Friday, July 23, 2010

BPAs and Pesticides making us Sick and Fat?

A few articles recently struck my attention regarding Organic foods and dangerous Plastics. While it can be frustrating to "keep up with it" since the news seems to change every day, I think it's worth paying attention to. I'm sure many people asked their parents why they starting smoking and their response was "We didn't know how bad it was for you back then". It seems like it may be a sentance we'll be uttering to our children/grandchildren about BPAs, fertilizers and pesticides. Not only have these substances been linked to causing cancer, recent studies have shown they can also affect your weight gain, chance of developing ovarian cysts and possibly autism. The cited articles below mark items such as Plastic baby bottles, Canned goods, food containers including the ones at the grocery store that you buy meat in, water bottles and plastic wrap as containing BPAs. I'm not saying to never buy meat in the grocery store again, or ban all foods you can not buy organically, but definately try to cut back where you can.

The basics I've taken from these articles are:
1. Try to buy these foods (click here to download The Dirty Dozen list) organically as they are found to absorb/be exposed to the highest levels of pesticides*
Celery, Peaches, Strawberries, Apples, Blueberries (Domestic), Nectarines, Sweet Bell Peppers, Spinach, Cherries, Kale / Collard Greens, Potatoes, Grapes (Imported). Lettuce is next on the list so I'm including this too since most people eat it close to every day. the full list

2. Do not use plastics marked as 3s or 7s **

3. Use glass containers in the microwave and avoid using plastic containers for reheating, storing hot foods or outside in hot weather.

4. Try to eat fresh veggies as much as possible vs. those in packaged in cans/plastics

If you've successfully implemented these, try to take it a step further:
1. Buy fish marked as Wild-caught vs. Farm Raised
2. Buy organic meats straight from your local farm, not only does it limit your exposure to hormones in most grocery store meats, buying locally supports your community cuts down on emissions created from shipping foods all around the country/world
3. Dispose of plastics in your kitchen all together (those microwave meals really aren't good for you anyways)
4. Start eating a more natural diet with more beans, fish, fruits and veggies
5. Try to cut down on/elminate corn syrup, trans fats and hydrogenated oils in your diet
6. Beware of Plastic baby toys that children put in their mouths, try to purchase BPA-free toys like Sophie the Giraffe

*Washing and Peeling fruits and Veggies isn't always enough. Pesticides can be found all the way to the core of a peach

**It's easy to check the numbers on the bottom most plastic containers in your home (Generally 3 and 7 are considered the worst). Unmarked plastic containers are tricky, the article cited below from Health magazine indicates that Clear Plastics that look similar to glass are probably 7s and should be avoided. Any Plastics that give off that strong Vinyl smell are probably 3s.
"Me Versus Plastic" by Amy Keyishian in Health Mag July/Aug 2010