Feeling a Bit Bombarded With Information

This is part two of a two part blog from our newest Gen X Mom contributor, the Composer. If you missed part one, click here.

I applaud those who can live truly green and organic and 100% pure. It takes work and self-control in our society where there is convenience at every turn. I’m 36 years old and it’s not easy to break old habits. That’s not even the right word for it. I have grown accustomed to certain foods. I still want to LIVE. I don’t want to feel like I’m on restriction or being deprived. I remember a group of my friends in college turned vegetarian and then vegan the next year. I thought they were so restrictive. I wanted to enjoy life to the fullest and if that meant a midnight run to Krispy Kreme’s or a cheeseburger, fries and cherry Coke, so be it.

Now I have a book telling me about all the food I have grown accustomed to is bad for me. Yes, refined sugar is the white devil but I love cane sugar. At least it’s not something unnatural like aspartame or Splenda or Nutrisweet. Agave nectar and honey are definite alternatives for me besides the raw sugar cane. This book is also saying how bad chocolate is because it’s processed and yada yada yada. What self-respecting woman can live without brownies?! Sinfully delicious and we know it. We all know we’re being bad eating refined sugar products, but it feels so good.

Early education.

Sometimes, it’s just information overload. It’s like I’ve opened up Pandora’s box. I’ve been hearing and reading about household cleaning products and their dangers. It’s really old news, the bottles clearly state the dangers on their labels and gloves and good ventilation are always recommended if not more safety precautions.

I feel overwhelmed and taxed. It’s hard to separate truth from scare tactics. I guess because I led the better part of my life alone and wasn’t too concerned about myself. You know that feeling that you’re invincible, like what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Youth makes us feel like we will live forever. Now that I’m a mother, you don’t want to screw up your child. You want to give them the best chance possible in this life in all aspects. If your child came down with childhood cancer, wouldn’t you question yourself as a mother that it may have been your fault because of the environmental risk factors, chemicals in paint, carpet, food, water, clothing, shampoo, soap, the air we breathe. Yes, mamas the AIR. We would feel guilty if we exposed our children to harmful air if we knew it to have detrimental side effects. We become guilt- ridden machines when it comes to our babies. This is my current plight. What to do with all this information and how to make the right choices for our children. I don’t want to be a Nazi and not let them have any childhood delights. I can’t keep them in a bubble…because of the BPA in the plastics. Ok, ok, maybe I’ve been watching too much Tosh.0 and I’m becoming jaded.

Seriously folks, “organic” is the new gimmick and big business knows it. They know parents want the best for their children, so they find ways of swindling more money out of our pockets by branding it “organic”. It’s all marketing. For example, Earth’s Best. Just by the sound of that, you’d want to be feeding your child the earth’s best, wouldn’t you?

When I was a kid, my mom would shop at Follow Your Heart, a small local health food store at the time. We would buy organic veggies and I had my all-natural baby shampoo, loofah, sea sponge and pumice stone. I loved the bamboo rice paddles to cook with. I just got a newsflash this Friday when reading about Shaklee how I should be replacing my plastic cookware. I almost fainted. To think how often I have served and eaten soup from the same plastic ladle. Or how I used to microwave my food in Tupperware or covered in plastic wrap. I didn’t hop on the silicone bandwagon for kitchen utensils. That is one, I never trusted. Then to hear that’s what is in my shampoo, conditioner, lotions and face creams…when does it end?

What is a mama to do?

Well…this mama is going to do the best SHE can. I’m going to treat this like everything else in my life… in moderation. I will strive to strike a balance between both worlds. I will buy organic whenever feasibly possible but I won’t kill myself over it. One area I have already made a change is with haircare and I have noticed an immediate difference for the good. My hair looks and feels younger and my scalp doesn’t itch like a mad woman after I shower either.

From this point forward, I will read labels and research the contents if I’m unfamiliar with them. Learning to identify prefixes, suffixes and root words will be more time efficient in the grocery aisle with the kids in tow. I will not take for granted that foods or products are safe.

I wonder how long plastics are unsafe for when heated, like my old ladle which has been ladling hot soup for at least 10 years. Is it still emitting bad stuff or is it spent so to speak? More research to be done on this subject.

As for the sinful delights, I will be moderate to rare with my indulgences, and for the rest of the time do my best to be organic and responsibly green. I’m not perfect but I will do my part and impart my knowledge onto my children and hopefully they will have something to teach me too.

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Feeling a Bit Bombarded With Information

Puppet

I guess it all started with my baby’s rash. My first son Scooby has eczema which is pretty well controlled, so when my second son Puppet started to break out at 3 weeks old, I wasn’t worried. At first we chalked it up to my hormones. Then when his whole head and neck were covered, we figured it was heat rash, so I took more layers off of him. Then, it spread to his entire body like eczema. Now, we were getting concerned. The doctor said it looked like dermatitis probably from scents. I was already using ALL free and clear, so I switched to Cheer free and clear and made sure we had free and clear dryer sheets. Still this rash persisted, so we switched to different baby formulas and even did a trial of soy; that only constipated him and did not help the rash. Soy is highly allergenic so why on earth is it an alternative?  I continued to breastfeed and was conscientious of my diet, but still no relief.

I started to research. One day I happened upon the Soy Alert page on the Weston Price Foundation website, which opened my eyes to genetically modified (GMO) soy and its dangers. It is in almost everything that is processed. Soon after that, I read a Facebook (FB) post about worldwide studies that were squashed by their respective governments and the scientists denounced for their findings. The shocking results were that GMO-soy was killing baby rats within 3 weeks’ time. From Dr. Greene’s FB post, I read about how cotton is manufactured and how dangerous that was. Could this be the cause of my sons’ mysterious rash? 

I felt so guilty when I looked at the label of my son’s formula and saw all the different oils in it, not to mention it is not organic. I felt like I was killing my sons. Then after using the babies’ body wash, my skin flared up, and I realized the culprit. I’m truly at a loss upon reading the label on the baby body wash. I haven’t a clue what is causing the reaction in all of us. It’s supposedly 99.6% natural. We’re back to good ole Aveeno and that has done the trick. Rash abated.   

My research didn’t end there. I ended up sharing that link about the scientists’ findings on FB, and a well-respected friend of mine commented. Her husband has been a professor of agriculture for 40 years and she linked a WHO page of 20 FAQs about GMO foods. She reiterated that it is not possible to feed the entire globe without GMO foods. She also mentioned that the government has stricter laws nowadays regarding GMO foods than from back in the day, and we’re still here. Good point!

The Composer is one of our newest contributors. This is the first of a two part blog.