Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Food For Thought

Yesterday my Father in Law sent me this article, which you may have also heard all over the news, about babies being harmed by the chemicals in baby soaps and shampoos:http://health.msn.com/kids-health/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100190606&GT1=10914. This came on the same day that Jeremy told me about the dangers of drinking hot liquids out of plastic containers and that Canada is considering outlawing plastic baby bottles, to replace them with the old fashioned glass ones.

I guess this all serves as evidence of the theory I've been cooking up for some time now, that the dangers posed by the mass produced conveinence items purchased by our generation of mothers may ultimately lead us to renew the more natural parenting lifestyles of our grandmothers. Meaning maybe they had it right all along? I guess there's no way to guage which is better (and our grandmothers might certainly say that we have it better, shearly for conveinence products like disposable diapers if nothing else)....but I'm tempted to ask the question, what would Mamaw have done?

I try and use that perspective when shopping for both food and cleaning products nowadays. You may know that Jeremy and I consider ourselves wannabe green hippies, meaning we are trying very hard to make our home 'green' but we aren't perfect on all counts (like my overuse of hairspray for example). We adopted this attitude a couple of years ago and it's been a slow process. Mostly I have just always wondered about the overuse of household chemicals like bleach and what the long term affects are.

Regarding groceries, Michael Pollan has a new book out called "In Defense of Food" which basically utilizes the theory I used above.....if your grandmother would not have recognized at your age, don't eat it. I haven't read this book yet but like the idea of it. With the start of this year and joining the 'core' program in WW Jeremy and I have been trying to adopt that attitude and abandon our former dependence on processed foods.

On both counts, eating and cleaning/toiletry supplies, purchasing earth friendly and chemically 'safe' items is not easy. It involves scoping out the more abandoned aisles of the grocery store and sometimes simply being creative, but maybe this newly released article about baby shampoos proves it's worth it after all??

You could say that these kind of articles are just people being paranoid, which it very well may be. But I guess I'd rather play on the safe side. Chemicals just seem a little scary to me (except for hairspray....show me a good 'green' alternative that will keep my hair looking good and I'll try it! :)

Like I said before I'm not a perfect environmentalist or anything but here are some of my fave products: kiss my face brand soaps, 365 shampoos and soaps (purchased at whole foods and cheap!), Body Shop lotions (mostly organic and fair trade), Trader Joe's dishwasher detergent OR a mix of Borax and Baking Soda, Ecos, Method or Meijer brand natural laundry detergents, Alan's Naturals laundry detergent (strong enough for cloth dipes!), Apple cider vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener, Borax and Simple Green for kitchen and bathroom cleaning (simple green is also great for mopping!), Earth's Friend furniture polish (olive oil and orange oil, amazing shine!)

And I cannot say enough awesome things about the cost saving and shining ability of my favorite household cleaner....white vinegar! If you doubt me, mix a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water and do your windows. It's amazing and SO cheap!

Don't get me wrong here...not saying there is anything wrong with folks choosing traditional cleaners. I'm just offering a perspective on some alternatives. Food for thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought of you this week while at a conference! I wnt to Books-a-million (doing my teacherly duty), and they have a book from the makers of What to Expect....called something like How to Raise a "Green" baby! You might want to check it out!