If you are a little girl what might you do with your mom? You probably bake cookies, among other things. And while the cookies are baking, mom and daughter clean up the mixing bowl, right? But first, you get the reward of licking the spatula or the remaining dough in the bowl. 

Although I remember that it was yummy when we did lick the spoon or the bowl, there was something not good about raw ingredients, maybe the egg? 

These days there often isn’t a bowl to lick, because the dough is premixed and in a tub or tube in your ‘fridge. But there are those who don’t want to be bothered with the muss and fuss of even cleaning up a cookie sheet, so even though the label says to cook before eating, they nibble and nosh on the raw cookie dough fresh out of the ‘fridge.

The preliminary results of this investigation indicate a strong association with eating raw prepackaged cookie dough. Most patients reported eating refrigerated prepackaged Nestle Toll House cookie dough products raw. (Nestle has voluntarily recalled this product.) The CDC and other government groups are investigating an outbreak of E Coli that has been linked to consumption of raw cookie dough and it seems to be a particular segment of the population who are affected. 

Good sleuthing, CDC and other government groups. The interesting part for me is the population affected by this outbreak. According to the CDC report  “Ill persons range in age from 2 to 57 years; however, more than 70% are less than 19 years old and none are over 60 years old; 75% are female. ”

 I actually don’t like raw cookie dough but I remember friends who did.  Do they still? Is this a cultural fast-food-in-a-tube habit?  If so it might be prudent to break the habit and make your own “safe-to-eat” cookie dough or just stop eating it. At the Cupcake Project  you’ll find eggless cookie dough recipes although all the recipes contain flour, butter, sugar and milk- ingredients. 

Best advice- cook your dough.


It is time to say goodbye to some of your old stand by sunscreens if you are avoiding putting toxins consciously into your body.

I so appreciate the research and commitment of EWG (Environmental Working Group). Here is something to think about since it is summer and it’s time to consider protecting ourselves from sun burn. You might want to read this article about the body burden Americans have created from wearing sunscreens with oxybenzone. As I have posted before, there are many ways to protect from too much sun, from SPF clothing and hats, to safer sunscreens. I have been the sunscreen police with my kids for years. Interestingly enough, none of them have listened to me. I guess I’m glad about it.

The EWG report cites 2 studies linking cell damage and  free radical formation from sunlight causing oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals. A CDC study indicated that oxybenzone absorbs through the skin in significant amounts and another study showing that 96% of 6-8 year old girls had detectable amounts of the chemical in their urine.  

Since oxybenzone was last tested in the ’70’s it is a very outdated sun protector. I would consider reading all your sunscreens and getting rid of the offenders.

And from the EWG’s comments on the FDA’s proposed amendment on final Monograph, from back in 2007:

“EWG’s research shows that FDA’s finalization of a strong monograph is critical. We found that some sunscreens on the U.S. market:

  • offer inadequate protection from the sun;
  • may be less safe and effective than products offered in other countries;
  • are labeled with misleading product claims;
  • contain ingredients with significant safety concerns.

Specifically, our research indicates that 83% of 868 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. We found that only 17% of the products on the market are both safe and effective, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.”

You can check the safety of your cosmetics and sunscreens at EWG’s site.