Oh My Pod

January 12, 2018 sevenintheocean 0 Comments

I’m having one of those “I’m-so-speechless-to-write-and-I-don’t-know-where-to-start” moments. Ever have them?

Ugh. That’s all I want to say, but I’d like to be a bit more articulate, so here goes.

As predicted, this is a rant on plastic. If you’re not feeling it, I’d suggest leaving now because I’m really digging into this one (i.e. it’s long-winded). Alright then, here we go!

When I see plastic being misused, it makes me want to rage. When I see plastic hurting people, I basically lose my sh*t. When I see companies willingly filling said plastic with poison, all in the name of “cleanliness” I want to throw axes. And when I see people being straight up dumb, it’s enough to send me back to bed and give up for the day. Come on humanity, we’re better than this!!!

A-N-Y-W-A-Y. The crux of the matter is pods. Yes, pods. The trendy, candy-like laundry pod, famous for making kids sick but looking so damn delicious at the same time. Side note: it’s almost like these companies want to poison us, for crying out loud: “Oh golly gee, we never imagined that a product that looks and feels like candy would actually look appetizing to children! Gosh.” <SMH> (Shaking My Head: it’s what the kids are saying these days, right?). I’ll circle back to this point in a minute. For now, a rage on the topic of social media.

Now, I consider myself a fairly avid user of social media and I realize that by publishing this blog post, I am directly benefiting from it existing on the Internet…but I don’t Snap, I can’t say “AF” with a straight face (or even SMH for that matter…I still feel like I’m swearing, somehow), and I will likely never understand why we need puppy dog ears and rabbit whiskers as filter options on photos. *Shrug* So I suppose it’s almost no surprise then that I missed this apparent “social media joke taking the Internet by storm.” Ugh. I can’t even write this down without wanting to vomit, so I’ll let the media take it from here: read and watch THIS and then if you’re still conscious, come on back.

OK. So. Here we have…

  • …an example of people being dumb –> Ryan is going back to bed.
  • …plastic hurting people –> Ryan is throwing axes.
  • …plastic being misused –> Ryan is raging and losing her cool.

I’ll try to keep it together here. O:-)

Besides the fact that it would appear as though humanity is recessing into a click-bait/view-driven, social media craze…let’s talk about the bigger picture here:

The pods.

Graphic pulled from a recent Consumer Reports article entitled “The problem with laundry detergent pods” linked to in this post. What’s candy and what’s a pod?

Did you watch the news video in that article? Did you pick up on what Dr. Frank LoVecchio (he’s a toxicologist who knows his stuff) said:

“They can cause a burn…to your mouth, your lips, your breathing tube, your feeding tube (your esophagus).”

OK, fine. Ginger also causes a burning-like sensation to your mouth, lips, etc. if eaten in massive quantities all at once but it’s more of a tingling, and it probably won’t kill you, and it’s not an actual, chemical burn. Hm. While you ponder that, how about mulling this next sound byte over…

“The membrane around it, when it dissolves, can cause central nervous system depression.”

Ah…what? Come again? You’re saying the crap holding my poison in, that I’m about to wash my underwear with, is also poison, and can cause central nervous system depression?

Let’s break this down, because I’ll be honest: I have no idea WTH Central Nervous System Depression is, nor do I know what the membranes of these products are composed of…time for some science!

  1. For all the chem nerds out there, I looked it up: the membrane is typically made up of PVA or polyvinyl acid –> a water-soluble synthetic polymer (aka…plaaaaaastic!). It’s apparently “non-toxic” so perhaps my “poison” references are out of line, but it also biodegrades slowly. So there.
  2. Back to Bio 100: the central nervous system (CNS) = the brain and the spinal cord. When these systems are depressed, they slow down. Typically, that isn’t totally bad: sedatives help us calm the f*ck down (come to think of it, maybe I need some CNS depressants…). But in concentrated doses? Oh, ya know, no big deal or anything but your breathing could slow down, your heart rate could slow to a crawl, and uh…all this could lead to delirium or coma.


Yes, yes, they’re touted as saving us money because they’re concentrated. Sure, fine. But what was so bad about learning how to use concentrated liquid detergent? Do we really not have 5 extra seconds to look at lines on a cup? Pfffft…why bother when there’s a pod???

In what other instances have pods ruined this planet? Hmm…K-cups, anyone? When will we wake up to the fact that maybe these hyped, time/money/brain-saving products are actually making us lazier and slowly killing us and our environment?

For hundreds of years, we existed on this planet, wearing clothes, and keeping them clean with completely benign ingredients. Now we’re being told and convinced that we need uber concentrated, stinky, fluorescent-colored liquids to effectively remove stains and keep our whites whiter. I used to intern at Seventh Generation, a popular green cleaning products/baby diapers/laundry deterg┬ácompany and it was there that I learned of the many falsehoods spread by mainstream laundry detergent companies. Your whitest whites? Not actually getting cleaner: they’re just full of artificial brighteners to make it look like your clothes are clean. The scent? Does nothing except make you feel as though your clothes are clean. Side note: I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during consumer focus groups analyzing scent associates with feelings of cleanliness. Oh and the concentrated dose? Sure, it saves us money and we use less of this stuff – Seventh Gen has a 4x concentrated liquid detergent that is a dream (ahem: I’m biased). However…if something is already toxic to begin with, it just gets more toxic the further you concentrate it. Even innocuous ingredients become toxic with concentration! It’s why we’re advised to use caution when applying things like essential oils to our skin, and why taking too many vitamins can actually be bad for your health…because they are concentrated.

So why, oh why, are we allowing P&G to tell us we need products that look like candy, are wrapped in plastic, are toxic, and are reported by the media as needing to be stored “up high and out of their reach” (with respect to children)? Why are we voluntarily washing our clothes, the things that touch our skin all damn day, with this stuff?!

I am aware, now more than ever, how convenience is really messing things up these days. We are sacrificing our bodies and our planet to save a few minutes and a few dollars, but where are we ending up? More hurried than ever, more depressed, and not necessarily any richer. Is it really going to take seeing grown-ass adults chew through plastic laundry pods for us to finally put the brakes on?