::Climbing on my soapbox:: I used to be a regular person who drank Diet Coke, tossed plastic bottles in the trash can and didn't really get the whole "organic thing". A year ago, last August, a report came out that this chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), was in most baby bottles. While you would think, just having a baby that very month, that I would be very interested in this information, the truth was that I was so overwhelmed that I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought "What are you going to do?"
Then, another report that BPA is also in cans of formula. All that got me thinking about what the combined effect of the chemical in the bottles and in the formula is. The FDA, which frankly has lost a lot of creditability with me over the years, thinks that the level of toxins in both the bottles and the formula is not harmful. But the fact remains that there are toxins in the bottles and formula. Not to be an alarmist, but still. Then came the lead in all the toys. And although it totally irked me that no one seems to be monitoring the safety of toys, I again sort of shrugged my shoulders and thought "Well I'll do some research, but really, what can you do? Every freaking toy is made in China."
I know I could drive myself crazy worrying about every toxin out there, but I've really starting thinking about what the cumulative effect is of these toxins over the span of a lifetime. I don't think my son is going to sprout some mysterious disease solely because there was some BPA in his bottles. But what about that combined with the pesticides in his food, the toxins in some toys, the chemicals in drinks? What about that over the course of years, decades? Is it the reason some people get cancer at age 42? I don't know, but it seems to me that at least mimimizing one's exposure to toxins can't be a bad thing. I mean when you actually read the ingredients in soda and think about how much soda you drink, that alone could cause you to run screaming into the night. We live on chemicals. The reality is that for all these recalls and reports about toxins, I could shrug my shoulders and think, "Well there's nothing I can do about it."
Except that there is. I can make small changes. Am I starting to sound like a hippie-dippy yet? Honestly, though, I'm starting to feel like one. I've been on a campaign to limit my soda intake in the last few months, strictly because I can hardly pronounce any one of the ingredients on the label. I eat more organic food and my son eats almost entirely organic. I did wind up switching to BPA-free bottles and sippy cups. I learned a lot about BPA by going to Z Recommends. While my son does have some plastic-made-in-china toys, we've ensured he also has many wood, lead-free toys. My husband and I have been trying to make lifestyle changes so that our son learns to live a more toxin-free life and also make healthier eating choices. Sure he's going to want Doritos and french fries eventually, but I don't think we need to start introducing him to these things as a toddler. I'm not sure if we'll be successful for the long term, and I've had many friends tell me, "oh just wait until he's X years old" or "just wait until you have a second one" and you "won't care about all this toxin stuff anymore". Maybe. Maybe not. At this moment though, I'm determined. I'll get off my soapbox now.