The main change I made last Fall was I stopped using hair dye. I read numerous reports of hair dye causing severe allergic reactions because of changes in the chemicals the companies put in it. Apparently, some of the changes were mandated by the FDA, other changes were made by the companies themselves to make the colors stay vibrant longer, etc. Regardless of the intent or why they were changed, it had some Very Bad results. One woman in Florida went into a coma after using hair dye. She had used hair color for over 10 years, same brand, same color, but she reacted to it horribly. Other women had their scalps blister or break out so severely, they had to shave their heads. So, I received some henna as a Christmas present! (Okay, I ordered it for myself, but the Darlin' Man paid for it!) Yes, I intend to fight gray hair...I'll go gray kicking and screaming!
The henna worked beautifully and I am now a confirmed henna addict! Henna is an all natural vegetable based color. You can bright up a batch by adding paprika (!) or brown it down by adding some powdered rosemary. Mix it up with hot water, a bit of lemon juice and some olive oil and spread it on. Adding heat helps, but you can just leave it for a few hours. No harsh chemical smell! It smells a bit woodsy/mossy, but it is not bad. The color is lovely and way more natural looking than the chemical dye!
The changes I am making now has to do with food.
We all need food. The food choices we make can determine our health.
So...because of recent news stories about various chemicals and other nasty things that are absolutely anchored in processed food, we have decided there are some foods we will never buy again.
I am sure most of my readers have heard about the HEK 283 furor (Human Embryonic Kidney cells, of which 293 were *harvested* from an aborted baby in the Netherlands in the 1970s). These cells are used by a company called Senomyx to test flavorings for companies, including Pepsi, Kraft Foods and Campbells Soup.They continue to grow the cells in tissue cultures in laboratories around the world. While the companies state that the human cells never make it into the food products themselves, I am not sure I want to trust them. After all, they never were open about GMO foods, either!
The Darlin' Man and I sat down, read all the various news stories and reports about HEK 293, did some research and made some decisions. We talked about our moral compasses and our personal beliefs. We are both pro-life, but he is more of a Libertarian than I am (or so he says, lol!), but still, he is VERY uncomfortable with the thought that the cells of an aborted baby are being used to develop food flavorings. Reading up on this, we found that they could have used animal cells, but that the fetus cells were cheaper for them in the long run. It is awful to think that it was cheaper to use those human cells than the cells from a rabbit or a rhesus monkey! We also talked about GMO foods, high fructose corn syrup (and that it is ALL made from GMO corn!),other foods that we know are GMOs (canola oil, for example) and the livestock that feeds on GMO corn, cotton seed and wheat, etc.
Our diet has changed radically.
We were already *partially* organic. Our eggs, goats milk (and the resulting yogurt, cheese and butter and ice cream!) and what little gardening we do.
Now we are going TOTALLY organic. We know this will be more expensive, so we have also decided to drastically cut meat consumption. Every other day, we will be eating vegetarian. Not a problem, as everyone here LOVES spinach souffles and omelets and big dinner salads.
Also, we all like soda here. I have a Dr Pepper addiction
BUT...since all sodas use HFCS (well, except for my beloved Dublin Dr Pepper which I can only order online once in a blue moon) , we are going to get a Soda Stream and make our own. I know the little packets of flavoring are not exactly organic, but I have found out from some friends online that you can make your own flavors using sugar and spices (real ginger ginger ale!) Also, making our own will drop the cost of our favorite "toxic treat" (as the Darlin' Man calls it) down considerably.
We are also going to reduce our dependence on chemical based cleaning supplies. Baking soda and vinegar are going to be the basis for the majority of our cleansers. I make my own sanitizer/room air freshener out of lavender and rosemary already. (I swear, it works as good as Lysol...does for me, anyway...and smells SO much better!)
I have seen all the recipes for home made laundry detergent online and I plan to start making ours. If I want a gentle scent, I'll just fill a tea ball with lavender flowers and toss that in the rinse cycle. (I already do that for the sheets....try it! You'll sleep better!)
So, we are evolving. Becoming more self-sufficient. Hopefully, healthier.