Paranoid or Prudent?

Esther - posted on 05/06/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I have a friend who is very vigilant about avoiding any and all substances that can cause cancer or other kinds of diseases. Obviously BPA is not to be found in her home. Anything she buys that turns out to contain phthalates is returned. Toothpaste with saccharine - gone. Every label is scrutinized, pretty much every warning taken to heart, particularly where it could affect her son. She does not feel she is controlled by fear, as a matter of fact, she finds it liberating. She feels she's well informed and thereby empowered to make the best choices for her family.

I'm the polar opposite of her. I hear warnings and unless people are dropping like flies, I kind of shrug and move on. Every day they report the next thing that is going to kill you. Since I'm pretty sure I'm going to die regardless, I just can't live my life worrying about that stuff. So I don't.

But then today I read the following column in today's NY Times by a columnist I have great respect for: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/opinio...

Money Quote:

The President’s Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream, so it is astonishing to learn that it is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: chemicals threaten our bodies.

The cancer panel is releasing a landmark 200-page report on Thursday, warning that our lackadaisical approach to regulation may have far-reaching consequences for our health.

I’ve read an advance copy of the report, and it’s an extraordinary document. It calls on America to rethink the way we confront cancer, including much more rigorous regulation of chemicals.


It has made me wonder if I'm being reckless. Where do you all come down on this?

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[deleted account]

Suzette, you bring up a good point. Some people just have bad genes. But you can increase your chances of being healthy by giving your body some help with good foods.

In college I took a pharmacology class for some reason (I was and education major so I don't know why I took it). Here are two things I learned in that class that could apply here.

1. This applies to mental health disorders but you can make it include cancer. I don't know if it works the same for mental health and cancer but my educated guess is that it does to an extent. Anyway, some people are genetically pre-disposed to mental illness. But the degree genetics plays in it varies. Some people have no hope and will have a mental illness. Some people do drugs and that triggers the mental illness. So the combination of drugs and genetics cause the mental illness. Some people will do drugs and come out perfectly fine. I'm *assuming* we can say the same for cancer. Some people (possibly like your families Suzette and Christin) have no hope. For some it's in their genes but they may be okay unless they are exposed to chemicals in their food and environment (like building with asbestos or smoking). For others they can eat all the crap they want and be okay. Make sense?

2. Earlier when talking about companies doing things for profit, this is what I was referring to. My professor in that class (who was probably on drugs because he wore dark glasses half the time in class and lost his train of thought mid-sentence) worked in the research and development department of a major pharmaceutical company. His job was to analyze how drugs affected test animals. The weight loss drug Meridia (remember this from the early 2000's?) was being tested on monkeys. One in ten of the monkeys died from complications with the medication. When my professor report this, he was threatened with a lawsuit to keep his mouth shut. You see, the accountants had calculated that the company would turn profit off this drug before people started dying or having complications from the drug. And their profit was likely to be higher than what they would pay out in court settlements. SCARY!! That is why my professor quit that job and took a pay cut to be a college professor.

*That also why I will NOT take any new drugs on the market!!! I have to feel like I'm dying before I'll even take Tylenol, which is safe as it has been around for a hundred years.*

So, call me paranoid, but once you know things like this you can't go back. And as I've mentioned before, shopping the good, non-processed, non sugar loaded foods really takes no extra time out of my life. And I do enjoy a good pre-packaged snack once in a blue moon. I think all things in moderation is okay.

Christa - posted on 05/06/2010

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I'm in the middle. I would like to get away from the chemicals but like some have said the budget doesn't always allow it and some things really can't be avoided.

I have a personal story about this. Two years ago my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was immediately told he needed surgery, his doctor actually laughed when he asked about natural alternatives. So he did A LOT of research on his own and came to the conclusion that he would drastically change his diet to cut out as much man made crap as he reasonably could and increase certain foods research showed to help. Within three months when he went in for his more detailed biopsy, they found not a singe cell of cancer. And this biopsy basically maps out your entire prostate. He has been cancer free since and sticking to his new diet. So ever since this he has been all about getting away from what most in modern medicine thing is right. I am a Christian, as many of you know, and I believe that God designed our bodies to run a certain way. So if we fuel them with God made foods, our bodies run like they are supposed to. If we fuel them with man made foods then things get "gummed" up and diseases start.

