Wednesday, October 21, 2015

CHEMICALS a neccesary evil or should we ban them all?

So was reading a heated debate in a forum today around this meme .... the conspiracy theory of many that the meme is a attempt from the evil Monsanto corporation to trick us into thinking all their chemicals and genetically modified foods are good for us! Now do not get me wrong I am no fan of Monsanto and many of their practices but I do not believe this meme was planted to confuse consumers but rather to empower them!

IMO the point of this meme is that ...

1) EVERYTHING is a chemical and therefore labels on your stuff that read pick us we are 'chemical free' and so forth are VERY misleading ... reality is that everything even the air or oxygen we breath and water we drink are listed on the periodic table as a chemical by its chemical name Dihydrogen Monoxide as well as its abbreviation of H20 for example and BOTH can be totally toxic and deadly to human beings!

This website for example continues to play a huge social experiment on those in the Internet community who tend to believe that if its on the internet its 'true' and if the Internet says it is dangerous it must be \dangerous' literally in-sighting people to create petitions to the government and companies to BAN Diyhdrogen Monoxide ... all because they blindly trusted what they read, they cannot pronounce the word so it must be evil and it sounds convincing with links and science and it IS TRUE .... the fact is that WATER can be DEADLY to humans but fact is you will totally DIE without it. Nature is about BALANCE! I enjoyed this read from the Logic of Science website about the 5 Simple Things about Chemicals you need to know.

This is another example of meme making the rounds on social media this week with everyone sharing and saying Subway needs to take action and remove this chemical .... people are totally missing the point that they are asking Subway to remove WATER from their subs! It is making a joke on the previous social media campaign for them to remove the azodicarbonamide from their bread ~ which they did to appease public outcry but the fact is it is FLOUR in general out there so anything you eat with flour you are eating this 'chemical' that YES is also in yoga mats .... it is an FDA approved chemical in food in SMALL DOSES so if you are not 'making your own flour' you are likely ingesting this daily anyway even if you are boycotting Subway. 

 Another example of a 'April fools joke gone bad' when a radio host announced that this 'dihydrogen monoxide' was coming out of the local drinking taps and it had the community in an uproar and made it all the way to SNOPES in an attempt to stop the rumor from continuing but yet still here it is circulating the Internet! 

2) Speaks to the fact that we need to understand 'chemicals' and the role they play in our lives as well as that being reminded that even 'good chemicals' can become BAD if not used in moderation, properly and so forth!

The great 'paraben' debate is a prefect example .... parabens can occur both NATURALLY in food such as  blueberries, mango, barley, strawberries, black currants, peaches, carrots, onions, cocoa beans, vanilla, to name but a few well-known foodstuffs ... and yet blueberries are toted as many to be the 'miracle antioxidant' at must have to live a long healthy life the same time! 

According to the FDA Parabans them self, either naturally occurring or synthetically mimicked, are not 'evil' and they serve a benefit in nature but the challenge is that like water if you are allowing too many into your lifestyle than you will have challenges with your health and well being as some research has shown ... however we do not BAN water from our life we find the BALANCE ;) 

While we are talking about understanding 'chemicals' the same argument holds true with the marketing label 'all natural' which people will pay MORE to have but is also one of my biggest pet peeves that people do not understand are you truly GETTING what you are paying for?  

Everyone assumes 'all natural' means SAFER but the fact is that as a easy example cyanide can be extracted from the pits of peaches and reality is it is ALL NATURAL but I would not want it in my skincare or smoothie or anything that is going to be absorbed through my skin .... yet lots of skincare companies LABELLED ALL NATURAL will use 'peach pits' in their exfoliation products or you find then all the time in processed peaches, baby food purees and juices where they do not bother to remove the pit before tossing them in the big ole processing plant ... so what is the long term damage to the human body ingesting those small amounts of cyanide cause we know in large quantities its DEADLY? 

For me the biggest lesson in this was the whole GLUTEN FREE labeling ... the FDA allows for a certain amount of gluten to be present in something and still be labelled gluten free because for the 'average Celiac' does not show any adverse health effects with that amount of gluten. However after 10 years on a traditional 'gluten free diet' I was still SICK and exhibiting all the signs of Celiac not as 'severe' as when I was eating a full gluten diet but not 100% better. The removal of ALL GRAINS from my diet and limiting processed foods and dining out I have seen a huge change in my health in the past 12 weeks so for ME the 'approved amount' was having a cumulative affect in my body making me sick. So we need to pay attention to our bodies and what is going in them to find a way to BALANCE our own health needs through watching our eating and living habits.  

