Ignorance is bliss but awareness is power

This is a guest post from The Non-Toxic Mom, who blogs often and with enthusiasm about living a non-toxic lifestyle.

I REMEMBER ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO when I lived in a place called la-la land. La-la land was fun; you got to eat all sorts of crap with no (obvious) repercussions. Sure, you may have been nutrient deficient. Sure, you may have been consuming poison. Sure, you were most likely turning on all sorts of cancer genes, but none of that mattered. All that mattered was that life was EASY. A trip to the grocery store was so simple in good old la-la land; you just wandered in and out of aisles and threw whatever you wanted into your cart. Cookies full of hydrogenated fat and preservatives? Sure, I’ll take 2 boxes. Ices with red dye #40? Definitely… what better treat is there on a hot day? How about some barbecue chips with MSG? Right on… what better taste is there in a chip than that of being at a barbecue? And this was only the beginning, the junk food aisles, where at least I had a modicum of guilt because I knew these were snacks. Then came the “foods” that I thought were OK, and I would buy them without any clue that they were toxic… margarine (What? It’s not healthier than butter?), non-dairy creamer (Isn’t it just milk that’s not dairy?), peanut butter (Oh….hydrogenated oils don’t naturally occur in here?), diet soda (Isn’t it much better for you than regular ‘cuz there’s no sugar?)… sadly the list goes on and on. Yes, I was ignorant. Yes, some people find this to be bliss.

Out with ignorance, in with awareness.

These days, I’m living in the real world. The world where (SPOILER ALERT: don’t read on if you aren’t ready) THERE ARE LOTS OF FOODS THAT WE GREW UP EATING, THAT MANY OF OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AND RELATIVES EAT, THAT ARE REALLY NOT GOOD FOR US. I know this can be hard to hear. I know the prospect of changing all the food in our pantry seems daunting. The beauty is you can work at your own pace. The next time you’re at the supermarket, put the puff pastry dough down. That’s it, you can do it. Don’t be scared. It’s a change, but if you listen closely, you can hear your heart fluttering a “thank you.” If your kids ask you to buy Gushers, stand tall, stand proud, and say no…but offer something in its place. There are so many non-toxic fruity-candy-rolly-squishy treats out there that can serve as replacements. In fact, there are replacements for most of the products that you will soon find yourself refusing to buy. You’ll feel better knowing that you don’t have the bad stuff in your house and that you’re not supporting the companies who make it.

Awareness is in… as for ignorance, that is SO 5 years ago.

3 comments for “Ignorance is bliss but awareness is power

  1. May 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Were we neighbors in la-la land? That was such a nice, friendly town to live in. The real world over here is so rough and tumble, don’t you think? Nobody wants to be our friend… :( Waaaaa!

    This lifestyle gets easier…and then it doesn’t. I think back to what used to seem so hard (cutting out dyes and preservatives) and then I think about what’s ahead of me (about to cut out gluten, dairy and eggs for a gluten/egg/dairy- loving family.) Each day is a new day. And each day is a new choice.

    Thanks for being brave enough to speak up on behalf of awareness. I’ll be your friend any day.

  2. emma
    September 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    we are in the process of doing this in my household as well. support from some angles, uncertainty from others, yet to meet with disdain but i’m sure it’s coming :-) the more i learn the more certain i am that la-la land needs to be left behind. the further away i get, the more it loses it’s shine.

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