Post # 1
So, I’m a huge fan of TED Talks and I subscribe to a “TED Health” video podcast on iTunes. Well, most recently it sent out the talk Penolope Jagessar and Tyrone Hayes – the maker of the film “Toxic Baby.” I had never heard of the film but would now really like to see it.
Here’s the link to the talk on the TED Website:
Over the last few years, I’ve been reading about chemicals – particularly agricultural pesticides and I find it pretty scary. I basically went from being one of those people who thought that organic food was only for paranoid rich people to really looking at what I’m eating, cleaning with, etc.
I’m not a mom yet, but I was wondering if/what you think about this stuff? Has being pregnant or becoming a mom changed the way you think about / use / eat chemicals in your food or cleaning products? How so?
Also, if you’re not a mom, I’d still love to hear your thoughts.
Post # 3
My thoughts? It’s a complicated issue, and for me it simply can be said that there is no reason to consume extra chemicals. There is so much conflicting information, it’s hard to swim through all of it.
From basic biology and chemistry, I know what your body does with things that aren’t friendly. I also know how the slightest change in molecular structure can change how your body recognizes that molecule. I also know that women used to douche with Lysol….and that is a horrible idea.
Ive always read an article that said scientist find that you literally are what you eat and in a strange way your body assimilates what you eat and if you it a strawberry,strawberry DNA become part of you. :O (I need to find that article again!)
With chemicals…the effects they have go beyond just what they do to your body, the way they permeate the environment is also an issue.
Post # 4
@Ashenstar: I’m a scientist (a molecular biologist/microbiologist that specializes in genetics). What is meant by the strawberry DNA becoming a part of you isn’t that the genes or whole DNA is ingrained in your DNA, but rather the atoms and building blocks of every part of the strawberry (and all food) are taken to a very basic level and then used to build your body’s building blocks (reform DNA bases, amino acids used to build proteins, vitamins used as cofactors, etc).
I think organic foods are really important. The tests we would need to do to confirm or debunk the effects of all chemicals are either unethical or impossible to perform. Better safe than sorry.
Post # 5
@crayfish: That’s what I wanted to say but couldn’t even begin to phrase it intelligently. Lol
Wouldnt that place even greater importance on not eating chemicals?
Post # 6
Yeah, I definitely tend to agree. And over time, I’ve really started thinking about randome chemical-based “stuff” that surrounds us and its really crazy to think about. Unfortunately, I live in a place where organic isn’t so much of an option. Basically, based on the way the food is grown and the devlopment stage of the country my food is probably non-gmo but caked in chemicals.
And household cleaning stuff? It’s crazy to think that as my house gets cleaned, it’s really getting doused in chemicals that may or may not have harmful health effects on my family in 25 years. I’ve thought about asking our cleaning lady if she minds cleaning the bathroom with natural products I could make at home but I think she’d think I’m insane and probably not do it anyway.
I know there is a balance to it all, but I think this is one of the scarier things about becoming a parent. How to keep them healthy safe without becoming a complete fuitloop. I mean, I think if you were to try to remove all of the chemicals you’d probably drive yourself crazy.
Post # 7
aww i used to work with dr. hayes. he changed my life. the priorities of industry and the government are not with the people.
Post # 8
@tenacity: Ha really? That’s pretty cool. I think it’s crazy awesome that there’s so many smarty pants bees!
I am not remotely a hard sciences person so its interesting to read. ; )
Post # 9
heh awww. i don’t think this has anything to do with how smart i am. i definitely feel blessed to have been part of the work and fighting against injustice has become a major part of my life’s journey. i do feel like from having an opportunity like this i have gained consciousness and the ability to ask good questions. however, for everyone, i recommend and do find it useful to learn the most you can about the world around you and how to think critically.
honestly, though, i don’t think the internet is the safest place to learn how to do this.
it is hard because there are a lot of things that people worry about that have really no basis or are skewed by certain organizatons in power AND there are things that we SHOULD worry about that people are not aware of or have ill-informed judgements given the way the media or other organizations skew information. Unfortunately a lot of information is not readily available to the public.
TED is a good resource.
Post # 10
@tenacity: Yeah, that’s really true I think. You’d be amazed at some of the opinions and psychoticly uninformed questions I field from people in the states about my work. (I’m a researcher in Afghanistan.) Of course, not all information is public, and most of what I know is a product of my position here, although I think that there is a lot of legit sources out there for public consumption.
Unfortunately, I think looking at poor quality sources is another problem that is endemic amongst all disciplines.
Post # 11
I haven’t checked that link but I just wanted to chime in that it’s not only what you eat, but also what you cook it on (non-stick pans, for example), what you wash your clothes in (dryer sheets and fabric softener), the cleaning products you use in your home, etc etc. It’s a lot to think about!
Post # 12
It really scares me to think of these things. We grow a lot of our own veggies which we eat year round, that makes me feel a little better. I just started making my own cleaning products.. I’ve always felt grossed out by a lot of the cleaning sprays & I felt dirty after using them. I figured that wasn’t a good sign! I’m not a mom yet.. but I definitely think about these types of things.
Post # 13
@MapleMoose: Absolutely! I sometimes worry what it will be like to have kids around my own extended family. In a lot of way I’m going to parent very differently than them. My family never really paid attention to what we ate (other than eating veggies and fruits and stuff) and were really discipline centric (that’s for another thread) so I’m sure there will be a lot of unnecessary comments about our eventual parenting health decisions. (For example, I’ve already decided that we will cloth diaper – I’ll be the first person from my area that I’ve ever heard of actually doing this.)
Post # 14
It’s something that I’ve thought about pre-baby. My step-mom use to own 8 McDonald’s Stores and she has told me about how food is prepared etc. She doesn’t even eat there! She says that the veggies are washed in chemicals. Same with the pre-packaged salad mix and fruits at the stores. I use to buy the pre-packaged salad mix and fruit all the time! I don’t any more. There use to be a local farmer’s market in our town but some person complained about the way it was ran so it closed down! The local church ran it as a fundraiser. As for being pregnant and worrying about what I’m eating I’m just concerned with eating what I can keep down. If that’s oreo cookies and mac N Cheese then that’s what is on my plate! Some pregnant women find fruits and veggies make them sick during the first tri. So I think really it depends on you and your pregnancy. This is the first week I’ve been able to eat veggies and feel good. 🙂