I just finished my Nutrition and the Environment module for school, and it was definitely one of my favorite classes (so far) in this program. The instructor, Sarah Dobec , is a graduate of the school herself, and a practicing Holistic Nutritionist who also co-owns and runs a program called Field Trip which takes people from the city out to farms to connect with the people and places their food comes from. We are going to Wheelbarrow Farms in July with her and I can hardly wait!
Our final paper was more of a personal challenge. We were tasked with taking an inventory of all the cleaning products, processed foods or personal toiletries in our household, obtain complete ingredient lists for all of them (not as easy as it sounds....try it!) and then pick 3 to do an in-depth analysis of the chemicals in each of them and their correlating short term and long term side effects on human health. I included animal health too since we have two cats.
I chose to look at our cleaning products, since we already eat very little processed and packaged food, and my personal toiletries were audited and reviewed several months ago , and changes to more natural products made. I knew there were some not-so-great cleaning products lurking around the house, but what I actually found shocked me!
The three channels of absorption in our body are the Skin (through touch), the Lungs (through breathing) and the Digestive Tract (through consumption). The chemical cleaners we use leave residues on surfaces we touch and eat off of. They pollute the air we breathe and they leave residue in our external environments through our waste disposal systems. Every channel of absorption is vulnerable to these toxins, and then our bodies have to work overtime to eliminate them.
Even though we have a whopping SEVEN channels of elimination in our bodies (Liver, Lungs, Lymphatic System, Kidneys, Colon, Skin and Blood), that doesn't mean they all work in tandem to push out toxins. Certain channels can get taxed, overworked or just stop functioning when faced with a toxic overload of chemicals.
It makes sense to question the products we use in our homes everyday to keep them "clean", doesn't it?
I won't go into the entire list of products, or the ones I chose to focus on, instead I'm going to give you guidelines to do your own in-house audit and some recommendations for safer alternatives.....