So ideally I would love to just live off the earth without all our added things, but I'm not ready to go live in a hut in some deserted area. :-)

Joanna - posted on 05/06/2010

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I am I guess some would say "reckless." I don't waste my time worrying, because that wouldn't be much of a life, would it? I do what I can, if I'm at the store trying to choose something and I see a BPA-free version of a similar price, I'll buy it. But I'm not going to scrutinize every little detail of my life to try and keep the bad things away, because does that really work? How many non-smokers do you hear of dying of lung cancer? Tons. People who take the best care of themselves die of cancer, people who get on the plane for the first time die in plane crashes, go skiing for the first time break an arm, etc etc. You can't shelter yourselves forever.

So we enjoy life and take everything as it comes. Some days our salads are made with organic lettuce, but most days they aren't. And I'm okay with that, because I'm busy enjoying the minutes I've saved from not worrying :)

[deleted account]

Christin your argument doesn't make that much sense. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're wrong for not eating organic, etc. But your argument has some flaws.

like ya im sure theres bad stuff in foods, but really if it was that bad they wouldnt sell it.


Food and other products are not sold on a basis of what is good for you. It's sold based on MONEY. PROFITS drive what manufacturers make and what stores put on their shelves. They could care less if it is harmful to the consumer. I could go into more detail about what someone who used to work for a pharmaceutical company once told me, but I'll save it.

its like they blame fast food for americas obesity, its not fast food, its your fault your obese if you have no self control.


This sentence totally screws up your entire argument. First you say if its not that bad then they wouldn't sell it. Then you admit that fast food can cause obesity. You are right that it is the person's responsibility to eat well (there again, what the consumer buys controls what the manufacturer will sell). But then you say that you just eat what you want because all the studies are bogus. So which is it? Food is bad and it's up to us to have self control OR eat what you want because the studies are false? Can't be both.

I didn't respond to this to be mean. I want you to debate back. =)

LaCi - posted on 05/07/2010

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We eat organic, as often as possible. I avoid all chemicals that I'm aware of (Unless the occasional kashi chewy bar has chemicals...) I've made sure Nico never gets his hands on the bad stuff we might eat once in a blue moon. All started when I began watching documentaries on the crap they put in out food. I don't think YOU are reckless for shrugging it off, I think because people weren't dropping like flies you felt it wasn't much of a threat. I think the companies that use chemicals that haven't been tested long term, and that are actually changing the chemical makeup of our dirt are irresponsible and I do think the government has to do something about it.

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Suzette - posted on 05/09/2010

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Sara, Thanks. =) I've known a lot of exceptions, I guess that's why I can't buy into the studies. I know there are stereotypes, rules, and studies for a reason... I just can't buy them all. lol. And thank you! =)

I think it's a pregnancy thing... the banana and chocolate sounding good together... LOL. Actually, it could just be memories from childhood. Frozen banana's covered in chocolate, I have to buy some banana's I have the mixture for the chocolate already! Mmhmm, Hubby's been bugging me to make them, lol.
I just bought some Watermelon, Cuties, and some Plums too... tomorrow is going to be lots of fruit. =) I'm making sure that the little one is getting a taste of everything since they say this is the time that they're tasting a lot of what the Mommy eats.

Hopefully I can make it to the Amish market before she's born! ;)

[deleted account]

Suzette, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. It must be hard. And it speaks volumes about your mom and step-dad (or real dad if you want to say it that way) and you for that matter, that you were able to come out of it all relatively unscathed. I have my own reasons to believe the studies. I've worked in prisons and with inner city children and the cycle of crime and poverty is so evident. But there are ALWAYS exceptions to every rule. And you are one fabulous exception =)

And no, I didn't eat the banana pudding, chocolate cake and french fries all mixed together! Tomorrow will be a mostly fruit and veggie day. You have to get off the organic whole foods diet once in a while and Mother's Day seemed like a good time!

