So I have several articles/blogs ready for publishing, but have been procrastinating a bit on publishing them. Why? Well, because I know that I’m going to get attacked by believers of myths they have heard on television, read on the Internet, or were even taught by their parents.
This isn’t to say that what your parents teach you, what you hear on television, or even read on the Internet is not true, but neither does it mean it is true.
I had the most amazing teacher for one of my first biology courses. She is one of those teachers that I will never forget, because she was able to take some of the most complicated issues, and simplify them to a degree that everyone could grasp.
For instance, the issue came up in our science class of medical science versus God. That was a question that was indeed a tough one, and had it been me at the other end, I’m not sure I could have ever answered it nearly as well. But this teacher knew exactly what to say to put things into perspective. She simply said, “when my child is sick, I will both go to the doctor to get the treatment that my child needs, AND I will pray to God that my child gets better.” It was that moment right then and there that this amazing teacher, had put science and God all together in one for me.
But not all events in life are answered so simply. One of the arguments that I hear over and over and over and over, is that the essential oils I use in my products are not therapeutic grade. Well, aren’t they? I have always asked in response, “what do you mean by ‘therapeutic grade’?” The answers come swarming in and not a single one is the same as the other. Why? Because there is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” essential oil. There is no scientific definition, no regulation, and especially no one decided upon meaning. It’s a word concoction someone made up to get you to buy their essential oils. It’s how they sold you their brand and claimed it is better than the others, when in reality, it probably wasn’t. There is no existing rationally defined standard for what “therapeutic grade” means. My only salvation in the essential oil world has been that I am able to find “pure” essential oils, meaning oils that are not cut with anything. I try to ask for a lab analysis before deciding to use anything, because even those often claimed as pure are sometimes not. Essentials oils have become a very debatable topic, and unless certain standards are developed, they always will be.
In addition, because I do my best to never add chemical stabilizers, I also get a lot of flack about that. “Your products will spoil and kill someone!” Even if someone put those products under the worst possible conditions, I think death or even severe illness is highly unlikely, and here is why. Most of my products are anhydrous, meaning that they don’t have water in them, which means they have a longer shelf life, and adding stabilizers is not necessary. But some of my most precious creams, do have water added, in order to make them a cream. It is true that adding water will shorten their usable lifespan. But it is not true to say that my creams will spoil within a week. That is like saying that your un-opened apple juice stored on the grocery store shelf will only last a week.The truth is, that water can be made sterile, and therefore used in products/foods in a manner that will keep them from spoiling. Sometimes we require refrigeration, and other times, we require a sterile environment when bottling/jarring our products. Heat usually kills a majority of the pathogens we encounter, so if things are produced in a hot enough environment, then poured into sterile jars, the likelihood of contamination is reduced, and now your product lasts longer while on the shelf. Couple that with refrigerating your opened products, and only using clean hands when handling, and you have a much longer shelf life than expected.
When I used to work in biomedical/biotechnology research, I did a lot of work with RNA. For those not familiar with RNA, RNA is a lot like DNA, except a lot less stable. The difference is that when working with DNA, you can cough on it, spit on it, do jumping jacks with it, and chances are, you can still end up with a sample that will work for your experiment. RNA on the other hand, that’s a whole different ballgame. You look at it wrong and it’s going to get contaminated.
So in those research labs, I learned how to handle RNA in the most cautious and sterile manner. Because one contaminated sample meant thousands of dollars down the drain, several angry bosses, and lots of extra long hours without anyone dare mentioning overtime.
So I learned how to clean a work area; I learned how to handle gloved hands; I learned a lot about sterile technique. And I use that experience in my Nature’s Complement kitchen when creating my products. It is also the reason why the gals at the liquor store think I’m a lush. You see, I found Everclear (ethanol) to be the most magical cleaner of them all, and that is what I use to sterilize my kitchen, utensils, and bottles and jars.
So I have defied the preconceptions and rumors on the Internet stating that when you mix oils with water, you have to use chemicals, that also happen to be carcinogenic, to stabilize your product. By simply creating a clean environment, keeping the products refrigerated, and using them properly in the sense that you don’t touch your products with dirty fingers, you can make your all natural products last for a long time. This approach helps the approximately 3% of the population that is allergic to these stabilizers. And let me tell you, as someone who is part of that 3 percentile, it sucks. It really, really, really sucks to have adverse reactions to those chemicals. And it sucks even more to not be able to find the personal care products that you need, without those nasty ingredients.
