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  • Do your supplements contain what they say they do?

  • What did it take to make your bar of soap?

  • How did your food reach your plate?

  • What happens after you wash off your shampoo?

In our everyday lives, these questions seem like an afterthought at most, after all how important would the answers be? While each may vary, the truth is everyday essentials in our lives go through a lot to get to you, and it doesn’t end even after you use them.  If you knew the whole story of your food, your personal care, your supplements, would you choose differently?

 

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SUPPLEMENTS

As if the rows of nearly identical bottles in the vitamin aisle weren’t confusing enough, a New York Attorney General report has blasted several major retailers for having sketchy ingredients in their herbal supplements.  But if you know what to look for, you can make sure what it says on the bottle is actually what you’re putting in your body.’

The trouble is that because vitamin and supplements are exempt from FDA regulation, manufacturers are legally allowed to go to market with their product without proving their purity levels to anyone. The claims of supplement and vitamin manufacturers that don’t follow good manufacturing processes (GMP) can be sketchy at best, but some of the products don’t even contain what’s listed on the label, according to a new CBC report.

CBC’s Marketplace took some of the more popular products on Canadian shelves to an independent lab for testing. The results found the packaging regularly lied about the contents and failed to mention additives and fillers such as sugar.

Almost everybody take some sort of dietary supplement — whether it’s a standard vitamin/mineral mix, herbal or other botanical product, amino acids and proteins or essential fatty acids.  The options are aplenty, as there are some 85,000 different dietary supplements to choose from.

Despite their variety, one thing they all have in common is a lack of oversight and regulation.  The results of these deficits, clearly outlined by the investigation, leave consumers prey to adulterated products, those with no active compounds, and even to those with excess products — in other words, to snake oil. And this is not just a simple case of mislabeling, since some of these supplements have caused death and serious illnesses.

 

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PERSONAL CARE

Your lipstick. Your nail polish. Your body wash.  Most of us don’t realize that the products we use every day can expose us to thousands of chemicals that are readily absorbed through our skin. The impact this has on our health, the planet and wildlife is not good. Then there are the other issues that come with mainstream beauty products from the animal testing, unfair trade practices, child labor and environmental issues.

It also turns out that there are major loopholes in the beauty industry that allow companies to fill their beauty products with unregulated chemicals – primarily for the sole purpose of increasing profit margins.

True, our bodies have the ability to heal themselves and breakdown small amounts of toxicity, meaning that a few toxic chemicals found in one product may not necessarily be detrimental to our health. However, these few chemicals can quickly multiply when we are using up to 5 or so products a day. This toxic overload can then cause disease in the body.

Not only do the chemicals found in many mainstream beauty products cause harm to our own health, they also destroy our planet. Chemicals are washed down our drains and into the ocean resulting in wildlife and habitat being poisoned.

Most people don’t take the time to learn what is in their products until something happens…like they get sick or see firsthand during their travels the cruelty that can go on behind the closed doors of ‘making’ products.  Most of us just assume that the government closely regulates all of this.  However, there is a cruel, toxic and unethical side to manufacturing that many of us never see unless we diligently do our research.

 

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FOOD

Industrial agriculture is one of the most unsustainable practices of modern civilization. From start to finish, factory farming is responsible for the abuse of land, animals, and natural resources all for the express purpose of providing cheap, unhealthy food to the large amounts of people, which are all linked to deterioration of one’s health. Replacing small-scale farms, where a variety of crops and animals were raised in congruence with single-crop farms and “animal production facilities,” factory farming has wrought economic problems, public health concerns, inhumane conditions for billions of animals, and a huge carbon debt on the world’s agricultural system.

Take eggs for example. Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. Eggs comes from hens, often marketed to make consumers believe that they are happily raised in wide open spaces and fed all natural diets. Sadly, this often is far from the truth. Today, in the industrial system, hens are imprisoned indoors for their entire lives; given inappropriate feed such as soy, growth hormones, and chemical supplements, foods that hens are not designed to eat. The confined environment and the inappropriate feed make these hens sick, so they need antibiotics and other drugs to live.  They are forced to lay eggs with artificial lighting and injected with hormones and chemical supplements to increase egg production as well. Once the hens can no longer lay eggs, they are disposed.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As consumers, it is important to choose a reputable and trusted company. One that is transparent about their quality and manufacturing methodologies and can ensure you they follow the standards of the industry to provide the best ingredients and quality for your health and wellbeing.

 

Sources: torontosun.com, well.blogs.nytimes.com, foodmatters.com, theecoblog.com, onegreenplanet.org, huffingtonpost.com