3) Is empowering us to remember that the reason we often cannot pronounce ingredients on labels is that the labeling laws typically require the 'Latin name' for things first and foremost verses the common known because the common name may change depending on where you live, the language you speak and we send our wares all over the world now  ~ not many of us learn Latin these days to be able to easily 'pronounce' a name? 

So unlike the Internet Urban legend that all long complicated word  are EVIL the fact is many of those long complicated words are things we NEED, there is no conspiracy theory to trick us into being poisoned.  Some manufacturers, who have the space on their label, will also add the 'common name' beside it in brackets but if the space on a label is limited they just do the required Latin cause they have no choice ~ its the law. If you are unsure about a chemical's 'properties' LOOK IT UP the information is at our finger tips!

IMO the challenge if you are wanting to eat and live as 'clean and natural' as possible is ensuring you are sourcing foods, cleaning supplies, skincare and anything else that are not full of TOXIC chemicals be they 'all natural' or 'man made' chemicals .... find the MODERATION of chemials that are of benefit to you and limit and remove those that serve no purpose! 

For example I love cleaning with my ENJO cleaning cloths because it is just the specially cut fiber cloth and the cold water from the tap that gets you the deep pore clean result that leads to less bacteria and no residue left behind. They save me loads of money on additional 'cleaners' natural or otherwise cause they clean the whole house for me. HOWEVER my ENJO is only as healthy as the WATER I use with it ... so if I have toxic water source as my supply even though water is 'all natural'  than I am not going to be getting the SAFE BENEFICIAL HEALTH results that they quote in their research for their products despite the fact that everything I used is ALL NATURAL.

In my humble and long winded opinion THAT is the point I believe the above meme is trying to make ... because of FEAR and MISS-EDUCATION the fact is ALL chemicals are getting a BAD RAP because people no longer have a basic understanding of 'chemistry' and many will believe anything they read on the Internet as Gospel without researching for themselves and as a result and they lobby and push for the removal or banning of things that in reality were not the issue but were just 'misunderstood' by the public! 
So what do we DO to help ensure we are eating as clean and living as healthy as possible .... rememeber the rule about MODERATION!

The challenge with processed foods is not the chemicals we cannot pronounce but that often they are full of 'unnecessary chemicals' things that add calories, sodium and FAT to them to give them longer shelf life or better flavor so we are willing to pay so much for them ... because they are full of fillers and additives THAT is what makes them unhealthy choices for a 'stead diet' and the reality is THAT practice occurs in processed foods labelled 'organic' or otherwise.  Convenience foods are not meant to be a LIFESTYLE CHOICE they were meant to be just that convenience they are not BAD for us on their own WE make them BAD for us by making them a steady part of our diet so that the cumulative effect of their ingredients make us unwell!

Combined with the fact that manufacturers want to sell their products to us, they will use BUZZ WORDS to market their food in order to get you to buy it over their competitors ... they always have and always will. I see things all the time labelled 'fat free' or 'gluten free' that should not even HAVE those ingredients ADDED TO IT in the FIRST PLACE but people will buy it over the other brand cause the buzz word about fat and gluten being evil in the media caught their eye. 

So in conclusion this meme is not an attempt from Monsanto to get us to stop reading labels so they can slowly poison us ... fact is YES we definitely NEED to be reading the labels and counting the chemicals in our food but we need to be reading and counting for the RIGHT information not get caught up in the 'buzz words' specially when it means PAYING MORE for something but not getting anything different than the other company.  

Instead I suggest we focus on how MANY ingredients are in a product, do they NEED to be the product, what purpose do they serve? We want our food to fuel us and not be full of 'empty fillers' cause it allows them to make a product cheaper or increase their profit margins. What is the point of having a 'full belly' if you are still starving cause you've chose nutritionally void food choices?  

Educate ourselves and do not rely solely on the word of OTHERS cause there is far too much misinformation out on the internet as well. I have always found the Environmental Working Group website a useful resource to start when trying to learn about what is in my food, skincare, cleaning supplies and what to avoid.

I myself love to read, I am a hoarder of information and I have never taken anything anyone has told me at 'face value' until I have read and confirmed it for myself from a source I trust and even than in somethings I still remain questioning of it. Been that way for as long as I can remember ... I encourage others to do the same. Do not take MY word on things .... it is just my opinion and perspective ~ I share it to get myself and others thinking. Feel free to question and push me back ~ I love to hear alternative rationales ... so go forth and read, question, debate .... stretch the mind and nourish the soul! 

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

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