Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Slow Death by Rubber Duck

Heard these guys on the Diane Rhem Show on NPR today. (Here's a quick book review from the Post regarding the book as well.) The chemical folks claim BPA isn't harmful, but it sounds like the FDA is beginning to be "concerned" about it. Better safe than sorry, if it's not too hard to change, right? So I'm currently checking up on all my kitchen plastics--we've eliminated zip-lock bags for the most part, but I use 32-oz yogurt containers for freezing all my stock and extra soup. I am dismayed about the fact that there is BPA in the lining of ALL food industry cans (except the beans sold by Eden Organics)! We don't eat much canned food, but I do like getting canned tomatoes, tuna, and salmon. Sigh. I guess the bright side is that I'll be inspired to can my own tomatoes this summer--they sell tons of cheap, organic bruised tomatoes at our farmer's markets in the summer! I'm experimenting with alternatives to shampoo too; the experiment is on-going so I'll let you know how that goes after my hair goes through its "de-tox" days.
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On a more philosophical note, Michael asked me the other day why changing our own lifestyle in little ways promotes what Pope Benedict XVI calls in his World Day of Peace Message "an authentic human ecology" that would "forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life at every stage" as well as promote a "respect for nature." I was reminded of his question when I heard the authors of the above-mentioned book discuss their investigation of the city of Parkersburg, WV, home to the Dupont Chemical plant that produces (yuck) Teflon. We stopped using Teflon a while back, and have (obviously) not knowingly purchased any cookware that is coated with the stuff since then. As I heard on the radio, there have been concerns that one of the most dangerous of the Teflon chemicals, known as C8 or PFOA (perfluorooctanic acid), has contaminated the air and drinking water near DuPont's plant, with all sorts of ramifications for the health of the citizens there--cancers, strange illnesses, etc. It hit me then again-- this isn't just about me, although I was thinking that it really was. There is a face, a person, suffering the consequences of the production of that Teflon cookware that I am consciously choosing not to purchase. I could be wrong, but I think I heard on the radio that they were moving to completely eliminate the production of Teflon...? Lots of individuals refusing to purchase such products has got to have something to do with that, at least, I hope so.

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