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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of a DNA Test

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The science behind DNA testing has advanced at unbelievable rates over the last two decades. When DNA first started to be used commercially, it was typically to determine paternity, testing just a handful of specific DNA markers between the alleged father and child. Now, DNA tests are capable of measuring thousands upon thousands upon thousands of markers, matching you to extremely distant relatives based on just a few shared centimorgans of DNA.

The science is incredible.

Not only can we have a digital copy of our autosomal DNA on our home computer, but it’s affordable too. Companies like 23andme and AncestryDNA have been on the forefront of the DNA revolution, but as with anything, there are critics and skeptics out there. Lately, there’s been a lot of videos circulating about why you shouldn’t do a DNA test. Here’s why those paranoias are unfounded.

1. Privacy

One of the biggest issues I seem to encounter when people are concerned about DNA testing is privacy. People are concerned about “just handing over” their DNA. Some are even worse and think it’s a conspiracy for the government to obtain your DNA. I can’t help but laugh about this one.

Our DNA isn’t exactly private. Everything we touch, we leave traces of DNA. If the government actually wanted my DNA, don’t you think they would have it? They’d send some super smooth CIA agent to follow me to my home, pick up my dirty napkins, used coffee cups, dig through my trash, steal my chapstick out of the center console of my car. If someone wants my DNA bad enough, it wouldn’t be hard to obtain. The same goes for anyone else.

Trust me, if the government wanted your DNA, they’d have it.

2.  Insurance

I don’t know where this idea came from, but so many people are concerned that if they take a DNA test and it reveals anything concerning about their health, that they may lose their health insurance. No, just no. There’s so many things wrong with this idea.

For starters, just because you carry a gene does not mean the gene will be expressed. For example, my father and paternal grandmother both carry genes associated with an autoimmune disease. They did not have them, yet I did, carrying the same gene.

Another example; I carry several genes associated prostate cancer. I’m going to go out on a limb and take a wild guess that I’m not at risk for prostate cancer any time soon.

You also have to take into consideration that if this health data was so valuable that an insurance company would deny coverage due to it, wouldn’t they require DNA testing before offering an individual coverage? Really, think about it. If they wanted this data so bad, wouldn’t they require a DNA test as part of the application process? Surely that would allow them to make a better decision as to whether or not you’re a liability?

3. Legal Concerns

Another fear I encounter when talking about DNA tests is the possible legal concerns that could arise from having DNA on file. For starters, if you’re not out raping and murdering people, you shouldn’t be too worried about someone finding your DNA at a crime scene. That aside, tests submitted through AncestryDNA and 23andme are not legally admissible in court because there is no chain of custody.

I have had 8 legal paternity tests done. At each one, I presented multiple forms of identification, I was fingerprinted, photographed, and then swabbed. I wasn’t allowed to touch the swabs nor the bag. I had to sit still and awkwardly stare at the wall while a gloved stranger rubbed a swab on my cheeks just a bit too roughly. Then I watched them seal my sample in a bag with tamper evident tape.

With a genetic genealogy based test like AncestryDNA or 23andme, there is no chain of custody. I could swab my next door neighbor and register the kit under my own name and no one would ever know. If you’re that concerned, register your kit with a fake name and birthdate. Easy peasy.

4. Identity Theft

Believe it or not, people often ask me about identity theft when it comes to DNA testing. I’m not sure what credit card companies and loan companies these people are using, but I have never had to submit my DNA in order to take out credit. And if someone asks you to provide a DNA sample for a credit card or a mortgage, I’m willing to bet you should stay far, far away from that lender. Last I checked, I can’t steal your gum from the trash and turn in a credit card application with it.

5. Research

This one just baffles me. People are concerned about their DNA being used for research, or being sold to other companies (again, for research). Why is there such an uproar over research? Are you concerned your DNA could help researchers find a way to improve someone’s quality of life? Are you concerned your DNA could lead to a cure for debilitating diseases and illnesses? Are you worried your DNA could assist researchers in improving and advancing modern healthcare?

I don’t get it.

In Conclusion

While it’s good to be cautious and thoroughly evaluate the benefits and risks of a particular good or service, most common fears associated with DNA testing are honestly, quite silly. These risks might sound legitimate when you first hear them, but when you really think about it, there isn’t much to fear. While DNA tests may reveal upsetting or alarming information at times (and you should prepare yourself for this prior to spitting), these tests are an amazing resource, offering truth, transparency and empowerment of those who choose to utilize. DNA testing is opening doors that twenty years ago, we were unaware even existed. DNA tests are changing the world as we know it, and this technology is only in it’s infancy.

Won’t you be part of that change?

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Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack

I have been nursing, pumping and exclusively pumping for the vast majority of the last 9 years. If there’s one thing that drives me batty, it’s wet pump pieces when I’m ready for my next pumping session. This was especially true when I was (and currently am) exclusively pumping. It’s a pain to have to wipe down all my pump pieces just to dry them before I use them and wash them again. I found that most traditional bottle drying racks didn’t really work for pump pieces, and they definitely didn’t work well when I switched to using freemie cups exclusively. So what’s a pumping mom to do?

The Boon Countertop Drying Grass is the answer to those problems! This versatile, well-ventilated drying rack really helped me maintain my sanity while exclusively pumping for 14 months, as well as while exclusively pumping to re-lactate (currently)! I’d probably have lost my mind long ago wiping down parts, especially considering we don’t buy paper towels and rags stay wet longer than I’d like! Needless to say, the Boon Countertop Drying grass is perfect.

The grass is available in white and green, but let’s be real here. Who the heck has white grass? The green one is way cuter. They also make varying sizes, including a small one, a large one and a “patch,” for smaller odds and ends, bits and pieces.

