Monday, October 15, 2007

Listen to Your Mother

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day! After coming up with the title for my post, I was amused to note that Jen’s contribution is entitled “Respect Your Mother,” by which she means respect the Earth. When I say “Listen to Your Mother,” what I mean is listen to my mother. Long before trans fats became the villain du jour, she was exhorting me to check labels for hydrogenated oils and shortenings; well before the presence of Bisphenol A in plastics started to receive media coverage, she adjured me never to put plastic wraps or containers in the microwave. She knows stuff, my mother – and in me she has a rebellious daughter who never takes her warnings quite seriously enough. So as an act of public service today, I thought I’d pass along to you some advice my mother has given me – perhaps you will reward her efforts better than I have done.

  • Avoid body lotions that contain parabens. They are bad (I forget why). Here are some good alternatives:



    (Avalon Organics hand and body lotion and Alba Botanica sunscreen, in case you're having trouble making out the labels.)

  • Take vitamin D supplements and Omega-3 fish oil capsules once a day. They’re good for you.

  • Buy organic milk, apples, strawberries, and peppers. Don’t worry so much about organic bananas or potatoes, though, unless you plan to eat the peel.

  • If you or your children are depending upon chick peas for iron, be sure to drink orange juice with it. The Vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron.

  • If you or your children are depending on peanut butter as a source of protein, be sure to drink some milk with it (you need the dairy product to make a complete protein – not sure what you’re supposed to do if you’re a vegan).

  • Give your children cod liver oil. It comes in tasty berry-flavoured drops!

This has been a public service announcement. While you’re considering how to implement this good advice in your life, you can also click over to Toxic Nation and sign a petition asking the Canadian government to ban Bisphenol A, a chemical compound found in cans and plastic containers that leaches hormone disruptors into the foods we eat. I especially like this initiative because I’m lazy and I’d rather not have to avoid canned goods or transfer my foods onto glass plates every time I microwave them.


It’s not every day you can foster your health and the environment and make my mother happy.

45 comments:

Kathryn said...

Well done. Your mother would be proud.

slouching mom said...

Dear B&P's Mother,

I've been trying to take the fish oil supplements. But they make me burp nasty fish burps.

Do I continue, even if I might be repulsing my companion of the moment?

Yours, Slouching Mom

Jess said...

These are extremely useful tips. I had no idea about the vitamin C/iron thing.

dawn224 said...

Your mom and my mom might just be the same.

Veronica Mitchell said...

I think the paraben thing is because parabens have been found inside cancerous breast tumors.

Beck said...

Cod liver oil comes in non-nauseating flavours now? Oh, I now have a new addition to my children's morning vitamin-taking!

cinnamon gurl said...

Your mom is smart. A couple of things: My recent reading has suggested that you don't have to eat proteins with different amino acids together. Your body can actually combine them even if you eat them at separate meals (which most people do without even thinking about it).

And my dad, who worked in plastics for most of career, said that Bis-A is only in the hard plastics (big water cooler bottles and baby bottles) and cans; apparently we don't need to worry about the softer plastics. I especially hate the can thing. He said those are the really dangerous source of Bis-A because it's in the lining of the can, which they heat to very high temperatures to cook the beans, making the Bis-A more absorbable.

You can also eat chickpeas with tomatoes or peppers for the vitamin c.

Janet said...

My mom is an endless source of wisdom, too. Although she uses far too much plastic wrap in her day-to-day life.

Thanks for the tips.

Mary Joan Koch said...

I remember taking cod liver oil as a child; the taste was disgusting. I do not recommend cod liver oil as a way to start labor having tried it once. I have found fish oil capsules good for both depression and sore knees. Your mom reminds me of my grandma. In her 80's when bad arthritis confined her to a chair, she read the newspapers, listened to the radio, watched public TV, and was very well informed on the latest news about everything.

Chaotic Joy said...

I just have to say that if one of my children ever writes down advice that I give and offers it to other people as words of wisdom, I might actually die of self-fulfilled happiness that moment. Way to honor your mama.

