In our consumer world where most products have an ingredient list with maybe two words that I can actually pronounce, it is hard to know what exactly I'm putting in my body. This isn't just what we eat or drink, but the shampoo we clean our hair with, the lotion we put on our skin, or the toothpaste we grab every night.
For me, honestly, all of this can be over whelming. If I don't want to expose myself to excessive processing and additives in the products I use or foods I eat, where do I even start?? Is it worth trying to eat less processed foods if I still use shower products that can be harmful?
One thing that pops into my head is, "do I really need to put effort into minimizing contact with processed goods?" Through a little bit of research, I can tell you that there are mixed feelings in the scientific community over their long term effects. In most cases, researchers find that there are connections between excessive processing and long term disease or health problems. However, these findings are new because the type of processing occurring in our markets today has never been seen before. As generations continue to grow older, researchers will be able to track the effects that this processing has on long term health more reliably.
According to a researcher at Appalachian state, when we consume excessively processed products, the process adds ingredients like sodium that we, as Americans, already consume in excess; sometimes elevating them to an unhealthy level. Also, adding convenience or aesthetic elements, like increasing shelf life or changing the goods natural color to be more appealing are mostly unnecessary. If we can strive to purchase products without unnecessary additives, we can improve our long term health.
While we wait for more concrete research to be done, how can we protect ourselves from possible side effects of additives and processing?
What we have found out is that there are companies that dedicate their time to creating simple, and healthful, products so we don't have to! Companies like Purehaven, JUST Water, SOCIAL, Better Life, Primal Life Organics and many more have socially and personally responsible missions to make their customers, their environment, or their products less impactful in one way or another.
If you look really look into any of these product lines one day, they could save you a lot of time and reduce your stress about processed goods.
We always love to hear suggestions. If you have a favorite "toxin-free" product line that you want to share, tell us all about it!