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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don't be like so 1990! As if! Toxins that are like, so totally, like five minutes ago.

90's marketing. Still amazing 20 years later.
You remember 1990, right?  Yes, some of you were like 2 years old.  (That goes out to my seester and her peeps.)  But for the rest of us, we remember it like it was just yesterday.  We rocked the hair, the neon hypercolor t-shirts, pretended to know what Nirvana was saying, and belted out, "Noooothing compares, noTHING com-pares toyouuuuuu..." while wearing your Z Cavericci's.  Can I borrow your I.O.U. sweatshirt, BFF?  LYLAS!  You can use my slap bracelet.  Those were the days, eh?

Well, the world has changed quite a bit from those good ol' days.  No longer is it fashionable to wear clothing that shows off in gloriously wild different colors when you are sweating.  (No seriously, who THOUGHT of that?)

There are a few other bits that have tried to hold their grip in the realms of today, however, and they are naughty and don't belong here.

These belong to the dark side of 1990.  We are like so totally over them, as if.

However, although they may not be welcome, some of these may even be lurking in your home.  These are way worse than the pictures of your hair with two gallons of Aqua Net on it.

What, pray tell, may these be?

Let's start off with one that is a prevalent pestilence of today's world: the fad of anti-bacterialism, specifically in the form of anti-bacterial soap.

"Wha?!"  You say.  "A pestilence?  Surely you jest, dear Ms. Daisy!"

Oh, I wish, my darling, I wish.  But a pestilence I mean, nonetheless.  Maybe you're familiar with the active ingredient in anti-bac soaps - it's called triclosan.  If you've got a bottle in the house, check yours.  It is likely it's there.  Let me give you a heads up - this is NOT good - for you, your family, your friends, the earth, the're pretty much killing everyone and everything.  Great job.

Triclosan was marketed to be a murderous agent on the bad germs.  Right?  Isn't that what you thought?  (What else would I wash my hands with after touching uncoooked chicken?!)  When you go out and buy something that says "anti-bacterial", it is likely you're thinking, "Like oh my gosh! (Valley girl accent, please.)  I am so killing these yuckies!" 

Permit me my drama while I say that they are rather quite killing you.

Besides the whole gigantic thing about killing off your natural responders that are on your body to fight evil invaders in the first place (which is highly dangerous and comes with an entire host of issues), we've got a darker and even scarier side of it - new studies are showing that triclosan is something that mimics estrogen in the body.  This throws off your endocrine system (pituitary, ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas, hypothalamus gland, gastrointestinal tract, adrenals, pineal and parathyroid: a.k.a. stuff you don't want screwed up).  This leads to abnormal cell growths - ever heard of abnormal cell growth?

When this was studied at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, they found that this looked like an increase in breast cancer.  Breast cancer cells looooooooooooove triclosan.  They are sorority girls and triclosan is a frat party.  They think they're at the beach when they hang out with this stuff.  They thrive on it.  Oh!  And good news for the breast cancer cells - triclosan bioaccumulates.  Yep.  It goes in and stays.  Not good news for humans, however.  

There is another compound called octylphenol (the lesser known antibac ingredient) that is best friends with triclosan.  They work together and octylphenol increases the amount of cancer cells while triclosan gets them going.  Not the chicken soap you were looking for, I'd imagine.

In this study, triclosan was found to be in the urine of 75% of all those studied.  (According to  This is so not cool, dude, not cool.

Do some further reading here:

Triclosan isn't just hiding in the antibacterial soap.  Nope, glory hallelujah, you can find it hanging out in your Colgate Total toothpaste.  What a relief.  I was wondering how I could directly put it into my mouth!  If you want to check out a longer (and more ridiculous) list of some products that contain triclosan, check it out here. 

What to do?  Personally, I avoid that stuff like the plague.  I use the soap that is made by Dr. Bronner.  There is a liquid variety if you are so inclined, and there is also the traditional bar types should that fancy strike you.  The liquid stuff is so concentrated that it may be diluted 50% with water.  I believe it is sold usually in one liter bottles (and it costs about $10 at Trader Joe's).  This means you can get about 2 liters of soap for ten bucks.  Yeah.  Cheaper and doesn't contain poison and cancer candy.  Double bonus.
Hang on, baby, I've almost made your dinner...

What else ought to be the passing fad, you ask?  Are you ready for this shocker?  Your microwave.  Think about it for two seconds.  You totally take for granted that you are heating up your food with RADIATION.  No glaring danger, eh?  Yes, it may be part of the social norm, but it doesn't mean 1) it ought to be and 2) that it is safe.  

Microwaving food heats up the food from the inside out - making those insides quake and shake with heat while other bits of it remain cold.  Have you ever experienced that?  You have to mix it up to warm it all?  You are already familiar with the warnings about heating up bottles in the microwave (hot spots, distorting the makeup of the milk on a cellular level) - you know, you may as well be punching your baby with a blowtorch?  

Dr. Hans Hertel explains it like this: "There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation of living is astonishing therefore to realize how little effort has been taken to replace this detrimental technique of microwave cooking with technology more in accordance with nature...of all the natural substances - which are polar - the oxygen of water molecules reacts most sensitively.  This is how microwave cooking heat is generated - friction from this violence in water molecules.  Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed, called structural isomerism, and thus become impaired in quality.  This is contrary to conventional heating of food where heat transfers convectionally from without to within.  Cooking by microwaves begins within the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is transformed into frictional heat."  (quoted in Search for Health)  

Basically, you are living through a social experiment.  The microwave is the question, and you are the guinea pigger.  How does that wheel feel, Pikachu?  

What do you do?  How often and for what do you use your microwave?  Are you a person who just uses it to heat your coffee/tea for the fifteenth time (since you didn't get a chance to sit down and drink it all yet)?  Or do you defrost your meat in it?  Or do you cook your child's breakfast in it?  Or do you sleep in it?  Er, wait.  Maybe (hopefully) not that one.

I have a challenge for you.  Try just for this week to not use your microwave.  Put a big old sticky note on it to remind you.  Cold coffee?  Heat it up in a pot on the stove.  It takes about the same amount of time.  Need to defrost meat?  Plan ahead, sista!  Get that stuff out of the freezer the night before.  I think you'll find you appreciate the taste of things that are not cooked in a radiation box.

(Call me a foodie, I know!)

These two big pieces of our culture came into the norm in these United States and we adopted them without much thought.  We're smarter now and I'm encouraging you to think about what you're putting in and on your body.  Be aware, and do your due diligence.  

Would you give it a try?  Would you switch to a non-anti-bac soap?  Would you try to cast off the microwave for a week and see how it goes?  Maybe you'll find your new (yet extra vintage) ways are like so totally gnarly dude, that you won't like want to ever go like back.

Peace, love, and be radical,
Ms. Daisy

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