Suzette - posted on 05/09/2010

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Sara,

My biological father murdered my step mother, he's in prison and has been for quite a while now. I haven't spoken to him since I was 14 or 15 when I told him to (basically) go to hell. (Not so nicely though.) I've had a great Dad (as I don't consider my bio father my Dad) since I was 7 yrs old, he adopted my brother and me when we got older. This is why I don't buy studies. I have also known plenty of people who have one parent, or the other, sometimes both that go in and out of jail and commit crimes (without going to jail) - not as big as murder obviously - and they wind up graduating high school, getting a great job, or even going on to college. A life is what a person makes of it, not what you allow your life to do to you.
It's all about nature vs. nurture, a person can argue that their environment is because they are the way they are... but they have every chance to turn it around if they want to make the choice to do so. I also know one person who has a mother that is a certified kleptomaniac, she's not a klepto though. She grew up her whole life returning things her mother stole. All about choices.

LOL@ banana pudding, chocolate cake, and french fries... I hope you didn't eat it all together. Though, chocolate and banana doesn't sound bad!! Damn, if I ate like that all the time, I'd never be able to get off the couch, so I can understand why you don't eat that way all the time! lol.

Okay, I don't eat like crap to the point that I'll feel crappy the next day... that's excesive... LOL!! But I enjoy a snack at least once a day. (Just not excessive amounts, if that makes sense...?)

[deleted account]

This is a little off topic but...

I believe that children of criminals are more likely to be criminals themselves (there are studies to prove that). But I don't think it has to do with genes as much as the environment that the kids grow up in. If your mom or dad is in jail think about what kind of home life you will have. If your mom steals clothes and jewelry, etc. then you learn to steal.

Anyway, back to the topic...

I am genetically predisposed to diabetes and heart disease. I don't avoid all foods that cause these two disease. Just today I ate banana pudding and chocolate cake and french fries (hey don't judge, it's Mother's Day!). But I most certainly do not eat like that the majority of the time. I want to give my body the fuel (or nutrients, I guess) to fight off diabetes and heart disease so I can live a healthier longer life. If I eventually end up with one of those two conditions, then I know that I took measures to prevent it. And I would be okay with that.

And I agree that I like eating like crap. But I know I'll also feel like crap the next day...LOL!

Suzette - posted on 05/09/2010

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Sara,

You're right, some people just have bad genes and can't get out no matter what they do. But on that same note, there are researchers (and some psychologists) out there that think if your father/mother murdered someone then you're 9 times more likely to do it as their child, or to be violent/aggressive at least. All because of genetics. (I think that's a load of bs. lol) There are some that say that intelligence is connected to genetics too, though you can easily disprove that theory with numerous children and adults in today's society. (And history as well.)

As far as my genetic history is concerned, one of my grandfather's brothers was a vegetarian and would eat only what he could grow. I have no idea if he supplemented or not, or if he really needed to. I don't know if he got all the nutrients he needed in his diet or not either. But he still died of cancer. (Again, since I don't know everything, I can't blame this on anything at all. Just that he got cancer and died.)

My mindset, and belief, is that I have this family history that isn't so great. (At least part of it anyway.) Yes, I could eat better if I wanted to, I just choose not to. I choose to eat the way I do because I like it. Plain and simple. That doesn't mean I gorge myself on all the junk though, LOL.

About the drugs out on the market, I've heard those stories too, and I know the pharmaceutical companies don't tell the truth about half the crap they do. I don't take medication without thoroughly researching it first. I had to be in tears with my hips and knees (hurting due to pregnancy lately) just to take some tylenol. I've literally only taken tylenol about 4 times during this pregnancy.

Suzette - posted on 05/09/2010

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I can *partially* agree with Christin's statement that organic food doesn't keep you from getting cancer. Only because my maternal grandfather's family (father, mother, brothers, sisters, as well as himself) were all wiped out by cancer. Actually, I think he has one living sibling left. They died from the ages of 6 months old up to the age of around 65 or 70 yrs old. In total there was about 8 of them, if I recall correctly. They all died of different forms of cancer, again if I recall correctly. If my grandfather hadn't been misdiagnosed, they would have likely been able to treat his.



