One of the landmark environmental books of the 20th century was Silent Spring. It was about the toxic dangers of the pesticide DDT used to kill insects on crops. It turned out to destroy a lot more than insects. The book was written by Rachel Carson and its publication in 1962 brought a backlash of condemnation from the chemical industry. She was the first to warn the American populace as to the dangers of chemical use as a weapon of war on our natural environment. Her book led the way to banning DDT, but it did not stop the plethora of chemicals from entering our life stream.
A pesticide is a poisonous chemical sprayed on your food in order to eradicate any insect, creature, bacteria, mold, microbe, weed, bird, fish, mollusk, you get the picture. The problem is, many of those pesticides are deadly for humans as well. Sure, they are designed to kill pests, but they will eventually kill other animals, including the person applying the chemicals, as well as the persons eating these toxic plants.
Herbicides are right up there with pesticides in the deadly poison category. They are designed to kill other plants, weeds in particular. What some people consider a weed, such as the magnificent dandelion, others honor for their high nutrient content and healing properties. Herbicides target a plants specific hormones in order to destroy them without harming the protected crop. It is interesting to note that herbicides have been found to disrupt the endocrine (hormone) systems of animals with the suspicion that they are endocrine disruptors for humans as well.
Your endocrine glands make chemicals called hormones and pass them straight into the bloodstream. Hormones communicate with the body and bring about changes in your physical growth, metabolism, cellular repair, sexual reproduction, digestion, and internal balance. Environmental chemicals disrupt the intricate network that regulates your body’s reproductive system, your ovaries and testes, as well as your pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and thymus glands. They are sprayed on your food and served with a nice dose of artificial flavorings and colorings to hide the fact that the food is of inferior quality. These synthetic chemicals actually alter the way your body produces hormones and this in turn affects the functions those hormones would normally be taking care of easily. The endocrine disrupting chemicals I am referring to are: Dioxin, PCBs, DDT, Pesticides, Glyphosate, Herbicides, Plasticizers, and Diethylstilbesterol (DES).
In today’s environment you will run smack dab into these bad boys every time you ingest contaminated water, food, and air. They also leach out of plastic bottles, plastic containers, or plastic wrap and accumulate in your fatty tissue. By watching how they affect other vertebrate animals in nature, scientists have drawn the conclusion that these chemicals are also disrupting our endocrine system.
In a recent New York Times editorial by Nicholas Kristof, Are Your Sperm in Trouble?, he wrote that due to these endocrine disrupting chemicals men’s sperm counts have dropped sharply in the last 75 years, in ways that affect our ability to reproduce. “There’s been a decrease not only in sperm numbers, but also in their quality and swimming capacity, their ability to deliver the goods,” said Shanna Swan, an epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who notes that researchers have also linked semen problems to shorter life expectancy.
Also, a few years ago President Obama’s Cancer Panel issued a report that stated, “The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.” With Americans exposed to over 70,000 chemicals in the surrounding environment and many of them unregulated and known to cause cancer, the task to clean up this toxicity can be daunting if not downright impossible. The work this will take has yet to happen and with the cuts President Trump has made to the Environmental Protection Agency we will see little or no action taken.
In the meantime here’s what can you do for you and your family’s protection. First of all transition to a whole foods, organic diet as outlined in The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse. Then consider that what you spend your money on either supports the chemical industry or you can look to spend your money on healthier choices. Mahatma Gandhi called this peaceful resistance. The Environmental Working Group has created a comprehensive list of items we use on a daily basis with safety ratings that assist you in making an intelligent choice when purchasing products. Look over the website and educate yourself about what’s safe and what’s not, then put your money into buying the cleanest, highest quality food and products available. It will go a long way towards protecting your family and it will support the preservation of our natural resources, our Mother Earth.
When interviewed for a CBS documentary about Silent Spring, Rachel Carson had this to say,
“Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature. But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself? We are challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.” She died shortly afterwards in 1964 from breast cancer.