Fresh veggies. Image credit:Flickr, brendahallowes' photostream
The Natural Resources Defense Council has some good news - a fast way to drastically cut the Bisphenol-A (BPA) content of your body is to eat fresh, eat at home. No cans needed, thanks very much. "...researchers delivered to the families freshly prepared meals made from organic grains, vegetables and meats for three days. All foods were stored in glass or stainless-steel containers and the families were instructed not to microwave in plastic. The participants were given stainless-steel water bottles and the children took their lunch to school in stainless-steel containers."
Then look what happened...Cited from the NRDC release:
At the end of the week, the participants' urine was again collected and measured. The researchers found that after the intervention with fresh foods, BPA levels dropped on average by more than 60 percent and phthalate levels were cut in half. When the participants returned to their normal habits, their BPA levels went back up. Their phthalate levels did not rise as much either because the chemical takes longer than BPA to build up in the body or because the participants made changes in their eating habits and food handling.This really is terrific news. Several hazardous substances sold as commodity chemicals can bio-accumulate and stay parked in human body tissues - in original un-degraded form - long after exposure is lessened. BPA, apparently, does not - at least not to a significant degree.
What we don't know from this study is whether very small, but hormonally-active, amounts of BPA might remain present in the body even after one goes on an exclusively fresh food diet.
Is BPA excreted unaltered, or are there metabolic break-down products; and where do they go? Don't know that either. But at least there is this starting point from which to expand our understanding.
Secondary benefit matters.
As a guy in his 60's, I really I wouldn't go on a fresh food diet just for the sake of knowing it'll cut my BPA body burden. I'd do it because fresh food tastes better, will help keep me healthy, and because I like cooking with fresh foods and unprocessed foods, in general. The BPA reduction benefit is ancillary.
I'd hope most people would have the same motive for eating fresh food and for preparing their own dishes 'from scratch.' A packaging phobia is not something we should let take over our lives. And, it's not helpful to look at everything as a one-off issue.
This is one of those times where you don't have to wait for the government to intervene with packaging standards or TSCA limitations on product application.
Homage to Allen Ginsburg. Eat fresh eat fresh, eat eat fresh fresh, eat fresh...
Please look over Lloyd's post: Banning BPA Is One Thing, But What About Its Replacements?