That is not to say that for *some* of them that the additives and chemicals could *not* have been partially the cause. (Especially since I'm not a researcher in that field, I'm not a scientist, and I'm definitely not a doctor.) But I do not believe that for all those forms of cancer that it is to blame for *all* of them. (Hopefully that makes sense?)



"i mean really these days everything causes something. its ridiculous. i think alot of studies are bogus, some not."

I have to say that I believe a lot of studies are actually bogus. You can not be certain what a person does for sure. You can only know what they're reporting to a study. Unless you have that person in a glass room, or you're following their every move, you (generally speaking of course) cannot know what they're doing with their days. They could be scarfing a bunch of quarter pounders while they're also eating "organic" foods at home, buying organic at the store, etc. and lying to the researchers. (Just an example, obviously. lol)



Christin's quote "like ya im sure theres bad stuff in foods, but really if it was that bad they wouldnt sell it."

Sara H's response "Food and other products are not sold on a basis of what is good for you. It's sold based on MONEY. PROFITS drive what manufacturers make and what stores put on their shelves. They could care less if it is harmful to the consumer."



I completely agree with Sara. It's rare that you're going to find a company that actually cares what is harmful and what isn't. Unless, of course, they're caught giving something extremely harmful to their consumers, then all the sudden they care so much that they could just pick you up and squeeze you, love you, and huggle you all to death! LOL!

There is actually a Defect Levels Handbook that the FDA puts out. It's the handbook which tells food manufacturers what they're "allowed" to have in their products to sell to consumers. It's rather disgusting if you want to sit and read through it. It's the "levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans." If it's so natural and unavoidable, without health hazard, why don't they put it on the label?



Here's one for Apple Butter:

The average mold count is 12% or more (AOAC 975.51)

Average rodent filth is 4 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of apple butter ((AOAC 945.76)

Average for insects is 5 or more whole or equivalent (not counting mites, aphids, thrips, or scale insects) per 100 grams of Apple butter. (AOAC 945.76)



DEFECT SOURCE: Mold - post harvest infection. Rodent hair - post harvest and/or processing contamination with animal hair. Whole or equivalent insects - preharvest, and/or post harvest and/or processing insect infestation,

SIGNIFICANCE: Aesthetic



(Pre harvest means it's while it's in the field, during growth or awaiting harvest. Post harvest is when it's field holding of the harvested crop prior to transit, farm storage of harvested crop, during transit by truck, ship, rail, etc., at the processing facility, awaiting processing or proper storage.) (Yeah, while it's in processing!)



It's a good thing I don't like apple butter... for those that do, I'm SORRY!!!!!



http://www.fda.gov/food/guidancecomplian...

Johnny - posted on 05/09/2010

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Christin:
"organic stuff doesnt keep you from getting cancer. if your going to get it your going to get it. i had a few family members die of old age and had cancer and an aunt who died in her 40s bc of it. it had nothing to do with what they ate or bought. "

The best scientists and doctors still are figuring out what causes all of the various cancers, so how can you be so completely sure that food additives & chemicals were not the cause or partially the cause of your family's cancer?

My grandmother died from lung cancer having never smoked a day in her life, and I could very well use that to suggest that smoking does not therefore cause lung cancer. But I know that she was exposed to second-hand smoke her whole life, working in restaurants & bars.

Just because it is not attributed to be the cause at the time of death does not mean that those environmental toxins were not partially culpable.

[deleted account]

actually alot of stuff is hype, i mean really these days everything causes something. its ridiculous. i think alot of studies are bogus, some not. we don't eat organic,we dont read labels, we just buy what we want or whatevers on sale and we are just fine. like ya im sure theres bad stuff in foods, but really if it was that bad they wouldnt sell it. in the words of my aunt and grandpa one whom died of cancer one of heart failure "i'll eat what i want because i am going to die anyway so why not die happy?" its like they blame fast food for americas obesity, its not fast food, its your fault your obese if you have no self control. you're not wreckless, your sane and dont worry over small stuff. if we worried over every little thing we buy or eat or do we'd be stressed 24-7 and wouldnt buy anything.

organic stuff doesnt keep you from getting cancer. if your going to get it your going to get it. i had a few family members die of old age and had cancer and an aunt who died in her 40s bc of it. it had nothing to do with what they ate or bought.

none of us or our family go gree,we dont buy organic and we are all perfectly healthy and happy.

