Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wellness Wednesday: BPA

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Let’s just get right to it: as a ginger and the daughter of a stage 4 breast cancer fighter, I don’t need anything else to be messing with my hormones. We can’t change our genetics so I make every effort to watch what I put in and on my body and encourage others to do the same. This article on the HuffPost blog discusses how exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has some seriously scary side effects. Studies are even showing that exposure during pregnancy can cause health problems in later generations - even if those generations are not directly exposed to BPA. Ladies and Gents, we are talking about lowered sperm counts, damaged uteri in females, and obesity, just to name a few – yeah, I thought that might get your attention. BPA is commonly found in plastic food and water packaging/bottles and safety concerns over the organic compound have sparked efforts to produce BPA-free products; however, the chemical substitute for BPA-free doesn’t look to be that much safer

Like I said, seriously scary. But I am a half-glass-full type of person and I like to think that findings like this help us in more than one way, both of which support the work I do at the SJVCEO and Wild Ginger Wellness. We just read about the toxic effects on our health, but what about the environment? Plastic manufacturing utilizes petroleum, which has the potential to be highly toxic, and requires a significant amount of energy. Plastics can also take up to 1,000 years to degrade so they sit in landfills or in our water supplies, further polluting.  

What can we do?

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This topic is something that has weighed heavy on me lately because I do bring my lunch to work every day and like most people, I have my fair share of plastic Tupperware. Last time I checked, plastic containers weren’t the only type of packaging available. While it isn’t as lightweight, use glass or stainless steel containers when storing and transporting food. My goal is to replace all plastic storage with glass counterparts (note to self: update wedding registry). Glass and stainless steel alternatives are safer to use (especially when storing warm items), more durable, and last much longer without getting dingy like their plastic friends. Let’s also re-start the trend of being civilized again and use anything but plastic eating utensils. And those with little ones, don’t forget about researching alternatives to plastic bottles and those toys that end up in your kids’ mouths.

There are countless ways to keep ourselves and our environment healthy and avoiding products with BPA is most definitely one of them. For my fellow holistic health nuts, I also suggest this blog post for further reading on ‘conscious consumption’ – just a few more things to think about which can help save money, energy, and, of course, our health. 

Note to reader: I do also recognize the benefits of plastic, particularly in its role in saving lives - helmets, bullet proof vests, car seats, etc. This blog post primarily concerns those plastics that are related to food/beverage packaging/containers. As with any post topic, I encourage our readers to do their own research and formulate their own, educated opinions.

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