In this episode, I am speaking with Beth Greer – who is an environmental toxins expert and educator, an award-winning journalist and author of the bestseller Super Natural Home. We will talk about the 3 most common sources of toxins and what you can do to remove them from your home.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Beth and I will discuss:
- How food additives affect your health
- 3 “health promoting” products that contain food dyes
- The correlation between glyphosate and autism
- How the products you use affect your health
- The way EMFs affect your sleep
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Ari Whitten: Hey, there. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I’m your host Ari Whitten. And today, I have with me Beth Greer. And she’s going to be talking about the three key toxins in your home that are sabotaging your energy level.
So, a quick bit about her. She is the Super Natural Mom, that’s her sort of moniker. And she is an environmental toxins expert and educator. She is an award winning journalist, documentary film producer, and author of the bestseller, Super Natural Home.
She has also been named a top 50 health and environmental journalist to follow. Also, as a board member of the Pleiades Network, Beth is part of a global network of women dedicated to building a more sustainable future.
So, welcome, Beth, it’s such a pleasure to have you.
Beth Greer: Thanks. Great to be here.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, what is this sort of broad landscape of toxins in our home? You know, we are used to thinking about toxins in tuna fish. We’re used to thinking about maybe air pollutants in the air, you know, from coal factories, gasoline from cars, and things like that. A lot of people maybe don’t look at their home as a source of toxins. So, maybe kind of take us through that a bit.
Beth Greer: Yeah, that’s a really good point. So, yes, basically, I discovered that I was toxic about 18 years ago. I was diagnosed with a giant tumor in my chest. And I thought, “How could this happen to me?” I thought I was doing everything right. I eat well. I exercised. I meditated. I didn’t smoke. And watched my weight and all that.
And I went to three top surgeons. I had a biopsy. It was a benign tumor. But it was large. It was pressing on the nerves that ran down my arm. And my first three fingers were turning numb. And I went to three top surgeons in the Bay Area where I live. And they couldn’t agree on how to access this thing. But they said that it needs to come out immediately because it could turn cancerous at any minute. So, one wanted to cut me under my collarbone. The second under my armpit. And the third one said he was going to remove one of my ribs from the back and he was going to heal me.
And, you know, I just thought this was kind of insane. So, I needed some time to think. And I didn’t really want to rush into surgery. So, I went on a detox. It was a place down in San Diego called the Optimum Health Institute, juice cleansing, colonics, that sort of thing. And in about three or four days, I noticed doing this cleansing, I noticed that the pain that I was in started to diminish.
And I sort of asked it, “Why are you here? What’s your message for me?” And the word came back, “Simplify.” And I realized that I was living in a very un- simple life. I was working very hard, a lot of stress. And the food I was eating, some was organic. I was eating out almost every day. I was microwaving my food. And that certainly wasn’t a simple thing.
And then I started looking at the things I put on my skin. And I looked at the labels. People read food labels, but they very often don’t read what’s in their moisturizer, for example. And there was like a paragraph worth of ingredients in there. And with my background in journalism, I started doing research. And I discovered that there’s chemicals. And I’m going to talk about some of these chemicals, especially in the fragrances that we’re exposed to. Hundreds, maybe thousands of chemicals, you know, that we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
And then I was cleaning with a bottle of Windex, and I looked at the label on the back. It says precautionary statement, “Hazardous to humans and domestic animals,” right on the label. So, this is something I grew up with. I thought, “Well, it must be safe.” But +it’s really not. And so, I switched out to all natural products like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, that sort of thing, non-toxic. And you know what, it took about nine months or so of detoxing and getting rid of all these chemicals, chemical exposures, electromagnetic fields around me, the tumor disappeared. And I had it scanned. It was gone.
And that was like a huge wakeup call to me that our bodies are self-healing. And I realized that we are all being exposed to an unbelievable amount of stress from all of these chemicals in our everyday products that we’re unwittingly exposed to. So, that’s my story.
