Sep 152017

Well-intentioned green purists are often mistaken. Toxins are omni-present, animal products are well-hidden, some allegedly toxic products are not. Know your facts!

Green Purists

As a wellness coach I’m often amused when encountering a green living “purist”. There are so many people today who believe themselves “green purists”!
Health-conscious, informed and frequently vegan, these people avoid sugar and gluten, known carcinogens, chemically-treated produce and fruit, processed foods and “toxins” of any kind. In theory their approach is perfect. In real life, not so much. The “green purists” believe themselves superior to people who – to name just one example – have bacon for breakfast. It’s funny and sad, at the same time.

As humans we are omnivores. We need meat, grains, vegetables and fruit to function properly and maintain good health. Being a total carnivore or total herbivore isn’t healthy. Our bodies are designed to process food of animal and plant origin and derive benefits from both, not either one. Abstaining from animal products entirely creates an imbalance that eventually has a negative impact on a person’s health.

The individual who had bacon for breakfast potentially increased his risk of developing cardiovascular disease because bacon is treated with sodium nitrate. The purist who didn’t eat bacon is at the same risk of developing cardiovascular disease because vegetables are the MAIN source of nitrites. Another source of nitrates is water. (It never seizes to amaze me that “green purists” don’t realize that there is no such a thing as organic water!)

The vegan believes that he doesn’t consume animal products. Animal products are everywhere. They are present in medications, vaccines, nutritional supplements, beer, wine, candy, cosmetics, non-dairy products, vanilla, building materials, perfumes, hair dyes, and other products you’d never suspect. Vegans consume / use animal products whether they are aware of it, or not…

“Green purists” discriminate against certain substances they classify as “toxic chemicals” without a valid reason. They create false narrative against time-proven, natural and safe products depriving themselves – and by spreading misinformation, others – of significant benefits.

Life isn’t about avoidance but a skillful balance. Not every risk can be averted. Many can be managed.

The biggest health risks we’re exposed to hide in:

  • building materials our homes are constructed of
  • furniture, flooring, interior paint
  • cleaning and washing products
  • the air we breathe
  • food
  • drinking water
  • everyday use products applied to skin
  • clothing, shoes and jewelry materials

Some of the risks listed above can be controlled by the individual, some can’t. Some can be modified with common sense and / or money. The perfect solution? Being WELL-informed, reducing and / or counteracting health risks, getting over the superiority complex of imaginary “purism”. There is no reason to be “holier than thou”: fanaticism of any kind is counterproductive. We live in the same world of toxins, pollutants, GMOs, misinformation and hypocrisy. Most of us have the same health concerns.

I’m all for healthier, green living. It is my belief however that it should start with complete information and the exercise of common sense. Without either one, a green purist is no less hypocritical than the establishment he or she rejects. (Soy “milk” or nut “milk”, give me a break! Did you read the ingredient list?! All of the pseudo-milks are chemical concoctions I wouldn’t recommend to a personal enemy.)

And by the way, the best way to counteract nitrates (whether you are a fan of bacon, vegetables or drinking water) is by taking antioxidants and probiotics on a regular basis. (To rephrase it for “green purists”: by maintaining a diet rich in antioxidants and probiotics.)

Article contributed by Sturm Enrich who runs
and is a contributing editor of several leading publications