Happy Sunday! What a beautiful day! The perfect day to post a Basal Challenge- a day early since I’ve been running late recently!!
Another chemical awareness post….
The Basal Evolution Challenge for this week is to try to re-heat things on the stove (instead of the micro), or if you have to use the microwave, use a glass dish covered with a paper towel- also, if possible, always rinse your canned food items! All of these challenges will help you to avoid BPA, Phthlates, and other chemicals! If you don’t want to go into the detail, scroll to the bottom for the summary!
There have been many debates about the dangers of microwaves and plastics.
There are many articles that support the fact that chemicals from plastic will leak into foods when you microwave items in plastic containers or with plastic wrap.
Here is one article from the Harvard Medical School. In summary, it says that yes, chemicals can leak into your foods from plastic when exposed to high temperatures. The article gives the plastic companies some credit as it notes that all containers that claim to be “microwave-safe” have to go through certain testing procedures. These tests only approve containers that let “x” amount of substances through to the food (X being a low “safe” amount).
The article does offer few tips: never microwave items in plastic baggies or inside your restaurant take-out boxes; always create some sort of ventilation when microwaving; never allow plastic wrap to touch your food as it can melt.
There also has been a lot of discussions about BPAs.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the production of many plastic products; it is produced in the billions of pounds each year.
BPA is found in plastic water bottles, epoxy lined metal cans, and some dental sealants.
CDC and many other organizations have done a lot of research and have found BPA to be widespread among the population. The exact health consequences are unknown, but current research is saying early exposure can lead to long term health problems. Some animal studies have shown that exposure to BPA during pregnancy and infancy resulted in brain development and behavior. These studies were proof enough for the National Toxicology Program to say BPA is “some concern.”
So double check your bottles….research companies…and find out if what you are using is BPA free. I recently purchased a Life Factory Water Bottle (they also have baby/toddler products) and a $2 glass water bottle from Ross. This just goes to show you there are many different choices out there.
If you are concerned with your baby/infant, here is a good excerpt from the same Johns Hopkins research article linked above:
“Goldman: We know that the time of greatest sensitivity to BPA occurs in utero (passed directly from mother to baby) and during infancy and early childhood. By far, the highest estimated exposures are to infants who are fed liquid formula that has been packed in food cans with epoxy linings, and served in BPA-containing polycarbonate bottles. We also know that the metabolic pathways for eliminating BPA have not matured in newborns.….
If infant formula is needed, powered infant formula has lower levels of BPA than liquid formula. As a precaution, glass bottles or BPA-free plastic bottles can be used for bottle feeding. You should avoid using polycarbonate bottles that have the recycling code “7” on the bottom. (The code “7” includes a number of other plastics as well as polycarbonates.) If you do use plastic bottles, do not heat them in the microwave and, after washing, allow them to cool off before adding formula.”
Phthlates are another chemical of concern found in some plastics. It is added to make them more flexible and is commonly found in baby bottle nipples and teethers. Research has suggested that it is a hormone/endocrine disrupter. You can also research the items/product you are using to see if they contain phthlates.
Another topic in the news….BPA in Canned Foods
Did you know that Canada and Europe have determined BPA to be a toxic substance? If you are interested in reading more, here is an article in Scientific American that talks about the decision the U.S. made last year to keep BPA in cans. There is also a great video recap and article found on abc.com here.
As mentioned earlier, BPA is not only found in plastic bottles, but your canned foods. The epoxy linings are a safer alternative to no lining as it keeps the metal from rusting. Again, BPA has been found to elicit an effect on estrogen and other sex hormones. This is especially of concern for infants/toddlers. If you have to buy a canned food, look for BPA free cans!
“In the new study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health compared people who were given canned vegetable soup for lunch each day with people who got vegetable soup made without any canned ingredients.
And they found that a couple hours after eating, the people who had canned soup had BPA levels in their urine that were about 12 times higher than the people who didn’t.”
Slowly, canned food companies are choosing to go the BPA free route on their own. Companies such as Eden Organic, Vital Choice, Wild Planet, Eco Fish, Oregon’s Choice, Trader Joes, Native Forest, and Native Factor.
1. Never microwave items in plastic baggies or inside your restaurant take-out boxes
2. Always create some sort of ventilation when microwaving in plastics, but best to microwave in ceramics or glass.
3. Never allow plastic wrap to touch your food when re-heating- best to use wax paper or paper towels to cover
4. Look for BPA and Phthlate free plastic products and canned goods, especially for infants/toddlers
5. Try to purchase a re-usable glass water bottle
6. Try to buy dried beans/fresh foods. If you do buy canned items, rinse your canned foods as BPA is found in the epoxy lining.
7. Stay away from the 3 and 7 triangle on the bottom of your plastic products.
8. Move to Canada or Europe 🙂
Here is a great resource from the National Toxicology Program.
Lots of information. Hope you took something away from it!
Cheers and happy evolving! See this link for further details on the Basal Evolution Challenge!