For the past few years I’ve been hearing a lot about plastic and how bad it is for our health, especially when you have autoimmune disease or other health issues.
What is it in plastic that is so bad and what should you do about it?
BPA (bisphenol-A) and BPS (bisphenol-S) are synthetic compounds used in plastic and epoxy resins. They have been shown to be extremely damaging to our bodies in numerous ways. They can lead to endocrine disorders and many other health problems. So this is definitely something everyone needs to evaluate for themselves. I know, myself, that I avoid plastics as much as possible when buying food, using for drinking, and storing or cooking foods – basically anything that goes inside my body. I’m now starting to rethink using plastics for anything, but it’s getting harder to do because it’s the cheapest way for manufacturers to package their products and is difficult to find products that have anything other than plastic for containers, unless of course you buy everything fresh and store your own in glass.
As far as our health is concerned, first and foremost just know that there are reports of babies being born with BPA in their blood stream at birth! That is totally unacceptable in my mind, and I’m sure in yours as well. This is no way for anyone to start off their life.
According to TheSoftLanding.com:
The biggest health problem with plastics is a set of harmful chemicals called endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC). EDCs are synthetic chemicals that mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. This disruption can alter normal hormone levels, stopping or stimulating the production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body, thus affecting the functions that these hormones control.
Is BPS the mystery chemical? We don’t really know. While there has been a documented substitution of BPS for BPA in thermal paper, dollar bills and canned foods, we haven’t found any documented cases of BPS being substituted for BPA in plastic bottles, food containers or kitchen appliances.
Some other facts about BPA:
- It leaches from the plastic baby bottles into the milk when the bottles are microwaved
- It has been linked to breast cancer
- Some studies now show brain damage in infants as a result of BPA exposure
- It may cause early puberty in young girls
- It has been linked to obesity
- In children, BPA’s toxins will have a much more profound effect on their growth than it would in adults
- BPA is still found in canned food because the government has yet to ban it
How do we avoid some of these issues? Use Glass or Stainless Steel.
Start by using glass instead of plastic. I am replacing the plastic containers I have in my cupboards with glass. I know the new containers have silicone lids. Fortunately, the lids are only used when storing in the fridge. They are not to be used for cooking or any heat applications where there is a likelihood of leaching into the food. I try not to overfill my containers so the lids do not actually touch the food. There is not enough research on silicone to warrant caution, but there also isn’t enough research to prove otherwise!
Plastic bottles are another no-no in my mind. We have recently bought glass water bottles that actually have a silicone outer shell to protect the glass, if knocked, and for ease of handling. You know what happens when you put ice in glass – well the silicone shell helps you to hold onto the bottle without it slipping out of your hand. Another alternative to plastic water bottles is stainless steel ones. We have several of these as well and the hubby uses them when he goes golfing – don’t want glass on the golf course!
So, is BPA free plastic OK to use? According to the research I’ve done, it appears it isn’t any safer than BPA itself! So what to do instead. As I mentioned above replace plastic with glass or stainless steel to store, or carry water. When microwaving foods use glass or ceramic containers. Never put hot foods into plastic containers or bottles. Cover leftovers in tin foil, not plastic wrap. If you have an immersion blender, make sure it has a stainless steel shaft, not a plastic one. Also replace plastic blenders and coffee makers with glass or metal ones.
Also when out shopping – take your own recyclable bags instead of using store plastic. When buying take-out foods, make sure the food goes into paper not plastic. When buying food in containers try to get glass for your milk, condiments, beer, spices, juices, etc.
We don’t buy bottled water but do have a filtration system and drink only that when at home. I tend not to order water when we are out, and try to carry water with us when travelling.
I know it’s difficult to find storage products you can trust, but believe me when I say it is important to source things that are healthful for you and your family. And plastics aren’t those things.
Have a great day and week ahead.