WE are severely challenged these days when it comes to trying to be healthy. You want the best for your baby, and from the baby bottle to the pram you buy, it takes a bit of planning. Just about everything is contaminated. Here are just a few examples of what we face in day to day living.
- The air we breathe – the “safe” level of pollution in the air is deemed to be 25. In many cities in China it ranges from 100 to 700. The sad fact is that we share the air with the whole world, wherever we live.
- The water we drink – even where the water quality is good, it is doctored with chlorine and often fluoride.
- Virtually all our food – Genetic modification, pesticide and herbicide residue, veterinary medicine residue in meat and poultry, heavy metals in sea food
The world is already challenged regarding providing us with a safe environment in which to grow and thrive and then we make it worse by making our own contributions:
Avoidable toxins: These are things you don't need to buy, but many people routinely do, without realising the effects
- Air freshener – if it’s synthetic it actually pollutes the air if you think about it
- Fabric softener- pollutes water more than necessary
- Toilet sanitisers – pollutes water and prevents bacterial action on sewage
- Insecticide sprays – poison in our homes and gardens
- Body products – full of chemicals which land up in our water systems as well as absorbed by us
- Car products – Chemicals that you breathe when you are in the car
- Soft furnishings – carpets and sofas impregnated with chemicals
- Paints – full of toxic chemicals
- Cleaning agents – pollute the air and the water systems
- Electromagnetic – mobile phones, computers, television, wifi (part of life, but can be restricted)
- Food additives; GMO's
The list goes on and on.
When my parents grew up everything was organically grown because there was no other way. The introduction of commercial agriculture and the chemicals left over after the second world war, changed all that, and the concept of growing food with chemicals was born. Today there is a widely held belief that one cannot grow food without chemicals, but the few, hardy organic farmers in the world prove that this is not true.
The world is not and has not always been ideal for newborns, but we have survived. The trick is to be sensible and to make the best choices for the health and wellbeing of your child.
Food is no longer what it used to be:
Somewhere along the line, someone decided that processing foods was a very profitable idea. Take a simple grain and stretch it by first removing all its natural goodness, adding sugar and lots of air and you have a fancy cereal. Add a colour, a few synthetic vitamins and a smidgen of “fibre” to make it “healthy” and the manufacturer becomes a millionaire, but the child you are feeding becomes a sugar junkie.
- Nearly all foods are contaminated with pesticide or herbicide residue.
- Many foods are genetically modified
- Other toxins, as a result of pollution, ground water contamination, storage of grains, can lead to harmful elements in every day foods.
- Mass production of meat, chicken and fish/seafood had resulted in veterinary contamination of these foods with antibiotics, hormones and other drugs.
- Fish, especially the larger, longer living fish are often contaminated with poisons and micro particles of plastic.
- Commercialisation of foods has resulted in mass production of cheaply made, badly designed meals with poor nutritional value and potentially harmful health side effects. Usually they have high sugar content or high fat content (or both), with high sodium and low fibre.
- Commercialisation of food has resulted in many additives in the form of preservatives, colourants, flavour enhancers etc., causing foods to be chemical cocktails.
So what is the solution?
Home grown veggies
- Buy fresh and seasonal food
- Buy organically grown foods
- Avoid foods that have been genetically modified, by buying foods that have been organically grown.
- Buy from reputable food shops.
- Buy free range, or organic meats from reputable shops.
- Don’t buy take away, instant or ready made. Make your own.
- Making your own food means you know what went into it.
- Grow your own vegetables and fruits
- Use natural medicine where possible
- Go to restaurants that are ethical and use fresh, wholesome ingredients. (Everyone needs a treat!)
This is about being aware. So many people have no clue about nutrition and think their child is on a healthy diet, when in fact it is made up of commercially produced, nutrient poor "tummy fillers". A healthy child rarely needs medicine, whereas a sickly child will sometimes be getting antibiotics every month.