Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why So Serious?
A few of my friends think I have gone off the deep end with all this "organic stuff" and a year or so ago I would have said the same thing. But one friend said to me today "But why now, what changed your mind?"

Well, its a lot of things really. Becoming more aware is certainly one of them. The media is more "green" now than it ever was and its harder to stick your head in the sand as sustainable living goes more mainstream. Of course, it will never be truly a mainstream activity because there is no money to be made from it. But for me its mainly about my family.

There was a recent study done on children in Mexico. Researchers compared two groups of children aged 4-5 years. They all came from very similiar genetic, social and cultural backgrounds. However, one group lived in a communtiy where pesticides were used in their agriculture and the other group came from a community with a non chemical agricultural system.

Children in the exposed communiy showed significantly diminished stamina during physical tasks. Their co-ordination skills when asked to catch a ball, stand on one foot and jump in place were lower than the non-chemical group. Memory and creative ability was also impaired in the chemical group. For example the exposed children were less able to draw recognisable and representational figures and objects than the non-exposed children.

The researchers also saw that the exposed children were less creative in their play.

If you'd like to read this report and see the drawings each group did, Google the research. It was called In Harms Way:Toxic Threats to Child Development. If that report doesn't change your mind - then nothing will I guess.

3 comments:

Going Green for Mimi said...

I actually studied this group when I was in college. The difference in the pictures really shocked me. The children exposed to chemicals couldn't even come close to drawing a stick figure. I think there is a documentary on them somewhere on the internet. that people can watch for free. Also, if you look at current hunter-gatherers (the Hadza for example), they do not have the health problems we have at all. Not only is this due to exercise, but also a better diet that doesn't contain chemicals.

Some people really cannot afford organic though. And in these cases, they can select what foods are most important to buy organic. (http://www.foodnews.org/EWG-shoppers-guide-download-final.pdf)
To save money, I grow a garden and can/freeze the food. :)

Vanessa said...

Thanks for your comment Going Green for Mimi. I too was shocked by the pictures.
Yes, I agree about the cost but I was reading the other day about the 80/20 rule. That if you try to buy 80% of what you eat as organic. And what you eat most of. For example forget about organic soy sauce and try to get organic cereal and fruit.
My husband and I have decided to cut down in other areas to offset the cost. I personally think the extra cost is well worth it.

Going Green for Mimi said...

I agree, it is worth it. I am the same way about the lotions I put on my 10 month old daughter, as well as her shampoo/body wash, etc. One day I started looking into all of this and I realized she was eating chemicals, bathing in chemicals, playing in chemicals, rubbing them all over her. It just doesn't end and each day I learn more and more. Plus, she is breastfed, so whatever chemicals I am eating and putting on are even going to her through the milk.

My husband and I cut down to offset the cost as well. When we saw how much "junk" we were buying, we stopped and put the money towards natural products and organic foods.