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EarthTalk – What are PFASs and should we be concerned?

PROMO 660 x 440 - Environment EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: What are PFASs and why should we be concerned about them? -- Jim Stobbins, Cary, NC

PFASs--short for perfluoroalkyl substances--are synthetic chemicals of various formulations (including PFCs, PFOA, PFOS and GenX, among others) that are used widely in various products for moisture and stain resistance. Non-stick pans, rain jackets and carpeting are among thousands of different types of consumer goods that now contain one form or another of PFASs.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

I think there must be autumnal reasons for Halloween being hued in orange and black. It's a fun time, a magic evening if you're a kid, and if you're a grandpa-type guy, like me, who gets to hand out the goodies.

But the colors of this sweet evening celebration are orange and black, and so is October. In another week or so, our deciduous trees will stand like skeletons against the gray skies of winter, but now we have the orange and black of fall.

Dear Dietitian – What effects do trans fats have on the body?

PROMO 660 x 440 Health - Diet Heart Fruit Vegetable Medical - iStock

Dear Readers,

We've all heard of trans fats by now, but what are they and what effect do they have on the body? "Trans" is a chemistry term that refers to the arrangement of molecules. In a trans formation, molecules are arranged on opposite sides of the carbon: carbon double bond.

Trans fats, which are unsaturated, are found in small amounts in animal products. The big offender has been artificial trans fats, like shortening, which contained partially hydrogenated oils. The good news is as of June 2018, artificial trans fats have been banned in the United States. 

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

It's fall, and time once again for the Chipper Invitational Golf Tournament here in the valley. You remember Chipper, Doc's imaginary squirrel? The one who was squirrel-napped?

Doc named the annual golf tournament to raise money for coats for kids who need them after good 'ol Chipper, since the golf tournament itself was just about as genuine as the squirrel.

Dear Dietitian – What are natural foods?

PROMO 660 x 440 Health - Diet Heart Fruit Vegetable Medical - iStock

Dear Readers,

What images come to mind when you think of a natural food?  An apple freshly picked from a tree?  A loaf of bread fresh out of the oven?  Fresh green beans right out of the garden?

Some food manufacturers are finding themselves in hot water for labeling their foods as "natural" when maybe they're not so natural after all.  Food companies are cashing in on the "natural" perception, as consumers often believe these products are better for them and are willing to pay more.