Friday, February 15, 2008

Does this make sense to you?

Here is a scary article about BPA (Bisphenol-A) in food. The scary part is how pervasive it seems to be and how little action / awareness there is about it.

Note how the Japanese handled the information.

What doesn't make sense to me is why we continue to put up with increasing pollutants in the environment. Why aren't we rallying in the streets against dangerous chemicals in our food, air, water and household goods? It seems that if there is money to be made, change can't happen unless there is absolute proof. Why not change based on the best evidence so far? Surely it is better to be safe than sorry. If it proves we were mistaken, profits can be made later.

Here are some of the ways I have modified my behavior in the last few years. I know it isn't enough:
  • I threw out my polycarbonate food processor. A knife and a bamboo cutting board works just fine.
  • I buy organic food whenever possible
  • I have decided not to replace the carpet in our house because I can't find a good fire-retardant free alternative.
  • We tossed all our Teflon pans (except one large one for which we haven't found a replacement). We mainly use cast iron skillets now.
  • I watch what kind of fish I eat and avoid the ones high in Mercury.
  • I try to use wax paper and aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap. This is hard - plastic wrap and sandwich bags are hard for me to give up.
  • We use glass storage containers instead of plastic. We still have our old plastic ones, but when I need to use them, I don't reheat in them.
  • I buy clothes made from plant products because they are not normally treated with fire retardant. Yes, I know cotton production uses lots of pesticides. I can't afford organic cotton clothes at this time. I understand hemp is better, but harder to find.
I would love to hear what you do. Are there some easy things that I am missing? Does this even concern you? Are you overwhelmed as I am when you think about trying to change this mindset?

6 comments:

MrsSpock said...

I am as concerned as you are. We are trying to phase out the plastic. A blog I love is www.fakeplasticfish.com. The blogger is taking extreme measures to phase out all plastics and has some really useful ideas.

One of the reasons I'm cloth diapering is because of plastic and gels in them possibly being linked to male infertility. I will have to pump milk a bit when I go back to work and plan on using glass bottles with silicone nipples. The Medela and Born free bottles are phthalate and BPA free.

I've used Gladrags and a silicone Diva Cup for years (www.gladrags.com). We are trying one by one to replace our Teflon with La Creuset cast iron. I bring my own bags to the grocery store. My lunch pail is stainless steel and I bring my own bamboo tableware to lunch from www.to-goware.com. I bought most of my maternity clothes used, as well as the baby's clothes. We can't afford all new organic stuff either.

SULLY said...

To be honest, and hopefully not flamed...I tend to shy away from alarmist articles such as these. Each year science comes to the media with a new claim about X product which produces Y byproduct and then spends the next few weeks petrifying the American public before changing its course of action.

Case in point a few years ago SOY was linked to infertility in males. Yet not any more. A few weeks ago it was that chemicals found in baby lotions was found in their urine. Well sure it was...a baby urinates into a diaper which lays against the babies skin which is where the lotion was applied.

So while I am all for safer products being produced, I can't spend every moment making sure that I am not going to ingest something that places a trace element of what ever in my system because I know that next week I will just have to worry about something else.

meg said...

I am worried too. I have changed lots of things too. Mostly trying to get rid of all plastic.

I use the canvas bags to shop, and glass containers to store food. And I've used Le Creuset for years, so we didn't have to replace any pans and I love the bamboo cutting boards too! I don't have any carpet, just wood floors, am careful about fish, buy as much organic food as possible etc...

I haven't done much with the clothing thing, but I will check that out.

m said...

We've been on the path to use only organic foods and cleaners but damn is it hard not to rely on plastics in the kitchen! I really appreciate your post, Kami, and some great thoughts and links in the comments. I am definitely going to check out fakeplasticfish.com.

I try not to be too alarmist, but there are things that get my attention, like this: www.isitinus.org. Ick.

lady in waiting said...

I agree with this concern - I bought the Born Free bottles because they are BPA free. And I will only buy BPA free silicone pacifers. I am totally with you about how scary all the chemical-y, hormone issues with plastics. We also use only glass storage dishes for this reason. Anyway, thanks for the informative post!

Freyja said...

Yes. This stuff scares me. I work in the environmental field and the scariness gets worse year by year. There are so many terrible things happening we don't understand, but are likely caused by us in some way - just look at the bees and the bats. The more you know, the scarier it is.