What Is The Problem With Northern Virginia And Washington D.C. Water?

Northern Virginia is growing in population rapidly and as more people move into the area, a question that is asked more and more frequently is – what is the quality of my drinking water?

Individuals and families are naturally concerned with their health and drinking water is an important element of maintaining good health.

Unfortunately, the quality of the water in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. is very poor and is getting worse. Contaminants, bacteria, minerals and chemicals in tap water are masked with heavy doses of chlorine and tap water, in addition to being unhealthy, tastes and smells terrible.

Regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not eliminate contamination but merely sets maximum levels of contaminants that can enter the human body. and cause long term damage.

What is the Story With Tap Water?

Tap water is municipal water that is usually pumped from a nearby river and then processed to meet EPA guidelines. The processing is usually done through a waster treatment plant with heavy amounts of chlorine added to kill remaining bacteria that processing does not catch. It is important to note that EPA guidelines are just that – they establish minimum amounts of allowed contamination that may eventually be harmful to both adults and children.

In Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. the drinking water is pumped mainly out of the Potomac River and at least one waste treatment plant.

Contaminants that may be present in this source water include:

Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic waste water discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

Contaminants also include pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.

In addition contaminants may include organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.

Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities also affect local tap water.

What is the source of water in Washington D.C.?

The water in the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Rock Creek flows into the District from outside jurisdictions. For example, the Potomac River begins in West Virginia, while the Anacostia River begins in Maryland. The quality of water in the District is thus affected by activities throughout the watershed.

Storm water runoff from commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural sites, point source pollutants from wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges, and combined sewer overflows from as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania all contribute to the quality of water in the District and Northern Virginia.

What About Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO’s)

CSO’s frequently occur when natural events like flooding overcome the capacity
of waste treatment plants and raw sewage is pumped back into the water source like the Potomac River.

During periods of significant rainfall, the capacity of a combined sewer may be exceeded. When this occurs, regulators are designed to let the excess flow, which is a mixture of storm water and sanitary wastes, to be discharged directly to the Anacostia River, Rock Creek, the Potomac River, or tributary waters.

This excess flow is called Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). Release of this excess flow is necessary to prevent flooding in homes, basements, businesses, and streets but it adds bacteria and contaminants as potential threats to tap water.

Since a portion of the tap water comes from sewerage treatment plants CSO’s can adversely affect the quality of our receiving waters in a number of ways:

CSO’s contain material which contributes to high bacteria levels in the receiving waters. Organic material in CSO’s can contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels, which can contribute to a potential for fish stress or fish kills, especially in summer months; and, debris in CSO’s such as plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups (otherwise known as “floatables”) contribute to poor aesthetics.

How Safe For Drinking is Well Water?

Well water, a popular alternative to tap water particularly in Northern Virginia is subject to the same ground water contaminants, chemical discharge waste and organic waste as tap water but is not subject to any regulation whatsoever.

In addition to emitting foul sulphur odors and sediment from the water Northern Virginia well water contains significant amounts of iron in the rock in some areas, particularly the Piedmont and Blue Ridge, resulting in iron “staining.” Sulfide in ground water is also found in parts of the Valley and Ridge where coal or natural gas is present produces an obnoxious odor.

Ground water that is a source of well water also can be contaminated by human activities. Bacteria from septic systems, and nitrate from both septic systems and fertilizer applications, are among the most common contaminants. Since well water is not subject to regulation, the potability and suitability for drinking, of a private well is the responsibility of the homeowner and many private wells are contaminated.

Treating Drinking Water From Wells

The Sate of Virginia strongly recommends treatment of well water with chlorine to kill bacteria in well water and, in an effort to overcome the obnoxious smell and taste of chlorine, de chlorination. Again, this process is not controlled by any state or Federal agency.

Two general kinds of water treatment are disinfecting and conditioning. To ensure that the supply is free of harmful bacteria, water is disinfected. Objectionable tastes, odors, and matter are removed by conditioning.

