So yesterday, I came upon this NPR article about two Canadian men documenting how toxic and quietly self-destructive our everyday Canadian/American lives are:
Inspired by Morgan Spurlock's fast-food gluttony in the movie Super Size Me, two environmental activists from Canada devised their own experiment. Instead of fast food, Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie absorbed themselves in everyday products like shampoos, soaps and cleaners to find out what kind of damage might be done to their health.
Their book about the adventure is called Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things. Smith tells Guy Raz that writing the book was like conducting an adult science fair project — with one cardinal rule.
"Our experiments had to mimic everyday life," Smith says. "Obviously it would be very easy to dramatically increase your Teflon levels if you were willing to drink some Teflon, but nobody does that, so it wouldn't have any applicability to daily life."
But Smith and Lourie didn't need to take baths in mercury or eat tuna for a whole year to see the chemical levels in their bodies skyrocket. After just two days of eating only canned food microwaved in plastic containers and drinking from one of his son's old baby bottles, Smith saw a major rise in the levels of BPA in his body.
"My levels increased over eight times," he says. "You can only imagine what the levels in an infant would look like if after two or three years of their sole source of nutrition being a BPA baby bottle. Their levels would just be through the roof."
The book they wrote should be a pretty interesting read, showing anyone who's daring enough to read how profoundly poisonous (western/westernized? I don't know. Humans are humans, one species. It seems kind of silly to divide along culture/ethnicity lines in that sense. It's like saying some kinds of people are bad, but others aren't. I really do think it's a species-level biological issue, not simply culture. This is a much longer debate, I know) humans have made not just the world in general, but the homes in which they live, the food they eat and even the containers and delivery mechanisms for that food. We buy this shit every day with no qualms, and likely not even any thoughts. Just keep pushing ahead, pretending that everything will be ok. Cause it always has been, right?