Friday, October 3, 2008

Must read

It is my humble opinion that every homemaker should have a copy of Organic Housekeeping. Ellen Sandbeck is brilliant and hilarious. I read mine like a novel. She covers a multitude of topics including what to watch out for when buying furniture, clothing, even cosmetics. For example, have you ever noticed just how many everyday products contain formaldehyde? Ms. Sandbeck says, "Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative in shampoos, cosmetics, nail polish, and embalmed corpses. It is a known carcinogen and causes birth defects in laboratory animals." (page 159) You may also be interested in knowing that some synthetic fabrics like polyester involve formaldehyde in their manufacturing process. Take a look at the ingredient lists on a few of your favorite toiletries; your deodorant or toothpaste may just make a good substitute for some automotive essentials (like anti-freeze). The author is down-to-earth and knowledgeable; a lot of the information seems to be common sense, but you will feel like you've earned a degree in chemistry after reading this book. I also really enjoy her sense of humor. In another section on deterring ants, she quips, "Indigenous ants are an essential part of the ecosystem. They protect their territory, attack termites, and eat flea eggs, so unless they are coming indoors or are pasturing their dairy aphids on your favorite apple seedling, you should probably leave them alone." (page 383)


Ivory Spring said...

What an education post, Michele - thanks. I will see if my library has a copy of the book.

Re: countertop - I seriously doubt it's granite even though it looks like it. But we have liked it because it is so very durable. Nothing seems to hurt it...

Lavinia said...

I like picking up tips on alternatives to toxic household cleaners. I now incorporate baking soda, borax, lemon juice and vinegar into my cleaning routine. These two things are banned in my house: air fresheners, dryer sheets. I've read terrible things about both of these products. I have also recently become aware of the dangers of scented candles and have decided that from now on, only natural beeswax candles will be lit around here.

Last but not least, indoor air can be dangerous and I have a new appreciation for some of the drafts in my house!

Lady Farmer said...

I refer back to my copy of Organic Housekeeping often. I agree, not only is Ms. Sandbeck informative, she is every entertaining. I just love using cider vinegar for almost everything! Our mutual friend Mr. Zink, has even used it for the "eviction" of gall stones!
(Hope I never have to use it for that!)Just thinking of all this makes me want to go clean something! *grin*

Lady Farmer said...

Yes! Please come by. The cider press is waiting, the trees are obliging. The only thing lacking is three blonde girls (and one fellow) with willing hands!
How do you like your cider - icy cold and refreshing or piping hot and relaxing? It will be waiting along with the Gentleman Farmer and I.