Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is a mass-produced chemical that is found in numerous types of plastics. The Center for Disease Control has stated that about 93% of U.S. citizens have traces of BPA in their bloodstream. Copious amounts of research suggest that once BPA has entered the body, it begins to alter hormones, cause reproductive problems, increase the likelihood of obesity, and make the body more susceptible to certain types of cancers. What does plastic have to do with a food blog you ask?
Unfortunately, overwhelming evidence has proven that BPA is lurking in our food, and the most prominent way in which BPA is absorbed into our bloodstreams is not a direct outcome of our environment or the weather. Instead, the food we eat can at times contain BPA in large quantities. Therefore, this week I want to discuss ways to prevent excess BPA from entering your diet. Although it would be nearly impossible to completely eliminate this chemical from all of the food we eat, below are some strategies to help you to minimize consumption.
1. In terms of the amount of BPA contained in food products, canned foods are by far the biggest culprits. In fact, the resins, or substances that line the cans contain this chemical, so it can be found in anything from a can of chicken noodle soup to a can of tomato sauce. Therefore, it’s recommended to reduce the amount of canned food that you consume, and/or make sure to be on the lookout for cans marked “BPA Free!” Alternatively, choose fresh or frozen foods over canned.
2. Try to replace canned beverages, such as soda (if you drink it) with glass bottled beverages.
3. As stated above, BPA can also be found in certain types of plastics, particularly those that have the number 7 on the bottom of them. When purchasing foods with plastic containers, such as syrups or condiments, I’d suggest opting for plastics that have the numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5, which haven’t been found to contain these sorts of chemicals.
4. If you have a plastic container that has a number 7 on the bottom, be sure not to scratch it or put it in the microwave, as these actions actually make it easier for the BPA to seep into your food.
Now you know a little bit more about the burden of BPA. We can’t live in fear about all of the chemicals out there, but there is always something within our power that we can change to better our health and overall wellness. As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this post!
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
Kristof, Nicholas. NewYorkTimes. The New York Times Company. 2009. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Nieh.Nih. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 5 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.