Chemicals are all around us. Although this is a fact well-known since time immemorial, one fact that is often forgotten or never really taken into great consideration by numerous consumers is that chemicals are also present in our food. In fact, arsenic alone is present in our rice whether we like it or not because arsenic is naturally found in underground water. But, arsenic isn’t the main point here. The main point is to show you the different chemicals present in our food, how they affect us, and what we can do to avoid exposure to chemicals that mess with our body.
Here is the list of the top chemicals found in food and food containers that affect our health:
BPA – Bisphenol A is an important component in almost every plastic material because it is transparent and durable. It is a common substance in most consumer goods including baby feeding and water bottles, sports equipment, and in favorite canned goods. While food manufacturers don’t produce foods with BPA, the food containers are the ones that leach this chemical to its contents. For instance, BPA in a baby feeding bottle can blend to its contents, which can then enter the baby’s internal organs. Although authorities note that unless you are exposed to BPA content at large amounts, you are not susceptible to its adverse effects to the body. However, experts have noted that animals used to experiment to check the adverse effects of BPA in their body have shown that daily and very minimal exposure to it caused them to have reproductive and metabolic issues in the long run. For people, the chemical can cause diabetes and obesity.
Food additives – Food and drinks manufacturers have been incorporating additives into their products to make them look more appealing and tastier than whole foods, but surprisingly toxic. First up, sodium chloride, which is often seen in most junk foods including your favorite French fries, chips and nuts, is a staple in one’s kitchen to flavor and preserve food. Sadly, it can also cause high blood pressure and kidney issues. It is also used in chemical warfare. Brominated vegetable oil or BVO is another staple in almost all bottled drinks and beverages because it adds color to these products. However, BVO causes kidney and liver malfunction in the long run. Azodicarbonamide is a chemical element that’s present in your favorite ready to eat processed foods including breads and pastas. It can cause lung irritation and similar woes like asthma. It is also dubbed as a possible carcinogen. Let me give you one trivia: a regular sized burger bun contains at least 20 chemicals, excluding the chemicals present in patties. That is something that we should think about before making a trip to burger stations next time.
Definitely, almost all of the foods around us are toxic. Did you know that even whole foods, particularly those that are sold in markets may also be contaminated with phthalates? Phthalates aren’t primarily or normally found in foods since it’s not a chemical preservative, but it is the main compound used to create almost all of the equipment and machines used in food processing.
How to have chemical-free life or reduce our exposure to these chemicals?
- 1. Eat fresh and whole foods. While there is an advice that even whole foods sold in grocery stores may be contaminated, they’re still a lot healthier compared to fast foods and processed foods. Needless to say, avoid canned goods.
- 2. Buy locally. If you have local food fair, food bazaars, or food stalls, which are selling locally harvested goods, be a patron to these sellers. There’s a big chance you’ll buy fresh foods at pocket-friendly prices at these spots.
- 3. Avoid fast foods and junk foods. In order to do this, plan your meals ahead of time, and cook from scratch. There are tons of quick and healthy meal options that you can choose from. Cooking on your own ensures that there’s no food preservatives added to the menu.
- 4. Use glass containers instead of plastic containers. Should you need to use plastic food containers, always choose the ones that are BPA-free.
- 5. Avoid eating big fishes like tuna, shark, and the likes. They’re on the top of the food chain, which means that they contain big amount of mercury in their flesh.
- 6. Make your own homemade cleaning products. Most household cleaning products have tons of chemicals these days, which can stick to numerous parts of the house and get in the body thru the air.
- 7. Avoid kitchen utensils that have stain and water resistant coatings. They’ll likely to have phthalates and PVC in it.
- 8. Avoid heating or freezing plastic containers. Such methods are shown to leach BPA to its contents.
- 9. Reduce your intake of flavored and brightly colored drinks. Instead, gulp lots of water or create your own beverage from scratch.
- 10. Read food labels carefully. Knowledge is the ultimate weapon to have clean foods all the time.