"Sarah seems to be saying that monitoring your own patterns of consumption and product usage is hopelessly complex and, thus, we shouldn't bother caring or engaging with the problem."
Don't put words in my mouth - that is NOT what I am saying.
Rather I am saying is we get stressed about little things in life and not looking at the BIG picture of life.
Lets say this: so we get worried about a sprayed on liner in our metal cans? That liner allows us to have clean food something people in the past didn't have. It prevents metal seep through from reactions with acids in foods. It keep rust away.
But what is worse? That liner or inedible food?
Plastic bags are used for nearly any food you can think of these days. Why? It is a water tight way to seal food, keeping out moisture that rots food and invites bugs. Do you want to go back to the days of picking bugs out of your rice?
Our ability to have clean water and food is vastly superior to even 20 years ago.
And the tumor mention up above - which is worse: worrying about something that may or may not happen or instead change the things in your life that DO matter now?
How about these:
Lower you consumption of sodium by a third to lower your risk of silent high blood pressure that is directly related to heart attacks, heart disease and kidney disease.
Eat a plant based diet high in fiber to significantly lower your risk of colon cancer.
Live outside a city in the country to lower your intake of heavy metals and other pollutants.
If on a well have your water tested twice a year for pollutants, disease and heavy metals.
If you live in an old house get tested for lead levels.
Keep your oral health in top shape. Not only will you have healthy teeth but you can prevent heart disease and other issues.
Abandon your car and walk everywhere. Not only will you get in good shape you won't sitting inside a box that spews toxins in and outside.
Lest us not forget, only wear natural clothing that was treated organically. So don't go buying all them fancy hiking clothes....
Oh yeah, throw out your toothbrush, your commercial toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap - all which contain many interesting chemicals. If you cannot read the package or understand what the words mean start looking them up.
Just don't get all preachy if you don't do the above. I don't have an issue using plastics made in the US (Rubbermaid, Glad, Ziploc and Nalgene are all made here) because I DO realize they offer something in return - such as clean food stored tightly sealed. On the other hand? I quit using nearly all commercial cleaners and beauty products years ago due to the added scents and colors. I don't drink pop, high fructose corn syrup and I consume a very low sodium diet full of beans (which of course come in plastic bags).
Then again I also take medication that "could" in theory killing me if I wanted to get paranoid. But rather I realize all those meds I swallow give me a better life - the trade off is worth it. The same people who hate on plastics also seem to hate on giving kids immunizations around here. Oh yeah, becuase having your kids get mumps is so much better than a shot.
Anytime you want to go back to living an 1800's lifestyle no will stop you. Just think really hard how hard having a clean life will be - that is clean water and food.