7.09.2011

Things I've Learned About Organics

My journey into the organic world has been enlightening and educational to say the least. I've been doing lots of reading and research so now I feel fairly knowledgeable in the choices I've made thus far.



When I buy a new product, I look for the USDA seal. The seal means that 95% of the ingredients are indeed organic.



I have also found that certain brands are organic and I can buy their products with confidence. Some of their products may not have the seal, but I will still buy the item knowing that overall the company is conscientious in the making and packaging of their products. Companies like this are Kashi and Cascadian Farms. I have found that purchasing organic foods has been relatively easy. My grocery store recently started carrying a wide range of organics.

Another thing to be aware of is that 80% (I think I have that right) of the seeds used to grow produce are genetically modified. So in addition to looking for the USDA seal, you have to go further and look for "Non GMO" items. These are more difficult to find as companies are just starting to give to consumer demand for this.

The Monsanto agriculture company has the market and hundreds (thousands?) of patents on seeds. Yes, you can patent seeds. And they keep fussing with the natural manner of produce. Seedless watermelon....handy, but not really natural. And have you noticed how watermelons are smaller and rounder now than 20 years ago? Modified to fit in our refrigerators! Rule of thumb, buy from your local farmer and ask if pesticides were used and also if the seeds were modified.

Monsanto also makes Round Up. Their genetically modified seeds are made to withstand Round Up. Bad. Enough said.

For skincare, wow...where do I start? Most know about the toxins of sodium lauryl/laureth sulphates, mineral oil and parabens. There are so many more.

After reading about all the toxins in skincare and trying to find organic items, I've decided to rely on the Dr. Mercola site. He does a great job of explaining in layman's terms and backs up his articles with links to resources, research and other medical professionals not afraid of talking about organics & homeopathic remedies.

In full disclosure, his website may appear a little too sales oriented, but after you read and listen - most articles have a 5 minute video - and check out the resources, you'll find that at some point you have to trust. Most articles end with a reference to his products, but her also educates you on what to look for if you don't buy his products. He answers questions via email, facebook and website comments and started his writings 3 years before making his products when he needed to make an income.

Back to skincare - it is difficult to find organic skincare. All the products in the "natural & organics" section at your grocery store, and even at your local natural food store are rarely organic. Go see for yourself, look for the USDA label.  Many of them still have bad ingredients.

Now one thing that may surprise you a little is that 100% organic skincare has is denatured grain alcohol. You say, but alcohol is drying on the skin...bad. D.G.A. is the only organic ingredient authorized by the USDA to be used as a preservative. If it did not have it, the lotion would spoil. I have used the face cream containing it and its fine, not drying at all, very moist.

One surprise I found was with Tom's of Maine toothpaste. I know Tom's had been bought by Colgate-Palmolive. Read the ingredients. Not so natural - it has SLS! So check the labels on your favorite "natural and organic" products to make sure they really are.

And all those other toothpaste & mouthwash companies that provide in the directions "do not swallow."  Excuse me, but we're putting it in our mouths, shouldn't it be ok for our body? NO. Remember, like your mouth, your skin is an organ and it absorbs all those toxins.

Scary stats: 9 out of 10 breast cancer cases is from the environment not genetics. Several toxins are showing up in the blood of women and passing them onto their unborn babies at an alarming rate. Sun lotions have as many cancer-causing toxins in them as the sun's rays.

Let's talk make-up. We women put so many harsh chemicals on our faces that we'd NEVER eat. It's the same thing. I finally found Zuii organic make-up. I haven't tried it yet but after I do, I'll let you know how it is. I'm just excited I found it!

And lastly, for cleaning products, I'm making them at home. I make toothpaste, laundry soap, baby wipes and now clean mainly with baking soda.

Here is homemade lip balm.

Hair Drench Recipe - Soap Deli News has lots of homemade recipes for chem-free living.

Cleaning Supply Recipes


So what do you think about organics? Do you use them? Are you skeptical? Join the discussion - I'm curious about other thoughts.....


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