The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s article “Decoding Meat and Dairy Product Labels” offers a detailed description of the various health claims found on food packaging. I didn’t realize that “Cage Free,” which sounds all lovely, only means the chickens have some access to the outdoors, even if completely restricted and limited. Really doesn’t seem like something to waste extra money on. “Grass fed” can also be misleading; some manufacturers label meat as “grass fed” even if a significant part of the cow’s diet was grain. I am attaching the full EWG rundown, below. Always check out a manufacturer’s website for more detailed information on their health claims. And consider calling their 800 number and inquiring, then expressing your displeasure over any misleading claims. Customer is king, right? Well, not always in this world, but sometimes it feels good to vent! [Read more…]
Most of us these days worry about the chemicals and additives in our water and food supply, and rightly so. But when was the last time you reviewed the ingredients on your lotion, lipstick, perfume, sunscreen or tinted moisturizer? I once heard the skin described as containing “1000’s of little mouths”–a powerful visual for reminding us that whatever goes on the skin ends up in the body. It’s time to take a closer look at your toiletry and cosmetics bags.
I try to be very careful about the chemical load I bear, but I, too, have been known to get lured in by the fancy YSL lipstick or Chanel perfume. I also happen to think that’s okay. I’ve never heard of death by lipstick. Nonetheless, your concern needn’t be with this or that cosmetics item, but with your overall intake of toxins. We encounter cell- and DNA-damaging compounds today in every place our bodies come into contact with the external world: air, water, soil, food, medication, etc. Some BPA in that water bottle you sipped today may not of itself harm you, but think about the cumulative effect of all of the toxins assaulting your body in all of these formats on a regular basis. The human body was not designed to withstand assault at this level. [Read more…]
If you’re concerned about protecting your family’s skin against sun damage, premature aging, and skin cancer, please check out the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide. EWG identifies the best and worst sunscreen formulations, including those found in makeup and lip balm. You can search directly for your brand to check out its safety profile. They clarify common sunscreen additives to positively avoid, such as oxybenzone—a synthetic estrogen which easily penetrates the skin and functions as a hormone-disrupter, yet is found in over 50% of the 800+ sunscreens currently on the market. There is information about getting enough Vitamin D via sunlight (very important for bone health, among many other things), and about safe and effective sunscreen ingredients such as zinc, titanium, avobenzone and Mexoryl SX, all of which form a physical barrier on the skin for the greatest sun protection. The site even contains a phone app so you can check different brands while on the go. If you’re going to take the time to slather up the kids every day this summer, it is very important to make sure you’re doing more good than harm; the EWG offers the tools we need to get it right.