I “Google it” 100 times a day. I literally Google everything. The problem with that though, is you can always find what you’re looking for. Stick with me here:
If you want to read that organic food is healthier, you can. If you want to read that there’s no difference between organic and conventional, you can read that too. If you want to read chemicals in sunscreens cause cancer, there’s a whole lot of articles on that. If you want to hear sunscreen prevents cancer, there’s that too. If you want confirmation of anything you think is right, just Google it.
So what’s the truth? I’m not sure! I’m not a scientist conducting studies on rats, I’m just trying to keep my family healthy. There is so much marketing garbage out there and “studies” that it’s overwhelming.
I’m sure I’ve gotten some things wrong, I’m only human. But in trying to dig up “facts” you have to follow the money:
-I try to find out who is making money off a product. This can be tricky because big companies own small ones, such as Kellogg owns Kashi. I tend to trust small companies over multibillion dollar corporations.
-I read studies if they are available. Then I try to uncover who funded the studies, and who benefits from the findings of the studies. For example, if the FDA says GMO corn is safe because there have been safety studies done, and then you realize Monsanto has funded and conducted these studies on their own product, well that’s just bad science. This happens all. the. time.
-Just because the FDA approves it, doesn’t make it safe. (In fact, if its FDA approved, I just assume it’s not safe). How many times a day do you hear commercials saying, “If you suffered death, stroke, congestive heart failure, kidney failure cancer, blurred vision, etc after taking (insert drug of choice) call the law offices of…” Yeaaaahh. Safety studies. I don’t think so.
-Read about a company’s history. What charities, if any, do they support? Who is the CEO? Here is a little article on Walmart’s. That is a lot of work though, I know.
When money is involved, all bets are off. Not the person selling hats on Etsy, they’re okay. We are talking the higher ups and CEO’s of national organizations and companies. Money is powerful: it can sway my beloved Google search and shout at me from the TV. But until these “studies” are funded fairly from a third party who will not benefit from them, I play it safe. I go with local, sustainable, and small business whenever possible.