Don’t look now, but they’re lurking in your refrigerator at this very moment.
They’re squatting in your pantry and hiding in the shadows in your kitchen cabinets.
In fact, you’re being exposed to these hidden hazards every time you eat. With each bite and every single swallow, these substances are finding their way into your body and making you fat, flabby and sick.
And do you want to know what the worst part is? There’s no possible way to tell what products these unwelcome hitchhikers are in. It’s kind of hard to fight an enemy you can’t even see.
I realize this all might sound like the plot of some bad sci-fi thriller I caught on late-night television. And, trust me, I really wish that I could tell you that it is. But I can’t. It’s very real, and it’s happening to us right now.
Creepy chemicals are ending up on your dinner table
I’ve written before about the dangers of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) that’s found in certain plastic products and canned foods. Cancer, heart disease, obesity, birth defects, reproductive problems, low sperm counts, and early puberty are just a few of the medical problems that have been tied to it.
In fact, as an informed consumer you may have already taken steps to reduce your family’s exposure to BPA, like chucking all the plastic containers in your kitchen cabinets that have a telltale #7 on them, clearing your pantry of old canned foods, only using cans that are labeled BPA-free and replacing your plastic water bottles with a BPA-free version.
But what if I told you that despite all of those efforts you and your family are still being exposed to harmful hormone-like chemicals?
Well, according to research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives it’s a frustrating… not to mention frightening… fact.
Endocrine disruptors found in every forkful
Researchers conducted tests on 500 commercially available plastic products—even products labeled BPA-free—and found that virtually every single one was leaching estrogen-mimicking chemicals. Your body perceives these synthetic chemicals to be natural hormones and that can wreak havoc with your health. Even more frightening, they could be downright detrimental to babies and children who are still in critical stages of their development.
The problem is that a product isn’t necessarily harmless just because it’s BPA-free, not by a long shot. In fact, there are literally thousands of other chemicals lurking in plastic products that are every bit as dangerous as BPA.
While avoiding all these chemicals is virtually impossible, there are some things you can do to reduce your exposure.
- Never heat up food in plastic containers.
- Don’t put hot foods into plastic containers, allow them to cool first.
- Store your plastic containers away from direct sunlight.
Better yet, toss ALL of your plastic food containers and replace them with glass or ceramic. And while you are at it, replace your plastic water bottle with a stainless-steel version.
And perhaps most important of all, make a commitment to choose more fresh foods that have never been packaged in plastic and refuse to buy from food manufacturers that put products into any type of plastic that has not been tested for estrogenic activity.
“Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved,” Environ Health Perspect 119:989-996
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