Do you know what's in your food???

 

There is no doubt that plastic is convenient, the safety however, that’s another concern.  The chemicals contained in plastics can be quite harmful. But given that "plastic" can mean a wide variety of substances, it's difficult to know which ones are bad for us. Here’s 4  that I would recommend staying away from.

 

1.    BOA bisphenol A: #7

Found in plastic utensils, beverage containers, and “microwavable” plastics. 

BPA is known for being an endocrine disruptor that alters the body’s normal hormone activity and mimics the effect of estrogen.

Lab studies in mice who have been exposed to BPA have experienced, miscarriages, birth defects, mental retardation,  reduced sperm count, and breast and prostate cancer.  It may also predispose both animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders, autism included.

**A number of cities including Chicago, San Francisco, and CT have banned products containing BPA.  Japan has banned BPA as well.

 

2.     Polystyrene also know as Styrofoam  #6

 This is a plastic that’s commonly found in food service items like cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, food containers (ex. yogurt), and aspirin bottles.  Polystyrene may leach styrene into food it comes in contact with and because styrene is considered a possible carcinogen, you’ll want to avoid it.  Studies with mice exposed to styrene over several weeks have shown liver, kidney, lung and brain damage.  YUCK!

*Transfer food from Styrofoam containers to glass or ceramic ones.  The longer the food sits, the more leaching occurs.

           

3.  Adipates and Phthalates #3

Many plastic used to wrap deli meats and cheeses are wrapped in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  In order for PVC to be flexible it’s made with chemicals called plasticizers (adipates & Phthalates). 

*Plasticizers can leach into the food and studies show it may cause birth defects, fetal death, and damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive organs.

 

In 2005, the European Union banned three phthalate compounds from children’s toys and other children’s products. California has passed a law limiting exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (commonly known as DEHP). And Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, and Oregon have proposed similar legislation.

 

Read the label!!

Thankfully, there is a classification system, called the Resin Identification Code, that describes the type of plastic resin used to make a container or bottle. Most containers and packages should have a number printed on it, a series ranging from one to seven.


Recap!

#3 Polyvnal Chloride (PVC)

#6 Polystyrene (PS)

#7 BPA

 

It may seem overwhelming at first (considering almost all commercial products contain plastic).  However there are many companies out there (and more growing) that are keeping the consumers health in mind.  It may keep you playing detective for a while, but well worth it.


In good health,
Deanna Rae