10

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Could good foods stored in plastic packaging be a cause of continued endocrine disruption?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Korion's question http://paleohacks.com/questions/94854/in-what-context-is-plastic-not-safe#axzz1lLh5GHmN about the plastic steamer basket got me thinking, and reading more about this whole plastic issue.

The Chris Kresser article (thank you miked) about estrogenic activity of virtually all plastics was enlightening. I've been trying to make good decisions about what to store my food in after preparation, and even bought several sets of BPA free plastic tupperware from Ikea, and a stocked up on canning jars for putting soup and other liquids in. It would appear that virtually all plastic has estrogenic activity when applied to food and everyday environmental stressors, and even the BPA-free canning lids have a plastic coating that leaches readily into food. Damn! http://chriskresser.com/how-plastic-food-containers-could-be-making-you-fat-infertile-and-sick

I try not to be paranoid about this stuff, and unless we switch to a society where you put a bottle deposit on every single item, it probably isn't feasible to go plastic free, but I have PCOS and as such don't feel like I have a lot of wiggle room in the endocrine disruption department. I have been trying hard to balance my hormones through diet, but I'd hate to be shooting myself in the foot because of what my food is shipped and stored in.

It seems that every single food item out there is packaged in plastic: Everything in the pantry came in a plastic bag, a paper container lined with plastic, or a can with a plastic liner. Almost all of my supplements are in plastic bottles. In the fridge and freezer grassfed ground meat or packaged meat from the butcher are wrapped in plastic, even the butcher paper has a plastic liner. The only foods I can think of that aren't shipped plastic are the eggs that come the paper carton, olive oil, sauerkraut, kim chi, and some of the milk at my co-op (although the last 4 of those come with lids with a plastic liner). The veggies from our CSA are mostly plastic-free, but they do arrive in a big Rubbermaid container and sometimes sit out in the elements for a day before I get them inside, where they go straight into the plastic drawer in the fridge.

Bonus question: Has anyone figured out a completely plastic-free frozen meat storage method?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 10:52 PM

I've been stocking up on pyrex food storage dishes as they go on sale or when I find them at Ross (although huffing the plastic smell in that store could be undoing some of the good derived from purchasing said containers). Good points, I rarely wear cosmetics, use Dr. Bronner's for shampoo, real milled soap for body, moisturize with coconut oil, and use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, so I'm good on that front, just trying to tie up any loose ends.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:20 AM

As far as BPA goes, I always say avoid acid, fat, and heat- those are the things that will effect the BPA binding.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:00 PM

According Chris's article it would appear that BPA comprises only a small portion of the danger in regards to plastic, apparently 90% of plastics tested leaked chemicals that caused estrogenic activity prior to exposure to food or sunlight, but 100% of plastics leached chemicals that cause estrogenic activity once those activities took place.

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3 Answers

3
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 04, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Worry about what you can control, let everything else slide. I'm on a similar mission to improve my testosterone, and general health. I don't think you are overreacting. We've seen girls getting their puberty ever earlier for decades; although some/much of it can be attributed to better diet, I'm sure there are other environmental factors, not all of them positive.

I've replaced my plastic sports bottles with Klean Kanteens (there's also Watergeeks, but I like KK design much better), my plastic snack and lunch containers with stainless steel LunchBots, my Rubbermaid leftover containers with glass containers, and my plastic steamer basket with a metal one. Final steps are to buy an Xtrema ceramic-lined frying pan to get rid of my teflon-lined non-stick pan, to get a silicone ice cube tray, and a glass or metal juicer.

I got rid of canned tomatoes, easily replaced by fresh ones, which are not necessarily wrapped in plastic. I also stopped using coconut milk (BPA-lined cans), you can make your own, or just mix water with coconut flakes or flour for cooking. The meat from my butchers stays in the plastic-lined paper for 15 minutes tops, so it's of no concern. Same with veggies - I could tell them not to bag in plastic but it doesn't matter for such short exposure. I still store nuts in Rubbermaid as I can't imagine dry nuts reacting with the plastic; but I will eventually replace them with glass as well.

So I'm left with the occasional prepared meats, fish and crustaceans I buy from the supermarket, and tuna, which are all packaged in plastic or in a BPA-lined can.

Bonus question: can't you just throw the meat in glass containers to the fridge, making sure there's extra room so it doesn't break? A plastic cover should cause no issues as long as it doesn't touch the meat.

2
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on February 18, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Get pyrex containers to store your food. They are a lot safer and will help you reduce your exposure to BPAs.

Every little bit helps and can make a difference in your hormonal balance.

However, don't make the mistake of focusing too much on this and make sure you look at other sources of toxic compounds in your environment: cosmetics, cleaning products, etc.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 10:52 PM

I've been stocking up on pyrex food storage dishes as they go on sale or when I find them at Ross (although huffing the plastic smell in that store could be undoing some of the good derived from purchasing said containers). Good points, I rarely wear cosmetics, use Dr. Bronner's for shampoo, real milled soap for body, moisturize with coconut oil, and use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, so I'm good on that front, just trying to tie up any loose ends.

1
E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:55 PM

Hi,

  • BPA is especially absorbed from the plastic container, if the content is acidic, so maybe do not store sauerkraut or fruit juices etc. inside such a BPA container

  • Not everything declared as "plastic" does actually contain BPA, if you find such symbols on the case, number 2 4 and 5 are BPA free (polyethylene and polypropylene)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:00 PM

According Chris's article it would appear that BPA comprises only a small portion of the danger in regards to plastic, apparently 90% of plastics tested leaked chemicals that caused estrogenic activity prior to exposure to food or sunlight, but 100% of plastics leached chemicals that cause estrogenic activity once those activities took place.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:20 AM

As far as BPA goes, I always say avoid acid, fat, and heat- those are the things that will effect the BPA binding.

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