Well Water Disinfection Methods

Drinking water is most commonly tested for coliform bacteria, which live in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Coliform bacteria in a well are usually the result of a faulty septic system or contaminated surface water entering the well or water delivery system.

Materials and tools used in well construction are frequently contaminated with bacteria that live in the soil and these can be introduced into the water system while constructing the well, installing components of the piping system, or
servicing any part of the water supply system.

The State of Virginia strongly recommends that the water system be disinfected following construction and after all repairs.

Chlorination is used to disinfect private supplies because it destroys bacteria within a reasonable contact time and provides residual protection.

However,ordinary levels of chlorination are not always effective in destroying Giardia cysts,which cause a severe gastrointestinal illness.

Super-high levels of chlorination,boiling and filtering are the only effective methods to destroy or remove these cysts.

High chlorine concentrations can have objectionable tastes and odors, and even low chlorine concentrations react with some organic compounds to produce strong, unpleasant tastes and odors.

To eliminate these offensive tastes and to remove excessive amounts of chlorine, the water is then dechlorinated. Activated carbon filters are the most common devices used to dechlorinate water, remove objectionable chlorine tastes, and reduce corrosion of plumbing systems.

In addition to removing taste and odor problems, reports have shown that granular activated carbon absorption is the best method currently available to remove specific organic chemicals (including some pesticide residues), and as a method for radon removal.

How Safe is Tap and Well Water for Drinking?

Municipalities, well owners and even the EPA claim that tap and well water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. is perfectly safe for drinking but one must wonder. Consider the source of tap water in light of sewage treatment, heavy chlorine additive and waste discharge in the Potomac River and one starts to wonder. Also consider that well water is subject to most of the contaminants of tap water but is unregulated as well.

Is Drinking Bottled Water an Alternative to Tap or Well?

The popularity of bottled water has grown tremendously as Americans seek healthy lifestyles and better tasting water. But not all bottled water is healthier than the tap or well alternative.

Up to 25% of all bottled water on the market is tap water repacked in plastic bottles and bottled water that is not purified often contains minerals and other contaminants that may be harmful to your health. These contaminants are not only unhealthy and affect the taste of the water but limit storage life for emergency supplies of drinking water.

Purified water however, using a distillation and oxygenation process, provides the water drinker the safest and best tasting alternative to contaminated tap and well water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Distillation removes the water from the contaminants in a process that insures purity and oxygenation adds a light refreshing taste to the remaining purified water.

Consider the long term health of you and your family and build a healthy lifestyle on pure drinking water.

Source by Marcus Stout


Volkswagen U.S. Market Assessment

Volkswagen North America is projecting tripling its sales in the United States (U.S.) market over the next five to eight years. This ambitious plan is the brainchild of the newly installed CEO Stefan Jacoby, who already made major waves by deciding to move Volkswagen North American headquarters away from the “Motor City” in state of Michigan to the more business friendly state of Virginia. With sales numbers already off pace for previous years is Volkswagens (VW) projected growth feasible, and if so what can VW do to reach this goal (Robinson, 2009, pp. 11-1)

Moving the company is a smart business move, many automotive and other businesses have had to leave Michigan for a number of reasons. Michigan’s poor economy is a major one; but attracting educated and skilled staff is another. Michigan’s poor economy and quality of life has been the main factor in causing over fifty percent of University of Michigan graduates seek opportunities elsewhere. They head for urban centers such as Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and Seattle. Currently there are three times more Michigan State graduates living in Chicago, than in Detroit, many graduates citing quality of life as a major factor in leaving the Detroit metro area (French, 2009). However, for VW there is another major reason for the move, Virginia is offering VW six million dollars in economic incentives, a number that Michigan cannot match. As well as positioning the company in one of its historically strong markets along the east coast. Indicating that attracting qualified staff was another reason for the move, Jacoby said “he did not think it would be difficult to find qualified auto executives and senior staff in the Washington area, given the educational levels in the region” (Press, 2007). I know that when I was considering working for a major automaker, I did not consider any with offices in Dearborn, Detroit, or other parts of Michigan, as having lived in Michigan for a short time, and visited a number of times for business, that it is not a place I would consider moving to. I instead worked with companies with design centers in California, and even applied to the Audi division in Virginia before deciding to stay in California for a few more years.

