Hannah Seligson’s The Pre-teen Girl Mystery on The Daily Beast caught my attention, and is apparently not the first news story on bisphenol A. Further reading on the Wikipedia page for bisphenol A is eye-opening. Of course a Google search yields obvious plastics industry spin. It got me thinking, not just about a particular toxin or the health of some people, but about all toxins as they affect every human . . . and what can I do to stay healthy?
I’m not a big fan of government action. America started with the allegation its government could protect life, liberty and property. Until the Feds get a handle on murder, theft and infringements on liberty, I’m in no rush to suggest any new business. I also object to the notion that some outside institution or entity is responsible for the quality of life of every individual, beginning with me. So I’m not advocating some spectacular new politics to keep us all healthier. Why wait for an “act of Congress” with all the urgency that suggests when I can choose to do something NOW?
I choose to think a bit more about what I ingest on a daily basis, and make consumer choices that reflect my conclusions. Take microwaves. Some science and stats help (1, 2, 3). But intuitively it doesn’t make sense to me that eating something I just “nuked” will lead to a happy ending. I hate microwaves. When I cook at home, I use ovens and stoves. When I eat out, even fast food I prefer microwave-free, so Baja Fresh, Quiznos, and the Whole Foods deli are popular destinations with me.
Sometimes I can’t help myself to a bag of microwave popcorn or the quick McD’s cheeseburger. But when I do, I believe I’ve just sliced off a few moments of my health and/or life. It’s like I just charged to my “health” credit card an act of eating for the sake of convenience or taste or short-term “savings” that will cost me “interest” in the form of a complex web of known and unknown future health problems. That is my thought process. I’ve chosen to deliberately live healthier.
Canned food is another problem for me. With the issue of food quality, nutrient levels, and freshness, I really didn’t need another reason to avoid mush from tins. Now apparently there could be an issue of toxins in the plastic resin involved with the sealing of the can. Shocking.
I don’t need a doctor or health official to tell me that sticking my hand in a pool of molten lava might negatively impact my health. Is it a crime for me to choose to slightly enhance such health knowledge? Not if I am a free, thinking citizen. So here is what I choose to do, for the sake of my health and the health of anyone who might be watching me (yes, whether we admit it or not, we all see actions in vivid technicolor despite the noise of words):
- Trust my instincts
- listen to and learn my body at least as well as I do my technology
- remain curious, ask questions
- use the web, social networking and real world networking to discover and learn
- qualify sources, especially when they boast titles, degrees, licenses, or government authority
- notice trends, patterns
Many students just graduated. Unfortunately most of them will look for a job because they were trained to follow and not question or think. My education BEGAN when I was expelled from college for publishing a newspaper. My health is tied to my education, which is a lifelong journey.