Kylie - posted on 05/07/2010

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I have a few friends and family like that...and it makes me afraid because I'm not hyper vigilant like they are. 1 in 3 people get cancer so i really do believe it has to with what we eat and breath and put on our skin.
I just don't have enough time or patience to be in control of, check and monitor everything that comes into my home. I'm aware of additives, always wash all my fruit and veg really well and use only organic shampoos and moisturizers on the kids and i really would like to be more in vigilant. I've cut down on cleaning chemicals but i still have ajax spray and wipe because i love the smell and it so easy to clean with...I've got a long way to go and it will be a constant battle i know.
some days i just want to move somewhere remote and grow all my own food and be as close to nature as possible..no pesticides, no GM and no constant temptation to buy and eat processed foods...

Charlie - posted on 05/06/2010

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Unfortunately in my family people are dropping like flies from cancer at far to young an age .

I buy organic as much as possible and i only use natural cleaning products and recycled toilet paper , its not harder or stressful its just a different choice as simple as choosing to pick up bleach instead i pick up other natural products , no biggie !

i am absolutely religious about sunscreen , always 30+ everyday , cancer is prevalent in my family and besides i dont particularly want to look like a half baked , leathery old sea turtle when i am old .

Finding out my mum and dad has cancer at the same time really made me think differently , i used to smoke and be of the " i could get hit by a bus any day " mentality but especially now watching my dad go through chemo curled up in agony for a whole week in his bed while the chemo drips into him , its horrifying ,if there is anything i can do to reduce the risk of this happening to my children i will most certainly do it , and like i said its not stressful or a life of worry its simply a change in lifestyle and choices .

Suzette - posted on 05/06/2010

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Sara and Carol, Thank you both for all the tips! I'll post more later... right now I've got to get my butt to bed, 4 hours from now comes early and I gotta be up with Hubby when he's gotta get to work. ugh, lol! =)

Johnny - posted on 05/06/2010

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I actually make most of my own cleaning liquids, although I do buy a toilet cleaner (President's Choice Green) and Windex for windows/mirrors (I can't stand streaks & the natural product just doesn't cut it, lol). For anything else, I generally stick with baking soda and vinegar. Works great for me. A few drops of essential oils and everything smells divine. I also do use household bleach for things that absolutely need it like mold or when my cat ...(I won't describe it).

Yes! 7th Generation toilet paper is horrible, I used 1/2 the pack, and then put the rest in my hubby's man bathroom in the basement (I know, very mean). Don't buy their paper towel either, it shreds when picking up just a water spill. I buy regular toilet paper in bulk @ Costco, I don't even go for unbleached. I've yet to find a product that works as well as the "bad for you" products.

I am slowly moving to using reusable wipes instead of paper towel. I do cloth diapers & cloth wipes, which I find fairly easy. My husband grew up using all cloth products, so it hasn't been at all difficult getting him to do it. The reusable wipes just go in the wash with the kitchen dish clothes & towels, so no extra laundry loads.

I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets, I use the reusable dryer balls (Nellie's Laundry) which are way way way cheaper and I find work just as well. Actually, I find that my laundry doesn't have that sort of powdery added scent to it anymore, it just smells clean. And my sheets somehow get less wrinkled on the bed between washings. I did try making my own dish soap and laundry detergent, but that is on the back burner until I find a better method. It was way way too much work. For now I use a local product that works fantastic called VIP (I don't know if you can buy it elsewhere though).

http://www.vipsoap.com/

I actually got my original recipes for making my own stuff from a mom on the Mothering.com website. And I've used this article to modify it for ease of use (the other mom was a bit "hardcore"):

http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/green/artic...

And like Sara mentioned, it is quite the money saver.

[deleted account]

I like Green Works. It doesn't leave streaks on my counter tops and it smells nice, unlike bleach.