Moving the company will result in the loss of about 400 jobs, and has been met with sharp criticism by the employees who feel that the German company has failed them by not offering products tailored to the American Market. Jacoby accepted this failure on the part of the company, and VW seems to have taken it to heart designing vehicles specifically for the U.S. market. Joe Ivers, of JD Power and Associates says VW suffers from a cultural divide between Germany and the USA. “VW is more apt to design a feature like a radio or a dashboard with cost and their own sense of taste in mind instead of what the consumer actually wants” (Kiley, 2004).

VW’s is also plagued with a reputation of poor quality that is emphasized when compared to Asian imports such as the automotive powerhouse Toyota (Robinson, 2009, pp. 11-2). In order to reach the lofty goal of 700,000 units a year VW overcome its reputation of poor quality that it has rightfully earned. As someone that has worked in the automotive industry, I have seen VW’s decline in quality over the years. VW in the 1990s was known for producing vehicle that suffered from a number of minor problems, from faulty wiring to interior panels detaching while driving. This is not just my opinion it is backed up by the automotive research firm J.D. Power and Associates. In the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, based on complaints in the first three months of ownership, VW sank 15% to next-to-last among all brands, while the industry as a whole improved 11%. Over three years of ownership, in the survey by J.D. Power used to gauge reliability, VW ranked 33rd out of 37 brands and was still dropping. This is costing VW one of the automotive industries most prized consumers, repeat customers. One buyer who does not plan to re-up with VW is Sandy Goroff, a Boston book publicist and disgruntled owner of a 2004 Passat wagon. Her car often lurches as if it has been hit from behind after she exits a highway and drives slower on suburban streets. VW officials do not deny the issue exists but have not been able to fix it and at one point suggested, she was driving the car too conservatively. A former Audi owner, she has been negotiating for a replacement. “They’ve done about everything they can to negate my brand loyalty,” Goroff says. Owners of more finicky front-drive Rabbits and Quantums reported electrical problems, blown engines and fragile window regulators and windshield wipers. That, combined with rising prices, almost forced VW to leave the U.S. market (Kiley, 2004).

Another criticism that VW North America has faced is that its advertising has been confusing and misdirected in the 2000s. Even with legendary advertising firm Crispin, Porter & Bogusky at the helm, the message as seemed unfocused. This did not escape the automotive press one writer said of VW “Sign THEN Drive” campaign that; “Neither of these commercials tells me anything about VW cars or why I would want one. The humor is crass, insulting, and juvenile. Along with VW’s recent spate of commercials that show VW drivers constantly getting into accidents, VW seems to have an extremely low opinion of its buyers. Then again, given VW’s poor reliability, high cost of maintenance and repair, and high price points, maybe VW knows exactly what it’s doing” (Ferng, 2008).  Jacoby admits that the ad agency should not have been tasked with creating the overall message for the company. “One thing I know is that the ad agency can’t be expected to guide the brand if we don’t know where we are going” (Robinson, 2009, pp. 11-3).

In review, newly appointed VW CEO Stefan Jacoby plans to move the company to a new state in hopes to gain a more competitive advantage in executive labor force, retool the U.S. vehicle lineup, focus on a new corporate message of VW, all with the hope of selling 700,000 vehicles in the USA annually in less than eight years. Implementation of this plan is going to be a monumental task, and the projection of tripling sales is a major commitment. VW may be able to achieve this if the plan of growth by following a strict yet flexible plan. Strict in the since that its goals are unchanging, flexible in that over time the product, processes, and message may be altered to fit the current market conditions.

