A New Kind of New Year's Resolution

by: Sara on 01/05/2012
Posted in: Guest Posts

Well, it is day five of a new year and I bet a few of us are struggling with our resolutions already (if we made any!) Today Deanna Duke, the author of the popular environmental blog, http://www.thecrunchychicken.com and the new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger, What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, talks to us about a “new kind of resolution” offering some easy steps we can take to limit our exposure to everyday toxic chemicals. Sounds like a resolution I can get behind!

You can follow Deanna Duke on her blog book tour at, http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2012/01/blog-book-tour-2012.html

Also, please join us in the book club where Deanna will be on hand to discuss her new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger.


 Many of us make New Year's resolutions revolving around health - generally of the lose weight, exercise more and eat better kind. But few stop to think about other things that affect our health. Sure there is quitting smoking and wearing seat belts and other very valid resolutions. But what about reducing your exposure to toxins? And not just if you live near a pesticide-sprayed field or a Superfund site.
 No, I'm talking about the toxins we are exposed to in our everyday lives. Toxins like Bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastics, canned foods and on store receipts, and cause hormone disruption. And what about Triclosan, a potent anti-bacterial, found in many things from hand soaps to toothpaste and tennis shoes, and can contribute to super-resistant bacteria, while causing a whole host of health issues not just for humans but for fish and aquatic life downstream?
 I propose that this year you look at not just the amount of food and what kind you are eating when trying to be healthy, but also what you are putting on your skin and breathing in that also impacts your long term health. And, because the whole topic of toxins in consumer products can be extremely overwhelming, I recommend people focus on the following low-hanging fruit of toxins. For this year's New Year's Resolution try this instead of or in addition to your other pledges:
 1. Get rid of the anti-bacterial soaps. Nobody needs them - studies show that good hand washing is just as effective at cleaning as anti-bacterials. Avoid the ingredient: Triclosan
 2. Ditch the non-stick. Start with your frying pans and work your way through your bakeware. Choose quality stainless steel, glass or cast iron instead.
 3. Avoid artificial fragrances. You'll be surprised at how many products in your home contain artificial fragrances which house the chemicals phthalates, which are powerful endocrine disruptors. Avoid the ingredients: artificial fragrance or parfum.
 4. Stay away from tinned food. Most food tins are lined with BPA, which has been shown to cause healthy breast cells to act like cancerous ones. Make your own soup and store it in glass jars, buy dried beans and look for BPA-free cans. And, while you're at it, stay away from soda cans.
 5. Buy organic food. Stay away from pesticides by choosing organic foods over conventionally sprayed ones. Your body and the environment will thank you.
Deanna Duke is the author of the blog, http://www.thecrunchychicken.com, and the book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.


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