Thursday, February 2, 2012

Plastic and food concerns

Having just lost another family member to cancer, we are becoming more and more aware of chemicals, and what we eat and expose ourselves to.

I have read book after book, listened to doctors on late night radio talk shows, (I guess I am turning into my parents, I used to hate it when they listened to talk radio shows...) read reports, studied the Internet and I keep finding common threads, regardless what clinic, doctor or country the information is coming from.  One of those common threads is plastics.

We all know we have had an increase in cancer over the past few generations.  We also know we live a different lifestyle than our grandparents and great grandparents did.  They worked hard (physically), where many of us today have jobs that require more sitting than moving around.  We use microwaves, sit in front of a TV, hold cell phones to our ears, and heat and cook our food in containers containing plastic and Teflon.

Based on what I have found, we are now cooking in cast iron, glass and stainless.  No more Teflon coated pans or heating up items in plastic in the microwave.  No more storing of foods that are acid (catsup) or alcohol based (such as vanilla)  in plastic.

Many (most) plastics contain BPA, Bisphenol A, which has been linked to several cancers.  When BPA is heated, it leaches out, into our foods.  This also includes being heated in the dishwasher.

Avoid polycarbonate and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastics, both of which contain BPA. At the bottom of the plastic, there should be a recylcing code.  Code 7 is bad.  Sadly many baby bottles, bottle liners, sippy cups and plastic baby food containers contain BPA.  According to Gerber, their containers are all now BPA free (thank you Gerber!)

Instead, look for polyethylene plastic (also labeled PETE) and containers marked with recycling code 1, 2 (HDPE) and 4 (LDPE).  Polypropylene (recycling code 5, or PP) are also safe.

Some producers of plastic are now leaving it out, and when they do, they advertise that their product is BPA free, making it safer.

Think you are safe because your food is canned commercially???  Maybe not.  Many tin cans are plastic lined, and the lining contains BPA....
BPA is also found in many slick papers, water bottles, canned goods, and water pipes.  Also in water filters, cups, plates.....check your labels.

I pitched a lot of our kitchen items.

We have switched to stainless steel water bottles (Burlington Coat Factory sells a 2 pack of them for $3.98==the best deal around).  I also switched to stainless measuring spoons and cups, and glass measuring cups for the microwave.

I even got the dogs new bowls--stainless ones.

Do your own research.  But, when you hear of cancer patients who have high levels of BPA in their blood and urine, its rather scary.


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Recycling Plastic Containers

Anonymous said...

that is a great deal on stainless steel water bottles!
i had cervical cancer and every member of my family, all the way back 4 generations, has had cancer so i am always careful. i do all you do too!!
increase your produce intake to "crazy: levels too!!

~*~The Family~*~ said...

Thanks for this, we had a cup in our cupboard that was a 7. Yikes!!!! Threw out all our non stick bakeware today too.

Sara said...

I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there's so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

In regards to PFOA and cancer - The weight of evidence gathered from a number of significant health studies continues to indicate to us that there is no health risk to the general public from exposure to PFOA. Additionally, no authoritative body has designated PFOA as a human carcinogen. The U.S. EPA stated that it is premature to conclude that PFOA causes cancer. For more information, please visit
and can provide you with additional information.