This post is part of The Edmonton Do Gooder Project, a series of profiles on Edmonton folks doing good in creative ways. This year’s Do Gooders were identified through a people’s choice-style process as part of The Good 100 Experiment in June of 2013, an event co-hosted by The Savvy Do Gooder and The Local Good. The 2013 profiles have been generously created by Breanna of The Local Good using a format based on the Charting Impact 5 Questions.
Audric Moses is the writer of The Green Scientist and developer of The Green Scientist consulting services, in line with the products offered by his wife’s retail shop Funky Bug Naturals. With his background in medical sciences, Audric aims to educate people about how to make simple healthy, sustainable lifestyle and dietary choices that can better their overall health and wellness.
1. What is the good result you are hoping to create?
I’m trying to get people educated about how to make smart purchases by really thinking about the products they’re buying instead of just buying things blindly without thinking of greater consequences. I know I can help people decrease the amount of illnesses they experience and increase their quality of life by educating and getting people aware of what to look for on labels when buying stuff. Also, I want to be part of the movement that encourages shopping at small businesses over multi-national stores. Small, local businesses are more discerning about the products they bring in, whereas chain or big-box stores sell shelf space to the brands that can pay the most.
My goal is to increase awareness around that these issues exist… issues like consumer products are slowly harming people’s health because of their composition and the way they are industrially produced. The goal of multinational corporations is simply to make money and in the process they downplay environmental and lifestyle issues their products cause to cast doubt that there are any “issues”. For instance, Denmark and Scandinavian countries have the best regulations for manufacturing productions, and skincare products made in Europe are superior to ones made elsewhere because they have stricter regulations for ingredients and processes.
2. What is your approach for making this happen?
My blog, The Green Scientist, is a test version of the consulting services I will eventually have set up — that project is yet unnamed. The sort of advice I offer via The Green Scientist is what I would offer on a larger, more direct scale with the consulting service. I want to go into people’s homes, workplace, school, daycare… and talk to people about the changes they could make in the areas of nutrition, personal care, cleaning products, air quality, building materials… everything in their immediate environment really… to make it a healthier space to live and work in. I want to work with people to improve their all-encompassing lifestyle — I’d call it environmental health — so, really, improve anything one is exposed to during daily life.
People are already good about understanding nutritional aspects of foods; its pretty well understood that “whole foods” are better than “processed foods”. But for anyone without a science or medicine background, it’s difficult to look at the ingredients in a product and discern whether or not they should buy it. I would give them a simplified list of companies that have good business practice that they should support. I want to help people make see the difference between “better” and “good” and “bad”, not feel their only buying options are between “bad” and “worse” products.
3. What makes this issue/area the best fit for you personally?
I have a MA in experimental medicine from the University of Alberta and worked in the sciences (biochemistry) for ten years. Through my work and education I’ve learned to distinguish between original, legitimate research and internet hearsay; there is so much incorrect information on the internet and without a strong science background or familiarity like mine it would be hard to know the difference. When I read something questionable and the source isn’t one I’m familiar or know to be reliable, I do more research into discovering the truth to a claim. But I understand that not everyone can do that! So that’s what inspired me to develop this consulting business, to make this useful information accessible for everyone. When I work at the U of A hospital I see so many sick kids going into the Stollery Children’s Hospital and I know that so many of those childhood illnesses could have been prevented if the mother’s knew what they were eating and exposing their bodies to during pregnancy.
The “tipping point” for this project and my strong belief in bringing about this change was the birth of my first child, honestly. You realize children are so vulnerable and dependent and you just want the best for them; it got me thinking about the products you’re putting on and in to them and the environment they’re living in.
4. How will you know if you’re making progress? What is “success” for you?
Getting the consulting project off the ground and working with initial clients would be a big first step. Educating people and getting them to think critically about their health issues is important to me. Success is hard for me to measure because you can’t measure prevention, but mostly I just want to see more people maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it’s most important that pregnant women and young children are living healthy lifestyles. If I could grow my program in places like day homes and schools where children are concentrated, that would be a great success.
5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?
Maintaining my blog and Funky Bug Naturals has been great, and I’ve been making some important contacts with nurses and physicians who are concerned with environmental health issues and who are supporters of my project. Obviously I haven’t set up my consulting project yet, and that will be the biggest/next step. What’s preventing me from getting it going is just a lack of time to develop it effectively and put together a serious business plan.
6. How can others get involved?
Read my blog at greenscientist.ca and like Funky Bug Naturals on Facebook and start implementing some of my advice into their own lifestyles. Definitely get shopping at Farmer’s Markets and talk to vendors about how they grow and prepare their products to get a sense of the difference between whole and processed foods. Environment Working Group and Environment Defense are also great sources of information for healthy living. Also, I recommend people read Doubt is Their Product by David Michaels and Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.