Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Storage

I have to get a bit technical for a minute...bare with me.  :-)

Definition-Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA, is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, along with other applications. 
Known to be estrogenic since the mid 1930s, concerns about the use of bisphenol A in consumer products were regularly reported in the news media in 2008 after several governments issued reports questioning its safety, thus prompting some retailers to remove products containing it from their shelves. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised further concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children.[1]

Ok, now for the results of what high exposure to BPA may do to you or your kids...
cause obesity
cause negative effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior
alter memory
alter learning
alter mood
alter thyroid function
increase risk of cancer
alter breast development
increase breast cancer risk
may reduce sensitivity to chemotherapy treatment of specific tumors
increase in prostrate cancer
increase heart disease in women
premature labor
colon problems
enhances allergic sensitization
bronchial inflammation (asthma)
heart disease
diabetes a get it...BPA can be BAD STUFF!!

Now...where do we find BPA.  Hold onto your hat.  BPA is found in...
the plastic lining inside canned foods
polycarbonate plastics, especially those that are cleaned with harsh detergents or used to contain acidic or high-temperature liquids (Plastics 3, 6, 7)
canned soft drinks
in our air
through skin absorption
thermal paper (paper found in adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals, airline tickets, event and cinema tickets, certain labels)
carbonless copy paper (like in your check book or some hand written receipt paper)
infant liquid formula (BPA was rarely found in infant powder formula)
formula fed in polycarbonate bottles (must use glass bottles with baby formula!!!)
our kids sippy cups, plates and utensils

How you can you lower your exposure to BPA???
Avoid all canned food (frozen is better for you anyway)
Avoid polycarbonate plastic (any plastic labeled on the bottom with "Other, 3, 6, or 7")
Do not microwave in plastic containers
Do not freeze liquids or foods in plastic containers (or at least when food or liquid is hot)
Avoid putting plastics in your dishwasher
Buy General Mills organic brand of canned tomatoes "Muir Glen"

If you Google BPA, you will see there is some controversay.  But from the reaseach I have done, there is way more research that shows BPA is bad.  So, we are trying everything we can to stay away from it.  I think frozen fruits and veggies taste better than canned anyway.  Or shop for your foods and beverages in glass containers.  I have always thought things taste better in glass rather than in a can anyway, don't you?

I LOVE Pyrex!!  I have been slowly transforming my food storage cabinet into glass food storage for a while now.  After researching this, I think the "slowly" will become an "immediate" final transforming of the food storage cabinet.  You can buy Pyrex very reasonably priced at Wal-Mart and in all shapes and sizes.

You do understand that I am not saying "GET rid of all of your plastic containers!"....right??  I am saying stay away from as many canned foods and drinks that you can and any plastic containers with the recycling code of "Other, 3, 6 or 7."  And please don't microwave or freeze foods or beverages in plastic.  If you have to freeze and use plastic, the plastic MUST be made with Plastics 1, 2, 4 or 5 and allow the food you are putting in the plastic container to cool first before placing the food into the plastic storage container.  And hand wash plastics only!!

There is controversary when it comes to the plastic containers that say they are safe to be microwaved or frozen in.  "Microwave safe" may just mean the item won't melt in the microwave, not that it is "safe."  I am done all together with plastics when it comes to the microwave.  And since I am not a fan of hand looks like I am only keeping my tupperware (for food storage not cooking or freezing) items and hand washing them...the rest of my plastics...SEE YA'!  In the past, if I stored food in a plastic container, I would transfer it to a glass container before reheating anyway.  So...why not just put the food in the glass container in the first place??

Ironic thought......Maybe if we would not have had this shift to plastics, Ball Corp and Kerr would still be in business!  Just a thought!  Think of the number of jobs that were lost.  If we take action, we may see these businesses open their doors again!  How cool would that be?!

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