March 18th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
A Swedish scientific research team has determined that health issues as minor as inflammation and as serious as cancer may be linked to cardboard packaging made from recycled newspapers.
Read More:Forget Plastic, Cardboard Boxes Leach Toxins Into Food
March 14th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
The Chinese Ministry of Health announced earlier this month that it had decided to pursue approving a ban of BPA (bisephenol A) from children’s products, particularly in infant bottles.
Read More:China to Ban BPA Even as BPA-Free Plastic Poses Risks
January 27th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Women exposed to pesticides and plasticizers are more likely to have fertility problems and lower birth-weight babies, says a new study.
Plasticizers (or phthalates) are chemical additives used to increase plasticity and softness of materials like plastic, clay, cement, and concrete. Bisphenol A – notoriously known as BPA – is found in some plasticizers.
Read More:Working With Pesticides Harms Fertility in Women
August 23rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Poblano and chipotle peppers, sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, lemongrass and lentils are just a sampling of the flavorful ingredients you’ll find this fall in Pacific Natural Foods’ new line of vegetarian soups and chowders.
The bistro-inspired collection features all-natural ingredients, including vegetables, legumes, savory herbs and zesty spices.
Six flavors will be available:
- Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder
- Rosemary Potato Chowder
- Thai Sweet Potato Soup
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup
- Roasted Garlic Mushroom Lentil Soup
“America’s hunger to explore adventurous new flavors has reached the humble soup bowl,” says Pacific VP of Sales and Marketing Tim Ramsey. “We scoured recipes and restaurant menus for flavor inspiration and created a new collection of hearty classics that reflect regional favorites, as well as global cultural trends.”
No can openers are needed for the soups, which are packaged in easy-to-open, pour-and-close, BPA-free cartons. Pacific’s “Tetra Recart” packaging helps preserve ingredients’ integrity while delivering a product that’s fresh and less processed, with no tin aftertaste. Cartons are shelf-stable for up to 24 months.
Suggested retail price is $2.69 to $3.29 for a 17.6-oz. package.
Look for the soups at your local natural and organic food store in October. Follow the company on Twitter for updated information.
Read More:New Natural Soups, Chowders to Debut
June 22nd, 2010 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Plastic bottles are bad news. Sure, the water inside might be from a “natural spring” but the bottle itself is risky business.
You can find a lot of nasty stuff in plastics used to package our foods, such as water bottles. The most notorious is BPA – short for Bisphenol A – a compound used to make plastic, which has been linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and neurological disorders in fetuses, infants, and young children.
Not to mention all this plastic is polluting our planet by clogging up landfills and floating around our ocean, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; a giant island of trash and plastic roughly the size of Texas in the North Pacific Ocean.
But one Washington, DC supermarket is doing its part to cut out plastic, banning water bottles from sale in its six regional supermarkets.
MOM’s Organic Market has launched its “Battle the Bottle” campaign, kicking plastic water bottles out of stores. And instead MOM’s will be installing water filtration machines in stores, allowing shoppers to refill their own bottles for free, but only up to one gallon. The filters will be up and running in a few weeks.
A spokesperson for MOM’s said, “Societies are truly addicted to plastic, much in the way we are addicted to oil.
MOM’s campaign is in support of DC’s anti-plastic push. The city already adds a 5-cent tax on plastic bags, which has slashed their use dramatically.
I shop with the reusable bags and when I moved I used any plastic bags I did have for box stuffing. I’m a genius!
Image credit: Ozville
Read More:Supermarket in DC Bans Water Bottles
March 31st, 2010 - Laura Klein
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it is launching a formal investigation into the impact of the chemical of Bisphenol-A on the environment and our water supply . BPA is a chemical plastic hardener that is found in the lining of canned foods, metal beverage cans, credit card receipts, water bottles and other consumer products.
The EPA states in its Action Plan Summary, “Because BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic, there are questions about its potential impact particularly on children’s health and the environment.”
In January, the FDA reversed its position on BPA, stating in a New York Times article, that it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children,” and would join other federal health agencies in studying the chemical in both animals and humans.” In the Times article, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said, “We are for the first time saying we believe there is some concern about the substance’s safety, and we’ve closed the gap between N.I.H. and F.D.A.”
Results from past studies have indicated that BPA levels in humans and the environment are safe or too low for concern. However recent studies indicate otherwise. Last year the Environmental Working Group found the chemical in 9 out of 10 umbilical cord blood samples, proving that babies are being exposed to BPA before birth. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention discovered BPA in the urine of 93 percent of Americans over the age of six.
In a press release, Steve Owens, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said, “Both EPA and FDA and many other agencies are moving forward to fully assess the environmental and health impacts to ensure that the full range of BPA’s possible impacts are examined.”
