My guest today is Annie B. Bond and we’re going to talk about how to reduce toxic chemical exposure on Halloween—everything from candy to costumes. I met Annie many years ago when her publisher asked me to write the forward to her first book Clean and Green. Annie is the best-selling author of five books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment (Rodale Books, 2008), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010), and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World. She was named “the foremost expert on green living” by “Body & Soul” magazine (February, 2009). She has been the editor of a number of publications, including “The Green Guide.” Currently Annie is the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Wellness Wire and leads the selection of toxic-free products for A True Find. www.anniebbond.com
LISTEN TO OTHER SHOWS WITH ANNIE B. BOND
- Toxics Then and Now: Debra Celebrates Thirty Years in Print
- Eight Steps to Improving Your Food Choices
- Toxic Free Valentines
- Great Toxic-Free Holiday Gifts
- Cleaning for Your Holiday Party – Before and After
- Toxic Free Cleaning Basics
- Natural Solutions for Bugs
- Tips for a Toxic Free Home
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Annie B. Bond
Date of Broadcast: October 22, 2013
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world. And we need to do that because there are so many toxic chemicals in the world today, all around us, in the food we eat, the water we drink, consumer products and even in our bodies from plastic exposures.
So, on this show, we talk about what’s toxic, what’s not, where are the toxic chemicals and where are things that are not toxic? And today, we’re going to talk about the scary toxic chemicals that are in our Halloween traditions and products that we buy at Halloween.
My guest today is my friend, Annie Berthold Bond. She has written five bestselling books about toxic free living. And she has experienced, as I have, many, many toxic-free Halloweens. Hi, Annie.
ANNIE B. BOND: Hi, Debra. It’s so nice to be here. Thanks for having me again.
DEBRA: Thank you. And Annie has been on before and if you enjoy today’s show or a fan of Annie’s books, you can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and just type her name into the search and all of the shows that she has been on will come up and you can listen to all of them. I’m sure she’ll be on again since we’re such good friends. We have known each other for so long and are so in agreement on this subject.
ANNIE B. BOND: […]
DEBRA: I know you’ve written about Halloween in the past. You’ve written so much in so many ways. So we’re going to talk about some specific things. I have some information specifically about candy and costumes. But we just start out.
Tell me just some tips that you would give somebody about how to have less toxic Halloween and then we’ll talk more specifically about candy and costumes. Tell us some of the things that you did with your daughter Lily to make her Halloween less toxic.
ANNIE B. BOND: That’s an interesting question. When I was thinking about this show, I still to this day remember Halloween mask I wore. I must have been eight or nine maybe or six, I don’t know. And the taste of it and how it bothered my face, it must have been absolutely saturated with fire retardants or something. The chemical exposure I had that evening from that mask must have just been unbelievable. And I, to this day, remember it.
DEBRA: I remember that too.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah. It’s just an incredible. With my daughter, my main focus usually was around the candy. So we can talk about that. I have a lot of alternative thoughts about using candy that doesn’t have fructose in it because I think…
DEBRA: Let’s just start out talking about candies. I have some things to say too. Let me just talk a little bit about the toxic chemicals in candies that children are likely to encounter and then we can go into talking about our alternatives because I’m sure we both have a lot of experience with this.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah, absolutely.
DEBRA: There was just an article. I was just searching this online and there was some article just a few days ago in the Huffington Post that said, “Halloween warning, watch out for neurotoxic artificial food dyes in M&Ms candies.”
This article is about the health effects of artificial colors, which are made from petroleum. And it says that if you know a child with ADHD, you know hyperactivity can make it difficult for parents and that many food and candy companies use unnecessary ingredients that can trigger hyperactivity and petroleum-based artificial food dyes are found in everything from cereal, yogurt and granola bars to candy chips and even children’s medicine.
So they’re making the point here that even though it’s Halloween, you’re going to get a lot of artificial colors in that bag of candy. If most people are giving away candy that just comes in the bags of Halloween candy that is sold cheaply at this time of year and it’s not the best quality candy. And M&Ms and other common brands do use these artificial flavors.
I mean ADHD is only one of the things that can happen when you consume artificial colors because it’s a neurotoxin and it affects your entire nervous system. So anything that has to do with the nervous system, mood, depression, all those things, even moving your fingers, I’m sitting here moving my fingers while I’m talking. Moving your fingers is something that your nerves do and message is going through brain and all of those kinds of things are all part of your nervous system. And so that’s one thing to watch out for.
