The Wholesome Journal

Wholesome Story + Clean Label Project = The Perfect Match

 

In case you haven’t heard, our environment is becoming increasingly toxic. The products we surround ourselves with, that we put in and on our bodies, are often (usually) laced with harmful amounts of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, infertility, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and much more. 

 

Whoa. Way to Start Things Off On a Heavy Note. 

At Wholesome Story, we understand the impact that sustained exposure to these toxins can have, and we want no part in feeding more pesticides, heavy metals, or plasticizers to our patrons. 

Because of our passion for clean living, we wanted to find someone who could help us ensure that what we produce is clean, wholesome, and actually good for you. Enter the Clean Label Project. 

 

What is the Clean Label Project? 

The Clean Label Project (CLP) is a national nonprofit organization “with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling.”1

What Do They Do? 

CLP uses rigorous product testing and continual certification programs to help health-conscious companies and consumers make choices that are clean and healthful for both humans and the environment. 1

 

Why Do They Do It? 

The health of the planet, including human health, is in crisis. You may have heard recently that the average sperm count for a healthy man has decreased by half in the last fifty years. 2 And, as if that wasn’t cause enough for concern, reproductive health is not the only aspect of our wellbeing that has been negatively influenced by the constant barrage of chemicals that our bodies face every day.

The last fifty years have also seen a huge increase in the incidence of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and hormonal dysregulation diseases. 3,4 

While we know to blame our ever-increasing health problems on factors such as poor diet, decreasing exercise rates, increasing stress, and inadequate mental health care, there is one major culprit that has remained relatively invisible to the average consumer, and that is environmental toxins. 

Studies like the ones cited above have started to confirm what hippies, tree-huggers, and granola aficionados have been claiming for years, that the widespread health problems we’re experiencing in modern society are directly caused by the toxic chemicals we eat, breathe, and wallow in every day. 

 

Tell Me More About these Uber Scary Chemicals

It’s no secret that humans have become mass chemical-users. Nearly everything we touch is laced with, or coated in, chemicals. 

Some of these chemicals are from the packaging industry, others are from pesticide and herbicide use, while still others are flame retardants and water repellents used in home-building and furniture manufacturing. 

Here are a few of the many chemicals that Wholesome Story works with CLP to keep out of our products and keep our customers healthy: 1

- Heavy metals like: mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic.

- Pesticides like: glyphosate, methomyl, rotenone

- Phthalates (Plasticizers) like: benzyl butyl, dibutyl, dihexyl, and bis (2- ethylhexyl)

- Parabens (artificial preservatives) in the following forms: methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, propyl, total butyl, and benzyl

- BPA (bisphenol-A) and BPS (bisphenol-S)

These chemicals have been linked to a variety of health concerns including hormone dysregulation, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and more. 5

Ok, I’m Scared Now. Just Exactly What Does the CLP Do to Help?

The CLP only certifies products that meet the specifications set out in Proposition 65, a legislative action set forth by the state of California to better control what ends up in our food supply. Prop 65 is the most rigorous set of standards in the U.S. to date. Products that comply with Prop 65 standards are among the very cleanest available on the market. 1 

By helping us, and other health-conscious companies, to test and verify our products are clean, CLP empowers buyers and sellers to change the marketplace and create healthy options with clear labeling. 


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In this sense, the Clean Label Project is similar to the Non-GMO Project, and the Fair Trade Certified Project. They all partner with businesses to help make the world a cleaner, fairer place. 

We chose to work with CLP because their standards are much more stringent than what is legally required, so their products are cleaner than the competition. We like clean. 

 

This Is All I Want to Buy Now! How Do I Find CLP Certified Brands? 

We recognize that you buy things besides Wholesome Story products (shocker), and we’d love it if you chose to buy products that are certified by the Clean Label Project. Check out this link for a list of brands they partner with. 

You can get CLP certified products ranging from baby food to sunscreen and beyond! 

 

Fun Facts About Toxic Pollution

To help you get in the spirit of anti-toxin fervor, here are some interesting facts about the impact toxins can have on our everyday lives and the health and wellness of us, our children, and our grandchildren. 

  1. A recent study estimates that the average adult eats as much as 1 credit card worth of plastic every week. You read that right. 

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Humans eat plastics just like turtles and seagulls do. The only difference is that we eat microscopic particles that enter our food through contact with plastics rather than mistaking plastics for food sources. Microplastics = microscopic + plastics, and they’re in everything, including our blood. 

To reduce your intake of microplastics, opt for glass dishes and cups, don’t reheat food in plastic containers, try to choose glass-bottled products over plastic ones when possible. 6

2. Scientists estimate that our foods, toys, personal care products, and homes are filled with obesogens, that is, chemicals that heavily contribute to metabolic changes which favor weight gain and lead to obesity. Carpeting, baby play mats, fast food wrappers, processed foods, couches, paint, toys, and a host of other everyday products can greatly contribute to unhealthy weight gain and hinder weight loss efforts. 

