I’m Finally Phasing This Out

Living a healthy lifestyle requires constant baby steps. Our family has made a lot of progress as far as healthy eating, and there is still a LOT of room for improvement. This topic doesn’t have much to do with food, but it struck me over the head when I was reading about it in The Healthy Home, By Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz (All of the info in this blog comes from that wonderful book). That’s why, I’m finally phasing PLASTIC out of our kitchen.

 

What is Plastic?

“Plastic is a common term for a huge range of synthetic and semisynthetic solids. The most common raw materials used to manufacture plastic are crude oil and natural gas. In final processing, plastics are often modified with chemical additives to help create specific textures, colors, heat or light resistance and flexibility.”

 

How Can Plastic Be Harmful?

Those chemicals migrate into food or water and have unintended effects on people and animals. They can alter the body’s hormone system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immunological effects.” Holy smokes! You learned when you were young not to throw a plastic bottle into the campfire due to the toxic gases that are released. The same thing happens when your plastic is washed in the dishwasher, put in the microwave, scratched, or when fatty or acidic foods sit on it for too long. So, you can can hand wash all of your plasticware and never use it to warm up food, or not bother with it at all.

 

Where to Start

Styrofoam – I’d start by eliminating this first.  There probably isn’t a ton of it in your home and it won’t take a major lifestyle change to eliminate it. Styrofoam contains styrene, which is a suspected carcinogen and toxin to the gastrointestinal, kidney and respiratory systems. Restaurant leftovers, disposable cups for hot drinks, egg cartons and what your meat comes on from the grocery store are the most common places we find styrofoam. Just make it a habit to put these things in a glass container as soon as possible to minimize its exposure to the styrofoam and potential toxin exposure.

BPA – This is most commonly found in baby bottles, reusable water bottles and the lining of almost all canned foods. Although most baby bottles and water bottle manufacturers have phased out BPA, still check the number in the middle of the recycling triangle stamped on the bottom.  If it’s a 7, it likely contains BPA.  No matter what, there will always be a small amount of chemicals leaked from the plastic. So, if you can switch to the glass or stainless steel version, I’d eventually try that. Also, it may be impossible to rid your pantry of all canned foods, but at the very least try to avoid those for which you have fresh or frozen alternatives. Besides avoiding toxins, you’ll also be getting more vitamins and minerals from unprocessed produce!

Plastic Wrap – Plastic wrap is made from PVC and additives such as phthalic acid, which can cause metabolism interference, thyroid dysfunction, early puberty and allergies. Phthalic Acid is very dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cross the placenta and enter fetal circulation. Most major manufacturers have begun using a different plastic, but it’s much less effective at sealing and holding in odors, so most delis, butchers, caterers and restaurants still use the PVC-based wrap. Unwrap your product when you get home from the store and place it in a glass container.

 

Quick Guide To Plastic

You probably know that plastics are labeled with the recycling triangle and a number, but if you’re anything like me, you never look at it because you have no idea what it means.  Hopefully this helps.

Safest Plastics To Use (And Reuse)

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Generally Safe
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Avoid Like The Plague

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Bigger Picture

“If plastic is not recycled or disposed of properly, plastic ends up in our waterways, degrading so slowly that there are now massive “plastic islands” floating in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They eventually break into pieces small enough for fish, marine mammals and seabirds to mistake for food, which is a lethal mistake for both animals and for us.  Suddenly, the toxins we’ve worked so hard to avoid in our home are found in the marine food chain, where they will make their way back to our dinner tables.”  It’s time to make some of these small changes and encouraging those around you to do the same!

To read more about plastic and other ways to improve the overall health of your home, check out The Healthy Home, by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz.

 

I literally just got back from the store with all of my glass upgrades.  That’s the best part about blogging! I learn so much and it forces me to practice what I preach! Glass tupperware, glass bottles for the kids and stainless steel straws!  It was like Christmas =) Oh, and I got a water purifier, too, which I’ll tell you about later!

Out with the old…

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In with the new!!

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