I wrote the following post a while ago. I wasn't sure I was going to post it. Why? Well, you know, not everyone wants to hear the negative about the world. Not everyone believes the negative about the world. Some would argue that I am wrong, and the agencies I reference would never allow something that would hurt us. Some would even argue that I'm a conspiracy theorist. Then earlier this week I was reading over at Erin Margolin (which usually makes me want to reach out and give her a hug), and I clicked a link to Writing Dangerously at Coloring Me Happy. She made me realize that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, this is where I get to write what I think. I get to write about what charges me, what fuels my passion, what scares me, what plagues me, what makes me want to throw up. I get to write like as if I don't care if anyone else reads it. Those were her words. And so I decided to post it.
We are living in what I call a “Little Bit” society.
What do I mean? I’ll tell you, and you may not agree with me, and that is absolutely okay. But I’ve been stewing about it for quite a while, and this is my blog and therefore I get to say what I want. Fun how that works, isn’t it? This post is long and I apologize. The following reflects my opinion. I do not speak for anyone else.
So, what I mean is that in this country, the powers that be have decided that a “little bit” of poison won’t hurt you. And that may very well be true
My problem is that no one talks about the cumulative effect when each and everything we eat, drink, breathe or come into contact with has a “little bit” of poison in it. How many “little bits” are too many? How much before it’s too much? No one has answers for those questions.
Let me give you some examples.
First I wake up in the morning, lift myself off my mattress and walk across my carpet. Both the mattress and the carpet contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). (As does, the paint on the walls and the stain on the cabinets.) Not sure what those are? Here’s our own EPA’s page telling you what they are and how they are 2-5 times higher INSIDE YOUR HOME. (*EPA = Environmental PROTECTION Agency) If you care to learn even just a little, click over and just skim. This post would be way too long to list the problems with VOCs here.
I brush my teeth with toothpaste and then jump in the shower and use soap, shampoo, conditioner, and if it’s a good day, maybe some shaving cream or lotion. And when I’m done I slather on some body lotion to keep my skin soft and silky. All of which contain sodium lauryl suflate (SLS) and/or parabens. But don't worry. A study somewhere concluded that SLS is not carcinogenic. It does, however, potentially penetrate the eyes and skin, where residual levels can be found in organs, and the levels don't go away. Oh, and it can cause permanent damage to the cornea, by denaturing the proteins, leading to cataracts as an adult. But, you know, it's just a little bit. Parabens are a preservative widely used in cosmetics and skin care products. Studies say they are absorbed, processed and excreted. No worries. Oh, except that nasty little study that showed elevated levels of parabens in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer. I guess those weren't excreted. Oops, I forgot, they also mimic estrogen (xenoestrogen), too much of which has been linked to breast cancer.
Moving on, now that my shower is done, I'm thirsty. I grab a glass and fill it with water, enjoying the refreshing feeling of hydrating my fasting body. I'm on the local water system, which means my water contains fluoride. Fluoride is classified as a drug by our very own FDA. In the US, we began adding fluoride to water over 60 years ago to prevent tooth decay. Fantastic. Now the poorest of children with no access to fluoridated toothpaste or dental care can be protected from tooth decay. Except that my child uses a fluoride toothpaste, his dentist recommends a fluoride mouth rinse (only because the manufacturer rep gave him free samples to hand out) AND he gets an uncontrolled, undetermined amount of fluoride, a drug remember, in his drinking water, which varies depending on how much he drinks. Awesomesauce. And thinking back to when I didn't know any better? His little infant self was getting the highest relative doses of his life when we switched from breast milk to formula. How many bottles a day? At least as much water as my full grown adult body was consuming, he was consuming at all of his 20 pounds of body weight. Studies you rarely hear about have shown that fluoride accumulates in the brain and may have neurotoxic effects on the central nervous system. Think I'm blowing things out of proportion? This is a CURRENT issue. More than 200 communities nationwide have stopped adding fluoride to their water supply in the last 10 years. Pinellas County, Florida is the latest, as in just a few weeks ago. Here's a brief USA Today article. In this country, "they" are still fighting over whether this is dangerous or not. I don't want to be "their" guinea pig, thank you very much. Too late, I guess, seeing as how I've been on city water for 44 years now. And I'm pissed I wasn't given a choice.
Let's move on to breakfast. A little artificial sweetener in my coffee. Come on, I'm not even going to bore you with science behind how awful that is. If you really don't know, Google is your friend. Search the history of Equal and Splenda. (Equal was pushed through FDA approval despite recommendations against it by their own scientists!) Chances are you DO know and you are believing "them" when they say a little bit won't hurt you. Do yourself a favor and read the research. I rarely even consume artificial sweetener in my gum and mints anymore. Let's move onto your milk with antibiotics, your produce that's been sprayed with pesticides and absorbed into the very thing you are eating, and your grains and soy that have been sprayed with Round Up. Yep, that toxic spray you use in your yard to kill those pesky weeds. You see, Monsanto is a "multinational agricultural biotechnology" corporate giant. They are best known for genetically engineered/modified crop seeds and and bovine (cow) growth hormone. And for strong-arming the seed industry as well as their "aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices". Since the 40's they have remained one of the top 10 US chemical companies. In 2001, the US EPA identified Monsanto as being potentially responsible for 56 contaminated sites in the US. That was over 10 years ago. But back to Round Up. They designed genetically modified seeds that produce plants (soy, corn, wheat, etc) that can withstand being sprayed with Round Up. Therefore, entire crops can be hosed down with poison, continue to grow, and be turned into.... YOUR FOOD! Here's the thing. The European Union has been operating under a moratorium on GM crops, but they've come under immense pressure to allow them... that pressure is coming from the United States!! That's us, people. The good news, if there is any, is that Monsanto just pulled out of the UK, a subtle acknowledgement that they were going to get nowhere with their GM crops there.
I could go on and on, but I won't. The searches on this stuff are so simple you can find it anywhere, and you can find reliable sources, not just the tree hugger websites - and I say that with love and respect, as I consider myself a tree hugger.
My point is - how much is too much? And I don't believe anyone can tell us that right now. I am choosing, however, not to be a test subject whenever I can. I'm just so sick of hearing that "a little bit won't hurt you". Especially when no one can tell me when I cross over from a "little bit" to "too damn much".
I choose organics, I choose chemical free options. My problem with this is the cost. I spend a fortune on food. Which isn't to say you can't eat organic simply for a reasonable amount, but you'd be limiting your menu severely to keep it affordable. I like food and I like beauty products. Never mind environmental things like carpet and furniture, which I simply cannot afford to go green on.
My second point is this - it makes me incredibly sad, angry and frustrated that to make those choices - the choice to free myself from potential poison, I must spend a
Okay, I think I'm done. I have no answers. Just frustration. Just a general feeling that the entire country is being brainwashed on many levels. I'm choosing to be informed. The more people are informed, the less happy the powers that be are going to be. And that's okay with me. That's the root of change.
(One more for you - remember the BP oil disaster in the gulf? Did you know that Taylor Oil has had a leak 11 miles off shore in the gulf for 7 years??? It's okay, it's just a "little bit". )