So I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while, then I woke up this morning and saw that a guru of the natural medicine field in the U.S has written something very similar on his Facebook page yesterday! But I will chalk that down to great minds thinking alike and persist ;)
There are two separate issues I have, and both relate to fundraising for chronic conditions so bear with me!
Firstly - I’ve been a little disillusioned lately with the corporatisation of fundraising. It seems that we are so caught up in raising money that perhaps we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.
Now don’t get me wrong - it’s not that I’m against fundraising - it brings awareness, helps show support for people who are suffering, and raises vital funds that get used in many different areas - and I personally have bought many a pink ribbon, daffodil day badge, raffle ticket etc in support of causes close to my heart, but what irks me is the products that are now used as part of the fundraising.
For example, some of the products that now carry the pink ribbon are just unsuitable - here’s just a few:
- Bottled water - whether they are BPA free or not, bottled waters still contain many chemicals that can leach into the water (particularly on hot days). A study last year tested 18 different samples from various water bottles and identified over 24,000 chemicals. Some of these are known endocrine disruptors (chemicals that alter our hormones) and the latest one to cause the most concern is DEHF.
- Dove deodorant - (contains aluminum). There is always going to be some controversy regarding aluminum and the links to cancer. For every study that shows a link, there will be another that shows there’s no link But surely it’s better to err on the side of caution?
- Cedel Dry Shampoo - a chemical cocktail marketed at teen girls and young females. It contains harmful ingredients such as Butane, Isobutane, Alcohol, Propane, Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate Fragrance and Quaternium-18 Bentonite - if you have a copy of the chemical maze you’ll know that some of these are known to be neurotoxic and some are banned in Europe.
- Green’s baking mixes - the first ingredient is sugar in the endorsed baking mix. I think we all know by now that sugar is not good for our health.
I know that these products raise much needed funds, but it feels like selling out. It also feels like a great marketing ploy by the involved companies - pulling on people’s heart strings in order to sell more products. Some of these products may actually be contributing to the diseases that they are fundraising to fight which is just madness.
And now for my other issue. I also feel like there is too much focus on finding a ‘cure’. I would LOVE for more of the money raised to go towards health education and disease prevention. There is so much we can do to personally lower our risks, and while I acknowledge that there are many people out there who do all the right things and still get sick (my mum included, who lost her life to breast cancer at age 55), I’d just like to see a shift in our focus.
Perhaps the government could spend more on subsiding healthy foods, reforming the Australian Dietary Guidelines, and educating about nutrition - and by doing so perhaps that would reduce the number of chronic diseases which require hospital admission every year? Now I’m no politician, so perhaps this is an overly simplistic view of it - but it just seems crazy to spend so much money on 'sick care’ when if we just spent a little bit of that money on 'health care’ we would all be much better off……… After all - isn’t it better to prevent rather than cure?
I’ll leave you with food for thought on what we donate to vs what is actually killing us………. (see below)