Of course the advice I just imparted to my 15 year old son 2 seconds ago was to stop biting his fingernails and spitting them on my floor. I am not sure this would be quite as universally appropriate.

bubandpie said...

Slouchy - Hehe. I know them well, those burps.

Sin - I take it that "hard plastics" would include Rubbermaid/Tupperware food containers? Or not?

Jaelithe said...

Parabens are bad because they are estrogen mimics, just like bisphenol-A. They disrupt the normal workings of the endocrine system. Unfortunately, A LOT of synthetic plasticizers, preservatives, detergents, and pesticides are estrogen mimics. It is pretty much impossible to escape exposure to synthetic estrogen mimics at this point. They have thoroughly contaminated the world's supply of fresh water, which is why so many male fish are making eggs. This whole issue depresses me beyond belief.

(I wrote a paper on the environmental and health risks associated with synthetic estrogen mimics in high school. That's right, high school. Also, my high school bio teacher told me to skip the trans fats to avoid heart disease. She must have been friends with your mom. Amazing how long it takes some of these things to get out to the general public, no?)

Also, cinnamon gurl is correct in that you do not have to eat complete amino acids at the same meal to get complete protein in your diet-- you just need to include enough amino acid variety in your general daily diet.

However, if you are looking for complementary plant protein sources, look to indigenous diets of people who do not have regular access to large quantities of meat. Rice+beans? Complete protein. And what do people in Mexico and India eat at almost every meal? Why, rice and beans of course. And soy by itself is a complete protein.

It is completely possible to eat an entirely vegan diet and get adequate protein. What vegans mostly have to worry about is Vitamin B12, which is hard to get without animal sources, and is a key essential nutrient for growing children.

However, it is present in eggs and dairy products, so lacto-ovo-vegetarians like me have no worries about B12.

Kyla said...

Lovely words of wisdom from your mum.

Blog Antagonist said...

Your Mom sounds like a smart cookie. I've honestly been avoiding plastics since I read about Pthalates. But I can't seem to give up bottled water or ziploc bags. That's my next green goal.

Mimi said...

Huh.

I have a post brewing about my inner laziness colliding with my wish to be a good environmentalist/activist. Perhaps you will join me on the couch to mull it over in a sedentary fashion ... ;-)

Laural Dawn said...

I think our mothers must be friends. My mom had me going to a naturopath when I was 7 - and would put vitamins in my orange juice.
Smart woman.
But, I had no idea about the peanut butter. Very interesting.

Patois said...

"Don’t worry so much about organic bananas or potatoes, though, unless you plan to eat the peel." Excellent advice.

b*babbler said...

Your mom is a smart lady, but oh how I love me some Saran Wrap and Ziploc baggies (although I never microwave with the cling wrap on, or the ziploc bags for that matter).

Why does everything that is so easy have to be so bad for you. Harumph!

Tuesday Girl said...

Great job. Don;t forget to buy organic peaches they are the most ridden with pesticides!

painted maypole said...

hopefully some day our own children will be saying "my mother was right!" ;)

Kara said...

great post.

PeanutButtersMum said...

Why the cod liver oil? Will it make him more obedient?

My doc says Salmon oil supplements are the best. As said by Slouching Mom, they give me AWFUL fish burps. Taking them at bedtime helps a wee bit!

flutter said...

Inspiring as always.

um, also? SM's comment made me a little queasy. Please help her!!

ewe are here said...

These are some very good tips... we do the fish oil supplements, but I didn't know about drinking OJ with chickpeas!

Jenn said...

Are you sure that peanutbutter isn't supposed to be taken with margarita's?

100% sure?

Dammit.

bubandpie said...

Jenn - I'm pretty sure you can drink margaritas with your chick peas (they're loaded with vitamin C aren't they?).

PBM - The cod liver oil is for brain development (though my mother did clarify that other fish oils are better because cod liver oil has high levels of magnesium - she only gave the cod liver oil because it comes in berry flavour).

You guys are dazzling me with your knowledge!

Lisa b said...

I like your mom.

Mommy-Like Days said...

