There is nothing quite like the Internet when it comes to vast and indigestible quantities of useless information. However, I've learned some pretty important things about what we put in our mouths, feed our kids even, and never think twice about what's in it! Tobacco has NOTHING on the things in this list!
First and probably the nastiest- BPA "Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely produced chemical used primarily for the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins." -http://www.medicinenet.com/plastic/page4.htm#bisphenol. BPA is what makes our plastic containers clear and nice to look at. Most plastics with the number 7 on the bottom with the recycle symbol has it. BPA leaches into our food and when ingested in high enough quantities, it begins to behave as a synthetic estrogen... eeew. They used to make those clever and "environmentally friendly" nalgene bottles with it. Prolonged consumption of BPA can cause hormonal imbalances, early onset of puberty in children, obesity, and may be linked to some types of (estrogen fed) cancers. The sneakiest product containing unsafe levels of this chemical is CANNED TOMATOES. They use a BPA laden resin to coat the tin in order to prevent the acid in the tomatoes from eating through the can. Instead, the acid eats away at the resin and releases the chemicals into the fruits. There is enough BPA in one can of tomatoes to impact your health. Imagine you are cooking with canned tomatoes once a week? Feeding it to your kids?
The solution is fairly simple. Ask your favorite grocery chain to start carrying "canned" tomatoes in glass. Here is a list of what I can find on the net.
- Nativa organic pasta sauce bottled in glass jars at Shoppers drug mart.
- Heinz ketchup still comes in glass bottles
- Bottled tomatoes $1.99 at Sobeys.
Yet another horror of the commercial farming industry would be POTATOES! No, really! Potatoes!
Potato farmers won't even eat the potatoes they sell, instead, they grow a separate plot for themselves. Being a root vegetable, they absorb whatever is in the soil and hang onto it so we can eat it. Commercial potatoes are drenched with fungicides to prevent rot, then before harvest, sprayed with herbicide to kill off the vines, and treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. It's easy to find organic potatoes, and they aren't that much more expensive. For your health, it's definitely worth it. source http://lifestyle.ca.msn.com/health-fitness/diet/rodale-gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=22463436&page=4
Next up is fish. We are supposed to eat more fish for the omega fatty acids, which are important for heart health and brain function- but what the hell kind of fish are we supposed to eat? In one breath they're telling us to eat more of it, and in another, they're on and on about mercury and PCB's and a myriad of other contaminants. Fish is good for you, but you have to be savvy of the source. Read the package, for example; "Atlantic Salmon" is almost certainly farmed. Instead, look for "fresh caught wild Atlantic salmon" . Ask the guy behind the fish counter to help you choose. I live in an area that is densely populated with people from the East coast, and almost all of them are descended in some way from fishermen. They know their fish, and not one of them would be caught dead eating farmed fish. If you can't be bothered with all the choosing and checking, just buy canned fish. It's almost always fresh caught, as it's not economical (yet) to farm for mass production. So long as you're not worried about eating cute baby dolphins with your tuna :)
Now, the last thing I'm putting on the list is (and I really don't want to do it) is MILK.
I drink milk. My family drinks milk. We are NOT ever going to stop drinking milk... but...
"Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. "When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract," says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies." (source http://lifestyle.ca.msn.com/health-fitness/diet/rodale-gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=22463436&page=6)... ARRRGH! PUS IN THE MILK! PUS IN THE MILK! Never mind the bloody cancer! PUS. IN. THE. MILK. Sooooo, maybe it's time to start reading the labels on the milk jug. You may even want to turn the jug over and make sure it doesn't have BPA in it.
Oh, I hate to rain on our food parade, but I have to say, it concerns me. I try hard to get the right amount of servings of the right amount of stuff into my family, and to discover that I'm also serving them fungicide, artificial hormones and UDDER PUS... well it's enough to drive a woman to farming.