So, that’s when I wrote my book, Super Natural Home. And I started to educate people that that we can improve our lifestyles. We can get more energy. We can get healthy, if we start to just get rid of the stuff that’s creating what I call body burden on us. You know, it’s toxic to our livers. We don’t detox well. And then we set ourselves up for inflammation and chronic disease.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, excellent. So, what are these toxins that you’re talking about? What are these toxins that people are maybe not so aware of? And what should they focus on getting rid of?
Beth Greer: Okay. So, I’m going to focus on three areas. What goes in us, what goes on us, and what surrounds us. So, the first one, in the in category are food additives. You know, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, they say that most food additives are unsafe. And haven’t really been tested well. There are two that are of concern to me that I want to talk about today.
Artificial food dyes being the first one. So, they’ve done studies in Europe that showed that giving an artificial food dye to children will cause temper tantrums even in normal kids, without ADHD, for example, or autism. So, I worked with a child who had terrible, you know, ADHD symptoms, emotional outbursts. He had hyperactivity. He had anxiety. He had very low stress tolerance. He was on Concerta as a med. And he was eating like unbelievable amount of foods containing food dyes, plus preservatives and additives which are, you know, another part of the food additives.
So, a typical lunch for him would be something like macaroni and cheese, orange soda, and a little bag of Skittles. And while the studies show that it would take 50 milligrams of artificial food dyes to cause a reaction. This lunch had over 100 milligrams of food dyes. So, multiply this by three times.
In addition, he was having children’s Claritin, the allergy medication with food dyes in it. Cough syrup. And his vitamins had food dyes. Food dyes are made with from petroleum products and coal tar. And in Europe, the food dyes have a warning label on them. And here they’re not. The manufacturers are allowed to put whatever they want in their food pretty much.
So, in 2018, the FDA banned seven food additives, including some colors and flavors that are found in candy, ice cream, gum and soft drinks. And some may say cause cancer in lab animals. But back in 2013, the FDA said, “You have two years to find replacements.” Well, I haven’t seen anything yet of any replacements. So, this is a bit troubling.
If you go to Europe, McDonald’s, for example, their strawberry sundaes are colored with strawberries. And here, they’re using dyes like red dye number 40, for example. They’re Fanta soda is colored with pumpkins and carrot extract. And here again, red dye number 40, yellow dye number 6. These are very toxic substances that really impact our behavior.
This child was also taking Flintstone vitamins and artificial colors, artificial flavors, aspartame. I mean, this is something that most parents, you know, are buying off the shelf. And they think that it’s safe for their kids.
Ari Whitten: I’ll just interject one little thing here. Because I’ve seen some research on this showing at least certain of the artificial food dyes, artificial colors in the food supply are directly toxic to mitochondria. And so, there’s a very direct connection here with energy levels. So, yeah, I think this is a really interesting topic that I think is a little old school. Like people used to talk about artificial food coloring, like in the 80s and 90s.
Beth Greer: Right. That was the Feinegold diet, do you remember that?
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I remember 20 years ago people were talking about it. And then, you know, health experts, including, and I even take responsibility, including myself, kind of stopped talking about this so much. So, I think it’s an important message to keep talking about this.
Beth Greer: Great. I agree. I think it’s kind of a hidden thing that people are just not aware of. So, a safe substitute would be, you know, this is a Nordic berries. I have the slide here. There are no artificial food dyes or anything in it. This is an example of a Jiffy blueberry muffin mix. And I was reading the label and it said it is colored with artificially flavored imitation blueberries.
I thought, “What the heck?” Red 40, Blue 2, Blue number 1, partially hydrogenated oil, which you know is a transfat. So, I give talks at school. And some of the moms say, “I just made this for my kid.” And you know, it’s like so interesting to me that people are not paying attention to the food dyes. So, you know, a safe alternative would be to make a muffin and use real blueberries. Hello, not so hard. But you really want it to be organic.
Gatorade is another one that is colored. And, you know, I talked to so many athletes, people who work out in the gym. And this is their go to drink. But it is filled with Red Dye 40 and Blue number 1. So, a safe alternative would be getting some fizzy water and some fresh, you know, lemons and oranges. Or maybe coconut water. It is really great.
