A few months ago, I bought a pressure cooker. I didn’t think it was a big deal, and I hadn’t planned on blogging about it. I just thought that I would eat legumes more often if cooking them took minutes instead of hours. (I don’t eat canned beans because all food cans are lined with plastic, which can leach either BPA or some other mystery alternative that could be even worse. )
Anyway, I’ve been pressure cooking up a storm every weekend… making big pots of beans to eat during the week or to store in the freezer for later. And I’ve also used the pressure cooker for other things like potatoes and even kale.
I assumed I was the last one to the party… that everyone else in the world already knew that pressure cookers are magic. That was until I received an email from a reader named Deborah, who seemed to have read my mind!… Read the rest
With all of the concern about Bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogen-mimicking chemical used in some plastics, most metal food can linings, and most thermal paper receipts, manufacturers are looking for alternative materials to use so they can tout their products as BPA-free. But are the substitutes actually safer than BPA itself? The truth is, we don’t know. As I’ve written before, studies have been done suggesting that some BPA-free products produce the same or greater hormone-disrupting effects as BPA. There are two problems here: 1) The alternatives haven’t been sufficiently tested for safety before being swapped into products, and 2) Some manufacturers won’t even disclose what alternatives they are using.
Study Finds Increased Exposure to BPS as BPA is phased out
One chemical being used to replace BPA in thermal paper receipts is Bisphenol S (BPS). In May 2012, the journal Environmental Science and Technology… Read the rest
Which plastics are safe? I get that question all the time. The Internet is full of charts listing the numbers of the various types of plastic and explaining which ones are safe and which ones are not. Supposedly, #2 (high density polyethylene), #4 (low density polyethylene), and #5 (polypropylene) are safe, right? Does that mean the lid on my travel mug is safe? It’s #5 polypropylene.
So is the sport cap on Michael’s Klean Kanteen water bottle.
We’re supposed to avoid plastics #3 (PVC), #6 (polystyrene), and #7 (polycarbonate). Polycarbonate is the plastic that is made from the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA). And BPA has a bad rap because it’s a hormone-disruptor. Walk down the aisles of any drug store these days, and you’ll find rows of plastic products labelled BPA-Free. BPA-Free water bottles…
In fact, entire shelves of baby products are labelled BPA-free. … Read the rest
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is not just a worrisome chemical in hard plastic water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups. Almost all canned foods are full of the stuff. And our biggest source of exposure could be the thermal paper cash register receipts we handle every time we shop, especially during the holiday season. The fact is that BPA is in a lot of surprising products we touch every day and at higher levels than we previously thought. Will our government protect us from this chemical? Or must we as consumers take matters into our own hands?
Keeping BPA out of children’s bottles, toys, cups, & dishes
Senator Diane Feinstein hoped to give a nice present to U.S. kids this year. She planned to introduce an amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act that would have banned the use of BPA (a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer and birth defects) in baby bottles and sippy cups, and she worked for months on a compromise measure that members… Read the rest
Want to avoid zip lock bags in the freezer this winter? One way is to dry summer produce, as Jean Nicks suggested a couple of weeks ago, instead of freezing it. Another method is to can produce in glass jars. In this post, Fake Plastic Fish reader Brekke Bounds explains what she’s learned about plastic in canning jar lids and shares her spiced applesauce recipe, complete with pictures.
Living in Chicago, I am very lucky to be surrounded by great local food options. There is a farmers market just 10 minutes from my house as well as a co-op committed to local and organic foods. But, living in the Midwest means that there are several months out of the year there is very little in the way of fresh produce available locally. Because of this I’ve always been interested in preserving food. My grandmother did a lot of canning. I specifically remember her canned peaches and her canned green beans. Both delicious. So, I decided that this was… Read the rest
Last week, I posted a little video tour of my kitchen in which I made some remarks about BPA in canned foods. I’ve been receiving all kinds of comments and questions about this issue, so I thought I’d address it directly.
Bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA, is a component of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It’s been the subject of much recent concern as studies have shown it to be an endocrine disruptor that builds up in our bodies over time. Low doses may cause chronic toxicity in humans, posing the highest risk to pregant women, infants, and young children.
Bisphenol-A only poses a risk if it leaches out of the resin and into our bodies. While much focus has been on polycarbonate water and baby bottles, there is a greater danger from the epoxy linings of canned foods because of the high heats at which they are processed.
BPA in Cans
NEARLY ALL CANNED FOODS CONTAIN BPA. This fact came as a surprise to some Fake Plastic Fish readers.… Read the rest
Here are some snippets from the market research video I referred to in yesterday’s post. A quick, rough, and unscripted tour through some of the green aspects of our kitchen. Future videos, should we choose to make them, will be much more polished. But this one is fun, if only for the appearance of a couple of curious cats halfway through.
You might need to turn your sound volume up to hear it.
… Read the rest
I received the following gem in my home mailbox last week:
The American Chemistry Council is bringing out the big guns and trying to frighten Californians into opposing the state’s proposed ban on Bisphenol-A (an additive in polycarbonate plastic and in the plastic lining of most food cans) in containers and canned foods meant for babies and toddlers.
The industry’s scare tactics include the following language, “Soon, many common, everyday products could disappear from grocery store shelves across California,” and “Your favorite Products May Soon Disappear.” The brochure urges recipients to call their Assembly Member and ask them to vote no on SB1713.
The brochure shows photos of women shoppers looking at various products they’ve picked up from the shelves. Only one of these products is a can. The other two appear to be boxes, which wouldn’t contain BPA in the first place. AND none of … Read the rest
Check your plastic water cooler bottle. If you see a 7 inside the chasing arrows recycling symbol, your cooler could be leaching chemicals that disrupt hormones and possibly cause cancer. (This is the kind of cooler we have where I work. I think I’m going to start drinking tap water.) Read the following article published 3 days ago:
Scientists issue warning about chemical in plastic
By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
6:49 PM PDT, August 2, 2007
In an unusual effort targeting a single chemical, several dozen scientists on Thursday issued a strongly worded consensus statement warning that an estrogen-like compound in plastic is likely to be causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people.
The compound, bisphenol A or BPA, is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world and has found its way into the bodies of most human beings.
Used to make hard plastic, BPA can seep from beverage containers and other materials. It is used in all… Read the rest