Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cancer is THE Dirty Word

I've returned to the classroom a couple time in the last month and it feels good. Graduating in June felt great and I don't wish myself back into a full time education scenario, but I have enjoyed being in an active learning environment again. One of the lectures I attended was all about women's health and hormonal imbalance - the jist is that we interact with our environment and our current environment is full of chemicals that cause hormonal imbalance. This was not just fluffy talk, but backed up by hard science that shows that these chemicals actually interact with our bodies "stronger than expected" including stronger than natural plant lignans and pharmaceutical drugs. This is why we need to do our best to avoid chemical exposure, but also why that's not enough. Detoxification is also vitally important. Without strong detoxification programs, our bodies simply are not able to process the amount of chemicals that we come in contact with.

Now, part of the interest I had in her lecture is that she pointed out that most of the chemicals she was speaking about are NOT carcinogens. Nope, they are not known or even suspected of causing Cancer. That said, they still have major health impact. They cause hormonal imbalance which could be seen is such symptoms as fatigue, PMS, major menopausal symptoms, skin disorders, digestive disturbance and the list goes on and on. Somehow the public doesn't get excited or upset about chemicals until we attach the label "known carcinogen." And even then, at the whim of the FDA, we may not really get to hear that information. But that's a whole other part of the puzzle that needs to be addressed.

Since I'm speaking/writing puzzles, let me add another piece: The Story of Stuff. This video is all about the state of current economic activity. I think it has wide appeal and is appropriate for adults of all ... political persuasions. This video is much more about consumerism and its effect on our happiness, environment, fellow man and more, but it also touches on the existence of toxins in our world. Toxic chemicals into our factories = toxic products into our homes + toxic byproducts into our environment. And the environment, our world, is a CLOSED SYSTEM - we live in a terrarium and the atmosphere is our lid. Cutting a hole in the ozone does NOT have the effect of letting the toxins out.

The good news is, there is something you can do. There are FOODS we can eat to strengthen our body's natural detoxification processes and there are herbs if you need an extra boost. Interestingly, one of the great liver and kidney enhancing herbs (these are major organs of detoxification) is the common dandelion weed. Our bodies and our world needs detoxification and nature is showing us the answer all the time. And we apply more toxic chemicals to our lawns to kill it. Sorry, this was supposed to be the good news. Yes, we can strengthen our body's defenses. And, we can make choices about how we intereract with the consumer system. Buying organic isn't just about getting "better" food, but it's about changing the system. Demand creates supply - as more people are buying organic, farmers and farming industry are changing and responding. And yes, they charge more for it, until there is enough demand that supply increases so there is competition!

So I'm going to get off my soap box now and get on with my day, but the take home message is this: buy or grow organic broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts and herbs and eat them.

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