As regular readers already know, my awesome wife, Brittan, has a very nice home based business making soaps, candles and a variety of bath and body products from natural milks, oils and butters. If you’re new, check her out at YELLOW BARN SOAP STUDIO on Facebook or on her website, www.yellowbarnsoap.com .
This past weekend we had a booth at the Jasper Marble Festival in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. On Saturday evening, just before 6, when we were closing for the evening, a very pleasant man, wearing a jacket and cap covered in military patches came in to buy some goat’s milk soap for his wife who is fighting cancer. She’s found that her treatments have made her skin and sense of smell very sensitive and the only soap that doesn’t irritate her body is unscented goat’s milk soap. We happened to have some in stock and he bought several bars, but that’s a story for elsewhere.
I noticed from his patches that he had served in multiple wars and military campaigns from Vietnam to Desert Storm. I thanked him for his service and we chatted for a few minutes while my wife got his order ready. As he reached for his wallet, I could see his arms shaking in that all too telltale Parkinson’s way. I asked him directly if his Parkinson’s disease was connected to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Well, didn’t that open the floodgates on the challenges he had trying to get the VA (and others) to acknowledge the connection? Eventually, though, they relented and admitted it.
My heart melted at his story and my blood boiled at the struggle our Vietnam Veterans have suffered because of Agent Orange related Parkinson’s. This gentleman is the fourth person I’ve met in the last two years who is a sufferer. The awareness of this plague needs to be shouted from rooftops everywhere, first to ensure these veterans get the medical care and attention they deserve. The second is to make the rest of us aware of potential risks WE may be facing because of the same chemicals that infected our brave young men back in the 60s.
Some of the same chemicals in Agent Orange are found in Monsanto’s Round Up. That’s not a big secret. Just Google it. How many of us have been spraying the around our houses, gardens and on our farm crops? How many of us are eating fruits and vegetable that have been sprayed with it or eaten meat from animals that have grazed on pastures and harvested corn fields that were sprayed with it?
The chemical companies and the Government (all parties, folks, this is not a Democrat or Republican thing) tell us it’s safe, but then then said the same thing to our troops in Vietnam, didn’t they? It took decades for the truth to surface, and by then it was too late.
These same companies and agencies are assuring us that GMO products are also perfectly safe and we happily fill our shopping carts and bellies with them without giving it a single thought. Now I’m BEGGING you, give it a thought. What are we doing to ourselves and to future generations? For Heaven’s sake, please start paying attention.
I urge you to go to YouTube and watch some of the stuff from Robyn O’brien. She is one of my heroes. While I disagree with her about mandatory labeling (read my reasons here), her research into the dangers of GMOs and pesticides is top drawer. She will make your brain explode.
Vani ‘Food Babe’ Hari is very much ‘in your face’, so make sure you’ve got your thick skin on, otherwise you’ll get your feelings hurt. But she has great info and knows her stuff.
Carrie Vitt at Deliciously Organic, and Lisa Leake over at 100 days of real food, have some great stories of how changing the way we think about food can impact our families and our health. They are real wives and moms who deal with real life and real families every day. Sure, they’re celebrities now, but weren’t when they began their journeys. Listen to them. Try their recipes. You and those you love deserve to know what’s happening to your health because of what you eat.
For the record, I fully acknowledge I’m not perfect at avoiding GMOs and highly processed foods, but I AM working on it. Brittan and I grow as much of our own food as possible, and try to buy organic when we can. We also live on a tight budget and know how hard that can be. We’re all in this struggle together. What we CAN’T do is continue to pretend that we’re not being slowly poisoned in the name of ‘cheap’ or ‘convenient’. Like those Vietnam Veterans whose bodies now betray them years after the war, it will be too late once our bodies, and the bodies of those we love, succumb to the corners we cut today.
We love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts and comments via the comment page or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your story and what you’re doing to change your family tree via your nutritional changes. Send us your questions. Join the discussion. I keep reminding you, we’re in this thing together.