Richard Wiles, EWG’s co-founder and senior vice president for policy and communications, states in a news release, “the rap sheet of serious health problems this chemical is associated with reads like the public health version of the FBI’s Most Wanted list, breast cancer, diabetes, infertility, neurological disorders, prostate cancer, early puberty, obesity and heart disease, to name just a few. EPA’s decision to put BPA under the microscope is yet another blow to the chemical industry and a good step forward for public health.”
The EPA also announced it will be creating a formal action plan for BPA. Its first step will be to add it to a list of “chemicals of concern.”
More reading on BPA:
Read More:EPA Launches Investigation Into BPA
September 30th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Bisphenol A, or BPA, has gained a nasty reputation for running rampant in food packaging, especially plastic bottles. BPA may interfere with hormones.
So now that BPA has been widely vilified in people’s minds, the EPA plans to overhaul the way chemicals are evaluated in the United States.
The EPA proposed sweeping changes to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, referring to it as an “inadequate tool” to help protect the public.
Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson acknowledges the problem, saying, “Many are turning to the government for assurance that these chemicals have been assessed using the best available science. Current law doesn’t allow us to give those assurances.”
You don’t want to hear that from people who are supposed to protect us from companies trying to sneak hazardous chemicals by us.
EPA officials want to shift the burden to companies, forcing them to prove chemicals, like BPA, are safe, and to urge producers to develop more “green” chemistry.
Biodegrable plastic has already been invented, called “Bioplastic,” made from corn starch, pea starch, and vegetable oil.
Via Food Production Daily.
Image credit: septuagesima
Read More:BPA Part of New U.S. Review of Dangerous Chemicals
September 18th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
I’m sure a lot of you have one of those metal water bottles. They’re like canteens for hippie commandos. I have one too.
Most people buy them not because they’re trendy, but because they’re supposed to be toxin free, unlike typical plastic bottles.
Turns out, SIGG brand canteens have BPA in their inner liners. So the CEO of SIGG says he’s sorry.
It is a big screw up, but being contrite and admitting your mistake is an endearing move. CEO of SIGG Switzerland Steve Wasik said:
“I have learned much over the past two weeks. I learned that many of you purchased Sigg bottles – not just because they were free from leaching and safe – but because you believed that Siggs contained no BPA.
“I learned that, although Sigg never marketed the former liner as ‘BPA Free’ we should have done a better job of both clearly communicating about our liner as well as policing others who may have misunderstood the Sigg message.”
Truth be told, and not to let SIGG off the hook, he does make a point. If they never said their products are BPA-free and people just assumed they were. It is an example of consumer stupidity.
But these are challenges businesses face—i.e. people can be dumb-dumbs—so you have to do research and stops problem before something like this happens.
Via Food Production Daily and The Huffington Post.
Image credit: SIGG.
Read More:SIGG Sorry about BPA in Water Bottles
July 20th, 2009 - Laura Klein
In When Studies Collide; Rethinking the evidence on BPA, Newsweek’s Science Editor Sharon Begley warns us that “almost anyone with an agenda can find research to support it,” and that “not all science is created equal.”
Her piece was powerful since the pure scope of studies that come out seemingly daily – from the latest on weight loss to the impact of red wine on health – can truly make our heads spin!
Begley takes the BPA argument to task, showcasing both sides of the battle: that BPA is perfectly safe versus extremely dangerous to our health; and she reminds us that ‘whether a study is good or not depends on how it was conducted.’
But what hit me the hardest in her piece was astonishing new BPA info that we’re ingesting more BPA than even the safety agencies, like the FDA, realize:
“In addition to hard plastic and epoxy can linings, it turns out, newspaper ink and carbonless copy paper – the stuff of credit car receipts and all sorts of business and medical documents – contain high amounts of BPA. Recycled, they wind up in food containers such as pizza boxes, along with the BPA.”
Recycling? Great. Recycling BPA?…now that’s a nightmare scenario. More reason why BPA should simply be banned so that it’s lifecycle doesn’t extend to unexpected and unmonitored arenas, like a good old fashioned delivery box of pizza.
Via: Newsweek, June 29, 2009
Read More:Recycled BPA?
December 2nd, 2008 - Leslie Billera
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According to a recent study from the Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinal, so-called ‘microwave-safe’ plastic actually leaches toxic Bisphenol-A (BPA).
So if you’re a plastic-by-the-numbers person, the recommendation is to throw it all out the window and forget about plastics altogether when it comes to microwaving: the study showed that BPA was found to leach from containers with recycling #s 1, 2 and 5, the plastics numbers we’ve been told are safe bets for avoiding BPA.
So when it’s time to ‘zap,’ opt for an old-fashioned dinner plate!
Read More:Say No to Plastic – All Plastic – in the Microwave!