But I've been seriously considering making my own cleaning products. I need to do a little bit of research on that. I'm doing that more than just for the health benefits though. I'm trying to seriously cut back on our spending and cleaning products take a huge chunk of the budget. I won't be making my own toilet paper though. =)

Suzette - posted on 05/06/2010

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Carol, I have a question about the natural cleaning products because I've been meaning to check them out. Actually, this is for anyone who uses them as I'm sure there is probably someone else who uses them on here. lol. (If you have the answer Carol, I'm willing to take it!)



Sidenote - I sorta have an addiction to those Clorox wipes... ha!



Okay, so I keep seeing the commercials for Seventh Generation cleaning products, and they're not badly priced either. (Which is definitely important as I'm sure everyone knows, lol.) I've used their toilet paper before and didn't really like it because it wasn't extremely absorbent, or comfortable, and I found that we went through almost 2x as much as our normal stuff. So, I switched back on that and the paper towels. But, if anyone has anything on their cleaning products, I'd love to hear it. Or any other cleaning products that are "green" or what you consider natural. (Sorry I thought that was natural, maybe I was wrong?)

Johnny - posted on 05/06/2010

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I've got to completely agree with Sara & Christa on this. It took a little while to learn what to avoid and how to shop more consciously, but I don't find that it has added either time or stress to my daily life. I know that I can't possibly counteract and avoid every dangerous chemical that is out there, that would be extremely stressful. But knowing the major issues and how to avoid the most harmful chemicals gives me peace of mind. And somehow just eating whole foods that have been processed less and stored safely has improved my digestion. And that helps me sleep better at night. And although I am an agnostic, and could offer my own analogy, I completely agree with the concept that if "we fuel them with God made foods, our bodies run like they are supposed to".

I've also found that the natural cleaning products and body care products that we have switched to actually work better than what we used before. When I finally overcame my addiction to Mr. Clean wipes, I realized that the bathroom cleaning was actually taking LESS time.

[deleted account]

I agree Suzette. I wasn't trying to get everyone to change their diets or anything. I just wanted to paint a picture to prove that those of us that are a little more careful with our diets are crazed or stressed. =)

Suzette - posted on 05/06/2010

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Sara H,

"That we spend hours in the grocery store reading label after label and wake up in cold sweats at night worried that the casserole we made for supper had an additive that had just been proven to cause cancer."

I don't think you're a slave, I just choose to live differently. I know you said that you thought you were probably exaggerating, but at the same time I don't want anyone to think that I meant to imply that either. (Even if you didn't, I don't want anyone to take it the wrong way.) =)

I know each of us has a different lifestyle we choose, whether that be with parenting, eating choices, or our spouses. It doesn't make our choices wrong just because they aren't the same, it just makes us individuals. (which is always a great thing in my book!) Like I said, if it makes you feel better because you (again generally speaking) think that'll add more to your life or because you feel liberated... then more power to you. (generally speaking lol.)

[deleted account]

I know I've posted already but I'd like to repeat and rephrase one thing I said. It seems a lot of people thing that those of us who are careful with our diets are slave to the label. That we spend hours in the grocery store reading label after label and wake up in cold sweats at night worried that the casserole we made for supper had an additive that had just been proven to cause cancer. Maybe I'm exaggerating. But I do want to say, I probably spend no more time in the grocery store or cooking than those of you that don't read labels and don't care what's in your food. When my husband and I first decided to change our diets, yes, we did take time to learn and research different products. But after about a month of grocery shopping and vigilant label reading, we had it down pat. I can pick up the "good" products without even blinking an eye. I do realize that one day we will all die. But I don't want to spend the last few years of my life fighting diabetes or heart disease or cancer, all of which are in my genes. So I'm going to put forth a little effort to give my body a fighting chance against it. (And I love what Christa said about feeding your body with God's food and I agree!) So after my one hour shopping trip a week, I enjoy the rest of the week worry free because I know that what I have in my pantry and refrigerator are good for me and my family. And if we eat our or at someone else's house, I just don't think about it. All things in moderation is okay.

