Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ingredient Anxiety

I went to my favorite salvage grocery store yesterday. I only needed a few things but knew better than to walk in there with less than $40 in my wallet. It is so hard to beat those scratch and dent prices that I impulse shop till I drop.

As I scanned the aisles and cautiously plucked items off the shelves for my routine "safe ingredients" check I was flabbergasted to see an abundance of organic and natural products stocking the shelves! I caught my breath and changed gears. Ingredients no longer mattered because that sunny day label "organic" and that whatever's clever label "natural" filled me with the confidence of a care bear.

All I needed to do was load my cart to the brim and slide into home for a $40 grand slam. It was getting very hot. I'm pretty sure every customer there had the exact intentions I did. I worked fast. With $20 left to spare I already had a month’s supply of organic chocolate chip cookies, organic alphabet cookies, organic pancake mix, all natural fruit snacks, organic chocolate and peanut butter cereal, organic candy, organic pop, organic sweet iced tea, naturally seasoned snack mix, all natural pudding, Hamburger Helper, instant potatoes, and so on and so forth.

And then it hit me. Not all that glitters is gold. Here I was, sweaty, breathing heavily, crazed look in my eyes, adding and subtracting obsessively, and gripping the handles of a cart filled with processed foods like I was the Grinch. What in the world just happened to me? Organic sugar spikes blood sugar just like non-organic sugar. All natural fruit snacks get stuck in teeth just like the ones doused with chemical food colorings do. Fresh foods are still better than candy.

So what possessed me to think that it was good for my family and me? One word….Marketing. They play on our instinct to want to protect ourselves and loved ones. They know that those magic little words “organic” and  “natural” will encourage us to buy their products because they're presented as being "safer".  And typically, we don't second guess them.

Marketing companies have successfully figured out a way to trick the consumer out of using their common sense when shopping. And it doesn't stop at food. Yes, organic and natural products are better for you...if they're good for you in the first place! You can't dress a wolf in sheep’s clothing and expect it to be gentle. You can't invite every product pushed as safe into your home and expect to have great results.

Dryer sheet companies are like wolves. They've figured out that people are having allergic reactions to their products like hives, asthma attacks, depression, eczema outbreaks, rashes, confusion and dizziness. So like the corporate giants they are, they made a few alterations like no perfumes or dye free and labeled them as hypoallergenic. Perfect, right? Nobody wants anything they could be allergic to in their home.

But dig deeper. Dryer sheets are still chemicals and crude oils that melt in the heat of the dryer and coat your clothing. When the clothing cools so does the oil creating a slick barrier that wrinkles just cannot compete with. Of course our skin is a lot smarter than a wrinkle and absorbs those toxins like a glaze on a sponge cake. The damage it does isn't even on our minds because that word hypoallergenic and the serene graphics on the packaging convinced us everything is A OK. Until the next rash pops up. Or until your dish towel won't soak up a drop of water because it's absorbency is blocked by oil. Or you develop some sort of respiratory condition.

If you want to protect yourself and your family as a consumer know your product. Leaping Sheep Wool Dryer Balls are 100% natural. Not 10%, not a mere 5%. They are 100% wool, from an actual sheep. They will fluff up your clothes, reduce the drying time and retain the absorbency in your fabrics naturally. No marketing ploy needed. Just the facts.

Written by:
Jessica Connor



  1. Wonderful! I totally agree! There are times I'm so driven to buy an item, I forget to check the ingredients & get yummy toxins along with. (sarcastic)

    Leaping Sheep Dryer Balls are THE best!!

  2. Sarcastic:) Yes! We have to be wise consumers!