The following is a guest post from Sarah at Falk Family Fun!
I remember conducting a science experiment as a child on the effect of Coke on rusted nails. It was impressive to watch the Coke eat through the rust, proving to be far more effective than even chemicals specifically designed to remove rust. That was my first hint that something could be amiss in what we eat.
Fast forward 20 or so years. I wasn’t a big label reader. As long as it tasted good, or performed its job well, I didn’t care what was in it. My husband struggled chronically with allergies, and a friend suggested that those allergies might be linked to chemicals in his diet & environment.
I began doing more research and have been astounded at the amount of chemicals we come into contact with every day! After a year of gradually making changes, my husband’s allergies have reduced dramatically and our family is healthier.
Hidden Toxins – Just Hype?
For years, I was convinced that the “Organic” label was just a marketing ploy. Why spend extra money for “organic” produce, when I could get the regular kind for cheaper? It was quite a shock to discover that my favorite strawberries could harbor up to 8 different pesticides, one of which is a known carcinogen.
Cumulative Effects on Our Bodies
Medical science is beginning to shift the way they look at causal factors for cancer and other diseases. Scientists are studying our “Body Burden”, conducting metabolic assay tests that measure the amount of over 214 different chemicals that may be found in our bodies, and compiling medical databases that link each of these chemicals with different sets of illnesses.
Daniel Goleman explains that “One medical model for these chemical invasions holds that ill effects can emerge slowly, over decades, from cumulative chemical exposures at doses so low they are measured in parts per million. For instance, an emerging consensus in oncology holds that a person’s lifetime exposure to many tiny amounts of cancer-causing agents can be just as toxic as a few big doses of carcinogens.”
Exaggerated Effects on Our Kids
Effects of the chemicals can be multiplied in our kids because they are growing so quickly.
Dr. Martha Hubert, a pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School, explains her view in Goldman’s book, “One of the greatest human dangers from this slew of molecules comes when a child’s fast-growing organs, budding central nervous system and hummingbird-like rapid metabolism gets exposed to – and voraciously incorporates — small amounts of foreign molecules, doing biological damage that may not surface for years.”
An Impossible Mountain
Eliminating chemicals may feel like an impossible mountain to climb, but most of the changes we made weren’t hard, nor were they very expensive. They boiled down to simply making a few different choices at the store. Together, they have made a drastic difference on our ‘toxin load’.
This week, I want to encourage you to read a few of the labels of common foods & products in your house. We’ll talk in my next posts about some truly healthy alternatives for your diet, personal care products, and cleaning supplies.
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