Please pass on the plastic

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#21–Update on BPA (Bisphenol A)research April 17, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 12:35 pm
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As mentioned in some earlier posts, BPA is an endocrine imitator, therefore creating a false estrogen effect in the body and creating an imbalance in our hormonal activity. In the 1930’s BPA was specifically created as an endocrine disruptor to help control difficult pregnancies. When that craze died down, scientists realized it was a “helpful”addition to polycarbonate (hard,colored) plastics to help make them reusable. The things I’d like to say to those scientists aren’t really acceptable to write so instead please,please, please take this matter into your own hands………

As a good friend stated, I don’t want to make anyone crazy but this is scary………..

If you are using baby bottles, 5 gallon plastic water jugs, and other hard, colored plastics (ex. nalgene bottles, outdoor dinnerware) and eat a lot of canned goods, please read this article.

BPA is turning up in the lining of many canned goods ( acting as a preservative, it them leeches into the food, especially acidic foods -tomato sauce–and high fat foods–infant formula, chicken soup).

This chemical is getting the attention of our govt and will eventually be phased out of our plastics and foods BUT in the meantime avoid at all costs.

As the article’s research so clearly states, BPA has been connected to :

  • Hyperactivity
  • low sperm count
  • early onset puberty
  • miscarriage
  • obesity
  • diabete
  • altered immune system

BPA affects children so intensely b/c of their high metabolic rates, low body weight, and their rapid growth. Children are the most vulnerable so it is important to eliminate BPA from their lives.

Oh also, worries about pre-natal exposure are real, so all of US should avoid this chemical.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Buy a carbon filter (or reverse osmosis or combo of the two ) for your drinking water. (I like whole house filters best b/c removes chemicals from bath and shower water as well, but these are expensive)
  • Use stainless steel water bottles with filtered tap water (instead of plastic water bottles, even the soft plastic water bottles are known to leech, although not BPA)
  • Baby bottles: switch to glass or Born Free makes a BPA-free plastic bottle (CVS, Whole Foods, food stores, drugstore.com)
  • Do NOT heat foods in plastic in the microwave (BPA leeches at higher temperatures)
  • Cut back on canned foods as the BPA liner leeches into the food
 

#20-Order your summer veggies now!

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 1:36 am

Its tempting to stay focused on my Burger King rampage, It seems they are going to need endless amounts of help, but I’m feeling pulled to something healthy and optimistic so I’ve got some good info going on about farm cooperatives and joining a group that will deliver fresh vegetables right to you this spring and summer. Other wise known as Community Supported Agriculture, (CSA’s), these farm cooperatives are open to anyone willing to pay for a share in the farms produce. (This includes city dwellers, and actually urbanites tend to have more choices of farms b/c more people –including many restaurants–are participating in the CSA’s). I’ve done a bunch of searches ( this will be our first time doing it too) and there are tons of farms in the NY / CT area.

This is a fantastic way to get local, fresh, organic, just-picked produce (fruits, veggies, sometimes flowers, honey, coffee, eggs, milk). For those of us already shopping green and organic, the prices tend to be pretty high and this is a great way to eat really well at an affordable price. For others who are just getting into this movement CSA’s offer a really interesting, interactive opportunity to enjoy food at its best.

I love that this reduces plastic usage monumentally–no produce bags, no shopping bags (usually delivered in reusable crates), and no food transportation costs (well, minimal to get from local farm to you).

Here are some easy ways to get started:

  • localharvest.org — website connects you to local farms who will deliver to you
  • newfarm.org–connecting consumers to farms, focus on businesses
  • eatwellguide.org— lots of exciting leads on this webpage, (including restaurants and B&B’s who use local farms and organic produce)
  • make a phone call or email connection with farm
  • sign-up for a share (1x week) (or a half or quarter share–less deliveries)
  • establish pick – up site (usually within a short drive from where you live)
  • Bon Appetit! (these groups usually tend to share recipes, insights and storing tips for all your fruits and veggies)

If having a back yard garden isn’t possible give this a try. i think we’ll love it.

Maybe I can get Burger King to sign up!

 

#19- Enlightening Note to Burger King April 10, 2008

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 12:30 pm
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Here’s the letter I wrote to Burger King. (seep post #18 for explanation). I hope they respond.

