As part of my book project on environmental toxins, I've been cutting all sources of pesticides and toxins from my diet. That means that anything conventionally grown or containing artificial colors and flavors are out. This also means that I have to be very careful not to slip into old habits and absent-mindedly eat something that doesn't fit these parameters.
One of the biggest issues has been eating out or grabbing something on the go. We rarely eat out as it is, but the problem is that there are generally few restaurants, even in Seattle, that serve an all-organic menu. Even if there are organic items on the menu, that doesn't mean that the whole meal is organic. It's the same story with coffee shops. Even if the coffee beans are organic, they don't always offer organic milk and, if you want to eat something there, inevitably you are more likely to find vegan options over organic ones.
The other big issue when going out is going to the bathroom. It sounds strange, but I've started carrying my own liquid hand soap in a little reusable container. Why? Because most public bathrooms don't stock non-toxic soap.
Instead, these soaps are heavily perfumed (in other words, contain endocrine disrupting phthalates), are chock full of the anti-bacterial triclosan and contain various estrogenic preservatives known as parabens. And, don't get me started on air fresheners in these bathrooms - that cloying stench of artificial fragrances that invite another dollop of phthalates into my bloodstream.
Old habits and exposures are hard to avoid but, over time, I'm learning to change my behavior to avoid them. It's been hard and I'm trying not to go a little too bonkers with it. But, if you see me in the bathroom just rinsing my hands, holding my breath and turning a shade of purple, don't be surprised.
Do you pay attention to food ingredients when you go out to eat or just throw caution to the wind? What about something so simple as soap and air fresheners in public or restaurant bathrooms?