This morning, like most weekday mornings of late, I enter the bathroom sweating like mad. I’ve been jogging in an effort to loose this last legacy weight from my previous way of living. And quite frankly I’m tired of being called ‘portly’ or ‘big fella’. The truth is, I’m desperate to have a bikini body by next summer. I suppose it might have something to do with health and fitness.It’s no news that I’m looking down the barrel of turning forty. Just a few more years and I’m there. Just look at my beard, I’m not far away from auditioning for the role of the shopping mall santa. Bad humour asisde, I want to at least feel the best I’ve felt all my adult life as I’ve been a slob since my teenage years. I’ve really had enough though. Slow learner eh.
Into the shower I go. Greeting me every morning, unavoidably at eye level is a bottle of shampoo. And every morning I read the same thing printed on the back of the product. It tells how the company is passionate about hair and caring for our hair. It tells how this passion and expertise have been significant to the professional salon experience worldwide. It kindly provides a tip from some expert hair care stylists, of which is to massage the shampoo into wet hair and rinse thoroughly. Which is a godsend I must admit. I’d be lost with out that tip. All these years I’ve been washing my toes with shampoo. How awkward.
Most importantly of all, is the list of ingredients printed in upper caps. Some of which are real doozies. Glycol Distearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Xylenesulfonate, Dimethicone, Sodium Benzoate and Hydrochloric Acid. It’s a Mr Whites shopping list for a weekend in the desert! Of course we don’t eat this stuff, it just goes on the head of the person that actually uses the shampoo. But I can’t help thinking that I don’t know what any of these ingredients are, or what they do once they reach my body. I can’t help but wonder if these synthetic ingredients cause any destruction to nature in their production. It’s just shampoo right. Everyone uses it. So it can’t be that bad, right?
I’m not in the business of shampoo bashing, because it just opens the doors to a world of pain. I mean the reality is that everything we have in our lives, from paper to plastic, lotions to plaster dry wall, so many things we’ve incorporated into our lives do have some impact on environment. Thats quite a paradox of us to consider. It’s so ingrained in our lives. It’s unfathomable to consider removing these things from our lives. Yes?
I’ve read somewhere about ‘off-gassing’ from common house building materials, and how it can impact on our long term health. I’ve read about high heavy metal levels in children that live in congested cities. The list of potential health impacts seems endless. Enough to give you an anxiety attack. Thankfully we have xanax, let me just pop one now.
Is there a possible solution for us many humans? Well I don’t think any one of us has that answer. I do, however see hope in world. Hope in the form of options for us to take. One option that burned brightly for me was to feed my families with food that didn’t have unrecognisable ingredient lists as long as the ones on that bottle of shampoo. If we as choice makers, are fortunate enough to have that magic combination of sun, soil and water, we have the opportunity to reclaim power over the food we eat by growing some of it ourselves. We also have many opportunities to buy or produce from people that give a shit about growing real food for the city folk, or people that provide an outlet for some real good food. At least with food we have some real fine choices at our fingertips.
There are people out there that are aware. Eyes have been opened and care is given in the from of thoughtful choices. Ultimately, it’s our daily choices that can be the power of nations. We are makers of a better future. Our wallets and purses decide what we insert into our bodies (and our families bodies). There are so many good things out there, and yes, the vegetables I deliver are in that category, otherwise I wouldn’t get up at 5am every saturday morning to deliver them to Melbourne! I do it because I believe that the people that want to make change are like a good virus. Their choice to be better consumers can be contagious to the people that surround them, and the result will be a sway from unhealthy food. We have an opportunity to support these producers of real food.
With our support we can create an environment where many local producers can provide a ‘real food’ service thats more honest than the current one. My dream is to see young and old folk setting up micro farms growing food for Melbourne families. Farms that would exist just an hour out of the hustle and bustle, where the air is clearer and the soil fresh and pure. Food just like we grow in the backyard, free from the application of chemicals. Food that’s grown when it can be grown naturally, seasonally. I know that takes some getting used to because I’ve walked that path myself. Even now my veg boxes are reducing in variety of veg as the peak season winds down.
It’s a lot to digest I know. Every morning the back of that bottle of shampoo is a reminder to me that I’m awake. I’m aware. I question. Do you think we’re at a moment in time where most of our population simply carries on with each new day, leaving the thinking to the ‘stylist experts’ and chemists that invent our products? How do we wake everyone up for them to take notice? Will our future be ok if for the most part, we simply pour that metaphorical shampoo over our heads without asking what it’s is made of, what it is doing to our bodies and what cost it has on our environment. That answer will only be known to our decedents. In the meantime I’ll stick to living off mostly home grown, minus the Methylchloroisothiazolinone.