[deleted account]

The cancer council of Australia recommend you stay out of the sun between 10 am and 3 pm. I try to stick to this in summer, but in winter we go out in the sun any time of the day. We have our sunscreen and our hats.

I try to avoid certain chemicals in the food we eat but I don't go overboard. If we are out for a meal or visiting friends, my kids can eat what is on offer. I have a great book called "Additive Alert" and I refer to it often to see what I need to avoid.

Suzette - posted on 05/06/2010

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I'm with Kati on this one. I'm a reckless one, I suppose. I love buying from the Amish community, when they have everything set up, and if I could do that year round, I definitely would. Their farmer's market has the BEST fruit ever! Their jams are to die for, and they're better for you. But they don't set up year round around here. Because of all the hype I've heard about organic in the stores, that's as far as I go with organic. I don't buy unless it's from them. (Call me paranoid in that aspect, lol.)
Every new study has something released that says "this can kill you or that can kill you." Personally, I want to die knowing that I've had a great life, full of fun and laughter, not that I was worried about reading labels. If people feel liberated doing that, more power to them, I'm just not one of those people. =) We've also started going to a butcher recently, with recommendation from my hubby's NCO, because the meat is WAY cheaper there... and a lot better! (It's probably better for us too... LOL.)

Rosie - posted on 05/06/2010

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i'm pretty reckless. everyday you hear about a new thing that is gonna kill you, wy bother deciphering what's gonna kill you and what's not? we're all gonna die. i have started trying to buy more organic only cause it's better for the earth, not for me, lol!

Jocelyn - posted on 05/06/2010

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I think I have found a happy medium. I like to buy organic when I can, but it's not the be all to end all if I don't. I always wash my veggies prior to eating anyways. I use stainless steel water bottles, but we filter out water in a brita pitcher, which is plastic. I prefer to use all natural (for skin products etc) but I refuse to use animal products, and many of the all natural lotions have things like lanolin and cochineal, so I have to hunt pretty hard to find something that I can use. I am a vegetarian and yes tofu and soy products are processed, but I really don't want to live on vegetables entirely lol. Yes the sun is damaging, but I just slather on spf 60 and put on a hat and I'm good to go. Being paranoid just seems like it takes way to much energy (and I have two kids, therefore I don't have any extra energy to spare lol).
@ Christina, I really like your god-made bodies, god-made food analogy :)

Ez - posted on 05/06/2010

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Oh I am so 'reckless' on this. I only buy organic if it's a similar price, and I don't worry about what the new studies say. My daughter doesn't eat junk, but that is because I want to ensure she has a healthy balanced diet, not because I'm scared of some new chemical they say is going to kill us all.

Lindsay brings up a good point about sun exposure too. This is a huge issue here in Aus - we have the highest melanoma rate in the world and a hole in our Ozone. Some people are totally paranoid and cover their kids head-to-toe while only letting them outside early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Others, like me, show reasonable caution and apply sunscreen, a hat, and only avoid the sun when it's extremely hot (which is still pretty often in our summers). While it's important to learn appropriate sun-protection, it doesn't have to stifle the normal play of childhood IMO.

Lindsay - posted on 05/06/2010

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I think Joanna makes a good point. Stress is hard on the body just as many other things in life are. As far as me, I make choices for my family with caution but I don't get overly worked up about too many things. We get our fresh fruits, veggies and meats on a daily basis. Are they all orgnaic? No way. Some are but most are not. Maybe it's me, but I'm not willing to pay 3 times the price of a regular apple to get the organic. But if the fresh fruits and veggies just don't look up to par, I will check out the organic. Call me naive, but I'm just not the paranoid type.

A slightly different side to the paranoid vs. prudent idea is sun exposure. I have a cousin that is a dermatologist. She insists that her children not be exposed to sunlight from 10am-3pm. That is not sunscreen, it's being outside at all. She lets her kids play outside before 10 am and after 3 pm with 50 SPF sunblock. That's 24/7/365. To me, that is paranoid. I know she sees horrific things on a daily basis with her patients but it's overboard to me. I will take my chances by letting my kids run and swim and play whatever time of the day with proper sunscreen. It's a topic that she very much disagrees on with me.