The role of glyphosate
Another thing that I want to add in terms of these food additives is glyphosate. I’m actually producing a film now on the hazards of glyphosate, which is found in Roundup. And it’s one of the most widely used weed killers on the planet. And the problem now is that farmers are allowed to spray wheat, corn, and oats that are not organic as a drying agent. They were allowed to spray Roundup on these crows a drying agent. So, it’s not just a weed killer. So, this is really insane if people are not eating organic that they are getting a big dose of glyphosate.
So, there’s this researcher from M.I.T. Her name is Stephanie Seeeff. And she talked about this very strong correlation between the use of glyphosate on our crops and the wide range of incidences of neurological diseases, including autism, ADHD, anxiety, dementia, as well as suicide. So, I just have a couple of slides that I wanted to show.
Ari Whitten: And just for people listening who are not necessarily watching the video, we will do our best to describe what is being displayed in the slide here.
Beth Greer: Yeah. So, basically, the slide starts out like 1995 and goes up to 2010. So, the rate of autism in six year olds, you know, it goes way up. And it’s almost the exact line as glyphosate introduction. You know, being sprayed on the corn and soy crops.
And the next slide is about breast cancer and glyphosate. The diagnosis of breast cancer and the and the glyphosate applied to corn and soy. So, what people really need to know is that corn and soy, I’d say 90 percent of the crops that are not organic, I would say are sprayed with glyphosate. And they are genetically modified. So, you’re getting a double dose of trouble. Because you’re getting genetically modified foods, organisms that our bodies really don’t know how to recognize or handle very well. And there’s a lot of data on that. And then you’re getting the glyphosate on top of that.
This is one on as dementia, senile dementia. And, you know, the graph is almost identical of deaths per 100,000. And then the glyphosate used on corn and soy.
And then the last one is on diabetes. So, it’s shocking and it’s something to pay attention to. And there is a test that you can get. A urine test, if people are interested, they can contact me. You don’t need a prescription from a doctor. I work with a lab. And so, you can get your urine tested to see if you how much glyphosate is in your urine.
And the good news is that when you switch to organic food, your levels drop dramatically of all pesticides.
Ari Whitten: Are you aware of any particular way to get rid of glyphosate from the body? I mean, aside from not continuing to consume foods containing glyphosate? Are you aware? Like, let’s say somebody takes the test. They find that they have high glyphosate levels in their body. Is there anything out there that has shown to help chelated it? Chelate is not the right word. But to help sort of bind it and pull it out of the body?
Beth Greer: Yeah. There is a bunch of different products. One really good thing to do is to do saunas. Infrared saunas. When you sweat, a lot of toxins are coming out of your body. And so, it’s important that when you do a sauna that you rinse off immediately. Because it can reabsorb into your skin afterwards.
So, yeah, there are there are definitely products out there. There are binders. There are just cleansing products, body detoxification products. And if people want to talk to me, that’s what I do. I can help them to detox from that. There some very simple ways to do it. Moving your lymph is a really great idea. Getting on a rebounder, for example. So, taking charcoal pills is another one.
The film that I’m working on is called A New Resistance. And there is a website called ANewResistance.com. If you want to find more about it.
Ari Whitten: Nice. And sorry, just in case it’s not clear. What is the film about?
Beth Greer: It’s about glyphosate and Roundup, and how toxic it is. And how it needs to be stopped and people need to become aware of it. They need to fight against Monsanto and changing what they’re doing. Because there are safe alternatives out there. But, you know, the fact that not only is being used as a weed killer, but it’s also being, as I said, used to dry the crops. It’s very troubling. They’re putting it on our parks. They are putting it on the school fields. And they are spraying it on the highways. And you know we are getting bombarded with it. And as I showed those graphs, there is a huge correlation that you can see between those diseases and the glyphosate. So, something we need to get out of our environment.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, glyphosate and artificial food coloring are the ones you’re emphasizing when it comes to toxins that are coming into our body from the foods we’re eating.
Beth Greer: Correct.
Why the body products we use are toxic
Ari Whitten: What about the stuff that we’re putting on our bodies?
Beth Greer: Yup, so that is my next. I want to talk about the on, and that includes fragrance because so much of the fragrance we are being exposed to as we are putting it on our skin, spraying it in our hair, using it as deodorant.