Another article that I found, let’s see what else I have here, there was another one about lead. I have so many articles open on my desk right now. There was another one about lead in candy and I can’t find that one right now.
ANNIE B. BOND: One of the things when you’re talking, in England, the physicians have gotten together and urged all parents to not feed their children food with artificial color. And this is what started maybe three to four years ago. It was so impressive that the pediatricians got together to say this because it was so strong.
I think also the other thing that I just wanted to throw in there is my personal experience, which was that my daughter didn’t really have much exposure to chemicals, but I always let her go to birthday parties and eat whatever they had and of course they were always loaded with toxic food dyes. She was a sweet little girl, but she has come home as the most belligerent little human being you ever, ever wanted to be around. And it was just awkward. She’d have that kind of food and she would be so belligerent with me.
So it’s so sad because the kids get into bad behavior and parents punish them and they don’t know what’s the cause. It’s just a real tragedy.
DEBRA: It absolutely can be something as simple as eating M&Ms. Let’s also talk about dangers of sugar and then we’ll give our safe alternatives because I actually consider sugar to be a toxic chemical now. I do.
ANNIE B. BOND: That’s interesting.
DEBRA: And I didn’t use to think it was a toxic chemical because most of the toxic chemicals I knew were made from petroleum. But when I wrote my most recent book, Toxic Free, I really researched everything anew because I had a lot of ideas about what was toxic from the past many years ago when I first started working in the field. And so I researched everything again.
One of the things that I realized is that there are certain chemicals that are inherently toxic. There are certain like dioxin or something like that. There are naturally occurring toxins like food poisoning kind of things like botulinum toxin.
But there’s also a whole category of things that are toxic because they’re refined. And if you look at something like salt, like natural salt versus refined salt and natural salt is actually vital to life, yet refined salt can give you high blood pressure and all kind of things. It’s actually an industrial chemical.
And so when I look at refined sugar – I’m not talking about all sweeteners, but I’m talking about that refined white sugar that most candy is made from, especially Halloween candy that acts in your body like a toxic chemical does. It’s not something that occurs in nature. It’s something that is an industrial product that’s been refined. So I actually consider it to be a toxic chemical now and something that people shouldn’t be eating and it’s not necessary to health. So I put it on the list of dangerous poison.
ANNIE B. BOND: Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that.
DEBRA: You’re welcome. There’s a website and I’ve forgotten the name of it, but it listed 134 ways or something like that that sugar hurts your body and especially one of it is that it depresses the immune system.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh, interesting.
DEBRA: And especially what happens here is that we’re in the cold and flu season and we’re eating Halloween candy or eating Thanksgiving desserts or eating Christmas desserts. And all through the whole cold and flu season, we’re depressing our immune system when our immune system should be at top form to be fighting all those bacteria and viruses.
ANNIE B. BOND: And all of those holidays celebrate the…
DEBRA: That’s right. That’s right. So alternative is – I just have a general statement here and say that there are many other sweeteners that are not as bad for you. And I hear my little cue of music that it’s time for break and I could just keep talking about all this stuff with you.
But we’ll take our break. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie B. Bond. When we come back, we’ll talk more about Halloween and how to have a healthy one.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Annie B. Bond. We’re talking about healthy Halloween. So Annie, tell us what you’ve done about candy with Lily.
ANNIE B. BOND: I was thinking about this when you were talking about sugar because there are increasing number of products in the market, candy products on the market that are actually made without FD&C food dyes. The health food stores have them. They can have M&Ms that don’t have that problem.
You still get the sugar. Sometimes with kids, you want to be able to give them what everybody else has and make it look like what everybody else has. And you get into one of these classic slippery slopes where is it better to give them something fun that they feel great about that also isn’t as toxic as something else? So this certainly still includes the sugar.
We should also probably throw in corn syrup as something that is increasingly…
DEBRA: Absolutely, absolutely.
ANNIE B. BOND: It’s on my list of things I would want to avoid because of the GMOs if nothing else.
ANNIE B. BOND: It’s just a really serious, serious, serious problem that I think is – I read a book called The Autism Revolution by Herbert, MD that just blew my socks off about how she’s actually healing autistic kids and making their lives completely normal and she’s doing it in a myriad of ways. But one of the main focuses is on gut bacteria.
We know that sugar throws gut bacteria off, corn syrup and the GMOs in Roundup, no researches are showing that it’s actually affecting gut bacteria in a really negative way. So it’s horrifying that these little kids ¬– healing their gut bacteria is helping to bring them back to health. And why is their gut bacteria so badly off? And one of the reasons may just well be corn syrup and chemo corn products. It’s terrifying when I started researching this. It’s just absolutely terrifying.
