Crazy morning. I find it endlessly ironic that the same week that I’m closing on my first home, I’m helping DadHTP look for a rental house. I’m up to my eyes and ears in real estate!  The Charlotte rental market is SUPER tight.  When I got a call this morning that a listing was available, I rushed out the door in my pajamas to see a potential place for Dad.  Hoping this one works out! 


I ended up eating breakfast in the car at red lights (not while driving!).  Coffee oatmeal – good at the table, better in the car. Winking smile


On the stovetop:


1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup soy milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 tablespoon instant coffee

1 sliced banana

Sugar on top.


Everything goes into the pot at once.  Just let it simmer on medium for 5 minutes or so.  Easy, easy.


Seven Awesome Resources from the Environmental Working Group


One of my favorite websites is the Environmental Working Group.  The EWG is an environmental organization that “specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability.”  Basically, the EWG fulfills a much-needed void by providing tons of valuable information to consumers.


I utilized the EWG to write several portions of the Healthy Tipping Point book (which comes out in a little over a month!) and wanted to share with you my favorite resources from the organization.  Happy learning!


The EWG Shopper’s Guide:  This page provides information on the Clean 15 (the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables) and the Dirty Dozen (the 12 most contaminated).  For example, it’s wise to always buy organic apples, celery, and strawberries; buying organic onions, sweet corn, and pineapples may not be ‘worth it’ because they top the Clean 15 list.


The EWG National Drinking Water Database: This page includes an “interactive ranking system to evaluate 100 water utilities that serve cities of more than 250,000 people.”  Charlotte ranks #77 out of 100 in tap water quality – boo!


Skin Deep:  The general Skin Deep site has a database of more than 69,000 beauty and hygiene products, including makeup, hair products, eye care products, nail polish, fragrances, and baby-specific products.  Did you know that public health laws allow almost any chemical as an ingredient in personal care products (the no-no list is very short)?  There is also NO required safety testing for new beauty products.  Check out myths on cosmetics safety to  learn more.  “Every product added to Skin Deep is carefully reviewed by EWG staff to identify product type, product use and composition, target demographic, and special product claims.”


Skin Deep Sunscreens:  This is my favorite EWG resource.  Skin Deep’s sunscreen section provides a massive database of 1,700 sunscreens.  I wrote a post summarizing which sunscreens the EWG recommends; you can also check out their Executive Summary for more information.


Cell Phone Radiation:  The government does not require cell phone manufacturers to provide any disclosure information about cell phone radiation output.  EWG ranks the top 10 best and worst phones and provides a database where you can look up your specific phone.  You can also read the EWG’s full report on cell phone radiation here.


Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health:  A very interesting and informative page on buying ‘greener’ meat and dairy products.  You can read about the environmental impact of traditional farming methods and read the ‘At a Glance’ brochure.  Did you know that different meats have a different impact on the environment?  Lamb, beef, and cheese produce the most greenhouse gases.  And if you eat one less burger per week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles?  Neat!


Health Tips:  And last, but certainly not least, check out the EWG’s Health Tips page.  There’s loads of general information, including Preventing Cancer, Guide to Kids’ Personal Care Products, Guide to Feeding Baby, Healthy Pet Tips, and more.




  • Julia March 20, 2012, 11:35 am

    Is your dad out of state at the moment? It seems like a burden to have you do the apartment hunting for him–or maybe you wanted to do this?

    Thank you very much for compiling all of these helpful websites. I’m interested in reading guide for eating meat and it’s relationship to CC.

    • CaitlinHTP March 20, 2012, 11:41 am

      Oh it’s not a burden 🙂 It’s just a busy time in our lives! He’s not feeling his very best, health-wise, so I like helping him; plus, it’s so hard for someone who doesn’t know the area to get a place – you know how it is!

      • Julia March 20, 2012, 11:51 am

        yeah, i hear ya! you are a great daughter!

        • CaitlinHTP March 20, 2012, 11:54 am

          It’s easy to be a good daughter when you have a deserving dad! 🙂

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 20, 2012, 11:35 am

    Regarding cell phone radiation – it’s all non-ionizing, meaning that it isn’t energetic enough to cause DNA damage and therefore doesn’t increase cancer risk.

    • Julia March 20, 2012, 11:50 am

      i think the research can go either way on this. the kennedy congressman from boston had a specific kind of brain tumor that has been linked to cell phone use–but not conclusively. the evidence needed to say “without a doubt” that cell phones can in some cases cause cancer will never be there. this is the same reason why people still doubt climate change…it’s easy to use stats to prove or disprove anything, so we have to be extra careful about what we choose to read/believe.

      • Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 20, 2012, 12:52 pm

        The fact that non-ionizing radiation doesn’t cause DNA changes isn’t a matter of “belief.” It is science – not statistics, this is a deterministic FACT not a stochastic observation. And without DNA changes, cancer doesn’t propagate. The end.

        Cancer growth itself, however, is a stochastic process influenced by many, many factors so tying one specific cancer case to any one thing is not possible. Epidemiological studies can suggest factors that increase risk, but those are large population averages, not individual cases.

        Science is awesome. Fear is not.

