Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Dirty Word

It is a dirty word. No one wants to talk about it. You don't want to "jinx" yourself if you and your family are healthy. 

Cancer makes me angry. First I lost my Grandmother. Then my mother lost her fight at only 45 years of age. And then my dad had to fight it (and WON! Go Daddy!) I have taught two students in just 4 and a half years of teaching that have had to fight this disease in their young lives. That's just not fair!

Cancer rates have soared in recent times. From 1950, cancer rates have increased 60%. Prostate cancer rates, which is the type my dad fought, have increased 200% since 1950. And you can't tell me this is just because people are living longer. Most cancer patients are diagnosed in their 60s and we all know very young people that are affected by this horrible disease as well. 

Everyone seems focused on finding a cure, but what about the cause? Most people, myself included, have shrugged our shoulders and just said, "It seems like EVERYTHING causes cancer." 

In 2008, some researchers finally started pointing the finger at chemicals in our environment. 

Most of America buys their fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Where did that food come from? How many chemicals or pesticides have those foods come into contact with? Even if you wash your produce, can you really wash everything away? And speaking of the water coming out of your chemical free is that water? 

And what about all of this pre-packaged, preservative-stuffed foods that we are eating nowadays? Back in the 1950s and before, people made their food from scratch. But have we gotten too busy? As a working mom, how am I to find the time to cook from scratch for every meal? 

When you really start to consider all of these things, it can be overwhelming and almost depressing! 

If you grow you own produce, you know where it comes from. If you cook from scratch, your food is free from preservatives and additives. The issue is time. But maybe I should make the time to make healthy choices for my family. 

I am lucky to have a husband with a green thumb, because growing plants is not a skill I possess (just ask my school's secretary, who has to remind me regularly to water my ivy in my classroom.) But Seth has plowed up a large plot beside our house for a bigger garden this year. 

We are looking into getting chickens to have our own fresh eggs. Seth also recently purchased a great deal of meat from a local meat-packing company. 

I recently made homemade laundry soap and homemade dish washing detergent. (Have you ever read the ingredient list of the your laundry and dish about chemicals!!!) Here are links to the recipes I used to make these items:

I know this is all very heavy stuff for a Saturday morning, but as I go into this week of freedom for me (I'm on Spring Break....YAY!) maybe I should take this extra time to figure out some ways to get the chemicals out of our home. It may not guarantee that cancer will not strike us, but it really can't hurt us to rid our home and bodies of unnecessary chemicals!