As a reference for those of us who aspire to live in harmony with the environment, The Complete Organic Pregnancy is indispensible.
Everything you wanted to know about the chemicals in your beauty products to how to make organic ginger ale as a treatment for morning sickness, it's in this book. This is the first complete manual on living organic geared toward mothers that I've seen, and they don't miss much.
There is a downside to that, of course. Such a complete compendium of modern dangers can inspire much fear in a woman already feeling the vulnerability of pregnancy and motherhood. While reading this book I eyed my household with new suspicion: my wall to wall carpeting was sure to harm my kids. If that didn't do it, my tap water surely would. And because I was a swimmer, I am more likely to get cancer, because of the chlorine fumes I inhaled daily during my childhood.
The authors must have known the effect on the reader, because they interspersed the dour content with personal essays about living organic that were truly inspiring, as was "My Organic Coming of Age" by Lisa M. Hamilton. She writes of the evolution her views on eating took, from strict veganism as a political and nutritional statement to eating only locally produced, seasonal food from farms she could personally visit. Her moment of epiphany about the tofu she was eating in Hawaii sums it up perfectly: "I could eat tofu and boycott death, or I could eat ahi and support a local food system. How to make sense of that?"
Even though this information can be scary, it's important that it's out there in an easily readable format. I hope this book is followed by The Complete Organic Baby, and the Complete Organic Child. Because even though it makes me crazy, I want to know about the dangers lurking in our sidewalk chalk and sippy cups.
PS- I know, I know, I was supposed to ask three questions of the authors. If I had been more on the ball this week, I would have thought of three very insightful, intelligent questions. Instead, when I thought of three questions, I could only think of the guy at the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "what... is your favorite color? what...is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" I don't think that's quite what they had in mind. So, um, sorry about that.