I really think there is a fine line between being cautious and being paranoid. I refuse to give up a certain quality of life to spend my time in fear. All I know is that whenever I go, however I go, I will know that I lived a life I enjoyed. And to me, that is more important.

Sarah - posted on 05/06/2010

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Couldn't care less, what causes cancer one week is curing it the next! (ok, not quite, but you get the point!)
Like Esther said, unless people are dropping like flies, i'm not going to worry too much.
If i listened to every news report or medical "discovery" about what causes cancer i would never go anywhere or eat anything! I's rather enjoy life than fear it. :)

ME - posted on 05/06/2010

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I am a vegetarian, I eat organic when it is available, and I can afford it. I also use organic bath products with myself and my children (hubby doesn't like them), and organic cleaning products and bleach free paper products. I am looking forward to the day that my parents move to their 55 acre farm and start a giant veggie patch! I am thrilled to hear that the conservative government medical advisors are making this pronouncement! Hopefully, this will mean changes to our Food Industry and to the food we make most readily available to the people of this country!

September - posted on 05/06/2010

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I forgot to mention that our son does enjoy a treat here and there; I don't keep him completely sheltered. The lack of that sentence may have portrayed me as being super paranoid, which I'm not! :)

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The chemicals and things that we, as man, have created are so prevalent you just can't get away from them. I think they are harmful. My husband is convinced that the reason we have so many overweight children and children hitting puberty early and food sensitivities is all the preservatives and chemicals found in foods. I'm all for natural and organic though I don't go as far as your friend by any means. I do what I can without totally stressing myself or my budget.

For example, I buy as much as I can from trusted local farmers, then get the rest of what I need from my local grocery store. I won't drive an hour to the nearest Whole Foods just so we can have a 100% organic, preservative free diet. Though I would like to, it's not feasible. Though we are starting our own backyard veg garden this fall so that should help.

I do read labels and don't buy foods with certain ingredients or if I don't recognize the ingredient. If something contains more than 5 g of sugar/serving, I don't buy it. If something is made with enriched flour rather than whole wheat or whole grain I don't buy it. And I don't even have to think now when grocery shopping. I've lived this way for enough years to know what products I can buy and which I can't. Oddly enough, we aren't starving because there are so many other choices besides the pre-packaged, sugar loaded foods.

But when my daughter goes to stay at her grandparents' houses, I know she will be given food and exposed to things we don't have in our home. I'm okay with it. Like I said, I do what I can without totally stressing myself. If I raided every home my daughter enters, I would go mad and so would my family.

C. - posted on 05/06/2010

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Well why don't we all just live in glass bubbles (b/c we don't want to risk our bubbles being made of BPA, now do we?) and be fed by glass straws from organic food that is in glass containers..

Seriously.. I think there is a happy medium. I would LOVE for everyone to find a happy medium. I'm not against organic food, but I'm not totally for it, either. I definitely try to steer clear of BPA, though.. And I do try to make sure that whatever is going on/in my son, that it's as safe as possible. Though I do use petroleum jelly on his skin as a lotion *GASP!!* b/c after trying a dozen other things (maybe a little more than a dozen, actually) it's the only thing aside from his prescription cream that works for his horrible eczema! So do I not put what works for him on his skin and let him suffer another 4 or 5 months until I finally find something else that works that doesn't have chemicals? Nope. I only use it a few times a week and that helps his skin more than using other things several times a day, every single day, including Burt's Bees..

Pretty soon they'll be telling us not to go outside b/c things are just too harmful.. I say you're not being totally reckless. And IMO, your friend is being a little paranoid. I'm with you.. We've all gotta go sometime..

September - posted on 05/06/2010

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I'm with your friend on this one. I'm very vigilant when it comes to avoiding any harmful chemicals when it comes to choosing foods for my family. However I have to admit I was not so aware before deciding to have our son. I have a mother in law that grows a beautiful organic garden year round and we are very lucky to be able to enjoy the foods it produces! She pretty much pushing food off on us and even more so since our son has been born. She is wonderful!

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