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Spit That Out! — Interview with author Paige Wolf

I had the opportunity to interview author, business woman, mother and blogger Paige Wolf about her book, Spit That Out! If you’ve ever had trouble balancing the normal challenges of parenthood with new information about toxic chemicals and other environmental issues, this interview is for you.

Q: Tell us about your book, what’s the basic premise?

Paige: Parents in the 21st century have to deal with myriad concerns and information overload, the likes of which past generations never imagined. In addition to the age-old daunting task of raising happy, healthy babies, we are constantly bombarded with new and contradictory research concerning environmental toxins, long-term product effects, and the far-reaching impact of every product we purchase.

Spit That Out! turns to experts in pediatrics, environmental advocacy, science, holistic health, and humanitarianism to present facts, debunk myths, and help parents stay on a reasonable and responsible course without losing their minds. The mothers themselves also offer anecdotes and advice on staying sane in an ever-changing landscape of conscientious parenting. Chapters include “Green Mom Sanity Tips,” “Dollar-Savvy Sustainability Tips,” and “Parent-to-Parent Pointers” from real moms who have been in the trenches of eco-anxiety.

Q: What inspired you to write this book, was there a moment you knew this was a story you wanted to tell?

Paige: It was always a struggle to keep up with emerging and changing environmental and health hazards. But when I started having children it felt even more imperative and daunting. One day a window cleaner is OK and the next day we hear it is linked cancer. We’re told we have to buy a $2000 mattress if we don’t want our babies inhaling toxic fumes. We worry about the snacks our kids eat at school and what they use to clean the floors. It is incredibly overwhelming and I wanted parents to know they weren’t alone in their anxiety and they can turn to each other for advice and consolation.

Q: Who is this book for? (Will non-parents enjoy it as well?)

Paige: This book has plenty of advice for non-parents including information on personal care products, organic food, and dealing with general green guilt. It’s also a great book for grandparents who don’t understand how different and difficult it can be for this new generation of parents.

Q: When people learn about toxic chemicals, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, what advice do you have for new parents?

Paige: Perfect is unattainable but better is always possible. You can’t keep your kids 100 percent pure and safe. Start with small, simple changes and gradually begin eliminating as many toxins in your home as you reasonably can. It’s much harder to control the outside world so just focus on controlling things you can, like which milk and soap you buy.

It’s also so important to be an advocate for change – follow advocacy groups
(like Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families!), sign petitions, write letters to corporations, and don’t be afraid to speak up!

Check out Paige’s book Spit That Out!