And the same GMO, gut bacteria problem can be linked also to some problems with the honeybees because they’re getting the corn syrup because a lot of the honeybee farms use corn syrup-based seed for them and so it’s just a horrible, worrisome problem that’s just beginning to reveal itself in more detail. So I pay a lot of attention to corn syrup now.
DEBRA: Yes. That’s something I eliminated a long time ago. Actually if I had to eat something and I had to choose between corn syrup and sugar, I would eat sugar in a minute before I eat corn syrup.
ANNIE B. BOND: Me too. Yeah, I completely agree.
DEBRA: And I think that there are actually for me gradient different sweeteners being more preferable and less profitable.
Corn syrup is way at the bottom. And sugar is actually somewhere near the middle. And then there are artificial sweeteners.
But then there are other much better sweeteners near the top like honey and coconut sugar and unrefined cane sugar and things like that. And I know, I’ve seen in natural food stores that there are many candy products that are using these better sweeteners as well as not having the artificial toxins.
ANNIE B. BOND: That’s right, exactly, totally.
ANNIE B. BOND: So you become a label reader and it becomes incredibly valuable at this time of year to go browse around the biggest health food store you can find because the prices tend to be cheaper. And just look at the widest variety of materials of candy, you can, and see what there is. I completely agree to that.
DEBRA: A couple of things that I think I have just off the top of my head and not having gone to the natural food store and looked for it, but just by being aware of what’s in the store. At my particular natural food store, they have, right at the register, these little bite-sized chocolate candies, just a little bite of chocolate that’s organic chocolate and it has unrefined cane sugar in it. So you could certainly get a bunch of those and pass those out. Everybody loves chocolate.
ANNIE B. BOND: Absolutely. Totally. And so for Easter, instead of jellybeans, I would get little chocolates and place them around. I would do just exactly that.
ANNIE B. BOND: I would do everything I could creatively to come up with alternatives to food dyes and the more wholesome the sugar, the better.
DEBRA: They also have lollipops and hard candies made from brown rice syrup, which is also another good slow acting sweetener.
There’s a website online called NaturalCandyStore.com. And they have a whole page called Organic Halloween Candy. If you want to get to this page, you just type organic Halloween candy into your favorite search engine and it will come right up. And it’s got all kinds of things. They’ve got Gummi Bears…
ANNIE B. BOND: Beautiful colors too.
DEBRA: …organic maple candy pumpkins and root beer flavored organic candy drops and lollipops and all kinds of things.
And they’re all made out of organic and natural ingredients. So if you want to have that kind of thing and you don’t have it in your natural food store, just go online here. It’s all available. It’s just a matter of knowing that these products exist and choosing to get them instead of the standard toxic stuff.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah, exactly. And because then there’s the whole stretch where we do make so many desserts at home too, one thing that I got really good and we just enjoyed doing would be making foods with vegetable dyes and making the frosting type things, coloring things with vegetables. And so blueberries make a gorgeous bluish purple and there are just all sorts of foods that you can cook…
ANNIE B. BOND: …to get a great food diet, to make your own, which is another fun thing to do.
DEBRA: It is a fun thing to do. I was looking on my own website, on my Green Living Q&A. I looked up on Halloween to see what I had written in the past. In one of them, there was a tip from a woman who said that when her children were on trick-or-treating age, they would invite their friends over. The woman writing said, “We’d invite their children’s friends over for pizza and apple cider and homemade pumpkin pie after they’re trick-or-treating.” Oh, no. Then the kids would go out for trick-or-treating.
So they’ve already had a good meal. And after they got home from the trick-or-treating, their kids and their friends, this parent would check the candy and they would divide it up. And then she would buy the candy back for whatever the price was that it would be sold for at the local grocery store. And then they would put it back in their trick-or-treat box and give it away to the other trick-or-treaters that were coming to their house. And the kids would have money then to go spend, to buy toys or whatever that they wanted and they didn’t eat the candy at all. I thought that was a great way to make it…
ANNIE B. BOND: That’s a creative way of handling it and giving something to the kids so they can find that fun and the more money they can make or something. That was a good idea to fill them up first. So yes, it’s interesting.
