I honestly don’t know anyone who enjoys grocery shopping: the car park, the trolleys, the crowds, the packing and unpacking, and of course they move products around so that we are kept on our toes, thus sending us exploring the aisles to find our staples.
Then there are the helpful hints that we should all stick to: never go grocery shopping when hungry, always make a list and stick to it. But what about never put chemicals into your trolley? Or check the labelling of the products that you allow into the trolley, into your home and then into your mouths?
For lurking in those aisles are ingredients that should not be in our food chain let alone our digestive systems. Ingredients such as aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, trans-fats. On our food labels these are often noted in codes; 951, 962, HFCS, 954, 622, 621, and so on.
But how many of us are checking the labels? How many of us are decoding the numbers? Knowledge is the key so start today by downloading a copy of the Chemical Maze App and check out the numbers on the labels of the food that is making it into your trolley. Check out www.ChemicalMaze.com
The Chemical Maze will decode the ingredients in both food and cosmetics – giving ratings from double smiley faces to double angry faces. It is easy to use and very informative.
Of course the nasties are also in our household cleaning products – and that is a whole other story. These products have less control over them. Most homes contain commercial products like air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, floor polish, fabric softeners, oven cleaners, window cleaners and many more.
Bill Statham, author of The Chemical Maze states, “According to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the average home today contains more chemicals than were found in a typical chemistry lab at the turn of the 20th century. Results show that household products give off more than 133 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs). One of the major causes of VOCs in homes is the use of household cleaners and other products like air fresheners and pest control agents. VOCs include highly toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, glycol ethers, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, toluene, trichloroethylene and xylene. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors.”
Bill suggests that we should start to eliminate the household products that contain these chemicals and suggests instead:
- Ventilate: your home by opening windows instead of using air fresheners. This is not only cheaper but better for the environment and your health.
- Bicarbonate: most cleaning jobs in the home can be carried out with 2 or 3 natural ingredients like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), vinegar and tea tree oil.
- Decorate: your home with house plants that not only look great but absorb and eliminate toxic VOCs. These plants include Native Kentia Palm, Peace Lily and Devil’s Ivy.
I remember my mum cleaning the oven with bi-carb and vinegar. She used lemons in hot water when washing glasses and stubborn marks were treated with Eucalyptus oil if Sunlight Soap didn’t work.
There are numerous books and blogs on homemade cleaning products. I find “Stay at home Mum” a great resource. Check out: http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/houseandhome/diy-cleaning-products/
Get the kids involved in the process and they will be more willing to assist with the cleaning to see how “their product” works. I have even had the kids make labels for the products and popped them into a spray gun container. Not only will you be confident knowing that you are moving toward chemical-free, but you will also save some money at the checkout!
Educate yourself on the nasties in your trolley. Make some small changes at the supermarket and little by little we can make a difference.[box type=”info” font=”times” head=”Did you know?”]
- 90% of all poison exposures occur at home.
- Toxic chemicals in household products are not required to be listed on the label.
- Air fresheners do anything but ‘freshen’ the air. They just cover up harmless natural odours with toxic synthetic ones.
- Common household cleaners give off fumes which can aggravate respiratory problems like asthma.
- Chlorine bleach is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings.
- Window cleaners often contain ammonia and butoxyethanol. Ammonia fumes can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Butoxyethanol easily penetrates the skin and can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness and eye and skin irritation.
- Oven cleaners can be one of the most dangerous cleaning products, which can cause severe damage to eyes, skin, mouth, and throat.
- Toilet bowl cleaners can be extremely dangerous cleaning products. Breathing the fumes can be harmful and they may be fatal if swallowed. Source: TheChemicalMaze. B Statham.[/box]