Strengthens, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (S.W.O.T.) analysis is a common way to capture a snap shot of a proposed plan. I have applied this process to the VW plan for U.S. below:


  • 6 Million Dollars in incentives
  • Cost Savings in staffing cut
  • U.S. control over U.S. Products


  • Poor Quality Reputation
  • Lack of Brand Loyalty
  • Exchange Rate effects profits significantly


  • Connecting to consumers
  • Better Employee Pool
  • Development of U.S. Products


  • Economic Downturn
  • Continued Quality Issue
  • New Competition in the U.S. Market

While VW North America has a number of strengths within its restructuring plan including the financial incentives of moving its headquarters to Virginia, and taking more control over its U.S. product design and marketing. There are several other advantages to centralizing control in the U.S. instead of having to rely on governance from from Germany. Creating a more nimble organization that is better able to respond to the needs of the unique U.S. market.

This plan also shifts the overall organizational structure and creates a new chain of command that is more autonomous than the previous structure. The company has moved from being a multinational structure to a multidomestic structure. In place of management decisions coming from Germany, they are directed from the U.S. management team that reports to the parent company. VW was still attempting to push its original business model “of one car for all markets” that had been successful in the 1960s, but by the 1980s VW was in major trouble in the U.S. market. VW stumbled badly in the 1970s and ’80s with products buyers could not relate to after decades of mechanically simple and durable rear-drive Beetles and Microbuses (Kiley, 2004). In 1987 VW was forced to shut down it’s only U.S. manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, and moved all production back to Germany (Buchholz, 2009). Creating vehicles that were specifically tailored to the U.S. market such as the Tiguan crossover SUV, is a major step towards becoming competitive in the largest car market in the world; the 1980’s and 1990’s saw the departure a of a number of European automotive brands attempting to survive in the U.S. market. Companies like Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, MG, Triumph, Renault, and several others pulled out of the U.S. market. VW builds cars that compete with those brands in Europe, South America, and Asia, and for many years, they have been attempting to complete again U.S. and Asian carmakers with the same product. VW has shifted to accept that the competition in each market is vastly different; other carmakers have realized this fact a number of years ago, such as Ford Motor Company that employed a multidomestic structure since the 1960’s. Ford created four regional companies, Ford North America, Ford South America, Ford Europe, and Ford Asia, each with its own leadership, vision, and vehicle line directed to their markets (Briscoe, 2004). This is likely to change in the future as the world continues to shrink and markets begin to converge, BMW has shown us that they build a product that is globally recognized be it the new MINI or a M3. There has even been talk at companies like Ford, Fiat, and others to combine global vehicle production on universal platforms that can be tailored to each companies exterior styling, while remaining mechanically identical, such as the new Ford KA, Mazda 1, and Fiat 500 sharing the majority of their parts creating collaborations that have never been done before.

Quality management is another vital determiner of VW’s short and long-term success in the U.S. market. VW has a program that they themselves describe as a quality management system known as “Volkswagen Excellence” that has lead to lower frequency of defects in their products. VW takes a holistic approach to quality management. Not only are the physical products a target of quality management, but also the consumer’s interaction with the company as a part of the quality management process. From creating supplier conventions to reinforce cooperation in development and supply chain; to launching, a quality assurance organization within to react faster to consumer concerns VW is focused on the consumer (Volkswagen AutoGroup, 2006).

