Green (Old-Fashioned) Popcorn

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With Oscar night upon us, thoughts turn to the movies … and their perfect accompaniment, popcorn. In case you haven’t heard, the microwaveable kind is loaded with health hazards. In addition to the sodium and trans fats in the popcorn itself, the lining of the microwaveable bags contains something called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to infertility and cancer. And a common artificial flavoring agent, diacetyl, has apparently caused lung cancer in popcorn factory workers. 

If you need further convincing that it’s time to change your popcorn habits, check out:

Sustainability as easy as 1-2-3

The good news, of course, is that a much better alternative, old-fashioned (non-microwaveable) popcorn, is easy to find in local food stores. If you’ve forgotten how to pop the stuff on the stove top after years of microwaving, just follow these simple steps. Read more

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NEMO: A hint of winter in the DelVal, but another big warning for the Northeast

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Last Friday night’s snowfall interrupted the monotony of February, blanketing the Delaware River Valley in just a few inches of sparkling white powder. Of course, further north, NEMO was far more severe, dumping 30+ inches of snow in some parts of New England.

According to experts at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NEMO wasn’t quite one for the record books (though records were set in a number of locations). But coming so close on the heels of Hurricane Sandy and just a bit over a year after “Stormtober,” anything approximating a record storm serves as another reminder of how climate change can wreak havoc on our weather, our lives and our sense of “normal.” Read more

Just Because It’s Cold Outside Doesn’t Mean Nature’s Out of Reach: Exploring the DelVal’s Open Spaces

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In the dead of winter, it can be a challenge for us North Easterners to get that “back to nature” feeling. Most of us (those without greenhouses) are no longer enjoying the bounty of our backyard (or front lawn) edible gardens. And as we go about our daily lives, we’re far more likely to rush between the car and the next warm building than to stop a moment and take in the winter landscape.

We may not be conscious of our detachment from nature, but we can feel its effects in seasonal mood shifts and the proverbial case of cabin fever. Fortunately, we can do more than simply wait for the spring thaw. On both the Bucks and Hunterdon “sides of the river,” abundant open spaces offer year-round opportunities to benefit from nature’s healing powers. Read more