Tag Archives: pesticides

Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Statistics show that most of us will, at some point, come down with some type of foodborne illness in our lifetime. According to WebMD, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness every year. Of those, “128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die each year after eating tainted food.” Even though most cases of foodborne illness are not life threatening, it’s a good idea to try to avoid getting sick by following a few basic food safety practices. Read on to learn how to avoid food poisoning both at home and while dining out.

Food Safety At Home

Color-code your towels. Keeping the towels you use in different parts of the home is more hygienic and can prevent cross contamination. For example, you might use white towels in the kitchen, yellow towels in the bathroom, and orange towels for cleaning other parts of the home.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after handling any food – particularly raw meats, fruits and vegetables.

Clean all produce – even organic. Fruits and vegetables can harbor dirt, pesticides, and even germs and viruses from other peoples’ hands. Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw are especially important to clean well.

Disinfect tabletops and countertops with vinegar before and after eating or cooking.

Thoroughly wash all dishes in hot, soapy water.  If you wash your dishes by hand, sanitize cutting boards and cooking utensils with vinegar as well.

Don’t leave leftovers sitting out after grocery shopping or serving a meal. Refrigerate and freeze foods right away.

Don’t thaw meat on the kitchen counter. Instead, use the refrigerator or cold running water. Use a meat thermometer when cooking to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly.

Avoid Food Poisoning While Dining Out

 Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Dining out without side effects

Wash your hands (after you order!) You probably already wash your hands before eating at a restaurant – only to come back to the table to grab the very dirty and unwashed menu. Wash up after ordering to keep your hands clean.

Skip the lemon.  While you might enjoy a slice of lemon in your water or tea, skip them when dining out. One study found that 75% of lemon wedges carry illness causing germs and bacteria. The truth is, restaurant staff are not always as hygienic in their food preparation as is ideal and it’s inevitable that someone’s unwashed hands will dip into the lemon wedge bin to garnish a drink – it just happens. Skip the lemons.

Give the booth a wipe down. Carry sanitizing wipes in your bag to give chairs and booths a quick once-over before you sit down. While the tables are washed between each party, sometimes the seating is skipped! You can avoid carrying home a lot of germs and pathogens on your clothing by using this tip.

Foodborne illness isn’t fun – follow these tips to stay safe and protect your family.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Valentine’s Day, make the decision to LOVE yourself and your family by caring for your body and your home!

 Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Love yourself with whole healthy foods.

Have you ever heard the saying, your body is the temple of your spirit?  Google it and you’ll probably find a variety of passages and links to religious sites.  I grew up hearing my father say this many times and although he is not a religious person he is a big believer in caring for his body and teaching his children to do the same.  I catch myself saying this to my kids at least once a week.  Remember, your body is the temple of your spirit, not a garbage can.  Make good choices!  Love and respect yourself through the long journey of your life on earth, and on and on.  Sorry, I don’t want to bore you with my Mommy Spiel.   Whatever it takes to make the spiritual connection with our mind and body is a personal choice that is taught or acquired.  Some more practical advice for treating our bodies as the temples they are – not defiling them by eating too much or by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol excessively, or practicing any other unhealthy habits.

What does it mean to view your body as a temple? Think about it this way: would you enter G-d’s home and make a big mess, throwing garbage around and vandalizing it? Of course not – in the same way, your body is a gift that is meant to be cared for.

Avoid processed food and toxic chemicals!  The store name Whole Foods evokes a sense of unadulterated whole foods not processed.  Don’t be fooled by boxed products labeled organic and yet they too can be processed.  Even at Whole Foods you have to carefully navigate through the store choosing between conventional (pesticide treated) produce vs. organic.   Choose fresh, whole, organic food for you and for your family. Keep your body’s home in good condition by making healthy choices like exercising regularly and reducing your exposure to toxins (like those found in many cleaning products).

 Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

When you view your body this way and start to treat it as a temple of your Spirit, you’ll see your health improve, your energy increase, and your body image improve. Your spiritual life is not a separate issue from your health and wellbeing – it’s all connected.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Who Says A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt Her?

 Who Says A Little Dirt Wont Hurt Her?

My Baby Eating Dirt

Who says a little dirt won’t hurt her?  It’s hard to believe that I was allergic to dust all my life and never knew what house dust was made of.  I thought it was just dust.  Those innocuous little dust bunnies can be comprised of dust mites, lawn pesticides, animal feces, carcinogens, bacteria, mold, fungus and high concentrations of lead, mercury and cadmium.

Why I Took Action!
I created Dr. Doormat because I wanted to make my home as safe and healthy as possible for my children. Watching my baby play on the floor, I realized she put everything in her mouth and became concerned about what she was ingesting.

I decided to research the impact of household dirt and started looking on the internet and soon after reached out to major organizations including the American Lung Association and the EPA.  I found myself in a pool of experts and hired a home environmental engineer to help me sift through the piles of information and bring me up to speed on the issues.  I was shocked to discover that the toxins in soil and dust that we track into our homes may cause allergies, asthma, learning disabilities and even cancer.  When I learned that doormats only compound the problem and over time becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, microbes, mold and other pollutants, I felt compelled to take action and create the first doormat to bar harmful allergens, toxins and pollutants from entry.    