Boon Drying “Patch”
Boon Drying “Lawn”

 

Technically, the one I have is the “Lawn” version, while the smaller one is the “grass” and the little strip (as shown above) is the “patch.” I splurged and treated myself to the “Lawn” and I’m glad I did because it fits all of my pieces perfectly.

As you can see, I can fit all of the pieces from my Freemie cups, and my Medela harmony all on one drying rack, with room to spare! It works perfectly and doesn’t look like the hot mess of a towel folded on the counter that I was using previously.

The little “blades” of grass are a semi-flexible hard plastic and separate from the white portion of the product. The white portion acts as a reservoir to catch any water that falls from whatever is drying. You MUST clean this periodically. I clean mine once or twice a week just with a dish brush and hot soapy water. How often you need to clean it will depend greatly on how often you use it. If you don’t clean it though, the water below the grass gets pretty nasty, slimy and gross, so make sure to do it.

I don’t currently have any, but Boon also has a line of add-ons for the drying grass, allowing you to extend your drying space upwards through the use of little trees, flowers and butterflies from which you can hang things.

Pretty nifty, hey? I love these things. While I haven’t used the add-ons, I am hoping to add some to my collection to dry my membranes and valves a little more quickly than the grass does on its own!

The best part about the Boon Countertop Drying Rack is that is has multiple uses. Yeah, I use mine for my breast pump pieces, tons of moms do, but really, it can be used for anything. Baby bottles. Breast pump pieces. Silverware. Normal dishes like cups, plates and bowls. Even cooler though, is a secret use I found for it! I had so many issues trying to sprout seeds at home where the water would collect too much and my sprouts would rot… The Boon Countertop Drying Rack worked PERFECTLY! So now, I can use it for my pump pieces, or for sprouting, or even both!

Fenugreek sprouts

 

Overall Rating: 4.6 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Fulfills Purpose Well:

The Boon Countertop Drying Grass was a sanity saver for me. It does an excellent job keeping items well ventilated, suspended (so that water isn’t pooling at the bottom) and quickly drying pieces.

Design & Visual Appeal

The Boon Countertop Drying Grass is super cute and has adorable add-ons available. Seriously! Who doesn’t want a beautiful piece of lawn adorned with butterflies, trees and flowers in their kitchen?

Ease of Use

The Boon Countertop Drying Grass is super easy to use and only has two pieces (unless you get some add-ons). It requires little maintainence, just the occasional washing and draining necessary to prevent stagnant water in the resevoir.

Affordability

Initially, I thought the Boon Countertop Drying Grass was a little expensive, however, I did buy the largest model available (“lawn”). After using it for over two years, I’m well-convinced that while it is a bit pricier than other bottle drying racks, the quality makes it worth it.

Earth Friendliness

Given that the Boon Countertop Drying Grass prevents me from using paper towels to dry my pieces, as well as prevents me from having to use (and wash) several rags a day, I’d say that it’s fairly eco-friendly.

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I recieve any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.4

 

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Go Green Pocket Diapers Giveaway Winner!

I had a fun time testing out the GoGreenPocketDiapers on my son and I’m sure you will too!

I loved them, and they’re often one of the first ones to get tossed into my diaper bag for outings because of how quick and easy they are!

Entry #9: Peggy

Congratulations, Peggy! I hope you enjoy your SoftBums diaper! Please email me within three days to claim your prize.

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EcoMom $15 Gift Card Winner!

One of my favorite eco-friendly sites to visit is Ecomom! If you remember, we had an awesome review of their farmaesthetics new and nursing mother’s kit! And Ecomom is giving one lucky winner a $15 gift card to their site!

And, without further delay…


Entry #20: Bao

Congratulations, Bao! Now you’ll be able to put your gift certificate towards the boon squirt spoon you liked! Please email me within three days to claim your prize.

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SoftBums Cloth Diaper Winner

After hearing about the softbums diaper system on all sorts of my favorite cloth diapering websites, I had a blast trying these ones out for myself! I absolutely LOVED them, and one lucky winner is going to also!

And, without further ado…


Entry #486: Tannis

Congratulations, Tannis! I hope you enjoy your SoftBums diaper! Please email me within three days to claim your prize.

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Motherease Cloth Diaper Winner!

I absolutely ADORE my motherease cloth diaper. In fact, it’s one of my favorite go-to diapers for night time. It’s not hard to see why, considering how absorbant and soft they are! And now, a lucky entrant is going to get their own motherease cloth diaper and cover!

And without further ado, onto the winner!

Entry #75: LauraC.

Congratulations LauraC! I hope you enjoy your Motherease cloth diaper and cover! I love mine! Please email me within three days to claim your prize.

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My Baby Can Talk DVD Giveaway Winner!

We had a blast reviewing the My Baby Can Talk DVD set, and it’s still one of Maddi’s favorite DVD’s! Now, a lucky winner will get their own set!

Entry #22: Logan Poindexter!

Congratulations Logan! I hope you and B-man have fun watching the videos and learning some baby signs together! Please email me within three days to claim your prize.

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Roadkill T-Shirts Winner!

My sister and I had fun trying on the Roadkill T-Shirts “Idiot” shirt! And a lucky reader will get to try out a random shirt!

Entry #22: Rebecca W.

Congratulations, Rebecca! Please respond to my email within three days to claim your prize!

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Coddlelife Baby Bottle Giveaway Winner!

Coddlelife is a GREAT bottle that simulates breastfeeding with a unique peristaltic nipple! I loved it, and so does my son! Now, a lucky reader will have the chance to try it too!

Entry #8: Jenna Wood

Congratulations, Jenna! Please respond to my email within three days to claim your prize!

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