Thursday, February 4, 2010

Organic is NOT just another catchword

For the past weeks , as you know, I have been doing my best to present Sophie Ha Girafa to Israel. One of the strongest attributes of Sophie is that she is an incredible teether that has been around for close to half a century and  that she is chemical, phthalates and BPA free with safe mineral coloring.

In most countries this is enough to take a second look at Sophie. Here it is not. Organic is just another catch-word that implies paying more for no valid reason. Daily life is too noisy, stressy, busy and religiousy to worry about organic and spending money that could be used on food or bills.

When my first child was born in Mexico where we were living wayyyyyyy before the internet  I was relying on family and friends, magazines and books to learn the yes and no for baby. I do not remember even knowing the word "organic" but I was well aware of the importance of water and air quality as well as lead used in baby toys. I was told by Mexican friends to better buy American standards toys and not the beautiful colored ones with no packaging at a quarter of the price that were so attractive. I was not too sure what was so bad about the paint or how it could affect my baby, but I did follow the recommendation. I remembered my feeling of shock when I had to have a blood test to check my lead level.
My mother-in-law flew with 5 kilos of special detergent to use for baby clothing to avoid any allergic reaction on baby when I told her I was really not sure I could find such product there. And from the French side of course I knew I would have to get a Sophie asap. As I wrote here, I did not know why but I knew Sophie was a must-have for Babies. Everyone simply knew that ^__^
So 15 years ago we were aware that some things were best kept away from baby, even if we ourselves  probably grew up with those things.

And now we know even better!

2010 : I live in a country where I was told "organic" food came forth  in 2005. In 2007 Organic and Health Food Markets opened and even a Blue Square label for Organic products was created. In 2007 too  Baby Organic and Tinok Yarok israeli organic clothing lines were born.

Three years later I can tell you that I have no idea what the Blue Square is. I have never noticed it. I do know where to get organic or bio food, though I am not real clear on what it means: food without any pesticide and chemicals? Food that is being grown with methods that are naturally well-suited for the local area and not negatively impacting the land?  It does sound better than industrially-made food where I visualize a noisy, machine-controlled factory and I do buy organic eggs picturing chicken able to run freely in country farm environnement.. Yet those eggs are also enriched with omega 3 and frankly I do not know how or when they are enriched? And they cost more. And for some reason I prefer buying those. But that is me.

Same goes with Sophie the giraffe.
She is perfectly safe for both the environnement and our babies but not everyone is convinced.
She is Phthalates and Bisphenol A free.
The Phtalates issue is fairly recent worlwide and some will see it as a gimmick. The Bisphenol A issue is new to us '"common people", not so new to scientists. In 1930’s the first evidence of BPA toxicity was observed. Not much was done after that. But with time some companies did take action, like Vulli in the French Alps  "home" of Sophie la girafe.
As you understand  it is very hard to avoid bisphenol A, it is the starting material used to make polycarbonate plastics. It is everywhere and we have all been exposed to it. But why start exposing babies from their first days when it can be avoided? We have always known that babies are more fragile than grown-ups, that children under the age of two are very susceptible to lead poisoning which has long term effects and as parents, we have to protect them to our best to insure them a healthy beginning on Earth.

Sophie hagirafa is very new in Israel, barely a month old and it will take some time to have people know her and recognize her and if  I succeed, it will be my own private "Tikkun Olam", my tiny-tiniest contribution to make the world a healthier place.

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