Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Basics

The fundamentals. Lets start there. Martha Stewart of natural, green living I am not.
A wife and mother of two with with a job, house, dog and a serious lack of time...well, that's me. It's just like I learned in nursing school forever ago-- prioritize. Each of us do it everyday with every task. At work, for me, it's airway, breathing, circulation. At home it goes something like this- mindful parenting, healthy food choices and respecting each other and our earth. Of course shoes are somewhere at the top of the list and wine, lets not forget wine. Some days wine supersedes everything.

I'll start by saying choosing to live naturally or green or however you want to phrase it takes work. I think the choice to do so becomes much easier when you decide to have kids. You look at this relatively "blank slate" and you don't want to damage that perfect little being in anyway. My personal motivation started earlier than that but kids definitely brought it to another level. Over the years I have read countless books and spent crazy hours researching topics because I like to. I am in a continual state of trying to live the most natural life that is realistic for me and my family.
And what it comes down to is to be open to making small changes. I'm not going to lie....when you start learning why you should make these choices, it can leave you feeling depressed or even hopeless at times. The other side of things is that when you do start living greener you will feel better physically and mentally and your kids will be learning invaluable lessons and will be part of a generation that will actually be the collective effort.

To keep it simple we can just use our own logic. Really, I don't need a ton of studies trying to prove that hormones given to cows to fatten up quicker or produce more milk are safe. I'll just go with logic and say it's probably not good, so I'll pass, thanks. Quick example to leave you with- the hormone DES (an estrogen drug thought to help prevent miscarriages) used in the 1960's was withdrawn after women and daughters of women who took it during pregnancy were inflicted with rare cervical cancers and reproductive abnormalities among other ailments. (This topic has many more layers that are too involved for my simple point) It was finally proven to be a human carcinogen but for over a decade it was prescribed like candy. It's a fact that lifetime exposure to estrogen is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
So why-oh-why would we be part of yet another experimental group? Sadly, any one of us growing up in the 80's and 90's and even now pretty much are. Bovine growth hormone (to help increase a cow's milk supply) began widespread use in the early nineties. Has anyone else taken note of more and more young women with breast cancer?
Again, I'll go with logic here and say that hormone free milk is superior to hormone laden milk. I'll pay slightly more for hormone free milk for my daughter (and son) if it means piece of mind that I'm doing something proactive for their health.