Monday, May 10, 2010

Serious reading

I happened upon this OpEd piece in the NYTimes on Saturday. The article was interesting, and the comments surprised me. (200 of them!) The more I look into what's in our food, I find folks everywhere who are concerned about the same thing.

It turns out that we have a President's Cancer Panel, created in 1971, which has determined that we need to focus not only on curing cancer, but on trying to reduce the things that contribute to the incidences of cancer. Sounds reasonable. The surprising part is that they have mentioned the possible link between cancer and the chemicals used in food, toys, home products, and more. It also concurrs that
contaminents have been found in the cordblood of newborn babies.

We've been hearing about this for years from everyday folks, some celebrities, an independent filmmaker, and others who do not have those little letters after their names ;) This time we hear it from a source that advises the president. That, alone, should finally give credence to the independent reports that for the past 50 years or so, chemicals have been introduced into our foods, homes, and lives which are not safe. (Artificial colors, artificial flavors, and all that "stuff" in your 12-hour extended stay lipstick!)

Really, look at everyone's food carts on your next grocery trip. Watch the way people shop. I see people grabbing boxes off the shelf without reading the ingredients. If it's quick to prepare, or needs no preparation, it goes in the basket. I'm far from perfect, but I also don't have little ones in my house to be fed. And I realize that most folks ignore the warnings about this because the news has not come from authoritative sources. I'm concerned about all those chemical additives we've allowed the agricultural and processed food businesses to feed us. Those chemicals can potentially do a lot of damage over a life span. As parents, we want to be good providers. But just what are we setting out on the kitchen table?

Lately I’ve been just playing with making food from scratch because it’s been interesting and fun. Now it’s become more urgent. I’ve taken a second look at the “dirty dozen” and the "clean fifteen". I will once again be buying organic milk, even though the cost in my area is exorbitant. (More than twice the price of the store brand!) I may have to make some additional cuts in my budget in order to shop healthier (give up my internet subscription? shudder!!)

Yes, we’ve been living in the land of plenty for a long time, now. Before we can finish remodeling our homes, companies offer the next best thing to fill them with, keeping our appetites whetted and our wallets open. And our landfills…..filling. Filling not only with squandered resources, but with the chemicals used in production.

I’ll be checking the news this week to see if this report gets attention by the general media, or if it ends up as a one sentence blurb on a back page.


Maria said...

Great post......I just read about the dirty dozen. I didn't realize celery, carrots and potatoes were on the list - those are my staples (I'm a vegetarian/locavore). Now I need to find Organic Lactose Free milk....I can't even imagine what that will cost?????

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Yep, I go through a lot of carrots too, so I'll have to cut back and switch to organic. Thank goodness the farmers markets are starting again!

Wendy said...

What's funny is that once you really start to get those toxins out of your body, anytime you lapse and have something with additives or chemicals that you used to be desensitized to, your body will tell you. When we localized our diet, it required that we give up most processed foods, and for the most part, I can't even eat them anymore, because they do things to my body that are unpleasant ;). It can be a drag, but it's also a great reminder of how far we've come in improving our diet.

jen said...

A few years ago I noticed a group of 11 year olds about 20 out of 30 of them that suddenly almost overnight went from flat chested to C cups some D! It was awful girls at that age don't know what to do with that kind of attention and sad to say it had a negative effect on most of them I switched to organic milk that was 5 years ago my daughter just turned 13 and has a normal 13 year old chest. My parent were complete organic gardeners in my early years, even though they were not that strict about it growing up they instilled a sense of why you garden organic my great grandparents were Italian immigrants and always garden organically cause that is how you are supposed to grow your food! Thanks for the article :)

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Wendy,
I'm doing a lot of reading this week, and watched The Future of Food. There's so much that we (consumers) don't realize about those toxins. The reaction you get to re-introducing the additives makes sense.

Hi Jen,
I've seen a few articles about earlier-developing young girls (and over-developing). What this stuff is doing to our bodies and our youth is scary.

Thankfully, you noticed and took steps to help your daughter's health! I only hope that more families realize this!