DEBRA: So we need to take another break. And when we come back, let’s talk about costumes because that’s a big part of Halloween, getting dressed up and having fun. So this is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Annie B. Bond, author of many bestselling books about toxic-free living.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie B. Bond who does a lot of things. She’s written five books on toxic-free living. She’s the Editor-In-Chief of the Wellness Wire. And she leads the selection of toxic-free products for a wonderful website called A True Find. It has some gorgeous products from all over the world. Her website is AnnieBBond.com and you can find out all about everything she does by going to AnnieBBond.com.
So Annie, I want to start by just talking about some articles I found about the toxic chemicals in costumes. I always felt very uncomfortable in Halloween costumes and you were talking about the masks. Before there were rubber masks and there were plastic masks. I always felt as a kid that I didn’t want to wear the mask. It looked nice, but I couldn’t breathe and I didn’t like the way it smelled. And so I very soon just didn’t wear the mask at all.
All of those, I was just looking at the costumes all made out of synthetic materials when I was recently in a store, a big discount store. And I just was walking up and down the aisle and just everything is made from nylon and polyester and plastic and they have purple pumpkin bags that you can carry your candy in and all these things.
There was an article that was just out last week about how that there was a shipment of children’s costumes from China to distributor in Seattle that was confiscated by Consumer Products Safety Investigators because they tested it and they found that there was lead in the costumes that are 11 times the legal limit.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh my goodness.
DEBRA: They seized 229 cartons of 1371 costumes and that they will all be destroyed. But those are only the ones that were tested.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh, it’s so discouraging.
DEBRA: Yes. Yes. And I’ve said many times on the show, but we’ll say it again, we even said this yesterday about how lead, there’s no safe level for lead and even though the government has set a standard, there’s really no safe level. And it can poison children’s brains and all kinds of developmental problems come later in life from being exposed to lead as a child.
And there really isn’t any reason why we have to be, have our children be exposed to these kinds of things.
And then there was another article I found where they found all kinds of toxic metals. There’s a whole list here. There’s a group called EcoWaste Coalition where they test Halloween costumes, body and face paint, masks, decorations and candy.
And they said that more than 20% of the products that they tested still contained lead. And in 2011, two years ago…
ANNIE B. BOND: What percent was that again, Debra?
DEBRA: Twenty percent.
ANNIE B. BOND: Is it 20 or 40?
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh, okay.
DEBRA: Twenty percent still contained lead. And two years ago, when they tested, they found excessive levels of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury in 70% of the Halloween costumes that they tested.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh dear.
DEBRA: And last year, the number came down to 28%. This year, it’s 20%, but that’s still only just a little tiny amount that they tested. And if you multiply that out by all the Halloween costumes that you’re seeing in stores across the country, 20% of that is a lot and there’s no way for you as a parent to know if you’re buying a Halloween costume that is full of heavy metals that are very, very toxic to children.
So my recommendation is that we should be making our own costumes. And just not even buy any of that stuff because number one, there’s no way for you to tell if they are safe or not safe. And number two, they’re made up of synthetic fabrics.
And number three, none of this is on the label, but the other thing is that they actually, many if not all of them, have fire retardants applied because if there’s any time of year that is dangerous for children having lose clothing on, it’s Halloween with all those candles and all those pumpkins and people walking around with candles and stuff. The official government recommendations for Halloween costumes say, “Buy fire retardant costumes.”
ANNIE B. BOND: I was thinking about what my recommendation would be. And I think that report you gave actually changed my mind because one of the problems with kids of course is that they want to be like their friends and they want to fit and you want to help them to fit it if you can just because it matters so much to them. So it’s always a toss-up sometimes about what’s more important for them. But it’s more important for them not to get exposed to heavy metals than it is for them to fit in and I think that there’s no question about that.
It’s hard. I sewed a lot of costumes and my daughter was also in a lot of musical theater. She always just loved to have me sew the costumes. It became a fun family project.
And what I was going to say that’s great news – I mean I’m with you now about the costumes. I was going to say that you use your common sense. You’re out there and you’re shopping and you do the best you can in the sense of trying to get the most natural, you smell things, you try to navigate as best as you can given what costumes show up when you’re out looking.
But I think I changed my mind and I agreed about the making. The fun thing is that the fabric stores have absolutely wonderful patterns available and all sorts of fun accessories. So it can become a really fun family project. Most families these days have both parents working. It’s really hard to find the time. But it is one of those meaningful times that you can have with your kids I think. I’m with you, Debra. I agree.
DEBRA: Thank you. I know that it’s been a long time since I bought a Halloween costume. It’s been since I was a child. But as soon as I was able to make my own costume as a teen and figure it out, then that’s what I started doing.
