Fresh food everyday keeps the BPA away!

June 22, 2011 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

I remember the BPA scare that had us all switching out our reusable plastic water bottles for metal ones just a few years ago. Since then companies like Nalgene have made huge efforts to produce water bottles that can be listed as “BPA free” and now it seems almost rare to see reusable water bottles made of plastics containing BPA. However, just because BPA is no longer a hot topic in the media doesn’t mean we should stop thinking about new ways we can reduce our risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals

Not sure what BPA is? Can’t quite remember what the fuss was about? This is what the U.S. EPA had to say about BPA in their 2010 Action Plan:

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high production volume (HPV) chemical … Humans appear to be exposed primarily through food packagingBecause BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact particularly on children’s health and the environment. [Studies] indicate that the levels of BPA in humans and the environment are below levels of potential concern for adverse effects. However, results of some recent studies using novel low-dose approaches and examining different endpoints describe subtle effects in laboratory animals at very low concentrations.”

While we don’t know what level of BPA exposure is safe, a recent study conducted by Silent Spring Institute and Breast Cancer Fund demonstrates the benefits of eating a fresh food diet in terms of BPA levels in the body. It appears that the way food is packaged (or not packaged) can greatly increase (or decrease) human intake of chemicals. Eating fresh food can result in as much as 70% reduction in BPA levels in the body.

New research and results about toxins in our lives are constantly coming out, so even though BPA isn’t hitting the front page as often, it’s still important to continue looking for updates. In the meantime, individuals can take precautionary steps to reduce their exposure. You can do this too, even if eating 100% fresh isn’t 100% possible. Avoid canned food and plastic packaging when you can. Instead, try buying items in bulk and storing them in glass or stainless steel containers. For less than $20 you can walk away from Target with 3 glass food containers and for about $15 you can order 3 stainless steel containers on Amazon.com. Not only do reusable containers like these keep you healthier but they reduce your waste and save money in the long run.

If you do have something stored in plastic, put it in a ceramic or glass dish before microwaving or baking . Heating plastic can speed up the leaching process and lets your food absorb more chemicals. Ultimately, cooking meals at home with fresh (unpackaged) ingredients is really the best way to go. Your food will be healthier, taste better, and give you more satisfaction—just another example of the many benefits to eating local, organic, and fresh food!

Dorothy, EnAct Intern

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Entry filed under: other.

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