Volkswagen will need to implement this plan and stick to it, the one major factor that is out of their control is the economy. At the time of this writing U.S. car sales are at their weakest in decades. This plan was put into place in 2007, and the move was made in April 2008. Jacoby upped the figure in an interview given at the 2008 North American Auto show in Detroit, by projecting that VW would sell 800,000 cars annually in the U.S. by 2018. When pressed on how the company would reach a goal such as this in such a short time, considering that in 2007 VW sold 230,000 vehicles Jacoby said, that they were setting up the target so that the whole organization knows what the mission is. It is also to drive the product planning, design and supplier constituencies. They want to pressure the whole system (Kiley D. , 2008). Now just over a year later the overall sales for VW North America decreased 3.2 percent a company spokes person said “Despite these economic conditions, 2008 was still a good year for Volkswagen.  We relocated our North American headquarters to Herndon, Virginia bringing us closer to our customers, we announced an all-new North American production facility will be built in Chattanooga, TN vehicle that allowed Volkswagen to buck the economic downturn as our sales remained close to our 2007 totals. Volkswagen of America has a plan in place for a successful future here in the U.S.” (Volkswagen North America, 2009). It’s seems that VW has been implementing its plan without adjusting for the current economy, it will be interesting to see how it plays out over the next several years of the plan. With the current economic condition, federal regulations for gas mileage and green house gasses, and a globalizing of platforms, VW may find itself rethinking its plan sooner than expected.

Works Cited

Briscoe, D. &. (2004). International Human Resouce Management. New York: Routledge.

Buchholz, D. P. (2009). Case Study: Volkswagen: Pining For The Gentleman Caller. CFED .

Ferng, J. (2008, March 28). VW AD Campaign is a No-Brainer. Literally. The Truth About Cars .

French, R. (2009, April 3). Half of university grads flee Michigan. The Detroit News .

Kiley, D. (2004, May 11). Quality-control guru tackles VW problems. USA Today .

Kiley, D. (2008, January 17). VW’s Sales Target: Bold or Bull? Business Week .

Press, A. (2007, September 6). Virginia, VW moving from Michigan to. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from MSNBC.Com:

Robinson, P. &. (2009). Strategic Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Volkswagen AutoGroup. (2006). A strict, cooperative approach to quality. Retrieved April 25, 2009, from Volkswagen Autogroup:

Volkswagen North America. (2009, January 5). Volkswagen Sales Declined 14.4 Percent In December 2008. Racing Daily .

Source by Michael Satterfield


Family Vacation Ideas in Williamsburg, Virginia

A trip to Williamsburg, Virginia should be in your list of family vacation ideas. Williamsburg is one of the cities included in the Historic Triangle of Virgina, along with Jamestown and Yorktown. There are a lot of interesting sights that come with equally interesting facts in Williamsburg that will tickle the minds of parents, teens and younger children.

Going to Williamsburg is very convenient. It is only a few hours away from Washington, DC, and certainly within driving distance for Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida. Williamsburg is particularly known for Colonial Williamsburg. It is a 301-acre community of restored 18th century infrastructures. You will find yourself going back in time as you wander about the buildings, houses, shops, taverns, outbuildings and other structures in their original foundation. The highlights of Colonial Williamsburg are the historic sites – Governor’s Palace, Capitol, Peyton Randolph, Releigh Tavern, George Wythe House and James Geddy House and Foundry – and the indoor museums – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Family vacations are never complete without spending a day at a theme park! If you are looking for thrilling rides, visit Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens. Get ready to have your heartbeat racing as you ride the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster and Griffon (the world’s tallest and first floorless dive coaster). Also, if your family love scary stories and fright attractions, be sure to visit the theme park’s Howl-O-Scream and scream all your lungs out!

Williamsburg’s Go-Karts Plus gives families quality bonding time. The attraction is eight acres big, which houses four tracks for the whole family to enjoy. Race around an oval track on a replica of your favorite NASCAR automobiles. There are other activities in Go-Karts Plus that promise loads of fun for the family such as the Kiddie Land, bumper cars, bumper boats, miniature golf course, arcade and other games with prizes.

Visit Historic Yorktown, Historic Jamestown and President’s Park and learn history with your children while exploring the different sights, studios, galleries and museums dedicated to preserving the American heritage. From these attractions, you will also get the chance to learn about the early permanent English settlements in the country. Do not forget to spend some time learning about the Native American heritage and visit the Powhatan Indian Village nearby, which was home to Pocahontas.

