Podcast: Non-Toxic Avenger Deanna Duke

I first came across Deanna Duke on her blog, Crunchy Chicken. Her tagline is, “Putting the mental in environmental,” and I was hooked. Some time later, I joined the Green Moms Carnival, which she also belongs to, and I was even more hooked. Deanna is funny, frank and passionate. When she recently published her first book, The Non-Toxic Avenger, I requested a review copy, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Deanna Duke Non-Toxic AvengerThe Non-Toxic Avenger chronicles Deanna’s quest to reduce the toxic load in her own body. She did blood and urine tests to determine the level of toxins she was carrying around, then did nearly everything she could to eliminate her exposure to toxins for about four months. Finally, at the end of it all she repeated the testing to see what effect, if any, she’d actually had.

You’d think a book about toxins and de-toxifying would be either dry, or terrifying, or both, but Deanna managed to avoid both fates. Don’t get me wrong – the number of toxins we’re exposed to in our daily lives really is alarming, and reading The Non-Toxic Avenger prompted me to go on a one-woman anti-PVC crusade in my own home. If you want a beach read, this isn’t it. But if you want an informative, readable, funny book that will help you to make some tangible changes of your own, I would absolutely recommend it. This is the first book I have actually finished in months, which tells you that I really enjoyed it.

Deanna Duke Non-Toxic AvengerI had the chance to catch up with Deanna for a chat. We talked about her attempts to remove toxins, and what did and didn’t work. I asked her about the testing she underwent to determine the toxin levels in her body, including what that cost and what challenges she faced in getting it done. I also asked what she’s continued now that the project was over, and what she hasn’t. And I asked my biggest question of all: how did everyone else (including her husband and children) react when she swore off all non-organic food and started examining every object in her home for potential toxicity.

It was great talking to Deanna, and you can really get a sense of her chatty, approachable style from our interview. Listen to it here:

Next week I’ll be sharing an interview I did with Leilani Johnson of Circle of Health International (COHI). COHI is a non-profit group that provides access to reproductive, maternal and newborn care in times of crisis. They’re currently raising money to send an American midwife to Haiti to do training sessions with Haitian midwives. Subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute!

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  1. Very informative, and unfortunately, quite a task. At 57, I can only imagine what nasty stuff has worked its way into my body, starting with the fallout from nuke testing in the 1950s and early 60s.

    Looking at your PVC post, it exists in plumbing, most often for drain systems, but some older modular homes will run PVC supply lines (I’ve no idea on the newer ones.)

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    nelle’s last post … in the parkMy Profile

  2. Great interview. I will most definitely be getting her book.

    I’ve changed a lot of our habits at home, but my concern is for my kids. I can control most of what affects them in my house but the grandparents and their father insist on buying foods and toys that I strongly disapprove of. They think I’m a quack… Which brings me to another point. Why is it that when we make efforts to recude the toxic crap in our lives we are looked upon as freaks instead of applauded for our efforts?
    I’ll stop now before I start ranting… thanks!
    Nadia @ Red, White & GREEN Mom’s last post … A small gestureMy Profile

  3. Great interview! 🙂 Iy sure is scary how many toxins are lurking around us! I am slowly removing the toxins out of my house, but to be completely toxic-free I would have to live in an non-toxic wooden bubble! 🙂
    Good Girl Gone Green’s last post … Project Green Foot- week 19My Profile

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  1. […] four months, to see what impact it would have on the number of chemicals in her body. I actually interviewed Deanna for a podcast not too long ago, which further cemented my love for her and her book. She writes in an engaging […]

  2. […] needs to be done, but focus on different aspects of that work. Some people are concerned about the toxins we’re exposed to in our daily lives, other people worry about plastic in the oceans, many people strive to protect plant and animal […]

  3. […] edition of the Strocel.com podcast first ran on January 6, 2012. It’s full of good stuff, so I’m pleased to be sharing it with you […]

  4. […] Deanna Duke – Deanna is the author of The Non-Toxic Avenger, a book that chronicles her effort to reduce her own toxic load. Here’s what she had to say about easy ways to eliminate toxins: “The easy, low-hanging fruit is really switching out your personal care products. All your cleaners, and all of the soaps and detergents that you use, as well as make-up and lotions and that kind of thing, you can really address those things pretty easily. With the big things, as they wear out and need to be replaced, you can look for non-toxic versions.” […]

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