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We’ve been blaming everything for the obesity epidemic except the very chemicals that caused it. Yes, poor diet and exercise habits are certainly significant factors and ought to be considered carefully, but chemicals such as flame retardants, BPA, plasticizers, pesticides, etc., have been shown to cause weight gain and thwart weight loss.  7,8

3. Your breast milk probably isn’t as impeccably clean as you think. A recent study found that 100% of tested breast milk samples had high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in them. According to the FDA, PFAS can cause increased risk of certain cancers among other things. 9,10 

 

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And, another recent study found that 75% of tested breastmilk samples contained microplastics. Microplastics have been shown to cause cell death and allergic reactions in some people and animals. 11,12

4. There’s a good chance your makeup has asbestos in it. Yup. Eyeshadow, blush, and pretty much every other powdered makeup product for sale in the US, has a pretty good chance of exposing you to asbestos. 

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You see, many brands still use talc in their powdered personal care products, ranging from makeup to baby powder. The issue is that, in nature, talc and asbestos are buddies who form side by side and the two are almost inextricable. To  ensure your products are asbestos free, opt for talc-free products and say no to asbestos! 13

5.Toxic chemicals may be to blame for the increasing cases of autoimmune disorders. Studies are finding that toxic chemicals play a key role in the increasing incidence and progression of autoimmune disorders. 4,14 Some of these chemicals include tetrabromobisphenol A which is a flame retardant, trichloroethylene which is an industrial solvent, and phthalates which are plasticizers.

 

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Chances are you, or someone you know, has an autoimmune disorder. This type of condition is characterized by the body’s immune system fighting healthy tissues in addition to potential pathogens. Examples of autoimmune disorders include Lupus, Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Type I Diabetes. 

And On that Gloomy Note, We Leave You

Just kidding, we wouldn’t leave you so depressed! 

We hope that you feel empowered by what you’ve learned. Empowered to make healthier, more wholesome purchasing decisions, voting decisions, and chemical use decisions. 

Join us in banding together against the toxins in our world, and take a stand for healthy, wholesome products that help to nurture and grow our families and to protect our natural world. 

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Questions: 

Did you learn something new about toxic exposure? Does this post make you feel empowered to find clean products for you and your family? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to let us know your thoughts! 

In parting, remember that eating healthy, whole foods, and lots of plant foods is one of the simplest, safest, and most effective things we can do to promote good health in our bodies. As with every preventative/restorative measure though, sometimes these changes alone are not enough to help our bodies function the way we want or need them to. If you are struggling with health problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider such as a Naturopathic Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Professional, to see if they can offer appropriate guidance and care. We at Wholesome Story believe that healthy communities require community effort, so we advise you to keep your healthcare community aware and involved in your journey as you pursue better health. 

Sources: 

  1. Clean Label Project. Homepage. Clean Label Project. https://cleanlabelproject.org/. Published September 2, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  2. Levine H, Jørgensen N, Martino-Andrade A, et al. Temporal trends in sperm count: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human reproduction update. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6455044/. Published November 1, 2017. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  3. Kumar M, Sarma DK, Shubham S, et al. Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure: Role in non-communicable diseases. Frontiers. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.553850/full. Published January 1, 1AD. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  4. Pollard KM, Hultman P, Kono DH. Toxicology of autoimmune diseases. Chemical research in toxicology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076021/. Published March 15, 2010. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  5. Ghosh A, Tripathy A, Ghosh D. Impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals (edcs) on reproductive health of human - proceedings of the Zoological Society. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12595-021-00412-3#Sec25. Published March 6, 2022. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  6. Senathirajah K;Attwood S;Bhagwat G;Carbery M;Wilson S;Palanisami T; Estimation of the mass of microplastics ingested - a pivotal first step towards human health risk assessment. Journal of hazardous materials. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33130380/. Published 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  7. Persellin K, Faber S. Are Food and consumer product chemicals contributing to our obesity crisis? Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2022/06/are-food-and-consumer-product-chemicals-contributing-our-obesity-crisis#:~:text=Overall%2C%20about%2050%20chemicals%20or,(See%20table.). Published November 29, 2022. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  8. Darbre PD. Endocrine disruptors and Obesity. Current obesity reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359373/. Published March 2017. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  9. Perkins T. Study finds alarming levels of 'forever chemicals' in US mothers' breast milk. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/13/pfas-forever-chemicals-breast-milk-us-study. Published May 13, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Potential health effects of Pfas Chemicals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/index.html. Published November 1, 2022. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  11. Carrington D. Microplastics found in human breast milk for the first time. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/07/microplastics-human-breast-milk-first-time#:~:text=Microplastics%20were%20detected%20in%2075,found%20in%20breast%20milk%20before. Published October 7, 2022. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  12. Carrington D. Microplastics cause damage to human cells, study shows. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/08/microplastics-damage-human-cells-study-plastic. Published December 8, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  13. Stoiber T, Fitzgerald S, Leiba NS. Asbestos contamination in talc-based cosmetics: An invisible cancer risk. Environmental health insights. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7691901/. Published November 24, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2022. 
  14. Kharrazian D. Exposure to environmental toxins and autoimmune conditions. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325494/\. Published April 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022.