Weird mind-boggling facts are what Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is known for. Take your kids to see exhibits of over 300 unusual artifacts Robert Ripley has gathered from his travels around the world, if you wish to see more of interesting global facts. The best part of this experience is that, no matter how odd the things you see are, they are all real! Believe it!

The idea of going on a family vacation is to discover as much as you can about the place you visit. These are just some of the things you can do in Williamsburg, Virginia. Nearby cities in Williamsburg also offer a different set of attractions and activities for the family that you might want to check out. The Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia coming on the 23rd until the 25th of May this year, for instance, promises participants and spectators a fun time of great music and other things. It will be the ultimate weekend in one of the country’s most historic settings.

The museums, other historical sights and the more energy-required attractions like the Busch Gardens and the Go-Kart Plus really make the trip to Williamsburg, Virginia a complete package for family fun. You can count of this as one of the best family vacation ideas you have ever had.

Source by David Reichman


Sterling VA Do It Yourself Mechanics – A Unique Approach To Your Garage

Many years ago, when we first moved to a new apartment in Northern Virginia, I regularly lamented the absence of a garage and workbench for meddling with wood projects or tinkering with personal auto repair. Not that I’d typically do more than fix a headlight, swap the wipers or change the oil, but there certainly were times that I would’ve rather provided my own labor to replace a muffler or perform some more challenging diagnostic and repair activities on a rainy Sunday afternoon listening to the ‘Skins – vs. pay someone else, especially the dealer, some budget-busting labor rates. These days, our home garage still lacks for room, proper tools or expert advice with which to successfully explore the car’s innards, stuffed as it is with a menagerie of children’s toys, bikes and other suburban refuse. I can now, however, take my car to someone else’s garage nearby – a total do-it-yourself oasis complete with modern equipment, tools, online manuals, onsite expertise and all the other trappings needed to cut auto and motorcycle repair expenses in half.

Do It Yourself Mechanics is an absolutely complete Do-It-Yourself vehicle repair center located in Sterling, VA (near Claude Moore Park and Dulles Town Crossing). The safe, fully-licensed ultra-modern facility offers a professional, clean work environment with professional bays, lifts, tools, car supplies and shop equipment for rent for the hour, day, week or month. Each rental bay comes with a 210 piece tool set. This very unique, one-of-a-kind concept of auto repair helps save up to 50% or more on auto repair expenses – in addition to offering the regular or weekend auto mechanics enthusiasts a fantastic venue to learn and practice the craft.

The do-it-yourself option is supplemented as needed by onsite, certified mechanics and staff to assist with more complex or challenging projects. All kinds of training classes are in the works, as are special deals including long-term rentals for independent mechanics, late-night fleet vehicle services, and wholesale pricing on tires and remanufactured engines or transmissions.

This kind of service is perfectly suited to our recovering economy, providing self-sustainment options to save money or earn some extra, while taking advantage of Internet-accessible information and wholesale purchasing power. The concept also delivers a great outlet for budding car mechanics and hobbyists who otherwise might be stymied by lack of the right tools, unsafe or inaccessible working conditions. “We love cars, and want to make a passion for cars affordable” says Rick Poage, VP of Marketing & Sales for the shop. “Everyone that walks in here says the same thing – first, I’ve always thought of doing this myself, and second, this place is so clean!”

Find Do It Yourself Mechanics online, and at 21606 Cedar Lane Ste 100 in Sterling VA – or call them at 703-421-8855 to schedule rental times from 9AM-8PM M-W, 9AM-9PM Th-Sat, and 9AM-6PM on Sundays.

Source by Virginia Konrad


Nutrition: The Super Foods that keep you Healthy

Get ready to experience a volume of information of the healthiest foods in the world. Here is a list of the top ten super foods that most health experts agree on. You should tell everyone you know about these foods and enjoy them at your next meal. From fruits and vegetables, to whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes, this power-packed nutritional inventory will take you into the best years of your life and beyond.


