Why Are Germs “Scarier” Than Chemicals?

Here’s a scenario:

You buy a bag of frozen vegetables. You steam them in the bag in the microwave. You serve them to your children. Some fall on the floor. You pick them up and throw them away.


The vegetables were grown with a wide variety of poisonous chemicals — built-in, if they’re GMOs — some of which remain in the veggie. The plastic bag is full of toxic chemicals that leach when you heat it, and microwaves are not a healthy choice.

But the dirt on the floor is why we’d throw away (or rinse off) pieces that fell on the floor?

My guess? A combination of denial and ignorance. It’s easy to justify buying conventionally-grown produce. It’s easy to justify convenience-packaging and convenience-cooking.

Available to us are a large variety of products designed to kill germs. You can also buy most cleaners in an anti-bacterial form. Hard soaps, liquid soaps, powdered soaps, spray soaps. Products to clean your body, appliances, clothes, dishes, floors, countertops, furniture.

What most of us don’t consider (and what I didn’t consider either until fairly recently) is that the chemicals in the soaps are almost always worse than what the soaps are supposed to get rid of.

It was eye-opening to look at how many products are not advised for use by (or around) pregnant women. That means that nasty stuff from the product enters the body. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be potentially harmful to a fetus.

How much of this stuff do you want in your body?

Some toxins your body can get rid of. Some it can’t. But bodies have a limit to how much toxicity they can deal with at once. And we bombard our bodies all day with things they need to get rid of.

The other piece to that is: once we wash away all of these chemicals, where do they go? How many of them end up back in our supply of drinking water? Or end up in larger bodies of water, where they affect the fish, which we later catch and eat?

Fortunately, many cleaners are easily replaced by baking soda, vinegar, or both, which are healthier for your body, healthier for the earth, and healthier for your pocketbook.

What do you use to clean? Any great green ideas you want to share?

(image from freedigitalphotos.net)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by trisha on 19 July 2012 at 07:55

    Heat, that is one scary post. So am I wading in everyone’s toxins as I do yoga in a hot room? Do we really ever “get rid of” the toxins in our bodies since they seem to be so easily replaceable? It seems as though we are fighting a battle that can’t be won.

    • Hot yoga. Hm. I have no idea. I wasn’t thinking about soaking in everyone else’s toxins as much as just being ignorant (or dismissive) of the ones we volunteer to eat, drink, and otherwise absorb. Many of them the body can get rid of, but some of them stick around. I don’t remember which are which. One of these days, I’ll do a ton of research and report back…

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