Thursday, February 20, 2014

Better living through...

The first line on the back of the Johnson and Johnson's "baby bedtime lotion" bottle says, in bold letters,

We love babies.

The next paragraph explains how the lotion helps babies go to sleep. It touts, this time in capital letters,


And, while it's:

Always Mild & Gentle (bold letters),

we need to remember to

Keep out of reach of children (also bold).

I get it, I don't want him rubbing this stuff in his eyes.

It has a wondrous lavender aroma. It's smooth and non-greasy (my words), and I use it myself for winter eczema. The cats love it, both for the great smell, and the apparently yummy flavor.

The ingredients are a tribute list to American chemical engineering. The first three are expected and identifiable- water, mineral oil, and glycerin. H two-OH and slippery stuff.

It starts getting good with "Carbomer."

Phenoxyethanol (alcohol), and Ceteareth-6, which must be quite a step up from Ceteareth-5... and

Fragrance. What's the organic chem formula for Fragance? Anybody?

And, here come the "Bens." I have known several Bens in my life, and have enjoyed them all. All good men, fun guys. This group must be related, as I see what I assume to be a "legacy name" they all share for their middle name: Para. I'm guessing Methyl and Ethyl were fraternal twins? And, the "surprise" baby sib, Propyl, which I hope is also some legacy name.

Add a couple of more alcohols, an acid, and we finish with-


Sodium hydroxide? As in lye?

I guess something has to offset the acid? It's the very last ingredient, so how bad can it be?

It's not like I'm rubbing lye all over his body, or mine for that matter.

Truth be told, I'm NOT one to get freaked out by this stuff. I'm sure there are "natural" alternatives.There are also "natural" deodorants, which generally don't deodorize anything. I'll go with what works, natural or otherwise. I expect to get my allotted 80-ish years, and yes, something will catch up with me at some point.

I know people who make a show about doing everything "natural", who want to world to know (and this is a quote from one mother),

"I'm not giving my baby that shit!"

That was in reference to a vitamin.

I'm all in on being cleaner and more attuned to natural options. We are growing more of our own food each year, and hope to add beef or chickens this year. Both, if things go well. we are working our way to a greater food and energy independence.

There is a huge outcry right now against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food chain. I will agree that some of the chemistry involved is suspect, and is interfering with the organic movement. I cannot agree that it is all bad, and should be dismissed out of hand as evil.

Ecologists set the carrying capacity of our planet at somewhere around ten billion people. That is, if resources are properly distributed (a point of massive failure even now), the planet can support about ten billion people with food and water. At our current rate of population growth, we may reach that before I expire. Jay will certainly see that in his lifetime. If we aren't figuring out ways to create more food on less land and with less water, in other words, genetically modifying our food supply to increase yield,, we all will pay. Not only will there be a resource shortage, but it's foolhardy to think there won't be an associated social upheaval.

This is where my blabbering ties into dad-hood. What WILL Jay see in his lifetime? He will see shortages in food, water, and energy. How bad will it get? We have some control over that at this point, but with each lazy, we'll-get-around-to-it year that passes, our window of opportunity slides closer and closer to shutting itself.

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