We are always warned about the various health risks associated with processed food that purchase from grocery stores, fast food chains, andrestaurants. But is it just the food that we eat harmful?Ever wondered what those transparent, plastic packages could be doing to your food and, consequently, to your health?
It’s hard to resist a quick sandwich on the way to the office, adequately wrapped in a clear plastic coating, but here’s what you ought to know about the food packaging you have relied on for so long.
According to a study published in July 2014, 175 harmful chemicals were found being used for food packaging that posed serious health issues to those consuming packaged foods. As much as 50 percent of the food packaging material was not backed with toxicology information filed with the FDA. Food packaging requires disclosing all chemicals that have been used to produce it, which is to be made publicly available to people consuming these foods. It’s the right ofpeople to know what exactly they could be consuming.
Concerns Regarding Plastic
The plastic that is used to package food is made up of small molecules that can transfer from the wrapping to the food within. The following plastic categories are worth serious concern:
This type of plastic is used to make food storage containers and bottles. It is also widely used to linecans that store different beverages. Polycarbonate plastic material can be a source of bisphenol A or BPA that can cause serious health problems if consumed by the human body. Your exposure to these chemicals can lead to problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
The second category is PVC which is commonly used to make bottles, clingwraps, and jar seals. PVC is mixed with plasticizers to produce food packaging material. In addition to this, other chemicals such as phthalates are also added to PVC and used to make food packaging. DEHP is a type of phthalate that can cause obesity and diabetes in young men and can also impact reproductive development in boys.
Epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO) is also used as a plasticizer to produce food storage containers and packaging material. These are the most frequently used additives to PVC. When producing lid seals, PVC releases hydrogen chloride turn reacts with ESBO to form chlorohydrins. The resulting toxic compound can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, andseizures if it comes in contact with the human body.
Food packaging can expose the human body to fluorinated chemicals such as PFOA, also known as C8. It can lead to health problems like kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid disease if the toxin comes into contact with your body through the packaged food.
All these chemical compounds found in the packaging material can cause long-term damage to your health. Althoughmany people argue that the minute quantities of all these compounds mean no harm to the human body in general, a lifetime exposure to this packaging will have effects that the human mind has yet to explore.
A lot of these compounds pose serious health issues to the reproductive system, impacting the development of the uterus in the womb. These are risks that one cannot stand to take. With around 400 chemical compounds that are being used to produce food storage and packaging material, we are not only destroying existing lifeform on the planet, but its far-reachingeffects can also cause deformations to life in the womb. Is this something we can turn a blind eye to?