As the years have gone by, we have learned more and more about the chemicals we have all been ingesting and putting on our bodies. When I was much younger, I didn't give it much thought. But as time has passed, we have learned so much more that some days, it is almost scary.
Where do I start? Frank did some research about sugar over 30 years ago. One of his common statements is that if sugar was just now being discovered and processed, it would be classed as a drug, no different than cocaine. It is just as addictive and has tremendous affects on our bodies. Then along comes corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, maltodextrin, and on and on and on. This does not include some artificial sweeteners that are purely chemical. There are some instances that artificial sweeteners benefit people, such as those with diabetes and other health issues, and we do not discount that benefit. Even if we only discussed sweeteners alone, and the effects they have on our bodies, it could fill volumes.
Now take the lowly can of green beans. Good for you, right? The problem is that the can they come in is now coated with a product to enhance storage and safety. The only problem with that is that it mimics estrogen. How many young boys have grown up consuming estrogen type products all of their lives? How has that affected them? I don't think for the better.
According to an article on CNN, "The chemical BPA [Bisphenol-A], suspected of causing damage to human health, is used
in the interior lining of the vast majority of canned soups and
vegetables." So, what is bisphenol-A? According to Wikipedia, "BPA exhibits hormone-like properties at high dosage levels that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers...." With that in mind Wikipedia goes on to say, "The CDC had found bisphenol A in the urine of 95% of adults sampled in 1988–1994 and
in 93% of children and adults tested in 2003–04." This long-term chemical ingestion has been linked as one of the contributing factors in the feminization of men over the last 20 or so years. It has also been linked to many, many health issues. If you research just this topic alone, the wealth of information is staggering. Once we learned this information, we had even more motivation to grow and can our own food. The freedom to grow, preserve and eat your own food is one way to control at least some of the chemicals that you ingest. But, I'm not sure for how long, because even that basic right is being eroded right before our very eyes. This site lists just a few states that have enacted laws governing The People's right to grow their own food. It appears that large corporations focus more on profit than the benefit of the individual person's health and safety.
Bottled water. This may be a touchy subject. I know there are people that think bottled water is cleaner and safer than regular tap water. The thing about it is, most bottled water is just that. Tap water. One of the differences is that after bottled water has sat in a warehouse then in the back of a semi, then in another warehouse, it has been exposed to many different temperature changes. High temperatures allow the toxins in the plastic of the bottle to leach into the water causing the water to be much more toxic than it was before it was put into the bottle.
Because of this, we do not drink bottled water. We currently have rural water service to our house, which we cook and clean with. Our drinking water is always filtered. This removes the chlorine and some of the other chemicals including, we hope, the flouride. We have used a Katadyn Gravidyn filter system for over 20 years everywhere we have lived, including bush Alaska. They work great for our purposes.
Then there is the fact that most food produced here and around the world are only possible on the current scale because of the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, all made from chemicals that have been proven over and over again to be harmful to human and animal health. The minimum parts per gazillion allowable contamination from these chemicals has been raised time and time again, until it really means nothing. Here is another example of how they discovered that what they are doing is actually more harmful than they initially thought. Why am I not surprised about that? Yet another
reason to grow and preserve as much food as we can, and without the use of anything GMO. I could talk about GMO seeds and foods for a long time. Suffice it to say that I think it is another of the top detrimental things people consume. Even though each year we battle insect pests in our garden, we refuse to use any kind of chemicals. We will continue picking bugs and trying different planting arrangements to allow for successful harvesting of enough food for ourselves and the pests. And fertilizer? Our goats and chickens provide us with plenty even though, at this time, we are still feeding them commercial feed which we know has chemicals in it. This is the best we can do for now.
Aluminum is another ingredient that has been researched for many years. It is found in everything from pots and pans, to food, to deodorant. Frank
started having problems with deodorant years ago. It would leave a red rash that he could only treat with lotion. It was like the deodorant was drying out his skin. He tried a number of different ways to deal with it, until he just finally quit wearing it altogether. Sounds stinky, huh? Well, you know what? It isn't for the most part. So, now I have followed suit. We do use some powder to help absorb the sweat and help with odor, but we have eliminated another means of absorbing aluminum into our bodies. This link has some very good information about aluminum absorption.
Another source of aluminum is in some of our foods. I like pickles. I tried making them for a couple of years and found that they weren't crunchy like store bought. I like crunchy pickles. So I talked to some folks who told me to put Alum in them. I asked, "What is Alum?" I thought it was some herb I hadn't heard of. Well, some research told me that it is a form of aluminum, "Usually when you hear about alum it is in reference to potassium alum, which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate and has the chemical formula KAl(SO4)2·12H2O." Hmm....I don't want to
add yet another chemical to my pickles to make them crunchy. So, I opted for grape leaves instead. I was able to pick them off of my very old grape vine. Were the pickles as crunchy as I would have liked? No. But I was glad to find a more natural alternative. But my research on Alum also turned up some other information that I didn't know. Alum has many different forms and is used in cookware, water purification, baking powder, spices, deodorant, pop cans, aluminum foil (of course) and many other items. There are so many ways to ingest it that it can be mind boggling.
And, speaking of water purification, that brings me to flouride. Frank's dad worked at a major water treatment plant back in the 60's as a chemist.
One of the things he taught Frank is that flouride is a poison. Period. If you want to use flouride to prevent tooth decay, use a toothpaste with flouride in it twice a year. That's all you need, according to him. Otherwise you are ingesting a poison on a daily basis. We used to be able to find a toothpaste without floride, but now days you can't. So we have followed some others footsteps and now use baking soda, plain old baking soda. I know some folks add peppermint oil or other things for flavor, but we just use straight baking soda and it works fine. The funny thing is, I thought my mouth might not feel as clean. But after using the baking soda for about a week, I realized that my mouth actually felt cleaner than I ever remembered. It was then that I realized that the toothpaste was leaving a coating all over the inside of my mouth. Interesting.
And what about the combination and mixture of all of the chemicals and drugs we are exposed to day in and day out? This little piece doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. The purpose of this information is to give you something to think about. Have we eliminated all chemicals from our lives? Not even remotely close. Do we enjoy a cup of coffee that was grown under unknown conditions? Yes. Do we like a bag of chips every now and then? Yes. Do we still feed our animals commercial feed? Yes. These are just some of the things we have been able to learn about, and take action on, that we feel has improved the quality of our lives. Like I've said before, there is not enough time to learn and do all of the things we would like to do. But we are doing what we can as time allows. Thoughts to ponder.
Until next time - Fern