We have written about how our daughter, Alice, developed asthma, eczema and allergies when she was between 2 and 3 years old and that when she was 4 she became allergic to hazelnuts. This changed our lives forever. As a parent you never expect your child to get sick. You never expect them to develop conditions that could be life threatening. You never intend or prepare for your child to have problems. When any of us are preparing for the arrival of our children everything we envision involves happiness, good health and dreams coming true. No on prepares for the worst, why would you? In today’s world, however, 1 in 3 kids will develop ADHD, allergies, autism and/or asthma. If asthma and allergies are present children are more likely to develop gastrointestinal disorders and are more susceptible to outbreaks of eczema. Approximately 13% of all children will develop food allergies, some of whom will experience severe allergic reactions. In fact, about every 3 minute in this country a child is admitted to the hospital with a severe anaphylactic reaction to food. If your child has asthma the risk of severe or fatal anaphylaxis is increased. In 2013, the CDC released a study that concluded that food allergies among children rose by 50% from 1997 to 2011. That’s 50%! We are now at the point that about 2 kids in every classroom are faced with a potentially fatal disorder.
Many people have a hard time with these statistics and a hard time catching up with the realities of life for families whose kids suffer from these diseases. Are the numbers of kids with allergies actually increasing? Or is it merely the number of kids being identified and tracked? Are our children really in danger, or is parent hysteria at an all-time high? Are nut bans in schools overreacting and overreaching, or are these bans actually saving lives? Just how much does our society have to change to accommodate these problems? Because we cannot specifically identify the one reason kids are experiencing these problems, many refuse to consider what functional medicine and holistic doctors are telling us about our diets and households. Resistance to the realities of these diseases is very real. But we all know that kids who die from asthma, anaphylaxis and diabetes are even more real.
When Alice’s doctor told us that after 50 years of practicing medicine he was convinced the increases in disease expression is environmental, it set in motion for us a process that would lead to starting our business. We took his advice to heart, we looked at our environment and we became committed to making the safest household we could for Alice. We educated and informed ourselves and started making different choices about the food and other products we bring into our home. When mainstream medicine in the US did little to corroborate our doctor’s assessment, we dug deeper and looked farther. Just like you, Dan and I are people who are reasonably able to research, analyze data and draw educated conclusions. We are free enough thinkers to know we can look outside of the United States for guidance and help and we found our concerns about our food supply and consumer packaged goods to be corroborated by experts and international policy. We have common sense. We are intelligent and we can see through the marketing efforts intended to distract us from the realities of our food system and the realities of the origins of chemicals in our personal care products. We now understand that our bodies are being changed by our environments. Since the beginning of the post-industrial, chemical age the number of unregulated chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis has increased by the thousands. Our bodies are now burdened with hundreds of chemicals not found in nature and an increase concentration of harmful chemicals that are found in nature. Of those hundreds of chemicals that pass into our bodies, many accumulate in our body tissue, leading to disease expression. We now find commercial chemicals in our blood, urine, breast milk and even in cord blood. Chemicals are being found in cancer cells. Anything from the increase in expression of asthma, eczema and allergies to Parkinson disease and many cancers have their roots in the chemicals we are exposed to. How are these chemicals entering our bodies? Through the food we eat, what we drink, the products we put on our skin and the air we breathe. Our environments are making us sick.
The debate is over. The gig is up. We are allowing industry to pollute our bodies and our planet. To deny this is to live in a fantasy. To deny that the prevalence of chemicals in our bodies is not causing disease is akin to the fact that it took until 1964 for the American Medical Association to admit that smoking causes disease. Our institutions may be behind on the issue of chemicals in our environment, but we are not. It does not take double-blind longitudinal studies corroborated by more academic duplicated studies to understand that when you put poison into the environment there will be consequences. It’s time for us to demand change. We can debate all we want to about the role of government in protecting us from ourselves. We could debate forever the appropriateness of regulation. But that still doesn’t change the fact that petrochemicals are seeping into our skin and making us sick and that herbicides and pesticides are wreaking havoc with our guts and immune systems. Something must be done. If industry refuses to come to the table and if government can’t catch up or if we won’t allow it to, let’s actually vote with our dollars. Let’s stop buying products that are harmful to our health. Let’s demand more organic food and let’s demand chemical free personal care by buying from conscious companies who are doing the right thing. At the same time, let’s not treat petrol, agrochemical, food and cosmetic companies like the enemy. These industries and products were developed to find solutions that societies need to thrive. But we don’t have to be stuck in decades old technology. We can create an economy that can transition into newer technologies or the renewal of older, natural practices. As a society we can acknowledge the deleterious side effects of industry without threatening the livelihood of everyday people who work in the industries that need to evolve. We can allow for the fact that change may not be immediate but, by working together with reasonable and realistic timelines, we can improve our health and the health of our planet.
That’s what we are doing at Makes 3. Everything we do and every product we develop is designed to bring you organic health and wellness. And we are committed to sharing information with you that will help you be prepared if your child gets sick and help you with you what we have learned about protecting Alice’s health and how to deal with some of the expressions of her illnesses. We will share more with you what we have learned about the challenges to our food system, our personal care products and our environment. Our daughter, Alice, will be dealing with her health issues for the rest of her life. But we can minimize those problems for her so that they don’t dominate the way she lives and if your child faces these issues we can help you do the same.
We believe that by getting back to nature we can bring our bodies back to health and perhaps, hopefully, we can turn the tide so that other children and other families will not have to face the challenges that so many of us are today.
A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to. ~Robert Brault