What may be the biggest problem with our country? Greed — profit over people

Part four of a four-part series

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

Since this will be the last article in this series, I hope to be able to sum up what it is that I have been trying to get you to see: Manufacturers of practically anything care more about their profit than they care about the people who will use their products. And the people who use their products apparently care more about the convenience of using those products than they do about what is in them — that probably is why they keep making those products without any real regard about changing what is in them for the health of the user.
No one can really expect people at large to throw out items they have spent their hard-earned money on (such as the “best” mattress or furniture they could find, high-priced personal care products, or even specialty foods and the containers meant for storing those foods, etc.).
But on the other hand, I am hoping that once you are aware of what is in some of the products that you’ve been buying over the years, you’ll at least promise yourself that you will now always read the labels on everything before you buy it (food in any kind of package, including cans, and everything else) and when in doubt, check it out (that is, do a little research).
As someone once told me, “I’m 80 years old now; I don’t believe that making any changes at this time in my life will help me any. If I knew all this when I was 30, 40, or 50, it would be a different story.”
That person had a point, yet who — no matter how old they are — would prefer to continue suffering wheezing, coughing, struggling to breathe, rashes and other skin irritations, and any number of physical annoyances right up till the day they die rather than glide smoothly and irritation-free into their twilight years, whether 5, 15, 20 or even more irritation-free years down the road?
It is not easy to make what may seem like major changes in life, especially later in life, when one is hoping to have their routine all worked out. So to cut right to the chase, start by just promising yourself to read ALL labels, and knowing that manufacturers will slip all kinds of things in their products to make them as cheaply as they can, or to make them more desirable to you, the purchaser, whether that means (depending on what you’re buying) tastier, smoother, better smelling, longer-lasting, or more attractive to the eye, know that the qualities that make you want to buy a particular product may be the very “qualities” that will cause you problems or even a shortened life.
We may not like the natural color or smell of toxic-free shampoo (without the harmful chemicals that make it look and smell so good),
but your hair will thank you for caring. We may not like the higher price of the non-toxic shower curtains, pillows, or clothing, but the
extra money you spend on the purchase will go toward spending less on doctor visits or medications to ward off any of those annoying bodily
irritation problems that your doctor will never accurately diagnose because they never ask you about what products you use.
I know I would rather buy and eat fewer food items that did not contain all those health-harming ingredients (no matter how good they
may look or taste) than buy more of those cheaper food items they advertise by their looks and taste, without ever mentioning that they
may be addictive, or cause various health problems once you’re hooked on eating them, or even cause immediate disturbances in my digestive system. If the items I am choosing not to eat are not in the house, I will not eat them.
If I care about the people who reside in my house, or visit here, I will care enough to not use the cleaning products they advertise on TV
or in magazines — products that contain toxic ingredients and leave a toxic smell in the air. When I worked at a certain place many years
ago, the VP in charge wanted the office to “smell nice.” Rather than just go for the smell of “clean,” she chose to buy those plug in
scents that left the smell of toxic chemicals in the air. I had to constantly remove those plug-ins and hope I wouldn’t get sick from the left-over smell in the office. (By the way, that woman was also the one who made a significant contribution to getting our water system in Las Vegas fluoridated, thinking that was the best way to go. I believe it was merely her ignorance about such things — I do not believe she had any really ill intentions. One can only hope that she has learned much since those days, but some people are truly self-centered. One of the things she told me while I worked there was that if she lost her beauty after she turned 50, she would choose to end her life.
Nothing I wrote or write now should imply that I am against beauty, but if it takes a little help from cosmetics or such to present one’s
best face, one can still choose cosmetics that are organic, first of all, and therefore not filled with toxic ingredients that will likely age you faster than time alone. But I’m “old-fashioned” enough to suggest that one’s real beauty comes from the inside-out. How you are
is far more important than how you look. And while on the topic of cosmetics, one must be sure to choose organic for all those other
substances one uses on any other part of the body — the shampoos and conditioners, body lotions, skin creams, and so on.
Remember, if we can make life a little easier as we plan to make our life somewhat healthier and safer, education is the key, but just
reading labels on everything as your new habit, and researching anything you don’t understand will go a long way toward putting a
natural look on your face and a new glow about you as you start to eliminate all those toxins in the air, in your house, and on your body.
It’s never too late to make a few changes that may make your remaining days and hopefully many years less irritating, annoying, stressful,
filled with strange little symptoms of sickness, and so on. Let’s drink to that — but just be sure the bottle you use is REALLY BPA-free!
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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