A phrase that ought to be banned, where food chemicals are concerned…”generally regarded as safe”. The FDA regards something as safe, it seems, as long as food companies are putting it in food and eaters aren’t dying in droves or giving birth to deformed children. Anything short of that outcome will allow a company to add or adulterate any food with any chemical.
Remember earlier this year when the FDA came out in favor of discontinuing the use of an untested amphetamine found in a weight loss supplement? Once it was banned in Canada and some volunteer scientists proved to them that it was, indeed a hazard to human health, they applauded the voluntary withdrawal of these weight loss supplements from the market, falling short of an outright ban.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if this statement by the FDA does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling wherever I may find it, “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.” That is the blessing given to the plastic chemical BPA. They had the good sense to recommend not using BPA in baby bottles and baby formula can linings. You see, BPA is a chemical compound that looks to the human body just like the human hormone estrogen. It activates the same processes. Estrogen is linked to human health problems like reproductive disorders and breast cancer. Hormones work at fantastically low dosages. The FDA knows this, but…BPA in food currently is “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.”
Today, I read in my Mother Jones magazine online:
BPA Messes With Your Hormones—and It’s in These Canned Foods
Want the list? It’s most of them.
Here is the only statistic that matters:
A 2011 Harvard study found that those who ate canned soup every day for five days had levels of BPA in their urine that were ten times those who had fresh soup.
See that date? I guess this Harvard study did not get much press. This is the first I have ever heard of it. Anyway, the presence of a hormone-like chemical in your urine means there is plenty in your bloodstream to have it’s effects.
Maybe you have heard of some of the food labels that use BPA in 100% of their can linings.
The companies that use BPA in all their canned products, listed below, include familiar brands like Progresso, Hormel, Green Giant, Ocean Spray, Wolfgang Puck Organic Soups, and Manischewitz.
There ought to be a law! Oops, there is a law, but the FDA chooses to not actually look at these things because good science costs money, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Expecting your US government to come to your rescue shows your dependency on handouts. Sorry for the snark, there, but in this case you just have to know that anything found in a can in the US is unhealthy and not just because of BPA. It is unhealthy because it also contains additives that haven’t been adequately tested. It contains foods that are grown and packed at the absolute cheapest rates to be found. No corner is left uncut in delivering to you the least expensive ingredient and processing. Our fascination with avoiding anything living at our dinner table is killing us.
So, what do you do? You make your own. If you want healthy ingredients pick them up at the market, they will look like living things. Nothing worth eating comes in a can or bag or box. Even the shredded cheese you find at the dairy counter has starch added so that it won’t stick together like real cheese would. Your convenience is that important to shredded cheese makers.
Eat real food that you make yourself. You can, alternatively, trust that the food you eat out of cans, bags and boxes will not kill you this week. Everyone doesn’t get breast cancer, either. Lots of kids can eat BPA and not have any immediate outward signs of trouble. Your kids might be in that number. If saving money now seems like a more sure thing than the gamble of loss of quality of life down the road, then roll those dice!
I also dislike the “generally regarded as safe” label. Looking at that list there’s only one company whose products I buy — Thai Kitchen, mostly the coconut milk — oh, and sometimes A Taste of Thai — but I do pick up others on this list when it comes to finding items for food drives. Wonder it it is possible to find alternatives for those food drives…