So, 98 percent of skin care and cosmetics products contain ingredients that were never evaluated for safety by the FDA. And I think that’s a really key point to understand and remember. I’m going to repeat it, 98 percent of skin care on cosmetic products contain ingredients that were never evaluated for safety by the FDA.
So, manufacturers can put almost anything they want into a product. And we have to be smart consumers and start reading labels.
Ari Whitten: You know, I remember as a kid growing up, I remember that I knew about the FDA. And you know, that certain ingredients were, for example, banned and couldn’t be used in the food supply, cosmetic products, and things like that.
And so, I literally remember being a kid thinking. You know, if they’re making these products and they’re allowed to put these ingredients in. It must be because every one of these ingredients has been studied. They’ve exposed it to humans in large doses for 20 years. And we know what the consequences of this are. And we know it’s safe. And as, you know, as I actually looked into this, as you know. We realize that is not the case at all. The vast majority of the chemicals haven’t, in many cases are introduced years before they there’s ever any long term safety data in either animals or humans. That is good relevant data. And then we find out like five years after something was introduced, “Oh, yeah, it turns out this is really toxic.”
Beth Greer: Yeah. And you know, sometimes they will text one chemical. But they’re not testing the synergy of all the chemicals. When have you ever seen a product that just has one chemical in it? It’s very rare. Usually there is a whole cocktail of chemicals. And they’re not testing that. And that’s where we get into trouble.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, yeah. I remember like the BPA thing. You know, it turned out, “Oh, you know, all this plastic that’s all over our you know, our water bottles, our food products are everything. We have BPA in it.” And then it became known that BPA was toxic. And so, we started to see the emergence of the BPA free plastics. And then it turned out, “Oh, the BPA free plastics, have BPS in it.” It is a related compounded. It’s just as bad. Or maybe even worse.
Beth Greer: That’s true. It hasn’t really been tested. So, yeah, it’s troubling. I know. That’s why glass or metal are best for drinking water and all that.
So, most of use about 15 products a day. So, we have to really start to think about what happens in the body when we are exposed to these. Because they are syntenic chemicals. It is not just saying that we are taking some fresh, this or that, and mix them together. They are synthetic.
There are three main chemicals that I want people to know about that are a hormone disrupting chemicals. One is called phthalates. It is with a P-H. It is found in fragrance. It makes fragrance last longer. So, let’s say if you have ever been in an elevator and someone comes on, man or woman with cologne or whatever, and then when they leave, they leave that fragrance with you. That’s because of the phthalates. It’s in nail polish. It prevents it from chipping. And it’s in mascara, prevents the mascara from running.
The second one is called parabens. And those are preservatives in makeup and shampoo. So, look for words like methyl paraben, procol paraben, that sort of thing.
And the third one is triclosan, which is an antibacterial soap. The thing that people need to know that it is even in toothpaste. So, Colgate total toothpaste contains triclosan, which is very toxic.
And, you know, here dentistry is like handing it out. Because they get samples from these manufacturers. And then they think they’re doing their patients a good deed.
Ari Whitten: If I’m not mistaken, isn’t triclosan one of those ingredients that that we were kind of just referring to that was on the market for a decade or two, and then now they’ve pulled it off the market because they realized it’s toxic?
Beth Greer: Yeah, I think they pulled it out of certain things. But I think you can still buy hand sanitizer that contains it. And as far as I know, it is still in Colgate total.
How fragrance can affect your health
Ari Whitten: Wow.
Beth Greer: Yes. So, I had a client who was 58 years old living in Georgia. She has constant nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, insomnia. She was on antihistamines. She was on Flonase. She was on an inhaler, cough syrup. And I went to her home. You can buy an agrammatic, you can measure your humidity. And her humidity in her home was 60 percent, which it was very high. It can cause mold growth, number one. So, that was part of her problem.
But the other one, she had excessive use of scented products. Like when I walked into her bedroom, I was overcome with this fragrance. And she said, “I don’t smell anything.” So, you know, what happens is people get acclimated to these scents. And when you see the word fragrance on a label, it can mean up to 100 different synthetic chemicals. And I spoke to chemist recently, and said, “No, Beth, you’re wrong. It’s not 100. It could be 1,000.” And I just think that’s kind of insane. But he was the scientist.
