Our Chemical Romance

DISCLAIMER: I’m not making sweeping claims. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m not patronizing.

Everyone in Utah heard about the sweet family in Layton who had two little daughters killed from pesticides that were improperly applied to their yard. So, so tragic. That family lived just a few blocks from me. 

Almost everyone in the world has had a loved one die from cancer and wondered what caused it.

My son has a rare endocrine disease. Why?

Learning/behavioral disorders, type 1 diabetes, migraines, the list goes on and on.

I have been trying to live and raise my family in a more healthful way for a few years now. We’ve all heard about “going green” when it comes to food and energy, but I haven’t heard very much reported on how toxic the world around us has become.

I picked up this book and decided it would be a good read in order to open my mind and be less ignorant of what is going on.

What's Gotten into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World

I’m not into scare tactics, which some of this book does use. But if you have a clear head and read it for general knowledge about what’s going on, it’s very informative.


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: What’s Gotten into Us? is a deep, remarkable, and empowering investigation into the threats—biological and environmental—that chemicals now present in our daily lives.
Do you know what chemicals are in your shampoo? How about your cosmetics? Do you know what’s in the plastic water bottles you drink from, or the weed killer in your garage, or your children’s pajamas? If you’re like most of us, the answer is probably no. But you also probably figured that most of these products were safe, and that someone—the manufacturers, the government—was looking out for you.
The truth might surprise you.
After experiencing a health scare of his own, journalist McKay Jenkins set out to discover the truth about toxic chemicals, our alarming levels of exposure, and our government’s utter failure to regulate them effectively. What’s Gotten into Us? reveals how dangerous, and how common, toxins are in the most ordinary things, and in the most familiar of places:
• Our water: Thanks to suburban sprawl and agricultural runoff, 97 percent of our nation’s rivers and streams are now contaminated with everything from herbicides to pharmaceutical drugs.
• Our bodies: High levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals from cosmetics, flame-retardants from clothing and furniture, even long-banned substances like DDT and lead, are consistently showing up in human blood samples.
• Our homes: Many toxins lurk beneath our sinks and in our basements, of course, but did you know that they’re also found in wall-to-wall carpeting, plywood, and fabric softeners?
• Our yards: Pesticides, fungicides, even common fertilizers—there are enormous, unseen costs to our national obsession with green, weed-free lawns.
What’s Gotten Into Us? is much more than a wake-up call. It offers numerous practical ways for us to regain some control over our lives, to make our own personal worlds a little less toxic. Inside, you’ll find ideas to help you make informed decisions about the products you buy, and to disentangle yourself from unhealthy products you don’t need—so that you and your family can start living healthier lives now, and in the years to come. Because, as this book shows, what you don’t know can hurt you.


We all know these chemicals can be dangerous, but I don’t think we take it very seriously. We always hear “Yes, it can be dangerous, but with the small quantity we are exposed to, it’s not.”  Seriously, how many times have we heard that? The problem is…what about the cumulative effects of ALL the hundreds of “small quantities” we’re exposed to every day, let alone over our entire life???

Obviously, I’m not going to commit all of my energy and savings to implement everything non-toxic, but there have been some small changes we’ve made over the last couple of years to be more “green”. They include:

  • No microwaveable lunch entrees or popcorn
  • Some organic food where money permits.
  • Very limited high fructose corn syrup.
  • I buy very few snacks (I make them instead) and when we eat out, it is VERY rarely fast food. 
  • We try not to use store-bought plastic water bottles too much. We each have an aluminum one.
  • Hypoallergenic toiletries for kids. Their skin is SO sensitive to anything that isn’t 100% natural/hypoallergenic that they break out with eczema patches if they take 1 bath in “fun” bath bubbles.
  • We’ve significantly reduced the amount of cleaning chemicals we use (unless absolutely necessary). We use green products, vinegar, and a steam mop, which I LOVE.

In all honesty, these changes haven’t cost us any extra money. In fact, they SAVE money. Our grocery bill has actually gone down considerably.

The book has a hundred things we can do to limit our exposure to toxins but the top things we hope to implement over the next couple of years are:

  • Organic milk and meat
  • Vegetable garden
  • More native plants and flowers that promote natural habitats for local fauna and require less water.
  • Organic herbicides/pesticides. I hate going to the park and smelling the poison that was sprayed on the grass still lingering from even a couple of weeks earlier. My baby is playing on it! 

I’m really not trying to be a preacher or to put myself out there as an ultra-conservationist freak. I’m not blaming all cancer and other health issues on these toxins. I just want to be informed, not ignorant. I believe that continually implementing small changes can make a difference to my family’s health and wellness of life.


Here are a couple of links I’ve found to be helpful.

Safe Mama http://safemama.com/cheatsheets/
The original One-Stop Child Safety, Product Recall, Health, Well-Being, Non-Toxic, Eco-Conscious Resource, For Parents.

My Recipes  http://www.myrecipes.com/

Oompa Toys http://www.oompa.com/
We offer our constantly expanding collection of European wooden toys, baby toys, educational toys, lunch bags and modern children’s furniture to urbane and discerning adults who want to expose the young children in their lives to non-character branded, quality toys that are designed to withstand generations of use. We believe baby toys should be natural, safe, eco-friendly, non-violent and from manufacturers who provide safe and nurturing environments for their employees.

Shop Smart  http://www.shopsmartmag.org/
We will always tell you the truth

One thought on “Our Chemical Romance

  1. What have you found to be the best product for the eczema? Karlee gets those patches so easily. Also, we do only non-hormone milk for Karlee. We go to Gossner's in Logan every couple of months and stock up on cases of their milk that can be stored at room temperature. It's nice that we don't have to do store runs just for milk anymore and it's just about the same cost as regular milk. I admire your ability to do all of this. I'm trying to be better.

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