        • Julia March 20, 2012, 2:23 pm

          hi V, i wasn’t trying to argue about non-ionizing radiation–something I haven’t studied. My feelings on findings from experiments and what you refer to as facts does differ–although we may just be debating semantics and not actually being productive.
          I am well aware that the peer review process is the best that we’ve got and yet, there are still tons of mistakes. findings can be disproved, that is part of what is so awesome about science. Just now I did a quick google search on deionizing radiation, and no, i don’t think that deionizing radiation will be proven to cause cancer, but it also doesn’t mean that another experimental design can’t show xyz effect from cell phones. science produces findings that are made on a bunch of assumptions usually outlined in the methods (conc, volume, pressue, whateve), not facts. also, results are rarely clear cut, the way to deal w/ that is with stats. this is not evil, but we often have to do things like remove outliers, or we’ll notice a huge stand deviation that might make our data questionable and not publishable (or any other number of ways to deal w/ datasets…raw data is rarely published). Just bc currently there is not enough evidence that XYZ causes cancer, doesn’t mean that it is proven to not cause cancer…again NOT talking about non-ionizing radiation, but, just sci in general. Science is complex and in experiments we always try to simplify it to control for variables, I agree that cell phone radiation has been proven to not cause cancer, but I don’t think that this conclusively means cell phones as a whole don’t cause cancer..there has to be more than just one source of radiation as a variable…

          • Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 20, 2012, 3:21 pm

            OK. A couple of clarifications:
            -Non-ionizing radiation can’t damage DNA because it lacks sufficient energy. You would have to violate fundamental laws of thermodynamics to change this.
            -DNA damage is what causes mutated cells. Cancer is mutated cells. No DNA damage=no cancer.

            So yes, these are FACTS.

            It’s not a matter of “sources” of radiation from cell phones. They flat out don’t produce ionizing radiation. It isn’t physically possible.

            (FYI there is no such thing as deionizing radiation)

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb March 20, 2012, 11:36 am

    i definitely need to get back in my sunscreen routine now that the weather is warming up and the sun is starting to shine. i’m a pale irish girl and it’s bad news if i go out with bare skin!

  • Hillary March 20, 2012, 12:17 pm

    One burger = over 300 miles?!

    Holy cow! (Yup, pun intended)

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) March 20, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Coffee in oats? That’s a great way to multitask! Definitely trying that out.

    As for the links, thank you. I can’t wait to check this out.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 20, 2012, 12:24 pm

    This is an awesome compilation of info! I’ll have to take a look at some of these!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 20, 2012, 12:35 pm

    I’m about to move to Charlotte.. you’re kind of scaring me!

  • Jennifer March 20, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Who is the Environmental Working Group?
    They use a lot of scare tactics in their lists, which makes me hesitant to trust them. I think it is useful to know and learn about the products one uses, but there is something about them that feels fishy to me. I haven’t done any research on them yet.

  • beatrice March 20, 2012, 12:54 pm

    do you eat clif bars like mine?:)

  • Amy Q March 20, 2012, 12:55 pm

    These are GREAT, Caitlin!! Thanks! I love the EWG.

  • Tammy Root March 20, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Wow, this is such a fantastic resource!!! I am bookmarking this post. 🙂 Thanks Caitlin.

  • Life's a Bowl March 20, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Great resources!!! I’m bookmarking this post 😀

    P.S. Mocha oatmeal sounds delicious…

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 20, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of these Caitlin! I have heard of the EWG but had no idea they manage this many different initiatives. Toxins in skincare products is something I’ve sort of neglected in the past but I know I should pay more attention to it. I hope the house works out for your dad! 🙂

  • Jill Will Run March 20, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Your 77 ranking is a boo? I live in Vegas… we got 98th! That’s a big BOO! 🙂

  • Andrea March 20, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Thank you for all those resources, Caitlin. Really interesting! Sometimes it’s just too overwhelming for me to try and figure what’s safe and what’s not, so I end up just using any products without consideration to safety at all. It’s very helpful for me to have all of that information in one place, and with an easy to use search function too – amazing! I will definitely be using this tool to investigate the safety of my beauty products.

  • Marissa C March 20, 2012, 2:58 pm

    I’m dying for the house details. Cant wait for the pics.

  • Taylor @ Nuts for Apples March 20, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Coffee in oatmeal? Brilliant. Also this website sounds incredible. It is hard to be more conscious about skin care products because the names are so funky! But I am definitely trying to get more educated on it. I’ll have to check out their list of dangerous ingredients, thanks!

  • courtney March 20, 2012, 8:14 pm

    As an employee of a CPG company, and a consumer who has leveraged my resources at work to thoroughly understand the ingredients that are listed in the statements on the products I use (definitely NOT limited to those produced by my company), I will confidently state that the EWG site provides skewed information that is often taken out of context. Example, a sunscreen that has ingredients listed in alphabetical order, hence a ‘toxic’ ingredient is listed first is rated a 10 – with the statement that the ingredient must be used at a high level. Really…interesting and incorrect. Prior to making such claims, perhaps the site should do their homework prior to posting such ‘ratings’….

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