Eco-news everybody ought to see

I certainly don’t pretend to know all the answers and I may not even know all the right questions, but that should never a stop a person from continually seeking truth in both. My fear is that because there is often more questions than answers, many people stop asking, stop wondering, stop seeking.

It is overwhelming to live in a world with an unparalleled access to information while still learning to wade through the breadth of opinions, facts, and often differing conclusions about every topic imaginable.

But, like I told my seven year old today, just because something is difficult does not mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) keep trying. Imagine if the obstacles that stood in the way of people like Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Benjamin Franklin, John Muir, Marie Curie, Helen Keller, Rachel Carson, or Mother Teresa had been able to stop them from continuing to learn more, fight harder, and demand better for the good of us all?

These people, among so many others, changed the world.

There is also no possible way that they could have done it all, or done it alone.

I get that there has to be a way to filter through all of the negative information, but there is a difference between filtering and burying our heads in the sand. There is a difference between information and a call to action. If I tell you something is harmful, I always try to give an alternative and a hopefully way that we can change the world together.

So here we go…

Little House in the Corn Fieldphoto credit:flickr

Eco-news from the past week that everyone ought to read:

–FDA Scientists Find BPA in 90% of Canned Foods – This is not news, except for the fact that these are FDA scientists that are finally confirming that the resin that lines most canned foods can, and will, shed Bisphenol A (BPA) into the food. The amount of BPA varied by food, with the highest levels found in green beans, peas, chili and refried beans. Some levels uncomfortably close to those that have caused permanent toxicity in laboratory studies.

The takeaway? Buy fresh when you can, frozen or dried when you can’t, but avoid canned foods. However, while individuals can be cautioned to limit exposure, until systemic change is made, that will only benefit a few. I believe in education, but I believe in protection when there is evidence of harm more. BPA bans in children’s products are a good first step, but we need more and on a national level.

–New Report Confirms Monsanto’s Round-Up Causes Birth Defects – This is unfortunate news to many, yet the worst piece of this is that Monsanto has known for potentially decades and regulators have done their best to the discredit studies that proved it- along with other findings that have shown Roundup can cause endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer.

The takeaway? Avoid using Roundup in your home and yard. Avoid GMO food whenever possible by buying certified organic. Roll up windows and use recirculated air when passing through agricultural areas known to use Roundup or other pesticides. The scientists and authors of this report are calling for Roundup to be immediately withdrawn until a new review can be completed, and Roundup-ready crops be looked at critically before being approved.

–The National Toxicology Program’s Twelfth Report Lists Formaldehyde As A Known Human Carcinogen – The Report on Carcinogens is a congressionally mandated document that lists substances either known to be a human carcinogen or are reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Everything in the report has been subjected to rigorous scientific review and evaluations to ensure the quality of the report. Formaldehyde exposure has been linked to nasopharyngeal cancer, sinonasal cancer, and lymphohematopoietic cancer, specifically myeloid leukemia.

The takeaway? Reduce exposure to formaldehyde. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, however. Education about where formaldehyde may be found is key, particularly since the primary problem is that you can’t see it or read it on an ingredient list, but you can often smell it- particularly when it is off-gassing from new carpet, foam, or or other synthetic material. It is often in personal care products as a by product of many chemical preservatives. I believe that supporting the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011″ would be a huge step in the right direction.

“People think passion is something you either have or you don’t. People think passion is something that has to manifest itself in some kind of explosive and emotional format. It’s not. It’s the thing that you find in your life that you can care about, that you can cling to, that you can invest yourself in, heart, body and soul. Finding passion is kind of your job now.”

~ Steve Ballmer Chief executive, Microsoft – speaking at the University of Southern California commencement

There are passionate people out there doing great things – solving problemsmaking life better for the rest of us – standing up for what is right – fighting for what they believe in. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, take it all in or nothing, but if you do one thing this week, do it with passion for something you care about.

What will it be?

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Eco-news everybody ought to see — 12 Comments

  1. I so agree that we need to be passionate about what we do and how we spread the word. It just takes a little at a time. I’m very careful to avoid putting people when I speak of solar cooking. I just do what I do, write about it, and offer my information. They can do or not. Most end up doing because I didn’t twist any arms. Why are people like that? Fight change and what’s been found to be good and healthy? Don’t know. Just a step at a time. Just a step at a time.

    • It can be a fine line between passionate and pushy and I think that is when the vast majority of people just start tuning out to whatever it is, there is simply too much information to process sometimes. Except that doesn’t mean we give up and just because we seem to be an all or nothing society, it does not have to be that way. I am a firm believer in applauding the baby steps. :)

  2. This is a GREAT post! Our family has been far more concious of food, etc. over the last couple of years and we made the decision to go Kosher this January as the more I read the Torah, the more I realized based on previous research that science has proven the Kosher diet, a diet that is over 4,000 years old! It has been a very interesting journey to say the least! Thank you so much for sharing this…just one more reason to can my own food!

    ***popped over from SITS, new follower! :)

  3. Baby steps indeed. Every new study, every new media byte that gets people and policy makers thinking, that is a step in the right direction. This news is depressing, but most of it we knew it was the case anyway. So this bad news is good news really, that there are some studies to back some of this stuff up that will hopefully make the regulators and policy makers take a second look.

    Great summar, thanks for posting!

    • I think that going green really just comes down to common sense, but it can be hard to come to terms with it. Now that there are so many evidence-based, peer-reviewed studies emerging with the same conclusions it is becoming harder to ignore. I am so glad every time I see news of this sort because it does get people thinking. My only fear is that too much may make people start to turn it out. We have to learn to selectively filter and find trusted sources of information to help us along – I just hope I can help do that for some.

  4. What a great post!! We learned several years ago about canned food really not having any nutritional value and started buying fresh or frozen.I didn’t know about the liners then. I am really glad that we made that change. I am so glad that we have a garden each year and put up a lot of veggies to have during the winter months because we really have no idea what is sprayed on the food we buy at the grocery. Again a really great post. Thanks!

    • That’s great! The nutritional value, or lack thereof, of canned foods is another excellent reason to seek out fresh and frozen as often as possible. I wrote a while back about our amateur gardening. We don’t grow enough to save much, but that is something I would love to be able to do eventually. Then you can have total control over how it is grown and stored!

  5. These are all things that you enjoy and in many cases have a passion for. And since we do our best when it comes from our heart its easy to see why someone just like you that has a passion something they enjoy can turn that into their success. Wouldnt it be wonderful if you could just make that passion a success?

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