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Abrazos! xox Penny

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Go Ahead: Commit Me

I was shopping in the grocery store yesterday (no shocker there!) and saw a friend that I hadn't seen for several months. She was in the middle of a rant and her wild-eyed gaze caught mine. Fuming, she wheeled her cart over to me and let it rip...

Here is what had set her on fire. There was a sign above a bin of apples that said "local" and when she asked the produce person where they were from, he said, "I don't know." Poof...those words ignited her flame. Then, he poured gasoline on her wrath by also saying he wasn't sure if "local' meant Arkansas. Fireworks. This friend works in food policy and local sustainability (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and so you can imagine her reaction. Smoking hot, she said how disgusting it is that marketers are joining the "local" bandwagon without truly having local products, ie: "local washing".

It was obvious how upset she was and the produce person excused himself. Maybe to call Security? No, to his credit, he came back over to us a few minutes later and said he had checked and the store bought apples from 3 local Arkansas farms near Little Rock, 2 south of the river and one north. She calmed down some until now riled, I launched into my own tirade. 

This weekend is our Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and our city and more goods than I can count are swathed in pink labels, wrappers and ribbons. And companies, too...boasting pink lights and logos everywhere.

Saddens me as much as it maddens me. Many, many of those products are "pink-washed". They are really full of junk, worse than hazards...that stoke the flames of all disease. It just makes me sick how these companies get away with this and make millions from it. It is one thing to be "local-washed" but to market to, er...prey on...people who are sick or who have lost loved ones to breast cancer with products full of known and suspected carcinogens is beyond shady.

It is cruel.

Besides the food on your fork, my biggest passion is skin food: women's skincare and cosmetics (men's and kid's, too). The heartache of Dirty Stuff drives me. PLEASE, if you do nothing else, before you buy the newest pink shade of Estee Lauder's or MAC's (same company) lipstick or slather on a new night cream, check out what you plan to purchase on Or, send me your selections and I'll send you the hazard data. If the company is not a signer of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, leave that product on the shelf and tell the clerk why. If they are signers but the hazard scores are above 2, I say leave it alone and write the company that you hope they will clean up their act. Check out a better, less toxic choice. I can recommend skincare, cosmetics and hair care that score "0", as in toxin-free.

Everything on this site is as clean as I can find it with not just my word, but also a third party certifier and "full discloser" behind the label. No Dirty Stuff. No pink washing or washing in any color for that matter.

See below for a quick link to the Estee Lauder brand.

More on this from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website:

"Pinkwashing: A term used to describe companies that position themselves as leaders in the fight against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease.

We’ve all seen personal care products (and about 600 other kinds of products) decked out in pink or pink ribbons to "raise awareness" ...about breast cancer. Unfortunately, many of the corporations using the pink ribbon continue to use chemicals that are linked to cancer and hormone disruption. We need to shift the conversation toward disease prevention- and we can! We can use our voices, our dollars and our votes to support organizations, companies and elected officials that promise not to allow harmful chemicals in cosmetics and other products.

*That* is a real commitment to women's health."

Yes, it is. Go ahead...commit me. For life.

Go see for yourself...

and don't stop with Estee Lauder. Check 'em all out:  Avon, Arbonne, Beauticontrol, Clinique, Dior...and on down the line so that you know for a fact and not a wish that what you are using really is pure, beneficial and healthy...for life.  A tip for using the Cosmetic Database website: you have to click on the company name to find out whether they are a "signer", a commitment that is really key to cleaning the bad stuff out of our skincare. Get ready for some shockers.

See the post below for pink done right...from the very best of nature...

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