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Eco-Friendly Baby

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-Hi, everybody. I'm Juli Auclair. You're watching Parents TV. What parent doesn't love the idea of making choices that are not only healthy for their kids but safe for the environment too? Well, our guest pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene wrote the book called "Raising Baby Green" that can help us make those choices. And he's here now to tell us how to get started. Thanks so much for joining us. -Thank you Juli. Great to be with you today. -And we're happy to have you. Now, "Raising Baby Green" is a really great guide from parents to choose the right products, the right food and everything for their babies to keep them healthy. That's not only good for them but to the environment too. Why is that so important? -Well, parents are gonna want to understand the things in this book because all of the big health concerns that are increasing in our time; asthma, ADHD, autism, cancer in babies, high blood pressure in kids, diabetes, obesity, the whole long, long list, all those things rapidly increasing. It's not our genes that have changed the last couple of decades, it's the environment, it's the toxins in the environment, the way we eat, the way we feed kids. So, the good news is that means for all those problems there are environmental solutions, ways to prevent and lessen the problem. And that's what this book is about. -And you start the book off with decisions that women make during pregnancy; whether or not to eat organic or not. What advice do you get to moms or moms-to-be, I should say. -Organic food is one really important way to begin to give a good environmental exposure to the baby. Before their born, the only way they can get exposed to the outside world is mom takes into her mouth, the fumes she inhale, what goes on her skin, the products she uses in her hair and teeth and things like that. So, food is a really key one. If you're gonna pick one time in life to choose organic, I would do it during pregnancy but a lot of people aren't gonna be able to do all of that. So in the book I have a list of the five foods that have the highest impact if you choose on your pregnancy. -Tell us about the five. -So, number one is milk and there's a news -- for parents who drink milk, moms who drink milk, organic milk is a great choice or organic milk with DHA would even be better. The second one is also really high in the food chain, and that's if you eat beef, choose organic beef. Beef-- -Why is that so important? -That's important, again, because of the hormones that are used in growing the beef, there are still there after makes it to the supermarket. So, that's a big one. -Okay, what else is on the list? -Next one is potatoes, that one often surprises people. And milk can make-- sort of, make to an asses but why a potato. When pesticides are used on the field they go down under the ground and into the storage part of the plant, the potato. And so, after the potatoes harvested, after you bring it home and you peel it and you wash it, it has the highest total load of pesticides of any produce in the US, according to the USDA statistics. So, I would choose organic potatoes during pregnancy. -Okay, organic potatoes. Now, how about apples? -And then apples also. Apples are one of the biggest uses of organophosphate pesticides, the nerve gas insecticides. And organic apples, besides not using that, tend to have higher nutrient levels and taste better in blinded taste test. So, apple also. -And doctor, soy made the list as well, right? -That's right. Soybeans are one of the crops that have the highest use of organophosphate pesticides as well. So, I suggest if you're going to eat soy, you choose organic soybeans and whole soybeans. Soy is a powerful food. -Okay, good advice on what to eat. Now, let's talk about the deliver-- delivery. Once when you give birth in a hospital, are there ways to make this more environmentally friendly. -One thing I like doing is having a Carbon Neutral Delivery. You can actually buy a certificate to offset the carbon gases. So, right from the beginning you're thinking about the environmental impact of your baby has on the world, and the world has on your baby. But there's ways you can decrease medications, having a doula in the delivery decreases the need for C-sections and narcotics and other things during pregnancy. -But does going green mean that you can't have an epidural? -It does not mean necessarily giving up on epidural. -That's a relief to a lot of women out there, I think. -That's right. What it does mean is trying to minimize the effect of toxins and minimize the impact on the overall environment. -Okay, now you have the baby and you're gonna bring the baby home and you wanna make sure you have a green room or a green nursery. How do you do that? -If I were gonna pick just one thing, I would choose an organic cotton crib mattress. The conventional crib mattresses are made out of polyurethane foam, most of them. So, basically, solid petroleum. So, it's not only depleting resources, they're-- it's off-gas petroleum fumes your using, the baby's face right next to that, inhaling those things. -Wow, good to know. -And then because its petroleum, it's very, very flammable, so they have to add a lot of chemical flame returns and that too can be exposed to the baby. -Okay. Now, what about diapers -- disposable or cloth? I think I know what you're gonna say here. -Well, it turns out that whichever one parents choose; you can improve the environmental impact. If you don't make environmental improvements, so both about the same. But with the disposable ones, the big difference is choose ones made that are harvested sustainably-- that the wood is harvested is sustainably and it doesn't use chlorine and there's a number of those in the market. With clothe ones; the key issue is how they're laundered. You want an energy star washer and dryer and the eco friendly detergents but there's a new -- a hybrid diaper. That's really cool. -You don't say. -The outside of it is cloth and the inside of it-- so, it's reusable, but the inside is an insert that use take-out, you can throw away or you can compose at the gardener, you even flush it down the toilet, it doesn't last to landfill. -Okay now. How about feeding our babies, is it really very important to make sure we give them all organic food or there just some-- -I also have in the book a list of the top organic foods for babies and certainly things we talked about here, babies would gonna get-- you would want to be organic. But the most important green choice for babies is breastfeeding. Every time you nourished her, you're really impacting their health and also helping the environment. -Right. -And for moms, they cut-- they spent at 300 calories a day nursing. So, it's like running 2 or 3 miles. -Exactly. It's a great diet right there, right. -Here we go. -Doctor Greene, thank you so much. So much great information right there. We appreciate you coming in. -Thank you, Juli. -And the book "Raising Baby Green" is in bookstores now. Thank you for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family. -Thank you for watching Parents TV; our families, our lives.