Friday, January 21, 2011

Organic Milk: Good for You, the Planet, and Farmers

The milk in my house is always organic. Yes, it costs a bit more, but I’ve noticed that doesn’t spoil as fast as non-organic, and it’s free of pesticide residue, hormones and antibiotics, all of which aren’t so great for my family’s health—and is one of the main reasons I made a big health switch. And as it turns out, organic milk isn’t just better for humans—it’s also better for the health of the planet and for the health of the cows who produce it.

A report from The Organic Center, which was released in November, found that organic dairy farms have been able to reduce manure methane emissions by 60 to 80%—a huge boon to the environment, as methane gas is 25 times stronger than CO2 in terms of the global warming damage it inflicts. The report also shows that cows living on organic dairy farms live 1.5 to 2 years longer than those raised on high-production conventional farms. That means cows need to be replaced at a slower rate on organic farms, which is a cost savings to the farmer.

Here’s hoping all those non-organic dairy farmers out there read this study and realize that switching to organic makes sense not just for consumers but for their bottom line, too. 

Some say that you get the milk from the black & white cows, and the cream from the white cows!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hand Sanitizers

While researching hand washes (check out our Wash-Up! products) I found Triclosan and alcohol in everything. Also many of the hand sanitizers that market themselves as ‘No Alcohol’ contain ingredients such as Benzalkonium Chloride, which is rated as a high hazard by environmental and safety groups such as the EWG.

I prefer and love essential oils as a safe and healthy alternative to chemicals and alcohol, and California Baby’s foundation was built on the concept of aromatherapy. I have turned to essential oils over and over to keep my family healthy.

And, it turns out, vigorous hand washing with warm water and a cleanser for at least 20 seconds is all that we need to kill germs and stay healthy. Of course, soap and water aren’t always available, and mom and kids are always on the go, but I also know from years of researching ingredients and living a natural/organic lifestyle that the very high percentage of alcohol based hand sanitizers is not health promoting, to the contrary, I feel it is unhealthy—especially for babies and kids. Their small bodies cannot handle the toxic load of the high percentage of alcohol contained in and multiplied by the constant use of a hand sanitizer throughout the day, week, year... (Organic sourced alcohol doesn’t make it any safer.)

A trusted industry insider has noted, "alcohol is one of the only consistent trans-dermal materials known. Children have been documented to become legally intoxicated as a result of topical application of alcohol to reduce fever."

The link below is a story about what a few families have been through when their kids either accidentally drank the ubiquitous hand sanitizer solution or were affected by absorption.

I continue to research and develop a safe non-alcohol based hand sanitizer. In the meantime, my suggestion is to wash hands frequently with a non sulfate cleanser (stay away from synthetic fragrances), use hand sanitizers sparingly, and only when you feel there are cooties about—and be sure to supervise your kids when they use a hand sanitizer and keep it out of their reach.

All my best,