  1. Cantaloupe
    Only a quarter of cantaloupe provides almost all the vitamin A needed in one day. Since the beta-carotene in a cantaloupe converts to vitamin A, you get both nutrients at once. These vision-strengthening nutrients may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Like an orange, cantaloupe is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps our immune system. It is also is a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, niacin, and potassium, which helps maintain good blood sugar levels and metabolism. This pale orange power fruit may help reduce our risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

  2. Blueberries
    These mildly sweet (and sometimes tangy) berries offer a high capacity to destroy free radicals that can cause cancer. Low in calories, they offer antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, which enhance the effects of vitamin C. These antioxidants may help prevent cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer.


3: Tomatoes
Tomatoes help us fight against heart disease and cancers such as colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and cancer of the pancreas. Tomatoes are also good sources of vitamin C, A, and K. In a 2004 study, it was found that tomato juice alone can help reduce blood clotting.

Fresh, organic tomatoes deliver three times as much of the cancer-fighting carotenoid lycopene. Even organic ketchup is better for you than regular ketchup! Look for tomato pastes and sauces that contain the whole tomato (including peels) because you will absorb 75% more lycopene and almost two times the amount of beta-carotene.

4: Sweet Potatoes
As an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and manganese, sweet potatoes are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Those who are smokers or prone to second-hand smoke may benefit greatly from this root vegetable that helps protect us against emphysema.

For a unique dessert, cube a cooked sweet potato and slice a banana. Then lightly pour maple syrup over the top and add a dash or two of cinnamon. Add chopped walnuts for an even healthier kick.

5: Spinach and Kale

A cancer-fighter and cardio-helper, spinach and kale top the list as far as green leafy vegetables are concerned. Much like broccoli, they provide an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Kale is a surprisingly good source of calcium at 25% per cup, boiled. Vitamin K is abundantly found in spinach as well, with almost 200% of the Daily Value available, to help reduce bone loss.

Whole Grains
6: Whole Grain Bread, Pasta and Brown Rice

Whether it’s bread or pasta, the first thing to check for when purchasing whole grain bread and pasta is to make sure it is 100% whole grain. Remember to check the list of ingredients on the package. For example, look for the exact phrase “whole wheat flour” as one of the first ingredients listed in whole wheat bread. If it’s not listed as such, then it’s not whole grain. Wheat bran is a cancer-fighting grain that also helps us regulate our bowel movements.

Brown rice is also a better choice than refined grain (white rice) for the same reason as choosing whole wheat bread. Whole wheat flour or brown rice that turns into white flour or white rice actually destroys between 50-90% of vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids we need. Even when processed white flour or white rice is “enriched,” it is not in the same form as the original unprocessed kind. In fact, 11 nutrients are actually lost and are not replaced during the “enrichment” process!

7: Walnuts

These nuts are packed with omega-3 fats, which is one of the “good” fats. A quarter cup of walnuts would take care of about 90% of the omega-3s needed in one day. Walnuts provide many health benefits including cardiovascular protection, better cognitive function, anti-inflammatory advantages relating to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. They can even help against cancer and also support the immune system.

Beans and Legumes

8: Black Beans and Lentils

While black beans are a good source of fiber that can lower cholesterol, so are lentils. The high fiber content in both black beans and lentils helps to maintain blood sugar levels. Also a fat-free, high quality protein with additional minerals and B-vitamins, black beans and lentils fill you up and don’t expand your waistline.

A complete, one-stop source of using a variety of beans and lentils comes easy when you can find a bag of 15-bean mix (includes black beans, lentils, navy, pinto, red, kidney, etc.) at the grocery store. Consider making a delicious soup with the addition of tomatoes, onions, garlic and your favorite spices with this bean mixture.


9: Skim Milk and Yogurt

Skim milk (or low-fat) helps to promote strong bones, offering an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K. These nutrients help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals, bone loss, migraine headaches, premenstrual symptoms, and childhood obesity. Recent studies also show that overweight adults lose weight, especially around the midsection, when consuming low-fat dairy such as skim milk and yogurt.

