Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Decaffinated Coffee...

My research has shown that there are a couple options in the decaffeinating process.

Swiss Water is the best, from my point of view. It uses nothing but water to decaffeinate.

The most common method is using methylene chloride which is an carcinogenic. But, the manufacturer will tell you that the chemical is not stable above 170 degrees and since coffee is roasted and then brewed at 200 it is fine. Well, maybe for some people, but chemicals break down into components, and what about them?

In any case if there is an option, why risk it? So, my coffee just got more expensive, now I will allow myself a cup or 2 of decaff a day. Fair Trade, Shade Grown, Organic and now Swiss Water Processed coffee here I come!

Swiss Water processing
Chemical processes
Coffee manufacturer's description

((I know there is still a LITTLE bit of caffeine in decaf, but 2 cups is around 10 mg, the study showed miscarriage rates double at over 200mg. And you cannot give up everything!))

Monday, January 21, 2008

Organic sheets...

A baby spends 15 to 20 hours a day asleep. And while much of that time may be out of their crib, their crib is an important environment for the first months of life. As such, I feel that while organic fabrics may not be as important later, in the first months, this little step is important.

But really? $49.99 for a white crib sheet or even $25.00? Not gonna happen here! Not in an environment which is guaranteed to get spit-up on, popped on, and peed on. So what is one to do?
Here is my plan. Target has Organic Cotton sheets in a couple cute patterns for just $29.99 for a full set.

A full mattress is 54" by 74" a crib mattress is only 28" by 52" so by my math, I can make two crib sheets from one full sheet. As this is a set, I can make 4 crib sheets, for just a few minutes sewing (thank goodness for a surger) and a little elastic, bringing my cost per organic crib sheet to under $9.00! Plus, I'll still have the pillow cases, maybe to make into a couple onsees!

If that is a little to much work for you, or you are not handy at a sewing machine, you can organic crib sheets already made 2 for $29.99 from Target as well.

Is a cup of Joe worth it?

If a cup or two of coffee a day were to double your risk of miscarriage, would that morning pick me up still be worth it? According to a recent study coffee might hold that risk.

The key words to me are "early pregnancy." Like so many other things, it may have a impact on your baby before you even know you are preganant. These are the kinds of things that worry me.

So I am saying "good-bye" to my morning coffee (and my mid-day, afternoon, and evening coffee as well!) It is simply not worth the risk.

So the next question is... How do they decaffinate it? What chemicals are used? Is organic decaf any diffrent from regular in the process... I hope I like the answers to these questions because I am going to miss my coffee... REALLY, REALLY miss it.

But, not nearly as much as I would miss a diffrent kind of little bean, so it is a small sacrifice for even a 1% extra chance of a healthy pregnancy.


Who am I?

I spend my days working in an architecture firm on sustainable and "green design." In the evenings and on weekends I run (along with my husband) a sustainable farm where we grow about 2 acres of produce (more every year) for a small CSA. So sustainability is in every part of our life.

Why this blog?

I am worried about the world around us, and how the pollution we have put into it effects ourself and our children. I want to provide the best, most natural environment possible for my children. I think that this will reduce their risk of health problems from autism and cancer, to allergies and early puberty. I think it will help them grow up to be responsible citizens of the world who recognize the benefits of this nation given to us by our forefathers and their duty to maintain it for their children.

I want to reduce their exposure to chemicals big and small. I don't feel higher tech is necessarily better, and until we prove it is so we should observe a precautionary principle. I also think that some things which have been mandated for "public good" are not necessarily good for everyone. From flame retardant mattresses to required vaccines for non-communicable diseases, not everything that industry pushes is the right thing.

And because industry pushes so hard it can be difficult to find the truth. Often it is obscured under layers of people saying "Prove it is dangerous!" When all I, as a future parent, want them to do is prove it is safe. From phthalate leaching teething toys to ubiquitous GMO derived corn syrup I feel that I know what is right for my kids, and what is not worth any risk.

But where is that line? And how can I afford, as I scale back my career to raise my children, to purchase the natural goods which are safer, but often seem SO much more expensive! These are the issues I hope to address as we start to try to have our first child.