Interested in finding out how your food stacks up? Now you can check its “score” with a quick search on the Environmental Working Group’s Food Score page. Foods are rated based on three criteria: nutrition concerns, ingredient concerns, and processing concerns. They also have an iphone app available in the app store, an android app is coming soon. It’s an easy way to find out more information about your food.
My apologies to non-Dartmouth residents. However, if you live in Nova Scotia, you’ll have a community health board for your district. Other provinces and places in other countries may have equivalent bodies and it’s worth checking into.
I’m shamelessly promoting the DCHB, of which I’m a volunteer member, as I think they’ve done (and we’re doing) great work in the community. We’re here to work toward improving the health of Dartmouthians and to act as the liaison between residents and Capital Health. We do this through advocacy, education, events, various other activities, and reporting to Capital Health.
Did you know that we offer grants to non-profit organizations in Dartmouth? We do this twice a year, once in the fall, and once in the spring. Find out more here. We also give a monthly award to an outstanding volunteer in our community. Do you know someone who is making a difference in Dartmouth through volunteer work? Just send off a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the person you’d like to nominate, where they volunteer, and why they’re so great.
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I’m just finishing up a short course on the human microbiome on coursera. While we’re only just beginning to scrape the surface of our understanding of how microbes affect our health it’s a fascinating subject. Did you know that bacteria that are beneficial in your gut may be harmful if they’re found in another part of your body? Obviously your diet can transform your gut microbiome but what effect does it have on your health? It seems that exercise also affects the composition of your gut microbiome. In turn, your microbiome may impact your hormones and neurotransmitters.
You can get in on the ground floor of human microbiome research by supporting the American Gut Project. By pledging your support you can get a kit to send them samples of your microbes. In turn, you’ll receive an analysis of your microbes and see how they compare to others in the study. Despite the name, citizens of countries other than American are welcomed to participate as this can help to provide a larger picture of the human microbiome. The analysis is not intended to diagnose any medical conditions, it simply shows you the prevalence and variety of microbes in your gut at a given moment in time (and other areas of your body depending how much you pledge). However, you’re contributing to some really exciting research that will hopefully lead to greater insight into what your microbiome may mean for your health and well being.
I love these infographics created by students studying Applied Illustration at Sheridan College.