Two Documentaries: BPA Plastics and GM Foods
I enjoy documentaries, especially ones that actually teach me something new, make me feel empowered and raise my awareness of important issues. Recently, I watched two that did just that, "Tapped" and "The Future of Food."
Tapped is probably one of the thorough documentaries I have ever seen. It talked about all different aspects of the bottling and selling of water. I learned a lot watching it (the point of watching a documentary, right?). It also made me feel really good about the fact that I rarely drink bottled water, but made me really conscious of all the plastic products around me, everywhere.
"One reason people may be concerned about BPA is because human exposure to BPA is widespread. The 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older. The CDC NHANES data are considered representative of exposures in the United States. Another reason for concern, especially for parents, may be because some animal studies report effects in fetuses and newborns exposed to BPA."
"Polycarbonate plastics (or BPA) are found in some food and drink packaging, e.g., water and infant bottles, compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. Epoxy resins are used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. Some dental sealants and composites may also contribute to BPA exposure.
The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet. While air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure, BPA in food and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure.
It's crazy to think that we consume parts of plastic in our diets, so much so that apparently traces can be found in breast milk! How are we supposed to limit exposure to our infants if our exposure is overwhelming? Well, if you're concerned about your exposure to BPA here are some things you can do:
Bisphenol A can leach into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. BPA can also be found in breast milk."
Image: St Petersburg Times via ZUMA Press.
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from over use at high temperatures.
- Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Use baby bottles that are BPA free.
"In the United States, 88 percent of the corn, 93 percent of the canola, and 94 percent of the soybeans are genetically-modified. Genetically modified tomatoes, pork, and salmon, among many other foods, are also in our stores. In 2011, the country had 69 million hectares (170.5 million acres) of GM cropland.
Approximately 75 percent of the processed food in American grocery stores has genetically-engineered ingredients. High fructose corn syrup, for example, is found in most sodas, many snack foods, ketchup, and even commercial bread and that syrup usually comes from GM corn.
If the food label has words like ascorbate, lysine, maltodextrin, modified food starch, or xanthan gum than you’re probably eating GM-derived food."
"Genetic engineering has produced toxins never seen before, and those toxins are in the GM foods we’re eating. It has increased the level of allergens in GM crops, altered the composition of protein and other nutrients, and increased the GM crop’s absorption of pesticides and other chemicals. It doesn’t matter how much we wash an ear of corn. We’re eating those pesticides and chemicals, too.Scientists have linked microRNA (ribonucleic acid) to cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, among other illnesses. It is found in GM crops, like rice, and in the blood and organs of people who eat those GM crops. Recently, Chinese scientists found that microRNA survives the human digestive process and affects, among other things, our cholesterol function.
In independent laboratories from the U.S. to Russia, animals fed GM foods suffered damage to their kidneys, livers, hearts, adrenal glands, spleens, and the haemotopoietic (blood-forming) system. They slowed immune response times, provoked often severe inflammatory (allergic) responses, and altered testicles and sperm cells in males. Infant size and weight dropped. Infant mortality rates skyrocketed to over 50 percent.
Traces of Bt toxin from Monsanto Bt corn were found in the blood of 93 percent of the women studied and in 80 percent of their umbilical cord and fetal blood."
But, 92% of Americans want the FDA to label genetically engineered foods. And you can add your voice to that 92% by joining in the petition to the FDA through justlabelit.org."GM giant Monsanto has stopped developing genetically-engineered crops to be grown in Europe, because most European countries refuse to allow them to be grown.In America, however, the Food & Drug Administration’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Safety is a former Monsanto executive. In February 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sped up the approval process for genetically-modified foods."