But so, I have some pictures. She had scented candles everywhere. And the thing about scented candles, most of them have these wicks that are metal in it to keep them burning longer and keeps it straight. But what I realized, I did some research, that metal is made from lead. And so, when I looked up at her ceiling, she had black soot up on her ceiling. So, here she is breathing in, not only the fragrance of the candles, but the lead is really not good.
Ari Whitten: Wow. I didn’t know that they had lead into the wicks. That’s very interesting.
Beth Greer: Yeah. So, you want to look for cotton wicks, just 100 percent cotton ones.
Ari Whitten: But the flame is just not the same when it doesn’t have lead in it.
Beth Greer: Right. So, she is using perfume. And she had a whole bunch of stuff for her hair. Everything was scented. It was almost like she was addicted to scents. You know, there’s feminine care products that sprays and washes and wipes. Those are scented. She was using those. She had air fresheners. She had plug ins. She had stuff in her car. It’s was fascinating. Even had scented, not laundry bags, but garbage bags. Hefty lavender and sweet vanilla scent. Can you imagine? It is kind of insane when you think about it.
And then in her laundry, she had like Bounce and Downy. It was all these scented products. At first, I said, “This is your problem, the scented candles.” And she was like, really didn’t want to hear about it. She said, “These relax me. These are expensive. I like the smell. I take them into the bathtub with me.” But I convinced her to just put everything in a bag. And I just put everything into another room. She wouldn’t let me take them out of the house.
Ari Whitten: And by another room, do you mean the dumpster?
Beth Greer: No, I wish, right. No, it’s a room down the hall that was closed. You know, they had a very big home. It was in Atlanta. But she wouldn’t let me take it out of the house initially. But then, you know, when her symptoms went away, she stopped using Flonase, antihistamines, and all that stuff. And the codeine cough syrup. So, she finally got rid of everything. She finally agreed. Sometimes you just need to see the proof before you make the change.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely.
Beth Greer: Some safe examples, safe alternatives is beewax candles. They are lovely. And you can use potpourri that you make yourself, you know from dried flower petals. And I like putting on the stove, maybe some orange peel, apples, and cinnamon. You know, you can make a beautiful scent in your home.
The best natural cleaning products
And then using baking soda, white vinegar. I use baking soda as a deodorant, actually. I put it in a salt-shaker. And I sprinkled on my palm and I put it under my arm pits. And it works great.
So, I clean my floors with a combination, a mixture of white vinegar. Like a cup of white vinegar and a bucket of warm water. And clean my wood floors. And it works.
So, let’s see, you can get a good quality HEPA air filter. It’s important to wet or damp cloth to dust. And really watch out for fragrances. And another thing to do is you can get house plants. They are really great. They clean the air. NASA did a study. I have all the plants listed in my book. But, you know, NASA did a study and talked about how these house plants will pull toxins, like benzene and formaldehyde even out of the air, stuff that’s been leaching from your furniture or your kitchen cabinets. And I always recommend people get a good doormat. And wipe your feet so that you don’t bring in these toxins into your home.
And I ask people to take their shoes off and wear socks. I have some pretty socks, you know. So, that’s that.
Ari Whitten: And then I went and then you have people who are like, “I’m not going to that crazy lady. And she makes me wear her socks.”
We do the same if we have people coming over to our house to do work. Like an electrician. We had a window blind repair guy come over the other day. They always wear booties. We have booties that we bought especially for whoever needs to come into our house.
Beth Greer: But what about your friends who come over for dinner? And you have kids?
Ari Whitten: Shoes off. Shoes off. But we don’t give them any different socks than the ones that they are already wearing. I would, if I could. But I would be afraid that they would call me crazy.
Beth Greer: Well, I had someone over the other day. And I asked her to take her shoes off. And then she said her feet were cold. So, luckily, I have these soft, fuzzy socks. And she was happy.
