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Dear Expo West 2012 Attendees...

Assistant Editor and first-time Expo West attendee Jenna Blumenfeld writes an open letter to all who will attend Expo West 2012 about what she's looking forward to most.

Dear Expo West 2012 Attendees,

In an effort to help drag me out of bed, most mornings I listen to a TED talk on my computer. While orators run the gamut from researchers to activists to lawyers, they all speak wonderfully on important and prevalent issues.

Yesterday, I listened to filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer give a talk ominously titled “The toxic baby.” She shared the stage with an unlikely collaborator, Tyrone Hayes—expert in amphibians.  

What could these two possibly have in common, you ask? Pesticides and herbicides.

The speech focused on the effects of atrazine, a chemical oft-used on corn. While it was banned in 2004 in the U.K. for underground water contamination, it remains one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, despite links to endocrine disruption and cancer. Mr. Hayes highlighted that when frogs were exposed to the chemical, it caused feminization—male frogs were transformed into female frogs. Ms. Chaffer focused that today, babies are born with a bevy of chemicals already in their bodies.

The toxic baby, the toxic frog, and thus the toxic earth.

While I have been a long-time advocate for reducing chemicals in our lives, with mere days to go before Natural Products Expo West 2012, this TED talk revamped my fervor for all things chemical-free, non-GMO and organic.

A relative newbie to New Hope Natural Media, this will be my first Expo. I project the show will be bustling, crazy, busy and admittedly tiring, but overall I imagine the inspiring atmosphere that will linger on the convention floor all weekend.

With more than 60,000 industry professionals, buyers, retailers and natural manufacturers planning to attend, how could there not be a genuine collective sentiment of sustainability, health, and overall wellness? As Delicious Living’s Senior Food Editor Elisa Bosley rightly explained, “There are so many enthusiastic people at Expo who truly want to make this world a better place.”

As I pack my bags, check my flight information, and freak out that I will forget everything I need for the trip, I realize that I am most excited to meet all of you—the very people who make this industry so outstanding.

I suppose the only thing left to say is, see you at the show!

All my best,

Jenna Blumenfeld
Assistant Editor,

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