Sunday, March 14, 2010

Totally Freaked Out!

This was the title of an article just published in Toronto Life Magazine and was sent to me by a friend of mine (Thanks Tim!). The article is authored by Siri Agrell (illustration by: Asaf Hanuk) and touches on something I think more and more parents are beginning to feel - a complete besiege from "invisible threats" such as pesticides in food, chemicals in toys, plastics, paints, personal care products and so on.

It's a great article with some local resources listed for those of you who live in the Toronto area and shows a good example of how passionate parents are working hard to modify the current system - the way things are done. I think that is a point I often communicate - we have to work within our current system and sometimes modifications to that system take some time.  I always tell people though, "choosing to do nothing is also a choice".

A HUGE part of the challenge of "greening your family" is working within the current social and economic system you are in.  It's easy to become overwhelmed so if you are concerned about something in your life and its impact on your family's health but it doesn't take much to start to do something about it!

For example, let's take food.  For this easy exercise,  have 3 actions in mind:  
1. Make a list of the common foods you eat - split into sections if it makes it easier (i.e. canned food, dairy, processed food, packaged food, fresh food, dry goods)
2. Pick the top 5 or 7 things you eat regularly as a family and put it on the table
3. Investigate the label and look at the ingredients - or in the case of things like fresh food, write down if it is organic/home grown/pesticide free or not
4. If you feel it's safe - put it back in the fridge/cupboard/pantry = KEEP
5. If you feel it's really unsafe to eat - dispose of it = TOSS (of course recycling and composting where possible)
6. If it requires further investigation - go to some of the following websites below to start = INVESTIGATE

What's on my food?
Shopper's Guide to Pesticides
Non GMO Shopping Guide 

Tracy Lydiatt
The Green Families Guru

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