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Non-Toxic Merry

Teresa Carey Video 7 Comments

I’ve always been focused on living a healthy lifestyle. After-all, a healthy body directly enhances the quality of life and level of happiness. But with all those warnings and labels, its hard to know what products are safe for my body and home. Merry O’Brien is an expert in non-toxic lifestyle products. She and I went to Whole Foods where she taught me all about the beauty and household products that are safe, and what ingredients to avoid. Merry and I wandered the store looking at everything from toilet cleaners to lightbulbs and bath salts to makeup. In this video we focus on shopping for shampoo.

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Comments 7

  1. Fran

    Found this video very informative….and easy to watch, which is an added bonus. Has given me lots to look at and check out. I am sure once I start looking at the products I now use, I will come back and rewatch the video. Thank you.

  2. Merry O'Brien

    Hi all! Members of my circle of friends and family often have thought I was a kook about toxins, but then the news comes out in support of my beliefs (teflon, BPA, etc) and suddenly my friends are singing another tune.

    It’s only a matter of time before people become more educated and realize that the old ways are best–the old soaps, the old fabrics in clothing, etc..

    The idea that our lives should be improved through science came to a peak in the 1950’s. In many ways, washing machines and new bubbling agents in soaps did make life easier and create a new concept of “leisure time” that humans didn’t readily enjoy before this time.

    For instance, chemical bubbling agents DO clean clothes and hands better (as I mention in the video). The reason is that bubbles are actually the agent which does the work of removing the dirt. However, with advances often come trade-offs in other ways and sometimes the trade-offs are in our health.

    A reason I’m contributing to this blog is that the concept of “simple living” is exactly what I’m advocating here. However, none of us are advocating be dirty hippies and living in huts. There are many aspects of the modern life that I benefit from, and others which I try to “check out of.” Basically, I try to be an informed educated consumer and try my best to keep myself free of cancer.

    I recently taught a college class that included a bit on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The students’ mouths dropped open when I mentioned in passing that Alzheimer’s disease isn’t inevitable and the rates in India are virtually nil. Some think this is due to differences in food consumed. My point is that humans may have a lot more control over their health than they think they do. Choices are important. Producers of goods would have us believe that we are making choices when we see an entire isle of toothpastes to pick from, but there is no choice when the entire isle is full of toxic toothpaste. We get to pick between spearmint and mint, but not between toxic and non-toxic.

    My preference would actually be to be blissfully unaware of all of these issues. Indeed, I think its unfair that I, who does NOT possess a chemistry degree, must spend my lunch hours researching these issues just to avoid cancer in my daily life – what I eat, what I wear, what I sleep on, what I clean with. I don’t have time for this mess, and neither do most of us working joes and janes out there. I wish I didn’t have to do this.

    But I do because no one is regulating anything in our products. Here in America, it truly is the Wild West chemical dumping ground. I mentioned in this in the video and I meant it. J&J isn’t the only company to make the same product in two formulations: the cheap crappy formulation for the U.S. market, and the E.U. version with more expensive, more natural ingredients. This is a common, known practice. 🙁

    In terms of all sorts of issues (including fracking for natural gas, chemicals in our products, Teflon, etc) the ONUS is always on the consumer to prove their case to the media, and to courts of law (think Erin Brockovich). Why should it always be on us to prove the case that we were injured, harmed, and our communities polluted? On this issue, I’m tried on holding the dirty glass and asking the congressman or the company rep to drink it. I think the onus should be on our FDA to keep us safe so we can just pluck whatever we want off the grocery shelf and get home to our friends and families and live our lives without needing to spend hours getting an honorary chemistry degree.

  3. Ruthie

    This was really interesting – thanks so much for the info! I have year-round hay fever and allergies, and for me it’s not just about avoiding cancer long-term – it’s about avoiding sneezing and headaches every day. I would love to see more videos with Merry!

    I particularly hate when I buy a cosmetic product that has been “green-washed” – it’s got a fancy package and proclaims to be all-natural, and then it turns out to have lots of synthetic chemicals and triggers my sneezing, and I’ve just spent a bunch of money on something that I can’t use.

  4. Caleb

    I am searching for the rationalization in:
    My rule: 5 ingredients of less or the product stays on the shelf.
    A strong part of a healthy and happy life is in the mind, and that generalization is certainly a way to lose credibility.
    AlexB “Naturalistic Fallacy in action”. //cheers
    Ruthie “all-natural”, Working at a store that sells these and other products shows clearly that “all-natural, organic and green” type words are purely used to sell products.
    The sell of alcohol, tobacco, cosmetics/perfumes and “junk food” is the crux of society, not whiter their toothpaste is “toxic”.

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