Posted by: Michael D. Austin | May 3, 2009

No-Nos With Food, Plastics and Aluminum

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Most of us in the United States live in a fast-paced society which sometimes requires trade-offs. Here’s a quick note about fast food at home:

Let's see... is the plastic shown among the ingredients?

Let's see... is the plastic shown among the ingredients?

You do know that heating foods you’re going to eat while they’re still contained in plastic is a “No-no,” right? Before we sat down to watch Addicted to Plastic by Ian Connacher, I was reminded about this. I watched a friend pop a relatively healthy frozen dinner into the microwave, still in its plastic bowl and plastic cellophane cover. Whatever chemicals are in the plastic are guaranteed to leach into your food, despite what plastics manufacturers are likely to tell you.

Use something ceramic or stainless steel in which to heat or cook stuff. Instead of using your Tupperware vegetable steamer for what they sold it to you for, just recycle the thing or make it into a nifty pot for the ornamental Pothos plant in your kitchen. Although most plastics are so stable they’ll literally be around for thousands of years unless we step in and re-purpose or recycle them, plastics still absorb and also pass along to you whatever they’re exposed to.

The recent example of BPA (bisphenol-A) comes to mind in this regard. Millions of plastic baby bottles in the U.S. contained BPA from manufacture, until recently it was discovered that an unusually high number of men raised in the plastics era had a higher than average incidence of prostate cancer. Surprise! Dow Chemical’s old ad slogan, “Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible,” comes to mind. Hmmm, guys, that’s not exactly what we had in mind.

BPA was, according to Addicted to Plastic, originally discovered as a compound meant to be similar to estrogen. And BPA’s not the only endocrine disruptor among our pantheon of plastics.

The solution’s pretty simple. Try and avoid eating food which has been prepared in contact with plastics. Does this make you wonder if they cook your supermarket fast food in the plastic before it gets to your microwave? I wonder. Maybe you could ask them?

Oh, and by the way, you have recycled all your aluminum cookware, right? Aluminum’s highly-reactive nature was long ago implicated in poisoning of people, and for my money, is an obvious factor in the rise of Alzheimer’s disease. Even with it’s usual oxide layer intact, aluminum’s a metal which can easily leach into whatever it contains from your food or beverage’s own acidity or the heat from cooking.

At that aluminum cookware link from NaturalPath, also note what’s contained in the usual leavening used in breads and pastries. And the next time you’re at your favorite Thai restaurant, ready to eat something spicy, notice what sort of cookware they use. From what I’ve seen, most of them tend to use inexpensive aluminum.

Lastly, you don’t drink sodas from aluminum cans now either, right? No one has to tell us about the reaction that fruit juices or sodas – which contain fairly strong acids – start inside an aluminum can. Those of us who like to dose ourselves with fructose or corn syrup prefer the mostly inert glass bottles. Or, if you really want to be healthy, try this little experiment my uncle suggested: take a little piece of raw steak, drop it into a few ounces of Coke and watch what quickly happens.


Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this.

    Like


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