Yogurt also includes the essential nutrients such as phosphorous and vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, and protein. Yogurt’s live bacterial cultures also provide a wealth of health benefits that may help us live longer and strengthen our immune system.


10: Salmon

Salmon is high in protein, low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fats (the essential fatty acids that are also found in those walnuts mentioned earlier). Salmon is a heart-healthy food and is recommended to eat at least twice a week. When choosing salmon, it’s best to stay away from farm raised and select wild instead. Research studies show that farmed salmon may cause cancer because it may carry high levels of carcinogenic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


Green Tea and “Power” Water

Although not food per say, the health benefits of these beverages are worthy of mentioning.

Green tea has beneficial phytonutrients and lower levels of caffeine than all other teas. The more research studying green tea, the more health benefits are found. A cancer fighter as well, green tea has antioxidant effects that lower risks of bacterial or viral infections to cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.

Water packed with vitamins and/or naturally sweetened fruit are also the newest trend. Some offer a full day’s supply of vitamin C while others promise no artificial sweeteners with a full, fruity taste.

As you can see, the top ten super foods are worth every bite (or sip). Now that you know which foods can help save your life, what’s more important than investing in your health?

Source by Vitanet® Health Foods


Wildlife Artists of Maryland and Virginia

Along the Atlantic Coast, lie the states of Maryland and Virginia. The area is known for its unspoiled barrier islands, the Chesapeake Bay, wildlife refuges and abundance of nature. This unique environment attracts artists of all types who visit and create works of art based on their observations. Popular subjects include the world famous wild Chincoteague ponies, waterfowl, shorebirds, fish and other wildlife.

One Virginia artist uses aerial photography to capture images of nature. Highcamera Aerial Photographic Service offers prints that include aerial photographs of the 2009 Chincoteague Pony roundup, Virginia barrier islands, coastal towns and Chesapeake Bay destinations. The artist showcases the collection in a series of online galleries within the Highcamera website. The rare images are available from the artist as signed and framed prints in a variety of sizes.

Aerial photographs of the wild ponies show the herd led along the beach at Assateague Island in preparation of the 2009 Chincoteague Pony Swim, Penning and Auction. The 2009 roundup was the first time that aerial photographs were taken of this world famous event. Aerial images were taken by the artist after an extensive permitting process by the National Park Service and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The world famous Chincoteague ponies are rounded up annually during the Pony Penning on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. To view samples of these stunning images, visit

Another local artist, Wally Makuchal, Jr. captures images of wildlife thru painting. The artist offers limited edition prints of state duck stamps. In 2009 the artist offered prints entitled ‘Icey Refuge’. The prints depict a pair of Blue-winged Teal enjoying a quiet winter morning alongside a partially frozen Delmarva pond. The original work took top honors at the 2009-2010 Maryland Migratory Gamebird Stamp Design Competition held in Laurel, MD, also known as Maryland’s ‘duck stamp contest’. The Maryland duck stamp program is the fourth oldest of it’s kind in the U.S. and is in it’s thirty-fifth year of raising funds to preserve and restore precious waterfowl and other wildlife in the state.

The edition size is limited to 1400 standard and 160 artist proofs reproduced in fade resistant inks on acid-free paper. The image is approximately 7 by 9.75 inches and overall paper size is 12 by 14 inches. Prints are signed and numbered by the artist, and enclosed in an acid-free protective folder. Original pencil and color remarques will be available on either edition. Prints will be available in early October of 2009.

Wally Makuchal Jr. has won several state stamp competitions. He won Maryland in 1999, the Florida duck stamp in 1996 and in the same year, the Maryland trout stamp. Wally owns and operates Makuchal’s Signs in Girdletree, MD and paints in his spare time.

A 2009-2010 Maryland Duck Stamp Prints page showcases the latest print as well as earlier duck stamp designs. More information is available at

Source by DWD LLC