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Posts tagged ‘health’

Treehouse Tips: Beeswax Candles vs. Paraffin Wax Candles

Team member Ida Keung posts daily tips on sustainable living. See all of her Treehouse Tips by clicking here.

Are you a candle-lover that loves to burn scented candles all over your house? Unless these candles are labelled specifically as made from beeswax, you are most likely burning paraffin wax candles. Paraffin is a by-product from the process of refining petroleum (a non-renewable resource), and it is bleached, textured, coloured and scented using carcinogenic chemicals to create candles that look appealing and smell good. When burned, these candles release the carcinogens (cancer causing agents) into the air that you breath, and it also gets absorbed into your walls and furniture.

On the other hand, candles made from beeswax produce no by-products and actually produce ions that neutralize pollutants in the air like as dust, odours, mould, bacteria, viruses, and other toxins. Another bonus to beeswax candles is that they have a pleasant natural colour and aroma from the bee’s source of pollen and nectar.

While beeswax candles may be more expensive than paraffin wax candles, they take a lot longer to burn.

For more information on this renewable candle variety, and to get beeswax candles at a reasonable price, check out Beelites Candles at their website:

[Beelites Candles has generously offered to give a disount of 10% off any of their products along with a free tealight (scented with 100% essential oils) to anyone who has been referred to their website through Foodtree. All you have to do is quote “FoodTree Blog” in the company section of the order form!]

Treehouse Tips: Bring Your Own Container For Doggy Bags

Hey everyone…I’m Ida, from the Foodtree team and I’m going to be sharing frequent lifestyle tips here which relate to living a sustainable life. If you have any tips, send them to me at The first tip is here, in case you missed it!

Do you find that when you eat out nowadays, sometimes the portions are just way too big for one person’s consumption?

Or when you decide to try a new restaurant with so many exotic foods that you don’t know what to get so you order everything and end up with a bit of each? If you are like me and don’t like the idea of wasted food, you will probably get the leftovers to go. Your waiter/waitress will then help you pack your leftovers in one or more large square foam boxes or small round foam boxes with a plastic lid in some cases.

No big deal, right? Actually, these boxes are really well insulated so that it takes a long time for your food to get cold in your refrigerator.

They are also non-microwavable as they’ll melt and release toxic compounds into your food if you heat them up. They are not even meant to be put in the fridge, as these toxic compounds are released at high AND low temperatures.

Why not try bringing your own container(s)?

The fact is, these foam boxes are non-recyclable and they take up  a lot of space in the landfill.  Since your unfinished foods are usually still somewhat hot when you get them to go, bringing a glass container with you to carry leftovers will solve a lot of issues…no chemicals will be transferred to the food, landfill space is saved, and you feel better about the huge portion you received!

Mark Hyman, MD: How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life

The sustainability of our planet, our health, and our food supply are inextricably linked. The ecology of eating — the importance of what you put on your fork — has never been more critical to our survival as a nation or as a species. The earth will survive our self-destruction. But we may not.”


Mark Hyman, MD: How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life.

– This is why Foodtree exists- to connect consumers, producers and food. We’ve got a long, long way to go, but will empower people and food businesses to participate in a healthy, sustainable food system.

Food is not safe today


EVERY day, about 200,000 Americans are sickened by contaminated food. Every year, about 325,000 are hospitalized by a food-borne illness. And the number who are killed annually by something they ate is roughly the same as the number of Americans who’ve been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

Those estimates, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggest the scale of the problem. But they fail to convey the human toll. The elderly and people with compromised immune systems face an elevated risk from food-borne pathogens like listeria, campylobacter and salmonella. By far the most vulnerable group, however, are children under the age of 4.” From the NYT

—-While government has a role to play in providing a baseline of standards, we need new levels of verification too. In a food system grounded in transparency, we all have a role to play in food safety. With more information citizens could more readily participate and verify practices. One thing is certain- government verification is not sufficient.

Eating provenance while traveling

We are trying to maintain our goal of eating/drinking only things where we can trace 100% of the ingredients to the source during our stay in Maui. The first night didn’t go so well. But we’ve always said it is a process and a journey. We aren’t looking for a diet, but a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This is also not some sort of high moral pursuit or crusade, so a hunger strike is also not appropriate.

Okay, that’s it for excuses. We’ll be better today.

Eating provenance on Holiday- day one fail from foodtree on Vimeo.

Follow the OceanGybe Crew as they explore the impact of plastics on our oceans

Join Taina on her year without plastic