But, to continue the analogy, explaining this to someone who has already made up (or closed off) their mind is the same as trying to explain to someone that you can have both God and science, when that person in their heart already believes otherwise. It is a strange quirk of humans that they tend to believe first and use reason afterwards to justify their beliefs, rather than use reason to figure out what they should believe in the first place.
This is why I have been hesitating and procrastinating about posting some of the information I want to share. Not only do I have to put my disclaimer that my statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, but I also have to be ready for the personal attacks on my statements. I say personal, because such attacks are rarely ever based in facts, research, science, or reason, but in beliefs and opinions.
The solution to this problem is not nearly as simple as throwing around some credentials and saying that the case is closed or the question is answered. In reality, it doesn’t work that way. Credentials have little meaning in reality. I have met many PhDs who are clueless to the latest research on topics of importance, and I have met self-taught individuals who hold more knowledge in given areas than the most highly educated person. Appealing solely to credentials is a logical fallacy known as “appealing to authority,” and it is just that, a fallacy.
Thus my Biology degree means little to most folks. Education is by all means important, but what type of education, how well it is understood, and how much critical thinking and common sense are applied, all play critical roles in the final results, regardless of subject matter. And as an old co-worker (and great friend of mine) always said to me, “common sense ain’t common.”
So in essence, I have been a bit worried, therefore procrastinating, on posting some of my blogs (which I will post soon), because I suspect there may be some backlash. It’s not that I can’t handle it, it’s that I don’t have enough hours in the day as it is, and I’m just not ready to take time with closed minded people who don’t do due diligence and research on their part to prove their point, because that causes me to spend more time proving mine.
So I have decided this: Those who post rude comments, rude statements, or general comments such as “this is wrong because I say so”, will be ignored until they put forth real evidence justifying their point. And by real evidence, I mean peer reviewed journals typically found on sites such as pubmed.com, at which point I hope to have an adult discussion of both points being made, backed by REAL scientific research (more on that in a blog coming soon as well).
Interestingly, I found an author who really put things into perspective for me on her blog. I’ve actually not yet read any of her books so I can’t comment about them, but I do enjoy her blog posts. Ana Spoke really put things into perspective when she wrote about how she dealt with receiving one star reviews on her book. Here is what she wrote:
Everything is relative, and everyone is familiar with that concept – it’s the one that causes your ass to appear either huge or toned, depending on whether you’re in a yoga class or Burger King waiting line.
So for a bit of a reality check, I decided to peruse Goodreads reviews of some of the world-famous books that are known as epic bestsellers. Below are some stats on those books, complete with juicy quotes lifted from 1-star reviews:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling. Number of 1-star ratings: 59,343. Most striking quote: “Awful in every way.”
- The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) Number of 1-star ratings: 33,017. Most striking quote: “Tolkien can’t write. He can’t build character. He can’t advance a plotline.”
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis. Number of 1-star ratings: 15,800. Most striking quote: “Well,all right.I have to say that this book is terrible…In fact I haven’t read this book before but I’ve heard from other people that this book had ruined their childhood… :(“
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Number of 1-star ratings: 96,578. Most striking quote: “If I could give this book a zero, I would. I absolutely hated it.”
- The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2) by Dan Brown. Number of 1-star ratings: 68,541. Most striking quote: “Whoever edited this drivel ought to be sewn in a sack with a rabid raccoon and flung into Lake Michigan.”
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy #1) by Stieg Larsson. Number of 1-star ratings: 47,572. Most striking quote: “This is a book so bad that it doesn’t deserve a review.”
- 1984 by George Orwell. Number of 1-star ratings: 35,943. Most striking quote: “Not really for me. Where’s the action, where’s the romance?”
Thank you Ms. Spoke, for such wonderful insight.
So what does that mean to you and me? While I’m not trying to sell a book, what I am trying to do is get the truth out, or at least the facts the best as we know them when it comes to health. Does that mean everyone will receive these facts with open arms? Absolutely not. Does that mean that I should give up because of a few who will write negative things? Of course not. Does that mean that I should respond to every single negative response? Not at all. I have way too much to do running a businesses and providing useful information to waste time arguing with negative people who have already made up their minds. What this does mean, is that for those who are willing to listen and benefit from the factual information, and for those who benefit from healthy products, that I need to keep doing what I’m doing: making the highest quality products – and post my articles on healthy from within already.
Keep an eye out, more to come…
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and/or products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.