A new book called Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too talks about the dangers of plastic, as well as the benefits of avoiding it. The author, Beth Terry, decided to give up plastic after seeing a photo of a dead albatross whose rib cage was full of ingested trash.
Among the topics she covers, one in particular seems pretty scary: the number of plastics in the food we eat. Here are just a few:
1. Chewing gum. Originally made from a tree sap called chicle, a natural rubber, after World War II, chemists discovered how to make synthetic rubber. This eventually replaced most natural rubber in chewing gum. Even Glee gum, which claims to use natural chicle is mixed with plastic.
2. Pills. The plastic coatings on over the counter and prescription drugs are there to make sure the drug doesn’t dissolve before it should. Though some say it isn’t dangerous, others think exposure to this plastic, called phthalates, could be hazardous to your health, on the same level as Bisphenol A (BPA).
3. Campbell’s Soup. In March, the company announced it’s plan to phase out BPA from their soups, something many families were not aware was in the soup to begin with.
4. Yogurt. How did plastic get into yogurt, you ask? Plastic is not in the yogurt recipe. However, when the hot milk for the yogurt is poured into the plastic container, the bacteria is then added and the container is sealed up. When plastic is subjected to high heat, like this, it leaches into the ingredients.
5. Your nuked lunch. It’s been said before, but microwaving your meal wrapped in plastic or in a plastic container is not healthy. Just like with yogurt, plastic, when heated can leak into your food.
6. Baby formula. Many U.S companies use a BPA-based lining on the metal parts of formula containers. These chemicals end up leaking into the liquid.
India Kushner is a HyperVocal staff writer.
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