Gransnet forums


Are you worried?

(79 Posts)
techygran Wed 31-Aug-16 09:52:35

I'm getting a little spooked by all the chemicals in food and also beauty products. My dgs has autism and his mum has given me a lot of information to read on toxins etc in everyday use. It's really opened my eyes and I've started to check labels more carefully. I think the food we had in years gone past was less processed (and yes more expensive) but these days it's all about mass production and food is relatively very cheap. It worries me the long term implications this is could have on all our healths.

obieone Wed 31-Aug-16 10:03:14

beauty products. If medical creams that are rubbed onto the skin have an effect on our bodies[eg deep heat], then I have always thought that make-up does too. I dont wear make-up, partly because of it.

Jalima Wed 31-Aug-16 10:11:14

I started a thread on the micro beads in toiletries - tiny plastic particles in all kinds of shower products, shaving gels, scrubs, creams etc which are polluting our oceans and getting into the food chain but only one (I think) other poster showed an interest.

I think I will bump it.

As for food, particularly for a child wuth autism, I would try to feed him fresh, unprocessed food, organic if possible (I know it is more expensive but a small piece of organic chicken or meat is better than a large processed burger etc).

Tizliz Wed 31-Aug-16 10:20:09

Jalima I am interested in what you said, but what do you do about it? Sometimes I feel that I am too old to put the world to rights.

tanith Wed 31-Aug-16 10:48:50

I try to eat as much food from scratch as I can , fresh veg and fruit, but I suppose everything has chemicals to one degree or another its really hard to avoid everything. We can but try.

nanajana Wed 31-Aug-16 10:50:38

Everyone can make a difference just by buying organic wherever possible (it doesn't have to be expensive) and checking labels. Cosmetics which carry the Leaping Bunny logo are against animal testing - Marks and Spencer meet the criteria with their own products. It can be quite an education reading labels!

oznan Wed 31-Aug-16 10:51:09

I do worry about chemicals and additives-I buy organic food where possible,I have stopped using make-up and only use the basic type of moisturisers,etc..I refuse to use air fresheners whether sprays,gels,candles or diffusers.
I also worry about the use of palm oil in so many products.I have contacted companies about this but they don't seem to care about the effect it is having on the environment and people's lives.
Then there is the way that companies like Apple,Primark,etc. treat their workers in other countries.Appalling conditions and wages.I have seen workers making Apple products falling asleep at their benches because they are made to work so hard.
Sorry,this is turning into a rant about the modern world.What can we as individuals do about it?I have realised that if I stop buying products because of these reasons,there will be little left to choose from.If we all stopped buying,then the companies would change things fast.
I also have a grandson on the autistic spectrum (and am an Asperger's myself) but the problem of chemicals and toxins in food affects us all equally.It is a shame that it takes a diagnosis like this to make us look into what is actually in our food and everyday products.

Maggieanne Wed 31-Aug-16 10:56:59

Jalima, maybe some didn't show any interest in your thread but it appears you're not the only one concerned about micro-beads. They are in the process of being banned! Thank goodness for the petitions that can make a difference, Power to the People!.

durhamjen Wed 31-Aug-16 11:02:39

I'm with you, oznan.
I buy organic and vegetarian, asnd have been vegetarian for over 40 years.
I had a guest house and a cafe where I used to say I educated people about organic food and cleaning materials and toiletries.
The only way you can really change things is by not buying what you know to be ethically wrong. You can try and persuade others by example, but you get laughed at, even by people on here.

Never saw your thread on microbeads, Jalima, but as I never read any threads to do with beauty, which I assume it was on, I obviously missed it.

I never buy any makeup anyway, never have done. I also avoid anything that talks about nanotechnology.

ExaltedWombat Wed 31-Aug-16 11:07:13

Microbeads are one thing. Looking for toxins in everything is another. Hydrogen Dioxide can kill if taken in sufficient quantities!

janieuk Wed 31-Aug-16 11:13:39

You only have to look at the ingredients in some packaged food to know that it can't be good for us - I once read somewhere that if you don't recognise an ingredient as food don't eat it! Very difficult to adhere to obviously when the shelves are stacked with so much choice and very enticing products. I think as others have said the best option is to eat as near to basic unprocessed foodstuffs as you can and then you know it has not been messed with. I think the Food Standards Agency has a lot to answer for and there is so much money being made by huge companies from peddling this junk food the only way to stop it is if we stop buying it. We now know the obesity crisis is down to over consumption of sugar, not fat as the experts would have had us believe for many years - it doesn't help that there are fast food outlets on every corner and people eat all day. When I was growing up we had 3 good meals but not many in between snacks. I'm speaking here as an overweight 61 year old who Is constantly trying to practise what she preaches!

Emerald888 Wed 31-Aug-16 11:56:53

A work colleague's niece was a food scientist for Marks and Spencers. Advised her not to buy meat from supermarkets due to additives etc. Said M&S had much higher standards. That was years ago!
Presumably organic ranges should be much safer.

Emelle Wed 31-Aug-16 11:58:56

One of my 'resolutions' when I retired was to be as eco friendly as possible. Almost all of our meals are cooked from scratch and I am very selective about the brands of cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products I use including buying produced as much British products as I can to save air miles. It is time consuming and probably more expensive but worth it as I have the future of six young grand children to consider.

