A Peek Inside an Israeli’s Refrigerator

15 04 2009

When I was trying to decide what to blog about, a recent post on the blog “Treehugger” jumped out at me because it was about the diet of an Israeli native, a country I visited the summer before last for 10 days as part of the BirthRight Israel program.

Karin Kloosterman, a native of Jerusalem, Israel, wrote this blog about his diet, providing a full description of the contents of his refrigerator.

Below is a picture Karin took of his refrigerator:

The post was a reminder of one of the major differences I noticed between Israelis and Americans while on my trip: their diets. It is common knowledge that the United States has an obesity problem. Israel, on the other hand, does not. I didn’t see a single obese person during the week and a half I spent there. Even the snacks Israelis eat seem to be mostly healthy!

To see what I mean, examine the contents of Karin’s refrigerator. We see that Karin eats a lot of vegetables and other local and organically grown foods. The  items in his refrigerator include organic lentil sprouts, organic goat cheese,  parsley, green onions and tomatoes, among many other healthy options.

Americans, on the other hand, like their ice cream and chocolate. According to the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was  a dramatic increase in the number of obese people between 1987 and 2007. In 2007, 30 states had an obesity prevalence greater than or equal to 25 percent!

According to a study done by CalorieLab,  my state, Connecticut, ranked 49 out of 50 on its list of fattest states, with  only 20.8 percent of the adult population being obese during the year 2008. Only Colorado, with 18.4 percent of adults being obese, had a lower ranking.  Mississippi was the fattest state.

I’m proud to be a Connectican!

Maybe if Americans ate like Karin, the United States wouldn’t have an obesity problem!


Greener Ways to have Sex?

14 03 2009

College and high-school aged kids are constantly warned about the risks of sexual activity.

Now, in addition to possibly causing unintended pregnancy or  sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections, sexual intercourse may have environmental consequences.

According to an article from Slate’s “Green Lantern” Column, both the pill and male condom, the two leading non-permanent contraceptives, can take a toll on the environment. The article says that although most condoms sold in the U.S. are made of biodegradable latex, they contain additives that make it difficult for them to break down in the landfill. Natural condoms are the greenest choice, and are just as effective at preventing pregnancy as latex condoms. Polyurethane condoms, which make up three percent to four percent of U.S. sales, don’t break down at all.

But how much waste is produced from using condoms? The number would startle you.

According to the article, 437 million rubbers were sold in the United States last year. With each one weighing .1 oz, this equals a total of 2.75 million tons.  This might seem like a lot of waste but considering the total amount of waste Americans produce, it isn’t. Only .0001 percent  of the 152 million tons of trash American households generate every year is from condoms.

Sexually active individuals can cut down on condom waste by choosing thinner varieties or buying in bulk.

Condoms definitely seem to be a greener option than birth control pill.  Few realize the environmental impact the pill can have. The women who take these pills end up excreting the hormones through their urine, which then might be flushed into rivers and streams, potentially harming aquatic and plant life.

So, if you must have sex, be safe and environmentally friendly when doing so.