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Greene on Green


Courtesy of drgreene.org

Danville pediatrician Alan Greene struck a national chord when his tips for going organic were featured in a recent New York Times article. The story became one of nytimes.com’s most e-mailed pieces for a month, registering hundreds of comments from readers across the country. We asked the good doctor to share some of his quick green-friendly tips for families.

Buy organic basics: “Apples, bell peppers, potatoes, spinach, cherries, and strawberries have some of the highest levels of pesticides, so it’s better to buy these items organic. Organic milk contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce allergies and eczema, and beta-carotene that protects against cancer and heart disease.”

Another reason to drink red wine—especially if it is organic: “A nutrient called resveratrol found in the skin of red grapes has been shown, in some circumstances, to have gentle antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, neuroprotective, antiaging, and life-prolonging effects. In testing, organic wines average 32 percent higher resveratrol levels than conventional wines.”

Green-proof your home: Choose cleaning products that are nontoxic and biodegradable. “The ingredients in many household cleaners, including laundry and dishwashing detergents, tile cleaners, air fresheners, and furniture polish, have been linked to a number of childhood health conditions such as allergies, asthma, and even ADHD and developmental delays.”

Listen to your kids: Familiar with concepts taught by Earth Day, “children and teens are on the leading edge of the green movement,” Greene says. “Often they are the ones encouraging their families to make more eco-friendly choices.”

Greene’s latest book, Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, is in stores now. For more organic tips, visit www.drgreene.org.

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