You Want It Cheap or Safe? Try Grandma’s Solution


baby with open cabinet full of poison household chemicalsWe have taught our American consumers to be cheap –to be obsessed with the lowest possible price — and the cost is higher than we should be expected to pay.

Retailers have been urged to remove products from their shelves that might contain harmful (toxic) ingredients.

Why is everyone surprised?  Does anybody actually expect cheap products to be safe?  things you buy at Target or K-Mart to have been made with your safety or well being in mind?  why?

Not that I am demonizing these particular companies.  It is impossible to expect them to spontaneously think of these things.

They want to make profits to send their own kids to college, and improve their own lifestyle.  This is the sort of thing businesses in America DO — the greed

we value, and and glorify, and that entrepreneurs aspire to.

Our consumer watchdogs certainly sound like good, decent folks.  The real question is how and if increased laws and regulations can be helpful here, limiting the toxic things that actually get to people.

If so, this would certainly be in line with something I would support.

The real problem is that we are stuck in a cycle of increasing regulations, which would bring up prices.  You understand, of course, that if a company has to make things safer, they will have to spend more money and they pass that along to us — the consumers.  I do not see a lot of folks I would expect are independently wealthy shopping the kind of discount stores.

One thing I do not claim to be is an expert on household cleanliness, but there is one line I absolutely love in the initial article cited above.

It is the last one.

The author talks about baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar.

She says, “Use what our grandparents used; simple products.”

Take an example from something I do know about.  It is a sort of basic home pharmacology.

I have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting on the kitchen table.

I have read about it in many places, long ago; I mostly think of it being part of traditional Vermont and New England folk medicine.  It is supposed to help with weight loss.  I had generally taken that with a grain of salt, and I use it so rarely that I doubt it has much to do with mine.

I use a little bit of vinegar straight in my mouth, a couple of teaspoons, where other people would use antacids.  This is one of those folk remedies I have learned of in many places, sweetening the vinegar to taste.  After all, your stomach is supposed to be acidic in order to do its job of breking down proteins insto smaller molecules.  Lots of people, including moi, have terrible rebounds after antacids, which makes lots of sense; when you are trying to cancel the acid problem, which has a reason for being it will probably re-appear quickly and with a vengeance.

If you add acid, with a palatable taste, it gets the body set up to digest efficiently.  No rebound.  Pleasant and easy.

Not only is vinegar a digestive aid — it has been tested in reducing obesity in Japan.  The study isn’t a scientific heavyweight, looks like one of the anorectics that populate this field, but I can’t find real scientific publications on this one.  NOTE: This link opens a PDF file, so you need Adobe Acrobat to read it.

Only one study, but impressive.  This old New England folk remedy could be — well, real.  Fifteen or 30 mg. daily of vinegar, diluted to palatability may indeed assist with weight loss and triglyceride lowering.  Good science, as far as I can tell.

All kinds of other possible health benefits have been explored for plain old vinegar. Nice, but the “researcher” is a dietician. Her ideas of facts and mine might be a little different.

Still, not without a certain appeal.

As a disinfectant vinegar seems to be pretty non-toxic and I have no problem with that kind of use.

It has gotten to the point that I laugh or smile when I read Web MD.

Everyone finds (and they index here ) an article where a woman got an apple cider vinegar capsule caught in her throat.

I would not use the capsules, which I do not thik anyoe has tested for anything.  I might use something else if I had head lice.

I would maybe use it to disinfect furniture if I ever disinfected furniture.  Nobody seems to have done any head to head studies with this and the stuff in Walmart and Kmart, and it is really hard for me to imagine that happening.

I believe the bottle of apple cider vinegar to be the cheapest thing in my kitchen, and on my kitchen table.

I have written on weight loss and recommend the simple, old foods of our forebears.  I love the idea of simple old remedies being somehow “better.”

They are also cheaper.

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