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smiling creek enterprises ltd. - Townsite of Redwood Meadows

smiling creek enterprises ltd. - Townsite of Redwood Meadows

ENVIRONMENTAL IDEAS In

ENVIRONMENTAL IDEAS In my never-ending quest to save the world, I sometimes don't use produce bags at the grocery store. That's right – I let dirty, grown-in-the-ground vege- tables roll along the conveyor belt, spewing germs and harmful bacteria. I never really considered that people might feel that way about my unbagged produce until the cashier at Superstore picked up a bunch of radishes for the scale. The way she picked them up: gingerly, by the edge of a single leaf, as if she were holding a dead rat by the tail, made me realize that some people are much more averse to dirt than I am. Now, I'm as much of a germ-a-phobe as the next per- son – the multitude of germs lurking on the convey- or belt worries me more than any dirt on a vegetable – but I think our society is becoming a bit too sani- tized. Everything is cleaned, washed, disinfected and deodorized, sometimes twice. Maybe it's time to let our immune systems, rather than chemicals, start working for us. Ever since our kids were babies, my friends and I have used the “Children of pig farmers are healthier than children who grow up in cities” argument to justify letting the kids eat things off the floor, stick their grubby fingers into each other's snacks, and generally do the things kids do. Turns out we might have been doing them a favour by letting them have a little dirt in their lives. Jeff D. Leach, writing in the op ed pages of the New York Times last June, argued that our super-clean diets may be one of the causes of the rise in autoimmune and allergic disorders. Part of Leach's argument is that hundreds of years ago, our food – everything in our lives, really – was covered in a blanket of microorganisms, some helpful, some harmful, that helped our bodies establish “normal” background levels. This kept our immune systems from overreacting to every foreign body they encountered. But in recent years, Leach writes, 28 CHATTER IN THE WOODS, October 2012 Let a Little Dirt Back into your Life “Our squeaky clean food supply of triple-washed leafy greens and carrots shaped like bullets has re- moved health giving microorganisms and left our immune system unchallenged and thus over reactive.” So, I don't know. Are we just too clean? While I be- lieve there's a place for things like hand sanitizers (on the wall of a portable toilet, for example!), I have a hard time not rolling my eyes at products like fruit and veggie washes sold in plastic spray bottles. And antibacterial soaps? Yes, they may wash away 99.9 percent of microorganisms, but who's to say that some of those organisms aren't beneficial to us? If we kill all the bacteria on our skin, good and bad, we may allow resistant bacteria to survive. These re- sistant bacteria are the ones that make antibiotic medications less effective. But why are antibacterial soaps so popular? Ironically, because people believe they'll fight harmful bacteria. In fact, it may be that plain old soap and proper hand washing will be just as effective in keeping the average person healthy. The truth is that you can't avoid all bugs, good or bad. Wash your hands as thoroughly as you can, with whatever you choose, but it won't help much when your child sneezes directly into your face. I'm just sayin'. I'm not advocating that you stop washing fruit and vegetables – or your hands for that matter! – but maybe let a little dirt sneak back into your life. In the meantime, if you're so inclined, there are countless recipes on the internet for making your own hand sanitizer. Take your pick or go to crunchybetty.com and search “hand sanitizer.” Aloe vera gel, mentioned in some recipes, is available at the health food store in Bragg Creek. Ann Sullivan

Name Age Courses Phone Alexandra Sargent-Laskin 13 St. John's Babysitting & Home Alone Safely 949-4424 Aly Mohun 15 Red Cross Babysitting 949-4944 Anita Doglioni Majer 11 St. John’s Babysitting 949-4120 Bernadetta Mayer 15 Red Cross Babysitting 949-2416 Brian Goerzen 12 Red Cross Babysitting 949-0054 Chiara Schmid 12 Red Cross Babysitting 949-2006 Chris Thornton 13 Red Cross Babysitting 949-4968 Kathleen Griffin 14 Red Cross Babysitting 949-2428 Kathryn Gibbesch 25 Nanny; CPR, babysitting course 587-433-8252 Keely Anderson 12 Babysitting Course 949-8287 Logan Schnell 13 Lucy Talman 17 Natasha Black 14 Quinta van der Lee Redwood Redwood Meadows Meadows Babysitters Babysitters List List 13 Rachel Holloway 15 St. John’s Babysitting, Home Alone Home Alone Babysitting Course and First Aid Alberta Safety Council Babysitting Course (YMCA) Home Alone, Red Cross Babysitting Certificate St. John’s Babysitting, Home Alone courses 949-2825 949-3785 949-3337 949-3510 949-0074 Sabrina Gosselin-Epp 12 Babysitting Course 949-2090 Scott Goerzen 14 Red Cross Babysitting Certificate; backcountry emerg. workshop 949-0054 To have your name added to the babysitter list, email thechatter@redwoodmeadows.ab.ca. CHATTER IN THE WOODS, October 2012 29

smiling creek enterprises ltd. - Townsite of Redwood Meadows
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