My beef with the FDA is no secret. Now they’ve messed up even more. The FDA has rejected a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban the chemical bisephenol-A, or BPA. The petition states that the stuff causes harm, even in small doses. BPA, which is used to line cans and plastic bottles, has been shown to leech into food–a 2011 Harvard study found high levels of BPA in people who regularly consume canned soup. Why is this so bad? BPA is an endocrine disrupter, which interferes with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for development, behavior, fertility, and maintenance of normal cell metabolism. Many studies have found BPA negatively affects the prostate at low doses and that it does so for mammary glands.
And it doesn’t stop there–a study published in the Journal of American Medicine looked at urinary BPA levels in 1,455 US adults discovered that the higher the BPA concentration in people’s urine, the higher their incidence of cardiovascular trouble and diabetes. Although there may be other factors that could have caused the afflictions, the study controlled for a range of obvious factors (race, age, weight, etc.) and that BPA has proven to be hazardous, it is cause for alarm.
So, with this knowledge of the harmful effects of the chemical, why reject the petition? Simple. Big business relies on it. BPA is cheap to use and keeps the costs down. So, while these giant corporations are claiming that they’re looking out for your wallet, they’re really looking out for their best interests. It’s disgusting that a government agency is so intimidated by these corporations. They don’t care about you, they care about themselves. But it is a catch-22. Many people are finding themselves buying more and more canned food due to the cost and long shelf life, which actually is good for your wallet, but is it really worth your health in the long run? Here’s a few ways you can be BPA free, and perhaps save a few dollars in the process:
–Read your labels Some companies are against the use of BPA, and will say so on their labels. If it doesn’t say BPA free, then caveat emptor.
–Look for alternative packaging/storage methods You can buy typical canned food in boxes or jars–spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, soup, just to name a few. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers to store hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
–Microwave with caution Don’t microwave food in plastic storage too many times, as the plastics can break down. Use plates and bowls labeled “microwave safe” instead.
–Grow your own produce A Burpee seed packet costs about $1.00 to purchase, but you really get a bang for your buck. Although you may not be able to grow certain things depending on where you live/your soil PH, the more you can grow, the better.
–Go frozen instead of canned Frozen foods are often fresher than canned as they are frozen right at the peak of freshness, and don’t have extra ingredients to keep them preserved. Try to go organic –many stores are now offering generic organic products, making it affordable for everyone.
What do you think, LivLunatics? Are you as disgusted as I am with the FDA’s lack of a backbone yet again? Do you have extra tips on how to be BPA free?