Food: Looking Beyond The Package
1. conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
2. an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality
For some of us who subscribe to Clean Living and Clean Eating, it can at times feel alienating. Once you begin down the path of exploring and eliminating potential toxins and chemicals in your life, you are no longer in the “norm”. Everyday items that the majority does not think about are now looked at in a new light.
I’d like to think I have enough self-awareness to not push my beliefs on others.
My passion for wanting to be informed and informing others can be misconstrued as judgment or superiority. It can feel like a slippery slope.
Say I read a study about the toxicity of BPA; I want my family and friends to at least KNOW about it. It isn’t about catching someone with their hand in the cookie jar, and scolding them; it is about being informed.
“Hey, did you know that…”
Knowledge can often times result in having to take action. Taking action may require change and change is hard.
I have come to recognize that maybe it isn’t people’s unwillingness to accept new ideas, as it is in their hesitance to want to change or make any changes, and thus such resistance becomes cyclical, making it harder to separate facts from fear of change.
According to NIH: NIEHS
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A.
Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
The NIEHS supports studies to determine whether exposure to endocrine disruptors may result in human health effects including lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis and some cancers. Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming.
Breast Cancer Fund cites:
THE GIST: It’s one of the most common chemicals we’re exposed to each day, and it’s in everything from food and drink containers to dental fillings. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the hormone system, particularly when exposures occur while babies are still in the womb or in early life. Even miniscule exposures increase risks for breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty, metabolic disorders and type-2 diabetes. Some BPA alternatives, such as BPS, have come on the market, but have yet to be proven safe. The FDA has banned BPA from baby bottles and infant formula packaging.
People may acknowledge BPA is not safe, but most justify that by saying “moderation” is key and thus excusing them from having them to eliminate it from their lives. Of course, it is anyone’s choice to ignore the call to action against BPA.
From the mouth of a six year old: if chemicals are bad, why are they in the food and why do people buy them?”
My explanation was, many people don’t know that chemicals are in the food; but since I know that, I choose for us not to eat them.
It seems so simple, but we make it complicated.
Although it feels like I am telling a little white lie in my answer, as many people actually have heard these chemicals may be harmful… so, I go onto to say that we can’t tell others what to buy we can only make choices for ourselves.
Understanding underlying reasons makes things feel less personal. Shooting the messenger is a defense mechanism to avoid the truth.
dog·ma noun \ˈdȯg-mə, ˈdäg-\
a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted
When it comes to nutrition and some aspects of medicine, Dogmga certainty comes to my mind.
Questioning the system is not always about being argumentative. Debating what exact shade of blue the sky is is nitpicking, but does not wanting to blindly follow recommendations about health make someone a rebel?
Dr. Oz’s show is a mainstream platform for the masses to be informed about health related topics. Check out this clip where physicians discuss what items they do not recommend or incorporate in their own lives.
If you haven’t explored the Environmental Working Group website, it is a wealth of information. They also have an app! Whenever you are out shopping, you can scan the barcodes of products and get a rating on the amount of toxins it contains.