A couple of days ago, I saw a link to a Mother Jones article regarding plastics which leach estrogen mimicking chemicals into any food contained within them. Not just the ones with BPA, but a vast array of plastics. And how the plastics companies had hired the same legal firms used by Big Tobacco in the past.
The following day, a follow-up article showed the handy chart below. The percentages shown below indicate how many of the samples tested showed estrogen activity (EA).
So, during the day yesterday, I’m thinking about all the food-holding plastic in my kitchen. Not just the Rubbermaid containers that have leftovers (that I sometimes heat in the microwave at work, which evidently makes the leaching worse), but the long-term storage of coffee, sugar, flour, rice, etc., in those nice, clear plastic canisters that keep me from having to remember (or just guessing) what any given container might be holding. And those handy clear plastic pint freezer jars I just put 20+ pints of (hot!) broth in before stocking the freezer with what I considered to be a much healthier alternative to the canned broth with all the added salt and other preservatives. And I’m thinking how I may be using all those glass Mason jars (thank you, Classico) I’ve got stashed around the house and garage as alternate food storage until I figure out something better.
I shared this info on Facebook with my kids and extended family members who have young children, and also printed the two articles out for a young mother co-worker. She asked for the URL to send her husband so he wouldn’t think she’d lost her mind when she started throwing out all the plastic in the kitchen.
Last night, I started looking on Amazon for glass or stainless canisters. And as I cooked dinner, I eyed the plastic spoons and ladles in the tool crock. When I put dinner away, I used a lidded glass bowl I normally only use to microwave food. It’s round, and the lid doesn’t fit tightly, and it takes up more room in the fridge than the handy square, stackable Rubbermaid ones that now I’m wondering if Hubby should even be using for his salad lunches anymore. Last night, I tossed and turned as I wondered if I’d be able to find a wooden ladle, then thought about how that wouldn’t look good with a punchbowl, but I wouldn’t want to use the plastic ladle anymore, but glass ladles are just so fragile, and on and on and on.
THEN I started thinking about all of our food items that are packaged in plastic containers – Mom’s yogurt and cottage cheese, all the cheese, really, spices, herb rubs, Mom’s cookies, the heat-it-in-its-own-plastic-bowl side dishes that are so handy. Hubby mentioned that most food cans are lined with similar material. And the frozen vegetables are packaged in plastic bags – maybe not so troublesome since the food is not hot when it’s put in them, but what about the new “steam-in” bags?
And while this feels a bit histrionic, I can’t help but think about the Ancient Romans and all the handy uses they had for lead. It looks like my spring cleaning will begin a little early this year, kicking off with The Great Plastic Purge of 2014. I’ll let you know how it goes.