What is BPA? Dangers of Food & Beverage Containers
If you haven’t heard about BPA in the news lately you most certainly want to know about it because it extremely toxic to your health and has been even linked with weight gain.
BPA also known as Bisphenol A is a compound used to make plastics and is used to make shatter-proof containers most commonly water bottles, and plastic food containers and is also found in almost all of the linings in food and beverage cans to protect us from botulism (a bacteria which is very lethal).
Although I am not going to get into the boring specifics of how the largest plastic manufacturers in North America commonly use this product, the important thing to take away from this article is how to protect yourself from BPA and prevent negative health effects.
Health Effects of BPA
The scariest part about BPA is that it is a chemical that messes around with your hormones by mimicking estrogen activity. The other part that is scary is that recent research indicates that most North Americans also have too much BPA in our bodies and we are suffering adverse health effects as a consequence.
Some of these negative health effects include: obesity, breast and prostate cancer, fertility problems, heart disease, diabetes, and altered brain and behavior development.
As you can see from this list, this is no laughing matter and frankly I’m quite surprised that even at the lowest levels it has been accepted by the health and food administration in US and Canada.
The problem is that because we are repeatedly exposed to this chemical, over time it builds in our bodies and eventually wreaks havoc with our entire hormonal system which regulates our well being.
Reducing Exposure to BPA
- Start with eliminating the use of plastic food and beverage containers that include BPA. Currently, since most do use BPA I would be safe and just expect them to have it unless they specifically say they are BPA-free. I’m sure companies will use this as a marketing strategy really soon and start labeling plastics that are BPA-free, it will just be too much of a competitive advantage for them not to label.
- Use glass or stainless steel bottles that are reusable for carrying your liquids. You will be doing the environment a favor too!
- Never, ever heat plastic containers in the microwave or pour hot food onto them. Heat causes BPA to leach from the plastic into your food so be smart and use glass or ceramic containers instead.
- Try and cut back your use of foods that are contained in a can, especially fish stored in oil (canned foods with higher fat content have been found to have more BPA). As mentioned before BPA is almost always used as a lining in canned foods so hopefully we will being to see tuna stored in BPA-free cans or recyclable glass containers very soon.
Conclusion to What is BPA? Dangers of Food & Beverage Containers
Some countries such as Japan are way ahead of the curve and have banned BPA and moved on to a much safer compound so it is up to us to stop using BPA products and enforcing our consumer power. This article just re-iterates the importance of eating more fresh foods which is a key factor in keeping fat off our midsection. I know that now I will try and find an alternative to my canned tuna, and I will definitely not store or heat foods in plastic containers ever again and I will make sure that my family doesn’t either (P.S. please share this article with your friends and family too).
What are your thoughts about BPA? Are you going to change the way you store and heat food?