Burger King Corporation

Dept of Consumer Relations

5505 Blue Lagoon Drive

Miami, FL 33106 April 10, 2008

Consumer Relations Department,

I am deeply concerned about the toys that Burger King is giving out with their kids’ meals. These plastic toys—wrapped in plastic—pose serious threats to our children and our environment. Plastic is detrimental in so many ways, especially the following:

  • 120 billions pounds of plastic produced each year! Only 3-5% is even attempted to be recycled.
  • In fact, plastic is so toxic to recycle that very few recyclers even attempt the process (carcinogenic chemicals are released into the air when plastic is heated)
  • There is a swirling vortex of plastic in the northern Pacific ocean—the size of Texas– consisting of plastic toys, wrappers, body care products, bottle caps, cigarette lighters, motor oil jugs, etc………this garbage never quite made it to a landfill. This large swath of garbage is held in place by the combination of water and air currents and has no place to “disappear” to.
  • Plastic is a relatively new substance, only around for the last 145 years. From what scientists are seeing now, plastic never completely decomposes, but just breaks down into “nurdles.” (tiny pieces of plastic that swirl throughout our oceans and our air, people and animals inhaling this every breath we take)
  • Plastic chemicals interfere with gene activity. If any random human blood sample is taken to a lab for testing, 100 industrial chemicals will show up. (which didn’t show up 50 years ago.)
  • Most plastics contain a substance called BPA—Bisphenol A—a known endocrine disruptor. Scientists are connecting this chemical, found in human blood supply, to fertility problems, cancer, obesity, and learning disabilities.

We have an enormous plastic problem in our world. Burger King has such an opportunity to make a difference by simply changing the millions of toys you give out each year. There must be alternatives that Burger King could use as their give away toy, an alternative that does not endanger our children’s health or pollute our fragile ecosystem. (i.e. trading cards, stickers, tattoos, pencils?)

I would appreciate a response to this letter. I am posting these happenings on the blog site dreamingreen.wordpress.com and the production company Atlas Films will be taking note of this exchange and is hoping to film the positive outcome. I can be reached at michellewalrath@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your time.

Michelle Walrath

Executive Director Atlas Films

 

#18–Burger King Toys April 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 2:50 pm
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I’m not sure if its possible to write my way out of a panic attack but I’m going to try. Throughout this blog, I think I’ve tried to stay really level headed. People respond better to reason and science and calm more than to panic. Well today I’m not feeling very level headed or reasonable or scientific or anything remotely connected to calm. I’m staring at 4, PLASTIC, junky Sponge Bob figures that I—me (the plastic freak) paid for at Burger King the other day. 4 kids meals and 4 Sponge Bob figures later I’m on the brink of a nervous breakdown. How did I let this happen? A baysitter, whining kids, a moment of indulgence and now I’m staring at 4 figures that will never, ever, in a million years decompose. I did this.

I can’t tell if I’m more annoyed at myself or Burger King. Who are they to pollute our world and our homes with pieces of plastic that our ruining our children’s future. Maybe it’s the media’s fault? That must be why our 3 year old even knows about Burger King in the first place. Who are they to poison our kids’ minds with ideas of happiness connected to the french fries that they eat? Who am I to purchase and indulge in this chain of health- destroying, world- polluting industry?

I just can’t stomach the idea that these plastic toys are going to be here forever. My inspiration for starting this blog was the “plastic stew” that exists in the Pacific Ocean……….”a swirling vortex of plastic.” A combination of plastic that never even made it into the incinerator and nurdles–tiny pieces of plastic which come from broken down plastic. ( Once again these nurdles will never go away.) This plastic will outlive us by 1000’s of years. But equally as bad, the nurdles are turning up in our food ( fish especially), in our homes, in the air we breathe. Our health is being poisoned by plastic. The stew in the ocean equals the size of Texas. Did I mention that plastic will never go away? (If you haven’t read this article you really need to).

So this is where I’m at. I can beat myself up all day over the Burger King toys (which I undoubtedly will) or I can do something. It kills me that Burger King doesn’t care. Or maybe they do and they are not sure what to do about it. So I end this post on the following note: I’ve gotta go write a letter to Burger King. I’ll let them know about the plastic stew and the myriad of chemicals connected to their plastic toys. Maybe they’ll care. Maybe they’ll give out a toy which isn’t going to kill our kids or our planet. Is that too idealistic to hope for? In the meantime, don’t shop Burger King. And check back: I’ll post my letter (and hopefully response) from them. It would be great if you could send the letter to Burger King too. (or if anyone wants to take responsibility for McDonalds!)

p.s.  panic attack slightly subsiding