A new report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology says that by the year 2030, cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. That means for the first time in more than 80 years, a disease besides heart disease will kill more Americans than anything else. Why do you suppose that is?
Well, let’s look at what causes these diseases. Heart problems are heavily influenced by genetics and diet. Cancer is a result of genetics and carcinogens– environmental substances that disrupt or damage cellular metabolic processes.
It’s also no coincidence that as chemicals become more and more present in our lives (cosmetics, plastics, detergents, food preservatives and ingredients, fertilizers,pesticides, smog, smoke, etc.), cancer diagnoses are rising exponentially. These chemical-based products that are found all over our homes are exposing us to more carcinogens than humans have ever been exposed to before. That means it’s more important than ever to reduce the number of chemicals we come in contact with.
Obviously, it’s going to be hard to completely eradicate chemicals from our lives completely, but there are a few really simple ways we can reduce the chemicals we come in contact with.
First, eat more organic foods. Stop exposing yourself and your family to chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and eat fruits and vegetables that are grown “the old fashioned way,” without chemical assistance. Meat and dairy should also be organic.Here’s a list of the “dirty dozen”— 12 fruits and vegetables that should ALWAYS be purchased organic. Or better yet, grow them in your garden. When you grow your own fruits and vegetables– and do it without chemical fertilizers and pesticides— you’ll always know your stuff is organic and healthy. And largely carcinogen-free.
Second, eat more “real food.” Instead of fruit-flavored toaster pastries for breakfast, eat real berries. Instead of chicken nuggets, cook a whole chicken breast. Instead of microwave french fries, eat an actual baked potato. Stop mixing so many flavors into your kids’ drinks. Drink more water and less pop. Instead of potato chips, eat carrot sticks or celery sticks. Anything that’s processed has chemicals added. Those chemicals add up to long-term problems– remember the increasing cancer diagnoses mentioned earlier? The increased carcinogens in our environment are coming from these types of chemicals in our food. Growing a garden will lead to more “real food” consumption for you and your family. Growing a garden with organic fertilizers and compost will yield foods grown the way nature intended, not the way a chemist intended.
Finally, stop dumping chemicals on your lawn every year. Do you really want your kids rolling around on a blanket of grass that’s been treated with toxic chemicals? A turf that’s being kept alive by oil-based fertilizers? Instead, treat your lawn with microbial drenches and organic fertilizers. Plants thrived for millennia without chemicals; your lawn can thrive without chemicals too. But more importantly, your health– and the health of your loved ones– will thrive with less chemicals as well.
If you live in west Michigan, and you’re interested in having a chemical-free yard this year, read more about the services Good Sweet Earth offers, and then get in touch with us at 616-594-0693, or email us at Office@GoodSweetEarth.com
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.