You can go thrift stores and pick out things that might be suitable for costume or you can make things. Teenagers can learn how to sew. I remember when I was in school, I took a sewing class. It’s not that difficult. It really isn’t that difficult.
But I know for myself, I now try to keep my costumes. I like to dress up for Halloween. But I keep my costumes really simple.
One of the things that I did was that if you go to a party store, then they have these little hats you can wear, just little tiny hats on headbands. Sure, they’re synthetic, but it’s a very small amount of synthetic. I have a little witch’s hat and I’ll tell you more about this.
ANNIE B. BOND: This is what I mean by the common sense so you make an educated decision at the time.
DEBRA: It’s very different than having a whole dress full of fire retardant. We’ll be back after the break and talk more about how to make creative costumes that are toxic-free. My guest today is Annie B. Bond. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Annie B. Bond, author of many books on toxic-free living and her website is AnnieBBond.com and you can find out everything that she does.
So Annie, what I wanted to say about what I usually do now at Halloween is I either do something simple like a little witch’s hat. Or I paint my face and I just dress in black, all my black cotton clothes and then I paint my face. So let’s talk about…
ANNIE B. BOND: I was just going to talk about face paint too.
DEBRA: Yeah. I think it’s a wonderful creative thing to do. But I want to make sure that people understand that if you go and buy face paints at the store, they probably have lead in them because several years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had face paints tested and found that 10 out of 10 children’s face paint tested contained low levels of lead and again, there’s no safe level of lead, and other heavy metals they found were nickel, chromium and cobalt.
But here’s the good news. There are natural face paints that you can buy if you go to NaturalEarthPaint.com. They’ve got great, great, great face paints and they are just so natural. The woman who developed them, I had her on the show and she totally understands all of this about colors and paint and everything. And she has created these fabulous face paints.
Actually, I just put a blog post on my website, safe pace paint. That’s hard to say. I’ll say that three times fast. Safe face paint, if you just type that in my site’s search engine, “safe face paint,” it’s got a link to the natural face paints you can buy.
And it’s also got a link to – I see I have a typo here, I need to fix it – to a place where you can make your own homemade face paint. And that’s on a website called Mommypotamus.com. And I have the exact link by the end of the show. I’ll put the exact link here to where you can make your own face paint at home from natural colors and things that you were talking about, natural vegetable colors.
And so these are two creative ideas that people can use to have some fun and have it be natural and safe.
ANNIE B. BOND: And it’s really easy to make a natural face paint. A recipe I have has a shortening, a [coat] shortening and I would use coconut oil instead. And it has cornstarch, white flour and glycerin and you mix that up and then you could add colors.
I think that you could do different kinds of starches. So you mix the corn altogether and you’d be able to use arrowwood or something.
DEBRA: This recipe I have in front of me from Mommypotamus says has cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Then she uses honey instead of glycerin, natural food coloring.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh, okay.
DEBRA: Yeah, I haven’t tried it, but it looks like it would work and I think that that would be a fun thing to do. I always like making things myself if I can.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah, me too. Honey is very healing for the skin.
DEBRA: It is.
ANNIE B. BOND: So that’s a very, very nice recipe that you just said. I like that.
DEBRA: Yeah, I like it too and the recipe for the natural earth paints is very good. It’s got natural pigments in it and things like that she’s put together. But I really like these kinds of do-it-yourself formulas where you can make it out of basically foods that you could eat. I mean you could eat this face paint. It might not taste very good, but you could eat it.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah, right. Exactly. Exactly. And the other thing is you could make paper mache masks If you wanted to get into some fun projects, you could definitely do that.
DEBRA: That sounds fun.
ANNIE B. BOND: I think it’s the kind of thing that you want to – I was invited, of all things. I had such a fun time. Last year, I went to that Middle Earth Halloween party and I spent six weeks working on my costume for that. And even for hurricane Sandy with no electricity, I was sitting by the fire, sewing and sewing the thing.
DEBRA: And what did you make?
ANNIE B. BOND: I made myself looking like – I found a picture of Madonna who had dressed up as the queen of arc – I mean the Joan of Arc. I did something very similar. So I made it like a chain, a real chain and I made the chainmail hat with the chain hanging down. It was very fun.
ANNIE B. BOND: I actually heard somebody say it was going to be in Martha Stewart. Actually the picture of me is going to be in Martha Stewart. I should go out and buy a copy. I just realized that it’s a magazine. But it was so much fun. It was just an absolute bliss doing it.
