Recently, USA Today published an article citing research about BPA, (bisphenol-A) that claims “adults and children can reduce their exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals, including bisphenol-A (BPA), by eating more fruits and vegetables and less food from plastic containers and metal cans.”
According to the article, “a team of nine scientists…studied five families in San Francisco, each with two children and two adults, in January 2010. They tested the participants’ urine before, during and after a three-day diet that consisted of organic, fruits, vegetables, grains and meat and banned plastic utensils as well as storage and heating containers. Their research appears [today] in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.”
The study found that BPA levels went back up once families returned to their regular diets. Its authors recommend these five tips to reduce exposure to BPA and other hormone-disrupting chemicals:
- Fresh is best. BPA and phthalates can migrate from the linings of cans and plastic packaging into food and drinks. While it’s not practical to avoid food packaging altogether, opt for fresh or frozen instead of canned food as much as possible.
- Eat in. Studies have shown that people who eat more meals prepared outside the home have higher levels of BPA. To reduce your exposure, consider cooking more meals at home with fresh ingredients. When you do eat out, choose restaurants that use fresh ingredients.
- Store it safe. Food and drinks stored in plastic can collect chemicals from the containers, especially if the foods are fatty or acidic. Next time, try storing your leftovers in glass or stainless steel instead of plastic.
- Don’t microwave in plastic. Warmer temperatures increase the rate of chemicals leaching into food and drinks. So use heat-resistant glass or ceramic containers when you microwave, or heat your food on the stove. The label “microwave safe” means safety for the container, not your health.
- Brew the old-fashioned way. Automatic coffee makers may have BPA and phthalates in their plastic containers and tubing. When you brew your coffee, consider using a French press to get your buzz without the BPA.
The last tip was news to me! Bill and I enjoy our pressed coffee on the weekends, but I think it’s time to spoil ourselves everyday to reduce BPA consumption.