I was looking at your mother's handwriting the other day--it's on my fridge in a list of foods that are high in pesticides and those that aren't :) If your mother has any further advice, don't hold back, just pass it on!
Also, it sounds like Bub is doing really well these days. . .

Alpha DogMa said...

Our world has gone mad.

But thanks for this advice.

kittenpie said...

Smart lady, that mom.
But who doesn't eat potato peels? That's where the vitamins are!

cinnamon gurl said...

Ok, so I just asked my dad about the distinction of hard plastics. He said he doesn't think bis-a is in tupperware but said it's a bad idea to microwave anything in any kind of plastic. I'm totally shocked. This is a man who sings the praises of plastic at every opportunity, who never fails to rise to the bait when someone says something negative about plastics, who thinks organics are a crock of sh*t and chemicals are our friends... and he only now tells me not to microwave plastic? He said especially anything with fat because fat can get to higher temperatures and leach out nasty bits in plastic. Thanks for making me ask him. Sorry you have to keep transferring food (and now I will start).

bubandpie said...

Kittenpie - Who doesn't eat those nutritious potato peels? Um, me. :p I wasn't kidding when I said my mother doesn't deserve a daughter like me.

Bon said...

your mother and my mother apparently have the same daughter problem...girls that just won't listen. even when they know mom's probably right.

i can listen to YOUR mom, though, who doesn't get my back up in the least. thanks for the PSA.

Terri said...

I think your mom has definitely has some good advice. Now I'll just have to start implementing some of her suggestions.

Mom101 said...

You have a cool mom. She and my mom would have a lot to talk about. I am with slouching mom on the fish oil though. Icky burps.

And shoot, I forgot today was blog about the environment day. See what happens when I don't read any blogs until 11 pm?

jen said...

respecting AND listening.

mamakie said...

Great advice. All things I did not know. Thanks for passing along your mom's words of wisdom.

WONDERWOMAN said...

Great advice, I'm taking down mental notes.

Julie said...

Until bisphenol-A is banned, there are always glass bottles.

Evenflo just sent us some wonderful glass bottles to replace the plastic ones we had of theirs that cracked. We really love them and they come out of the dishwasher SO SHINY.

Luisa Perkins said...

We are big fish/cod liver oil fans here. I read once that fish burps are a sign you are not taking the oil with a companion fat. So have a piece of toast with butter or some scrambled eggs when you take your capsules or drops. That should help.

radical mama said...

I don't know why parabens are bad. But I do know that if I use shampoo with parabens, I get this nasty cradle-cap type of scalp problem. Therefore, parabens are bad. I use a very mild organic shampoo. And peanut butter and milk is a very tasty combo. :)

bubandpie said...

Luisa - That's the kind of advice I really love. A companion fat - hmmmm, do you think chocolate counts?

Lawyer Mama said...

Ooh, I'm feeling so health now because I've been taking Vitamin D & fish oil supplements. Although they do give me nasty fish burps too.

JCK said...

Good for your Mom! Thanks for all the great tips. My mom sounds very similar. Of course, I haven't been a GOOD DAUGHTER like you and given her kudos for this on my blog... One of her recent "public service announcements" is to not always put sunblock on the kids day in and day out, that many of us are now Vitamin D deficient due to overdoing the sunblock and not letting the "good rays" shine through.

The Bisphenol A in plastic drinking bottles is also something to be concerned about. I learned about it when I worked for a physician who is on the cutting edge of cancer research. We don't think about it, but those plastic water bottles sit in cars, ride along on bikes, etc. - all getting heated! Then maybe the water cools down overnight in the car and we drink it! Pretty scary stuff.

Of course I was a day late on Blog Action Day. Someday I'll know what the heck is going on...I better head back and think about being a good daughter..

Carrien said...

Nuts can also be eaten with whole grains or beans to make a complete protein. The vegetarian protein triangle has whole grains at one corner, nuts and seeds at another, and legumes at the third, any two of the three will make a complete protein and you are set if you are a vegan. Milk is a complete protein by itself and you don't really need peanut butter to complete the protein, unlike what peanuts need.

So eat your peanut butter with sprouted grain bread and you'll be fine. And now you know.