But it became a project. It just became something you plan a couple of months in advance and you work on it and think about it.
DEBRA: That’s right. It becomes a creative thing. I think that this is one of the things that we’ve lost in our consumer culture.
We think of ourselves as consumers, so if we want something, we need to go out and buy it and so then we’re only limited to what the manufacturers are giving to us. But we are creative beings by nature and we can create anything that we want to create and I think it’s much more fun if you’re doing something like a costume to go out and create something, figure out.
I’m a member of Toastmasters and we are having a Halloween party. Just after Halloween, we’re having an open house and we’re going to, each of us, be giving a very short speech as a character from a book or a movie. And so, we’re all going to come dressed as that character.
ANNIE B. BOND: What a fun. What a fun idea. Yeah.
DEBRA: Doesn’t that sound great?
ANNIE B. BOND: It’s very fun. It’s very fun.
DEBRA: And so I happened to be receiving an award that night, which is one of the reasons why this is going on. In Toastmasters, the highest award is the Distinguished Toastmasters Award and you have to give 50 speeches and do a whole leadership program and everything to get this award. And so I had already started working on my, I’m going to say, “costume,” my evening gown for that occasion.
It’s like a fairy dress with the little stars, purple little stars. And I thought now, I have to come up with a character from a book or movie to be – that’s my dress that I already started working on. And so I decided to be Glenda, the Good Witch of the North.
ANNIE B. BOND: Very nice.
DEBRA: And so I’ll have to give my speech as Glenda.
ANNIE B. BOND: Oh, that sounds very fun. What a great idea.
ANNIE B. BOND: But it is exactly right. It becomes an event. When I have my costume that I was – I mean I had my daughter and all her friends involved. It was a big e-mail thing back and forth, taking iPhone pictures, “What about this? It’s a bracelet.” It just became a very fun community event really.
DEBRA: Yes. Yes. We still have just a few more minutes. But the conclusion here is that Halloween can be turned into a creative, homemade event rather than a toxic […]. And it can be something really fun and something that is an annual thing that you do together as a family and with your friends.
I wanted to mention about trick-or-treating that children don’t have to go out and trick-or-treat. It may not even be safe in some neighborhoods. And there’s something wrong with inviting your children’s friends over for a party and they can get all dressed up and you can feed them organic food and you can have sweet things to eat that are prepared better. And they can go around and trade treats or something.
I mean there are all kinds of things that you could think of to make an event that children would rather come and do that event every year than go out, trick-or-treating because it’s so much fun.
ANNIE B. BOND: Exactly. Yeah. It’s just a matter of being creative and thoughtful really.
DEBRA: Yeah. Yeah. So Annie, do you have any last thoughts before we get to the end of the show?
ANNIE B. BOND: It’s really a matter of paying attention I think. I think that’s everything that you’ve said. And it has been about needing to pay attention. We can’t just be in denial about the fact that so many of the things that we buy for Halloween are actually really dangerous. We can’t pretend that’s not the case and we do have to make change. We have to adapt and accommodate that knowledge creatively. It’s just something we have to do. It’s not a question anymore I guess.
DEBRA: Yeah, there really isn’t a question.
ANNIE B. BOND: It’s just like I can never have dry-cleaning in my house because I’m so chemically sensitive and I haven’t for 30 years. And I haven’t missed it. It’s fine.
DEBRA: I haven’t missed it either. I haven’t missed it either. I had a woman e-mailed me with a consulting question about her daughter’s room has a fairly large vinyl decal on the wall. And she wanted to know if it was toxic and should she remove it.
Vinyl, as we know, causes cancer and it’s giving off fumes into her daughter’s room. And she was saying, “I don’t have the money now to replace it. Should I remove it? Do I need to remove it?” And I looked at that and I thought she knows it’s toxic and she’s asking me, “Should I remove it? I don’t have money to replace it.” What’s more important, that her daughter live in a toxic-free room or there will be something on the wall? And I think it’s much more important to be choosing, to continue to choose.
At the beginning, when I was so sick, I didn’t have money to buy everything, but I took everything that was toxic out of my house. And I was just left with emptiness because I had no money to replace anything. But over the years, what was important was to remove those toxic chemicals. We need to go.
ANNIE B. BOND: And then you make…
DEBRA: The show is over.
ANNIE B. BOND: Yeah.
ANNIE B. BOND: Actually I did it too.
DEBRA: Annie will be back with us again another time. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. Have a happy Halloween.