Saturday, January 24, 2009

a post about health.

*disclaimer* this is long but hopefully not too preachy.

health is something i've always been interested in, but you could say i was lazy about it. i'm skinny/healthy enough so why work at something that isn't a dire need. well. now that i have a lil one growing inside me it's a dire need. and let me tell you the things i'm learning have the full potential to freak me out, and have on more than one occasion. i've had to limit reading about it to under an hour a day.

i'm talking about chemicals. they are pretty hard to avoid & it's expensive once you've made the jump. bryan is still spasming over my decision to eat more organic, change our shampoo's, toothpaste, cleaning products, EVERYTHING.

but, with the recent discovery of a very close relative of mine being diagnosed with cancer... it's even more inspiration that not only do i do this for the baby, but we do this for us too. i'm reading a fantastic book that my friend sarah-anne lent me: raising baby green, by dr. alan greene.

i'm going to list a few things that have really affected me, in hopes they affect you too:

1st. he talks about a an umbilical cord blood study conducted by the environmental working group that he participated in, in 2004.

"(they) examined the umbilical cord blood of ten babies born in august and september in u.s. hospitals & found 287 different industrial chemicals circulating through the body of newborns. on average each baby carried around 200 (including fire retardants and pesticides.) Of the 287 chemicals, they know 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system & 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animals."

"we are the environment; there is no separation."

no wonder cancer among children & adults is on the rise. how freaky is that!!!!!! everything we do from rubbing lotion to eating fruits & vegetables is ingesting chemicals.

so, instead of being overwhelmed and angry at our fda and epa and usda and whoever else is supposed to be watching out for people because it's THEIR JOB... we are switching the foods that we eat that tend to have the highest levels of pesticides. damned economy-n-all.

these all scored a 40 or higher on the "report card" found at

fish & meat, *APPLES*, peaches, sweet bell peppers, celery, strawberries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, raspberries & oranges. (i'm also using organic milk & yogurt, bryan is not)

(apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits tested by the usda. they are a major source of exposure to organophosphate pesticide, a chemical linked to decreased intelligence and increased attention problem in kids & hormone problems in kids)

foods that we're choosing to buy cheaper because they contain less:

tomatoes, watermelon, blueberries, broccoli, bananas, kiwi, mango, pineapples & onions.

the exciting thing about all of this scary stuff is that if enough of us switch it will force the stores to carry more organic products & more affordably. as of now only 3 to 10% of food sold is organic. so go ahead and support your local farmer's market & tell your giant, super, grocery store to stick it where the sun don't shine!

another exciting lil tidbit : a study published in the national institutes of health collected urine samples daily, morning & night from typical suburban children. pesticide breakdown products appeared routinely in the samples. then the researchers made a simple change: the kids began eating organic versions of whatever they were eating before. they didn't have to learn any new foods, if they ate an apple, now it was an organic apple. within 24 hours the concentration of pesticide breakdown products in the urine plummeted! and after 5 days they had clean urine samples morning & night.

we have also swapped several other things:
-our bedding (to an organic line from target) love em!
-we are slowly purchasing glass containers to use instead of tupperware
(most of these products we've switched to the brand 365 sold at whole foods)
-non-bleached, recycled toilet paper
-soap that is not anti-bacterial
-laundry & dish detergents
-deodarant (tom's lavender scent. yum.)
-toothpaste (tom's)

i'm almost done. i promise.

another thing we're doing in an effort to be earth friendly is we're asking friends & family that feel inclined to give us gifts -to buy recycled & sustainable (like cloth or wood toys instead of plastic, or organic clothing).

we're borrowing: a crib, bouncy chair, nursing chair & most of our clothes will be hammy downs from the triplets :) & our older baby friends.

we'll be using cloth diapers (only 4% of u.s. families use cloth diapers) & g diapers for when we're on the go. (those are amazing, by the way)

We WILL NOT be using a diaper geenie! they are the devil. wrapping a plastic diaper in more plastic. argh. guaranteed to never, ever decompose & sit in our landfills FOREVER. in this book i read that the plastic diapers that are recycled (very few of them) are used to make plastic fences.

i love this book. it makes the scary things less scary by giving good advice to overcome.

i hope, if you're still here & reading, you'll make a few moves today to be less chemically involved. it's not only for us, but our environment too.

i hope you have a great weekend! we're busy doing things around the house; cleaning out the car & closets & i'm cleaning up the garden, getting it ready for new plants. i love doing that.


  1. Hey Megan,

    I loved reading this post. I have at various times in my life attempted to live "chemical free" both before and after children. I definitely think you are on to something. For the months here and there that I did, I felt wonderful!!! I did the whole clearing out everything, starting over organic. And I admit each time I've tried this I've gotten so overwhelmed, so frustrated, and honestly it's so expensive! We couldn't afford to feed a family by shopping at a whole foods grocery store! But I say, if you can do this--go for it! Maybe I just didn't know how to start slow? Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  2. I am totally freaked out now. Thanks. :)

  3. Hi there,
    I know how overwhelming this new info can be for someone getting started. An excellent resource that you should check out is Also do some research on vaccines if you have not already.
    Good luck.

  4. Step by step, one item at a time... it IS possible to make changes! As each change becomes "normal", then I start to look for other areas I can improve. Congrats on all you've done, and the ways you are educating others!

    Yay for all of our baby steps! (And indeed, your wee one will be here, and then walking, quite soooooon... yippee!!!)

  5. Tami and I have tried to do this with the triplets but found it too overwhelming to be as extensive as Meg but nonetheless we do what we can when we can and help out others like Meg with our hand me downs. The one suggestion I do have that was played over and over in my head- buy your own car seat - not borrowed not used and never ever wash the cloth in the washing machine (it removes the fire protection).

    We have no doubt you will be wonderful parents and wish you all the best!