Eat like a Mennonite
Very interesting article I ran across today about a mother and daughter who "detoxed" for 3 days by avoiding contact with plastics. I was really surprised how quickly the levels of BPA in their urine decreased to the levels found in old order Mennonite communities.
We already avoid plastic as much as we can, but it's extremely difficult in this day and age. Even the grass-fed beef and pastured chicken we buy locally is packed in plastic.
What are your thoughts?
I think we would have to live like Mennonites in order to eat like them. Which is not necessarily a bad idea :) but for many of us would require a major overhaul of our life.
I think it's a good idea to avoid bpa as much as possible without becoming nuts (unless you have compromised health, then avoid it like the plague).
I occasionally buy tomato paste in a can if the store I'm at doesn't have tomato paste in glass jars. I get just enough to see me through to when I'm going to the other store that does. Then I stock up. Also, very occasionally, I buy anchovies in cans. Very expensive in jars, so I just eat them less than I used to.
Other than that, there are no cans in my home. I used to buy organic coffee and put non-dairy chemical "creamer" in it which was goofy. I also think it's kind of goofy to eat things that are supposedly good for me out of cans with bpa. But not everybody believes in the dangers of bpa, so that's just me.
It is difficult to avoid completely, but I have successfully eliminated the use of any commercially canned food, plastic wrap in our home, plastic storage containers at home. Anything that comes home from the store in a plastic bag, like nuts, spices, cheese, some meats etc, gets transferred to glass jars, glass bowls or waxed paper, as soon as we get home.
I also do not use any non-stick cookware for what that's worth. Think about what you cook in that is also plastic or has some kind of coating - those single serving coffees that have hot water run through the plastic, or the kettle that is made from plastic, or silicone baking trays - I don't trust any of it.
I have mentioned it before, but when the plastic industry removes BPA from the plastic, they need to replace it with another kind of chemical. Does that leach out? Does that chemical cause damage in some way? Who the hell knows! I'm not going to be the guinea pig for the industry if I can help it.
That is also key here, "if I can help it." I know it can't be avoided completely, since I still go out to eat once in awhile or eat at a friend's house (and they probably use t-fal - and then I am eating their shitty food anyway).
My goal is to reduce my exposure, since I know it is hopeless to get to zero exposure.
I agree, I worry that in a few years we'll find out that there are different harmful chemicals other than BPA and that plastics were never safe, so I just avoid plastic when I can. I almost went crazy with it a couple of years ago, but realized how impossible it was to completely avoid plastic. Going Primal helped, the only canned goods I still buy regularly are tomatoes (Muir Glen), tuna (Wild Planet), and coconut milk (Native Forest). I have plans to grow and can our own tomatoes this year, really hoping that works out. I think the biggest and best change we made was when we tossed out all of the disposable plastic containers like Glad Ware and replaced them with glass containers with BPA-free lids. (Anchor Hocking) Also, we tossed all of our preschoolers plastic tableware/cups and replaced them with Corelle divided plates, child sized metal silverware, and stainless steel straw cups. We use cast iron and stainless pots and pans. I did make a call on silicone though, we lived in an RV for 9 months and after researching it I decided that silicone was a compromise I was willing to make for space (collapsible colander, bowls, bakeware)--it's supposedly inert, and I avoid ones made with fillers. I used zipper bags for cold items out of necessity, but now that we're in a house again and I have space for our glass containers, I'm phasing them back out again.
I'm curious now as to what my family's BPA level would be compared to the rest of the US just based on these changes.
Do you use the glass containers for lunches? That is my hardest area. I was trying to take paper plates w/ me but I work at 3 different schools and its hard to keep a stash of everything everywhere.
I use glass storage containers for lunches all the time. Wrap a kitchen towel around it if worried about breakage or leaks. Mason jars work well too. I also avoid any drinks in aluminum cans which is easy now that I rarely drink anything other than water or coffee. I bet anyone cooking from scratch with raw meat and vege will have a lower BPA level than most of the population that eats processed crap.
Yes, we use glass for lunches--I'm a SAHM, but my husband takes leftovers for his lunch in the glass containers. These are the ones we use: [url]http://anchorhocking.com/prod_208_trueseal.html[/url] I like them because they're oven, dishwasher, and especially freezer safe--that way I can rotate leftovers so he's not eating what we had for dinner just the night before. My daughter takes her breakfast and lunch to pre-K in stainless boxes (it's mostly finger food, so they don't need to be leakproof), LunchBots makes some good ones.
We have mostly glass storage. Our BPA issues would come from wrapped meats (though we are looking at returning to the butcher where they wrap in paper), and the raw milk comes in a recycled container (we asked to switch to glass but they said no).
I am pretty sure there is BPA in my composite fillings - so I'm guessing I'm screwed as far as avoiding it, huh?