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…
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 problems – making 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?