Environmental Nutrition

By Carol Bloemen

Pollutants can make it difficult or sometimes nearly impossible for our organs to do their work. We develop conditions that are commonly thought of as the products of aging — such as poor eyesight, arthritis, food allergies and asthma — and we have a tendency to accept these as the norm.

In Eastern Medicine, there is no such thing as “diseases of aging”, only “diseases of accumulation”.

Consider for a moment just three of the many-known disturbing facts:

1. Since 1950, the human sperm count in the industrial world has gone down by 50 per cent, due primarily to the sudden increase in pesticide use

2. Over the last decade, cancer in children has increased by 200 per cent, also due primarily to pesticide use

3. Studies following several generations of children over two decades have shown that pregnant mothers exposed to low doses of pesticides give birth to children with profound intellectual deficits.

In these technological times, it is impossible to avoid all chemicals and pollutants. They are in our walls, carpets, air conditioners, soaps, detergents, skin care products, paper products, plastics. In essence, they’re everywhere.

Globally, many issues need to be addressed. On a personal level though, the question is not so much about how to remove the chemical from the product as it is about decreasing your exposure by reducing your use of harmful products.

Let’s take two examples that are very dear to our hearts – disposable coffee cups with “plastic” lids, and water bottles. Both are made of bendable plastic, which outgas phthalates and benzenes into the air and into the liquid contained in them, particularly when they are warm, thus going directly into your system. Your body has the capacity to eliminate a portion of the chemicals we are exposed to, but if the intake and exposure is greater than the elimination, conditions and diseases begin to appear.

So what can you do that will make a difference and that you can start tomorrow?

1. Buy a Nalgene water bottle (found at Mountain Equipment Co-op or Starbucks) and use it to transport your water with you for the day. Nalgene is a plastic, but because it is hard, unbendable, and has colouring, it does not outgas the chemicals like their clear plastic counterparts, even if it gets warm in your car or office.

2. Buy or dust off your old environmental, insulated coffee mug to take out your favorite latte. Not only are you immediately reducing your own personal toxic load, but also that of the environment as well.

3. Buy fruit juices in bottles rather than in plastic containers.

Carol Bloemen, RNCP, is a registered nutritional practitioner, speaker, and educator. She runs a private practice that provides individual consultation, or group presentations. For further information, contact Carol at cbloemen@rogers.com

Disposable water bottle” by EpipowellOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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