Topic: France bans plastic packaging for fruit and veg
A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables has come into force in France as of New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urged other countries to do the same.
Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.
Spain will introduce a ban on plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables from 2023. For years, international campaigners have said unnecessary plastic packaging is causing environmental damage and pollution at sea.
From New Year’s Day, France bans supermarkets and other shops from selling cucumbers wrapped in plastic, and peppers, courgettes, aubergines and leeks in plastic packaging. A total of 30 types of fruit and vegetables are banned from having any plastic wrapping, including bananas, pears, lemons, oranges and kiwis.
Packs over 1.5kg are exempt, as well as chopped or processed fruit. Some varieties, including cherry tomatoes or soft fruits such as raspberries and blueberries, are given longer for producers to find alternatives to plastic, but plastic packaging will be gradually phased out for all whole fruits and vegetables by 2026.
With an estimated 37 percent of fruit and vegetables sold wrapped in plastic packaging in France in 2021, the government believes the ban will cut more than 1bn items of single-use plastic packaging a year. The environment ministry said there must be curbs on the “outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives.”
Fruit and vegetables wrapped in layers of plastic have exasperated consumers not only in France but neighboring countries. Nearly three-quarters of British people have experienced “anxiety, frustration or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that comes with their shopping and 59 percent think supermarkets and brands are not doing enough to offer refillable, reusable or packaging-free products, according to a poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea in June last year.
將水果及蔬菜以塑膠層層包裹，惹惱的不只是法國人，還有鄰近國家的消費者。去年六月由環保組織「地球之友」與「城市至海」所委託進行的一項民意調查發現，近四分之三的英國人對購物時用到的塑膠數量感到「焦慮、無力或絕望」，百分之五十九的人認為超市及品牌在提供可填充、可重複使用或無包裝產品方面做得不夠。Source Article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/01/11/2003771107
Topic: Daily bananas intake good, but not for kidney failure patients
Bananas are one of the most commonly seen and eaten fruits. Eating bananas brings many benefits, such as replenishing energy and lowering blood pressure, and can even improve your mood. There is a rumor going around online that you should not eat bananas every day because they are a high-potassium food that can damage your kidneys if you eat too many, but the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) says only people with impaired kidney function have a metabolic deficiency that compels them to avoid eating bananas every day.
Bananas are classified as a medium-potassium food, containing about 325 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams of banana flesh, or about 200 to 399 milligrams of potassium per serving (half a large banana or a whole small one). Research shows that bananas can regulate bowel movements, relieve depression, reduce oxidation, lower blood pressure, promote cardiovascular health and prevent stroke, among other things.
According to the HPA, for people with normal kidney function, consuming plenty of potassium ions from bananas or other food can regulate blood pressure and indirectly protect the kidneys. Only for people with impaired kidney function — those who have been diagnosed with kidney failure — can it be harmful to their health, as they cannot excrete potassium ions.
The best ways to prevent chronic kidney disease are lifestyle improvements, good control of blood pressure, blood sugar and blood fat, lowering urine protein and avoiding drugs that are toxic to the kidneys, as well as early screening and referral to a nephrologist when necessary.
As for how to tell whether your kidneys are functioning normally, you can visit a hospital and find a doctor to perform a kidney function test, or else you can take advantage of the free adult health examinations that the HPA offers once every three years for people aged between 40 and 64 years old and once a year for those aged 65 or older. You can safeguard your kidney health by watching out for any change in your kidney function and following your doctors’ orders for treatment.
Topic: Alleviate dry eyes with massage and good nutrition
If you are an office worker who sits in front of a computer screen all day, and after work swipes away on your mobile phone, plays on a Nintendo Switch or other electronic devices, you are at risk of “diseases of affluence,” including tired and sore eyes. To avoid dry eye syndrome, in addition to resting your eyes, you can use eye massage techniques and eat nutritious foods to alleviate the symptoms.
Smartphone addicts and office workers glued to screens all day often go for long periods without blinking; this can lead to tiredness, dry eye syndrome and sore eyes. According to ophthalmologist Wang Meng-chi, getting a good night’s sleep and using a steam eye mask can help. However, Wang also recommends massaging acupressure points around the eye area, including the eyebrows, between and at the tips of the eyebrows, the temples, below the eye sockets and the corners of the eyes near the bridge of the nose. Wang advises massaging each of these areas in turn to relieve discomfort.
In addition to massaging the eye area, nutritionist Kao Min-min also recommends eating certain foods, such as seasonal watermelon, which contains 90 percent water, and vegetables such as gherkin, cucumber and winter melon to relieve dry eye syndrome. Kao also recommends eating deep-sea fish such as salmon, tuna, Pacific saury and mackerel, which are rich in fish oils and can reduce inflammation, one to three times a week. Vegetable oil-containing foods such as nuts are also beneficial to eye health, Kao adds.
Kao says a lack of vitamin A can increase the severity of dry eye syndrome so, in addition to taking in more oil-rich foods, she recommends supplementing the diet with starchy foods such as sweet potato or pumpkin, vegetables such as red and yellow peppers, fruits such as papaya, watermelon or cantaloupe melon and berry fruits such as blueberries. All of these foods contain anthocyanin, says Kao, which has antioxidant properties and is excellent at reducing inflammation.
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/07/15/2003739918