Green Hero: Sandra Steingraber

Last month, concerns about hormone-disrupting plastics leaching into food and posing very real risks, especially to children, finally reached critical mass. (And if you somehow missed the news, this excellent article from DISCOVER magazine will bring you up to speed). A few intrepid scientist-ecologists have been giving us plenty of warning for years, however, about plastics, pesticides and other toxins.

Among them, Sandra Steingraber, now a professor at Ithaca College, is one of the most thoughtful and eloquent environmentalists we have. Living Downstream: A Scientist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and The Environment published in 1997, blends her poetic writing gifts with rigorous scientific discipline to sound an alarm as poignant as Rachel Carson’s was in the 1960s.

Steingraber’s next book, Having Faith, detailed her quest to have a healthy child after recovering from cancer – and after learning all that she’d learned about environmental toxins. Both books will enhance your understanding of ecological dangers, why they’re so ubiquitous and hard to regulate, and why it’s so critical to do whatever we can to mitigate them for our children. Yes, you’ll want to stop heating food in plastic containers and recommit to eating organic foods – and realize that everyone on the planet needs to have those options.

Short on time? Visit Organic Valley‘s Web site to read Sandra’s essay, The Organic Manifesto of a Biologist Mother.