After two years of research, lab tests, field studies and consulting with microbiologists and home environmentalists, I launched Dr. Doormat, the first antimicrobial treated doormat for home use  — Third party lab studies showed that after wiping shoes thoroughly (at least twice) on Dr. Doormat you can remove up to 99% of the debris from the soles of your shoes.  The decisions I had to make when designing the mat were all tied to solving a problem without creating a bigger one.  For me it was all about protecting the ones I love and safety had to come first.  I learned quickly that not all antimicrobials are equal.  The technology that I eventually chose for Dr. Doormat was unique and did not poison the microbes or leach into the environment.  The antimicrobial formula is infused into the yarn of the doormat, creating a positive bio-static barrier. It pulls the negatively charged microbe down upon its surface like a magnet and through a physical mode of action (like popping a balloon with a pin), disables the “odor causing” microorganism on the mat on contact

Recently I was having dinner with a friend and expert who specializes in the research of infectious diseases in Washington, DC.  We respect each others opinion and the discussions are always healthy and lively.  He strongly takes the side that being exposed to dirt and germs is good for your body and allows the body to build up a stronger immune system.  I stated my case and presented him with a three ring binder of the field studies and research I had compiled.  The research shows that toxins, pesticides, heavy metals and even broken glass are included in that so called healthy dose of household dust.  When we finished dinner and our discussion he admitted that he had not considered the other elements and didn’t want his children exposed to those dangers.  Even my husbands mouth dropped when he said he wanted a Dr. Doormat and asked me what colors and sizes are available.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

 Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Truffles laying in the grass.

I was walking my dog, Truffles, the other day and was stunned to see one of my neighbors fertilizing his lawn while his dog followed right behind him.

Lawn chemicals are toxic:
it says right on the bottle,
“Dangerous for children and pets.”

If you are reading my blog then you know that I am a mom with a mission!  I created Dr. Doormat, the first antimicrobial treated doormat, because I was greatly concerned about protecting children and allergy sufferers from the dangers of tracked-in debris including pesticides and other chemicals.

However, the threat is even greater for our dogs and cats who have much more direct exposure than we do to a range of dangerous chemicals.    They nose around close to the ground, they roll around in the grass, often eat grass and plants and then lick their paws ingesting the chemicals.  Moreover, dogs and cats don’t wear clothes or shoes and the chemicals are more easily absorbed into their fur and through their paw pads.

Dr.  Jeffrey Philibert, a veterinary oncologist in Waltham, Massachusetts, agrees that exposure to pesticides poses a risk to dogs, cats and other pets.  He said that while he was familiar with various studies linking pesticides to lymphoma in dogs, what really brought it home for him was a case in his office.  “We had a client who had four, unrelated dogs, all of whom had contracted lymphoma. The client lived adjacent to a golf course. In a case like this it is likely that there is something in the environment causing this. We urged the client to test their water and sure enough they found high levels of herbicides.”  Dr. Philibert cautions all his clients to be aware that what is in your environment can potentiate cancer.

“Be aware that what is in your environment can potentiate cancer in your pet.”

                 Dr.  Jeffrey Philibert, veterinary oncologist, Waltham, MA

Here is how Beyond Pesticides, a group that advocates eliminating the use of pesticides, describes the risk to pets:

 Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Punchy loves her Dr. Doormat!

Numerous studies have documented the risk of pesticides to pets over the years. A 1991 National Cancer Institute study, finds that dogs whose owners’ lawns were treated with 2,4-D, four or more times per year, are twice as likely to contract canine malignant lymphoma than dogs whose owners do not use the herbicide. Exposure to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens increases the risk of bladder cancer by four to seven times in Scottish Terriers, according to a study by Purdue University veterinary researchers published in the April 15, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Research published in the December 1988 issue of Preventive Veterinary Medicine links hyperthyroidism in cats to flea powders and sprays, lawn pesticides and canned cat food. Allethrin, a common ingredient in home mosquito products (coils, mats, oils and sprays) and other bug sprays, has been linked to liver problems in dogs, according to a 1989 study by the World Health Organization. The 1989 edition W.C. Campbell Toxicology textbook reports that chronic exposure to abamectin, an insecticide often used by homeowners on fire ants can affect the nervous system of dogs and cause symptoms such as pupil dilation, lethargy, and tremors. According to 2004 statistics compiled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, 22% of approximately 880 cases of pet birds being exposed to common household items involved pesticides (including rat bait and insecticides….Read More

Dr. Philbert stresses that there are things within our control. He recommends using organic lawn care products, as well as organic cleaning products. Of course, we can’t control the products our neighbors use or how the grass is treated at the local park. Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Here are some tips for protecting your pet from lawn chemicals:

  • Use only natural lawn care products in your yard. Examples are using corn gluten meal as a natural weed killer and fertilizer, or diatomaceous earth and boric acid for pest control. Reducing exposure is the best way to prevent potential side effects.
  • Be aware of ALL the environments in which your dog may be exposed to lawn chemicals. Even if you don’t use them in your yard, consider yards you pass when going on walks, the parks where you and your dog play, and other public areas that may be treated.
  • Always wipe your dogs paws off after walks to remove any residue, and wipe down their fur as well if they have been out playing in treated grass.
  • Walk your dog or cat across Dr. Doormat removing all debris from the paws – They don’t wear shoes and chemicals are absorbed through the paw pads.  Also, it will prevent them from tracking the chemicals into your home where they pose a threat to the human members of your family especially toddlers crawling on the floor.

May every step you take be healthy!
signature Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.