13 August 2005

paranoia magazines

so I've decided that most, if not all, magazines with titles that include the words Health, Organic, Pure, or Natural are paranoia-inducing, fear-mongering negativity machines. This is not clear from their covers. For example, the September 2005 issue of Organic Style touts: 25 Good-for-You Beauty Bargains for Under $25 and down below, The Great Lip-Balm Road Test. In their FreshLiving: Home section they have an article on healthy furniture. Seems mostly positive, no?

No. The furniture piece goes into great detail about how your sofa is killing you with PBDEs (polybrominated diphenylethers), which are banned in the EU. And, just by the way, these things exist in more or less everything plastic, including computers, shower curtains, and tupperware. Last month featured an article on plastic food storage and how it was going to kill you. So after Sept.'s issue, we are now all sitting on our organic cotton rag rugs eating out of glass conatiners.

the furniture thing I can kind of dismiss—turns out IKEA doesn't use these PBDEs, so we're feeling alright about it all. Plus the immanent move to the EU means less toxins for us...but then...

I'm reading the piece on the beauty bargains and I can't help thinking: so if this shampoo is fabulous and has nothing bad in it, why do they sell it in a plastic bottle leaching PBDEs into my bloodstream? Perhaps too negative. I stop reading that piece.

On to the lipbalm toss-off fluff piece, which is lighthearted until it points out that the petroleum jelly I've been using forever is (obviously, if you think about the name) a non-renewable resource!! I'm participating in the depletion of the world's oil reserves by moisturizing with what I thought was "pure" and "simple" (well, it is, of course, pure and simple petroleum...)

and just when I convince myself that I'm contributing much less to the world's demise than if I drove a gas-guzzling car all over town, it hits me: the petroleum jelly is stored in plastic!

like I said. paranoia-inducing, fear-mongering publications. steer clear.

1 comment:

Liz said...

And just when I thought my biggest concern was the dog throwing up on the couch and not knowing how to clean the leather, you step in with a larger and more terrifying concern. Also, I remember a night a year or so ago when some friends of mine and I were witness to a giant, multiple couch bonfire and I couldn't breathe without feeling like my lungs were going to collapse the next day. Now, on the list of homicidal chemicals that I probably flooded my body with that night, I can add PBDEs. And I thought the weirdest thing that happened was the pregnant woman offering me drugs. (I said no, Mom.)

RE: petroleum jelly -- I read in Jane (my most organic and healthy magazine reading) that it doesn't actually moisturize anyway, it just seals in what you've got. They, not surprisingly, suggested lip gloss from Mac or Bobby Brown instead. I'm assuming those stem from a non-renewable resource also, however, so it only solves one of the petroleum jelly-related problems.

Finally, because I must always sign off on a high note, here is something to think about: will prices of petroeum jelly go up with rising oil prices, or will it just be that we can't afford the gas to jump in the Hummer and run 3 blocks to CVS to pick more up?