Ditching Dangerous Plastics
Does this picture of a delicious hamburger get your attention? I made this for my family not knowing that many of its components were in all probability contaminated with PBA, PBS, phthalates, and ADA, a food grade plastic used as a dough softener, all known toxins to humans and animals.
If concerns over our planet’s inability to digest plastics hasn’t given you cause enough to limit your use of them, maybe this will. According to Dr Harvey Karp, pediatrician and author of bestselling parenting guide series, The Happiest Baby, there may be a link between Autism and the chemicals found in plastics known as BPA and BPS. These chemicals have been used commercially since 1957 employed in plastics, watertight resins, as coating inside food and beverage cans, and in thermal paper used in many modern cash registers for printing out receipts.
It is known that these two chemicals, BPA, BPS and phthalates which are another group of elements used in plastics, when present in the body mimic our own hormones and can actually alter certain functions in the prostate, breast, testis, mammary glands, as well as brain structure and brain chemistry. These chemicals when first introduced, were not considered harmful. Scientist then had no idea just how dependent we would become on plastics, and how much of its chemical components would be ingested, absorbed and inhaled by the general population. Now BPA, BPS and phthalates are present in nearly every food storage container, every canned good and every water bottle produced. Phthalates can even be found in the dust in our homes.
Quoting an article from WebMD, “The amounts are small, says Laura Vandenberg, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in biology at Tufts University in Boston. “But almost any plastic container can be expected to leach trace amounts of plastics into food.” This leaching is compounded when the container is heated. Add to that, the acidity, salt and fat in the foods being stored within the container and you can expect a higher absorption level.
Think it is safer to eat in restaurants? You may be surprised to learn that many restaurants, particularly franchised/chain restaurants, serve pre prepared meals packaged in plastic “boil-in-bag”pouches. That delicious Lamb in Gravy Sauce you just ordered may have been prepared in a factory kitchen, sealed in a plastic bag, frozen and then shipped to the restaurant. It will be heated in that same plastic bag before it is served to you along with a dose of chemicals and plastic.
Reports like the ones cited here and others on the toxicity of plastics in humans and animals, only adds to concerns about our overuse of plastics. Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to avoid its use entirely, but there are some things we can do to reduce our exposure and thus reduce the health risks. That is why I am ditching the plastics and challenging you to do the same. No more baggies, plastic wrap, plastic storage containers, plastic water bottles and plastic cooking utensils. Say no to “boil-in-bag” foods at your favorite restaurants. Instead, order foods from the menu that use fresh ingredients. Opt for safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics such as glass for food storage. And avoid canned goods when possible.
For the health of you, your family and our planet, ditch the plastics!
K. L. Parry