We were recently asked if there are more autistic children today than in the past. This is a common question, as the claimed increase in the prevalence of autism is used to scare us about many products in our environment, ranging from WiFi to pesticides. In this post, we will examine whether the increase in … Continue reading Ask SciMoms: Are there more cases of autism?
"GMOs" have become a stand-in for some very real concerns, but fear, anger, and distrust over "GMOs" distract us from these deeper questions.
When you think about an exquisitely prepared multi-course meal served at the famed James Beard House in New York city, feedlot beef and supermarket tomatoes probably aren’t the first ingredients that come to mind. But that’s exactly what was on the menu at a recent dinner hosted by the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental organization based … Continue reading What Should I Eat: Big Environmental Questions and Cutting Edge Cuisine
There’s nothing worse than your child being in pain, even when you know it’s temporary. It’s no surprise that parents through the ages have reached for anything that might relieve their child’s teething. As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes, “teething occasionally may cause mild irritability, crying, a low-grade temperature, excessive drooling, and a … Continue reading Safe Teething Remedies
My kid got his first bike when he was 3. A two wheeler with training wheels. We taught him what to do, helped him balance, encouraged him, and by the time he was four, the training wheels were off. When he was five, we got him a scooter, and there wasn’t much to teach him: … Continue reading My kid wants to start skateboarding. Help!!
As a neuroscientist with a research focus in toxicology, I am often asked by friends and family about the safety of household items and beauty products. Safety as a scientific concept is widely misunderstood. In this post, we’ll explore the concept of safety, provide an overview of the categories FDA and EPA use to define … Continue reading Defining Safety: How Safe is Safe?
If you’re like me, grocery shopping is both a pleasure and a struggle. I love to see which fresh produce and fancy cheeses are available! But meal planning is a challenge when your household contains one adventurous vegetarian (that’s me!) and two choosy eaters. Our grocery budget can get a bit out of control as … Continue reading The high price of food labels
A plant-based burger that has the taste and texture of a real burger. These “meats” could help reduce our meat intake, benefiting both our health and the environment. But most veggie burgers lack the fatty flavor of meat. They’re too spongy, dry, grainy—actually, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe the many ways it just doesn’t … Continue reading The Impossible Quest for a Vegan Burger in a Doublemeat-Lovin’ World
This series is a collaboration between neuroscientist Alison Bernstein and biologist Iida Ruishalme. Errors in risk perception are at the core of so many issues in science communication that we think this is a critical topic to explore in detail. This series is cross-posted on SciMoms and Thoughtscapism. We tend to think in very small … Continue reading Risk In Perspective: Population risk does not equal individual risk
This post on zero risk and reducing risk is part of a series written as a collaboration between neuroscientist Alison Bernstein and biologist Iida Ruishalme. Errors in risk perception are at the core of so many issues in science communication that we think this is a critical topic to explore in detail. This series is … Continue reading Risk In Perspective: Zero Risk Is an Impossible Dream