Several years ago, before I decided to become a chef, I became concerned about what was being put in our food. I learned that processed foods were driven by big business and contained toxic additives and chemicals, white sugar, and high fructose corn syrup; with little to no nutritional value. I was introduced to the organic movement, learning about the toxic chemicals that are sprayed on our fruits, vegetables, and grains. Shortly after entering culinary school, I was introduced to the “Farm to Table” movement. People began to demand to know what was in our food, where it came from, how far it had to travel, and even, who was growing it.
I am still embracing all of the above movements today. I have made a career out of cooking food that is healthy and clean. For several years, I have made great strives to buy organic and locally grown food products. I also believe that it is safer to buy fruits and vegetables produced in the US, due to this country’s strict laws and regulations.
Recently, through a company called Beautycounter, I learned that these laws and regulations did not extend to personal care products. I learned that our shampoos, lotions, shaving creams, and cosmetics are loaded with toxins and chemicals that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and other diseases.
In this day and age, 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women, in the US will be diagnosed with cancer. Ask anyone my age to ask their parents how many friends they had that had problems getting pregnant. In the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 ingredients in personal care products, while the US has banned only 11. The US has not passed a federal law to regulate personal care products since 1938. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), actually allows companies to add chemicals that are know to be harmful, such as lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates.
Beautycounter not only produces personal care products that they have deemed safe, but they are also trying to get the word out about the harmful toxins in the products we use daily. The company has banned more than 1,500 ingredients, setting a new industry standard. Beautycounter ensures that their products perform, and are on par with any luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil on the market.
The company works closely with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which has developed an app that I urge you all to use and download, “Skin Deep.” You can either scan the barcode or enter the name of your personal care products to see where they measure up on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most toxic and harmful. All of Beautycounter’s products measure as a 0 or 1.
Referring to myself a “Wellness Chef,” or “Healthy Chef,” who focuses on eating and cooking clean, I could not help but join this movement. I care A LOT about where my food comes from, who grows it, how it’s grown, and what is sprayed on it or put in it. Today, it’s not all about the food. It extends to all the products we use. We cannot always control water, air, and soil quality. Nor can we control other environmental hazzards that we are knowingly or unknowingly exposed to, but we can control what we put into our mouths, and what we spread on our skin.
Check out these links to some press that Beautycounter has gotten:
Contact me or visit my website for more information: http://www.chefkatie.beautycounter.com