Antonia Wed 31-Aug-16 12:38:11

We try to eat (DH and myself) as much home grown, home cooked food as possible. I don't wear makeup, not from any dread of what might be in it, but mostly laziness and it isn't going to transform me into a raving beauty anyway. But, I do think there is a line between being aware of additives, chemicals etc, in what we eat and put on our skin, and living in a climate of fear about them, which is what seems to be developing. You can't seem to read an article that doesn't tell you that this is bad for you, and too many bananas / too much meat / sitting on a chair for too long etc, is going to have a devastating effect and lead us to an early grave. Perhaps there is just too much information, given the internet work we all live in now.

SueDonim Wed 31-Aug-16 13:03:40

The entire world is composed of chemicals so you can't avoid them. Additives are a different kettle of fish. My younger son was a severe asthmatic as a child and some additives sent him into a tail spin.

We try to mostly eat from scratch and I'd prefer a small amount of something good quality than a large amount of bulky filler food.

I don't particularly worry about make up but if anyone is concerned but still wants to use it, Holland & Barret do a good range of products.

SueDonim Wed 31-Aug-16 13:05:30

Here's a link to Holland & Barrett make up.

Disgruntled Wed 31-Aug-16 13:17:47

I agree with all this; I'm trying to go vegan but stumble on feta. Make everything from scratch, usually just very simple meals, and I use eco friendly cleaners. PETA is a good place to check whether products have been tested on animals (though horrifying and depressing to read their posts.) we need to go back to the way our grandmothers did things. I see it as part of simplifying.

Jalima Wed 31-Aug-16 13:22:33

Jalima, maybe some didn't show any interest in your thread
Maggieanne I thought it was because I put on a link to the Daily Mail campaign
DM is anathema to some on GN grin
even though some of their campaigns seem to be worthwhile

djen I don't think I put it under beauty I think I put it under 'Science and the Environment'
now you've got me thinking hmm

DaphneBroon Wed 31-Aug-16 13:31:09

I would like to think that a healthy dose of common sense would help us to retain a sense of perspective both in what we buy to eat and what we put on our skins.
Common sense tells me that so many claims by cosmetic companies have to be tosh, skin is waterproof so NO PRODUCT however pricey (crème de la mer with added diamond dust) or off the wall bonkers ( snail slime) is going to do more than make the surface feel better - or indeed worse! What we put into our bodies is within our control and again years of experience should have taught us to read labels, buy from ethical reputable, local producers (organic if you want) so actually -

No I am not worried.

MiniMouse Wed 31-Aug-16 13:36:25

There's a saying that I heard years ago, "If you can't put it in your body, don't put it on your body." That might be a step too far, but it's good in principle!

Synonymous Wed 31-Aug-16 13:38:09

As a family we use everything as natural as possible. Eat organic and grow as much as you can being very picky about what you use as a fertiliser for the growing medium. You do not need a huge garden to grow your own and can use tubs, bags and pretty much anything that will hold compost. Just look at the chap in London who grows a massive amount mostly on his walls and windowsills - see and you will be inspired. There is a massive amount of support on the internet to give ideas and how to do it.
I am aware that organic costs a little more but it does keep better, stays fresher longer, has a better texture and flavour and no harmful chemicals so it is a price well worth paying. I no longer buy as much and am much more careful to not waste any of it and find I don't spend much more than I used to. Cook your food yourself from really good organic ingredients. If buying ready made food then if anything has a massive list of ingredients then steer well clear. If I can't pronounce it I don't buy it!
One of DD's uni friends trained to be a food technologist and told us that chemical flavourings are often used instead of the actual food. An example he gave was lemon meringue pies many of which have never even seen a lemon since the flavouring comes from an edible mould. Yum! hmm

I have been busy detoxifying my home for some time and once again there are many websites where you can get tips. Since being ill a few years ago I have turned to Essential Oils to support our body systems to ensure we stay fit rather than have to repeatedly resort to pharmaceutical drugs. Don't get me wrong though, we are aware of the benefits of modern drugs and use them when necessary but prefer to focus on staying well. As for putting stuff on our skins we should be as careful about that as we about what we put in our mouths since these things penetrate the cells of our body.
The interesting thing is that once you have embarked on moving away from toxins you can detect chemicals very easily, usually by smell or taste and occasionally when they make us vomit.
I think, as a population, our bodies have become really sick from the use of chemicals and usually it is cost driven. If it is worth paying a little more for better health through buying organic and natural products and eating a little less than we have allowed ourselves to be accustomed to then it is a no brainer and something we should indeed be doing.

Jalima Wed 31-Aug-16 14:04:01

What we put into our bodies is within our control and again years of experience should have taught us to read labels, buy from ethical reputable, local producers (organic if you want) so actually
DaphneB I don't think the labels on these products actually state that they contain plastic.

Millions upon millions of the particles get washed down the drains and into the sea, are ingested by small sea creatures such as mussels then go up the food chain into fish, so we could be eating them unwittingly.

Jalima Wed 31-Aug-16 14:07:03

I also avoid anything that talks about nanotechnology
I think that could be the word to look out for and I have avoided toiletries that I knew contained them; however it is not always easy to find out.

Synonymous Wed 31-Aug-16 14:08:22

I agree Jalima and I am sure we don't even know a fraction of it!

Jalima Wed 31-Aug-16 14:09:10

DaphneB you (along with all Gransnetters) may have a hefty dose of common sense grin but lots of people don't!!