smiles can communicate more than words can say. Putting a smile on your face makes you look and feel confident, positive and energetic. [Read more…]

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AYA MARKETS – WASHINGTON, DC

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Farmers Market Two

Location: Located at 900 4th Street SW, at the corner of 4th and I Streets Southwest.

Nearest Metro: Waterfront-SEU (Green Line). For more public transportation options please visit www.wmata.com.

About this Market: Located on the hallowed grounds of Christ United Methodist Church, Aya @SW Waterfront provides us with high foot traffic, close proximity to public transportation and incredible community support from the span of diversity represented in Ward 6. With an aligned set of values centered around impacting the Southwest community, CUMC makes a great partner. Come on down and join us in Southwest D.C. — a.k.a. “The Little Quadrant that Could” — and enjoy the many great destinations in the area such as Arena Stage, Nationals Stadium and the Wharf.

For all the info

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DRAW THE LINE NYC: 9/21

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NYC

Looking for something cool to get into this weekend? The good folks at 350.org have you covered with their “Draw The Line NYC” rally against climate change on Sunday, September 21, in New York City.

Last year’s effort to raise awareness around this critical issue attracted over 10,000 people in Washington, DC. This Sunday, 350.org expects an upwards of around 100,000 in the Big Apple.

“The point is to put more pressure into the global and national political systems. A march isn’t very subtle – it is a way of saying ‘there are a lot of people who want serious action commensurate with science, not your endless speechmaking,’” 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said an email to Politico.

For more information on how you can get down with this great cause, access the link provided below: http://act.350.org/event/draw_the_line/6131/signup/?akid=&zip=new%20york

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Sustainability: Every Little Bit Helps

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By Leslie Vandever

 

“Sustainability.” We toss the word around like a beach ball, but what does it really mean? The root word, “sustain,” means to “strengthen or support physically or mentally,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. “Sustainability,” though, primarily means “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” The secondary meaning reads “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources.”

 

Ah. That’s it.

 

When we talk about sustainability as it pertains to ecology, we’re actually talking about taking good care of our only home—Earth—even as we use its bounty to live healthy, comfortable lives. The word means using those resources—the air, the water, the land and everything that goes with them—without totally using them up or destroying them.

 

Until the Industrial Revolution, which started around the second half of the 19th Century, humankind had little effect on the Earth’s overall health. But with the advent of railroad, the cotton gin and factories; fossil-fueled internal combustion engines, automobiles, and machinery; the migration from the farms to the cities—and then back out of the cities into the ever-growing suburbs, with the automobile the preferred mode of transportation—the scale tipped out of balance.

 

Today, we know what we need to do to tip it back. But with a world population of an estimated 7.2 billion people, it’s going to take far more than good intentions. Governments all over the planet are grappling with the intertwined problems of air and water pollution, energy production and conservation, the destruction of land and wildlife, trying to work out how to fix it all Before It’s Too Late.

 

But what about the little guys? You and me? What can we do to make living our lives in these times gentler and less damaging to the little bit of the Earth and its resources we interact with and consume? Here are some answers.

 

Personal Sustainability Ideas

There are a lot of small things you can do every day that can help to increase sustainability. These are just a few:

  • Go vegetarian for a while each week. For two days out of seven, for instance, or try skipping meat for at least one meal each day.
  • Buy reusable cloth bags for your groceries and make use of any plastic grocery bags you have already for other things.
  • Get a reusable water bottle and refill it at home from the tap. Stop buying and tossing out used plastic water bottles. Consider a reusable coffee mug for your fill up at the coffee shop, too.
  • Recycle household waste: plastics, aluminum, cardboard, and glass.
  • Compost vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, etc. for your garden.
  • Set your household thermostat for 66 degrees Fahrenheit or below in winter. In the summer, set it for 80 degrees or higher.
  • Wash all your laundry in cold water using a biodegradable detergent. Then, line-dry your laundry if you can.
  • Make sure your house is well-insulated.
  • Install low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets, and limit your shower time to five minutes or less. Time yourself!

 

In Your Car and at Work

Driving a car helps to degrade your local air quality and contributes to climate change. But there are ways to lessen the impact. Try these ideas for the workplace, too:

  • Get regular maintenance and tune-ups for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated to increase gas mileage by up to 10 percent.
  • Try to run all your errands in one trip, rather than taking several short trips. Consider riding your bike instead of driving your car.
  • Use cruise control on the highway.
  • Avoid rapid acceleration, braking and speeding.
  • Take public transportation, car-pool, or ride your bike to work.
  • Use both sides of a sheet of paper before adding it to the recycle bin.
  • Turn your computer off and unplug it at the end of the day. Or, make sure it goes into hibernation mode to conserve energy.
  • Print documents only when you really have to.
  • Turn off office lights if they’re not needed.

 

While each of these ideas are small by themselves the more people incorporate them into their daily life a large sustainable difference will be seen.

 

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California.

References:

 

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Broccoli City Festival (LA)

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Super Excited for our LA Edition of #BCFEST!

Get your tix now!!! Click here

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Urban Algae Canopy Produces Oxygen Equivalent of Four Hectares of Woodland Every Day

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Forming part of the Future Food District project curated by Carlo Ratti Associati, the Urban Algae Canopy marks the culmination of six years worth of research. A custom designed ETFE cladding system, which consists of three layers and was designed with the help of Taiyo Europe, enhances the already exceptional properties of the microalgae organisms. Special CNC welding technology, on the other hand, enabled ecoLogicStudio to alter the canopy’s morphology and control the dynamic behavior of the water that courses through the structure to act as a medium for the living organisms.

This intersection between technology and biology means that when the sun shines more intensively, the algae would photosynthesise and grow, which in turn reduces the transparency of the canopy and provides more shade. With mico-algae as the foundation of the canopy, it is inherently responsive, which means visitors will be able to influence the building’s behavior in real-time. At any given time, the transparency, color and shading potential of the canopy will be the product of the interrelationships between climate, micro-algae, visitors and digital control systems.

From Inhabitat

 

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Presidents Day

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Surreal Photo Manipulations by Caras Ionut

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Photo artist Caras Ionut lives in the world of Photoshop where he digitally assembles surreal landscapes and portraits using largely his own photography. To see [Read more…]

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The Difference Between Porn & Real Sex Explained With Food

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If you’ve ever watched porn, and if you’ve ever had sex, you know that the two are very different. But what are the differences, specifically? watch the video! [Read more…]

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Javier Pérez

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Here is an illustrator and art director who comes from the equator. Javier Pérez performs here a fun series with photos on his Instagram account. Check them out [Read more…]

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