Health benefits abound for everyone when it comes to organic products of all kinds
Be aware of what you wear
Many people shop for food products very carefully, selecting as many natural, organic products as possible to be diligent about family and environmental health. The physical benefits of eating naturally produced food can be seen as weight is lost and felt as energy and mental clarify increase. The environmental health benefits are wider reaching, touching the lives of farm workers, food processors, as well as essential waterways, soil and air.
Similar benefits exist when people choose to purchase other products that are made with organic and sustainable materials and processes. Clothing and other household and personal items that are produced naturally can be as important as food products. The skin is the largest and most absorbent organ in a human body, and care should be exercised when deciding what to put up against it. Studies have shown that the pesticides and herbicides used to produce cotton, for example, contain carcinogens and allergy-causing agents. Roughly 1/3 pound of chemicals is used to produce the one pound of cotton needed to make a single tee shirt. Cancer rates are increasing, and allergies are more and more prevalent, especially in small children.
What is the impact of chemicals in cotton? Here are some things to consider:
Cotton crops are typically rotated to maintain soil quality, and peanuts that are grown for people to eat are commonly grown in place of cotton for that purpose. Cotton seed is also used to produce food for livestock that are part of the food supply chain. In this regard, many of our clothing and food products are inextricably linked. According to a recent report released by the University of California, 42 billion pounds of chemical substances are produced or imported in the United States on a daily basis. In the same report, an estimated 200,000 workers in California, alone, suffered from chronic diseases linked to industrial chemical exposure in 2004, the most recent year from which data is available. Farm workers are cited first in the list of the most likely workers to suffer from chemical exposure. Cotton is one of the world’s most produced crops, and most of it is still treated with chemicals.
What can you do?
Be aware of what you wear, in addition to watching what you eat. Buying clothes and household items made with organic and sustainable materials makes a difference. As people increasingly demand organic clothing, farmers will grow more chemical-free raw materials. Shop around. There are ethically-produced products at some large retailers, but more trusted resources may be online and brick-and-mortar shops that focus 100% on environmentally friendly products. Know you are making a choice that will make you feel good. Removing harmful chemicals from the cotton production process is better for your family’s skin, reduces farm workers’ exposure to carcinogens, can reduce the toxic byproducts in our food and helps protect our natural resources.
“We cannot expect all people to sacrifice style or quality to make environmentally-friendly, healthy choices when it comes to their clothing,” says Jeremy Whisnant, Co-Owner of The White Pebble. “If the industry provides consumers with an easy path to product choices that make them look good and feel good, in addition to benefiting the world around them, the results will be positive for everyone.”