Ignorance is not bliss. For years I teetered on the edge of an organic lifestyle but never made the leap. As a sometimes vegetarian (and sometimes not), I knew the importance of social and environmental responsibility, but couldn’t seem to get serious enough to buy organic local goods consistently.
My husband and I had always said we would take care of ourselves now to ensure that as we aged we wouldn’t face the medical maladies we see others dealing with regularly. Work seemed to inundate our lives and when we weren’t working we just wanted to relax with friends. This generally meant eating and drinking. Suddenly we were both out of shape and much softer than we wanted to be. We noticed stomach issues, frequent illness, and bloating that kept us both feeling like we were carrying a sack of potatoes in our gut. Weren’t we saying that we wanted to be fit and healthy throughout our lives? What happened to having a ‘clean’ lifestyle?
As I started to sketch out the plan for Boyd’s Farm I began by researching the cosmetic industry. When I learned that cosmetics and bath products were not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the way I thought they were, I was shocked to say the least. I always just assumed someone a few steps above my pay grade was acting as a watchdog. Wrong.
While there are some standards for cosmetics across the international community, in my opinion they are insufficient to protect our health and wellbeing. Toxic chemicals continue to be added to bath and beauty products. The ingredients listed on the labels might as well be another language for those of us who are not biochemists.
For soap specifically, the FDA website states, “It is your responsibility to make sure your product is safe for consumers when it is used as intended, and to make sure it is properly labeled.” I, myself, am unaware of the last great story of the self-regulating mega-corporation so I don't trust that this is happening.
The burden of self-regulation is a slippery slope for large companies using new chemicals to make that lipstick stay on all day. So they’ve tested the chemical and deemed it to be safe for consumers. We all know that science is continually evolving and new breakthroughs are happening daily. A company may claim that a chemical is safe now, only to find out a decade later that it is, in fact, a carcinogen. They move on, while citizens are stuck dealing with medical bills and class-action lawsuits.
As I researched the effects of bath and beauty products on overall health, I also studied what effects foods have on skin and wellbeing.
While studying ways to take better care of our skin through diet, it became clear that our food was not exactly what we thought it was. Conventional farming uses methods and chemicals that are not good for human systems; we know this. What we did not realize, though, is that through the selection of certain varietals of plants, combined with harvesting at the earliest opportunity, agribusiness has altered even our fruits and vegetables to be less nutritious. What?! I thought they couldn’t touch my fruits and veggies, those are sacrosanct! Apparently, they aren’t.
As I said earlier, ignorance is not bliss. All that time we spent not knowing about the harmful chemicals in our products or the lack of nutrients in our foods has taken a toll on our bodies. Thankfully there is a solution; all hope is not lost.
It has taken decades but the movement for local, organic farming has taken up root and blossomed throughout the United States and many other nations. New techniques for growing nutritious produce and raising healthy livestock are being discovered all the time. In many places, and increasingly even in large cities, you can actually know your farmer again. Farm to table restaurants are becoming wildly popular, promoting a new way to think about your food. Hallelujah!
Based upon everything we’ve learned and our fantastic accessibility to local and organic foods, as well as the organic materials to make bath and beauty products, it is officially time to make the transition to a clean lifestyle. I’ll be detailing how we are doing it in other posts but so far we are loving it. We feel better just within a short period of time and I can’t stop talking about it. Once you know what harm can come to your friends and family, how could you not warn them? There is plenty of research on this so anyone who thinks this is exaggeration can look for themselves, the evidence is available.
Let’s keep each other and our community encouraged to take on challenges that are good for us! Have you made a leap like this before? If so, how did it go?
Source of quotation: http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productsingredients/products/ucm115449.htm