How EMFs can affect your health and sleep
Okay. So, I want to talk about the final thing, what surrounds you. And that would be electromagnetic fields. Because we use electrical impulses to communicate between our cells. We are electrical beings. And so, electromagnetic fields really suppress our immune system and can disrupt our sleep. And I’m talking about, not just the Wi-Fi and the cell phones, which are bad too. But also, the electricity.
So, what I’ve been doing lately is actually unplugging all of the plugs that are plugged into my outlets in my bedroom. And I noticed a dramatic difference in my sleep just by doing that. So, I unplugged, I had a diffuser in there. And my side table lights, just pulled them out. I don’t charge my phone in my bedroom anymore. And I’m telling you, just that little thing has made a big difference in my sleep.
So, I just want to share this story about this young boy. He was 11 years old. His mom called me and said that he was waking up for two years every morning with headaches. And she took him to several doctors. She had a brain scan done on him. And when I came in the home, I was like, “What am I going to find?” Because the shoes were off. She only used vinegar, non-toxic cleaners. There were no scents in the house, which could be a trigger for headaches.
So, I walked around. And in his bedroom was a giant air purifier and it was right next to his head. I used three different meters. And I had this gas meter. And it really measured a really high field. So, I said, “Why do you have to so close to his head?” And she said, “Well, he has grass allergies. And I thought the closer the better.” So, we just moved it six feet away and the fields drop off. Because distance is key with any kind of electrical unit device.
And the next morning, she called me up. She was literally in tears. She said, “This is the first morning in two years that he woke up without a headache.” And it was just moving this thing away from him.
Ari Whitten: It’s a great investment. I have an EMF measuring device as well for magnetic fields and electric fields. And every time I do anything with an electric device, I always measure the fields to see what distance away from it, the fields completely drop off. And like I have an air purifier in my bedroom as well and you can measure elevated fields within about three feet away from it. I have it about six feet away from the bed.
Beth Greer: Yeah, that’s smart. I notice that some brands are just higher than others.
Ari Whitten: For sure.
Beth Greer: So, you just don’t know. So, measuring is a great idea.
Now, one home I went into, the child wasn’t sleeping. And there was a huge feel on the wall next to the crib. And I said, “What’s behind the wall?” And it was the garage. And they had a giant refrigerator with a motor right there. So, we just moved the crib across the way, and the baby slept.
So, yeah, cell phones, you don’t want to be wearing them on you. Especially in your bras for women. That is dangerous.
The other thing, I’m not sure if you are aware, cordless phones have a higher field that I found then even cell phones.
Ari Whitten: You know, I haven’t even seen a cordless phone or a corded phone in God knows how many years. Everybody switched to cell phones.
Beth Greer: It’s true, yeah. Everyone switched to cell phones. But some people want to have a phone at home. And I’m not quite sure. The thing is it is electronic also. It’s not even like it is plugged into the wall if there is a power outage, this goes out too. But the cordless phones have a very high field. And the base station and the handheld are communicating all the time. And if you are in between there, you are getting big dose of that. So, cordless phones or something to try to eliminate.
And then I would definitely shut off your Wi-Fi at night. And if you can, you know, for people who really have trouble sleeping. I recommend that they take the circuit breaker and shut it down in the bedroom if all else fails.
I have a free e-book that I wanted to let people know about. If they go to SuperNaturalMom.com/EMFEbook. They can download my free e-book. And it gives you tips on both EMFs and what to do. Also, I have some information about the coming 5G situation. Which is challenging. You know we are going to be bombarded with even more stuff. That’s why it’s so important to keep our immune system strong and healthy. Eating live real food and avoiding stress as much as possible, getting out into nature, breathing clean air.
Ari Whitten: Yes, absolutely.
Beth, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for presenting this material. It was, you know, half an hour of power packed information with lots and lots of really great practical tips in here to clean up your home environment, clean up your, I was going to say intake. But that’s not the right word. Cleanup how many toxins that are entering your body.
This has been wonderful. Thank you so much, Beth.
Beth Greer: Thanks, Ari.
Food additives (11:01)
The role of glyphosate (16:36)
Why the body products we use are toxic (22:18)
How fragrance can affect your health (27:18)
The best natural cleaning products (36:12)
How EMFs can affect your health and sleep (33:33)