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At the Corner of Function and Philosophy

I love getting out and meeting customers face-to-face at farmer's markets and events. It's wonderful to watch people try our seasonings, our brittles, or our coffee and hear them talk about their favorites, why they prefer this over that, etc. I give them little seasoned crackers and sips of coffee, and they give me a wealth of feedback, insight, and inspiration. What an incredible trade-off!

But my favorite part of introducing customers to our products is when we work our way down to the bath and beauty products. Invariably, someone will comment on our assortment of products and ask how I "got into all of this." Most people don't readily make the connection between seasoning blends and soaps, or between coffee and face serum.

But for me, it seems like such a seamless flow. The idea is simple: what we put in our bodies MATTERS. Whether we are eating it in a dish or letting it absorb into our skin, health and beauty begin in the gut. So whether I am making a bar of soap for my toddler, a seasoning blend for a homemade meal, or a lip balm for my teens, it's all driven by the same desire - to reduce our risk of exposure to toxic chemicals.

The emerging scientific research regarding the impact of even small amounts of toxic chemicals on the human endocrine system is shocking. I've shared our story about discovering the impact artificial food color had on our children when they were young. But new data suggests that endochrine-disrupting chemicals can have long-lasting effects that create problems across the lifespan, long after the exposure occurred.

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, endocrine disruptors can:

  • Mimic or partly mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation.

  • Bind to a receptor within a cell and block the endogenous hormone from binding. The normal signal then fails to occur and the body fails to respond properly. Examples of chemicals that block or antagonize hormones are anti-estrogens and anti-androgens.

  • Interfere or block the way natural hormones or their receptors are made or controlled, for example, by altering their metabolism in the liver.

I will leave you with this TEDtalk video by Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. The more I learn about the amount of endocrine disruptors we are exposed to on a daily basis, the more committed I become to doing what I can to move the needle toward a more all-natural life for our family, and to share the things that work for us with you.

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