Strip away the associations with “greenness” and Earth Day, and the word “environment” should mean something equivalent to “surroundings.” Nobody wants their surroundings to be poor or unhealthy, but some consumers are more conscious of this need than others, manifesting that awareness in their choices of home care and other types of products. Here is a look at the selections they make, and why they might make them.

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News from industry food companies.

Aukland, New Zealand—Do the damaging effects of fast food go beyond obesity? Yes, according to new research published in Thorax. The large study headed by researchers from the University of Aukland found that fast food may also be linked to an increased severity of asthma, eczema and rhinitis in children.

The full implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare or ACA) is set for 2014. Insurance companies, hospital systems, doctors’ groups and related health care stakeholders, including chain-store pharmacies and even conventional supermarkets, are scrambling for position in this new world of expanded coverage for millions more Americans.

Though it usually seems like something that takes place out there, in the world, sometimes the issue of sustainability can get right up in your face. Or perhaps "on your face" will be more appropriate, when major cosmetics firms and industry stakeholders meet up to discuss environmental issues surrounding their business. The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, taking place in New York City from May 16-18 2013 at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel, will examine how the environmental impact of cosmetic and personal care products can be addressed through the use of greener ingredients, and by taking a look at consumer behavior.

Cancun, Mexico—Those interested in xylitol research were in for a sweet treat at the 2013 Xlear Inc. Conference, held here in February.

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Tampa , FL—Ralf Jaeger, FISSN, CISSN, MBA, presented new data at the 2013 Natural Products Expo West that suggested rice protein is just as effective as whey protein in post-workout supplementation.