Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 5 - A Mom's Rant About Mainstream Media and Consumerist Society! (This is not my post-grad thesis)

Is anyone else tired of the confusing mixed messages that the media is putting out there? I mean, you just to turn on the TV or the Internet and the headlines spew out a plethora warnings for parents. Not to mention the constant advertisements pushing parents to buy the latest, must have gadgets, the hottest and most convenient products, and the most-up-to-the-minute way to protect your kids from just about anything.

We listen to them blindly, but then a couple of weeks, months or years down the road we find out that the products we bought were recalled for safety reasons or that they contained a potential toxic chemical.

The research is all totally contradictory. I’m all for keeping informed, but in this 24/7 news environment it seems that the research comes out before it is actually proven. I mean would it be possible to facts straight before your scare the bejeezus out of me? It’s one thing to be scared, but do I really need to be scared and not know what to do, or who to listen to!  For example, one day they warn us about the hazards of the sun and say: “Protect your kids! Make them wear sunscreen!” The next they say, “Sunscreens are dangerous and may contain harmful chemicals.” Or, they tell you: “Juice is good! It’s made with real fruit!” Then you find out that the sugar added to juices may be contributing the onset of diabetes. And, don’t even get me started on the H1N1 situation! To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…that is indeed a great question!

Well, thank you mainstream media for turning me into a seriously paranoid, stress case. So, WHAT THE HECK IS MOMMY TO DO? Go with her gut and hope she makes the right choice? I really don’t like that option.

Here’s one experts solution - read the labels of everything! Everything, meaning: medication, food, personal hygiene products, household product and toys. And, avoid anything that contains the following: preservatives, artificial flavours, artificial colors, artificial sugars, and modified anything. In general, avoid anything you can’t pronounce, spell or need some sort of degree in chemical engineering to understand. Also, avoid anything that’s been overly processed and anything that has too many ingredients. In short, buy things that are as close to their original state as possible.

Although, I admit that I have spent hours at the grocery store reading and comparing labels and humming and hawing over the pro’s and con’s of various products. Most mom's, including me, have little time to do so. And, it's practically impossible when you have whining kids hanging off of you, shoving random goodies in the cart, and incessantly asking: "Mommy! Can you get me this? Can you get us that?" My personal modus operandi is: "Get in and get out as quickly as possible!"

Well, have no fear fellow paranoid mommies! I have found an incredible resource that will save a lot of worried days and sleepless nights, not to mention time at the grocery store. I would like to introduce you to the GOOD GUIDE, an online review guide that rates products based on their safety and environmental impact. Basically, this site is shortcut that has done the label reading for you!

Hope you enjoy! (…you can thank me later!)

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