The havoc of plastic use on your health

Have you ever given any thoughts about how your food is packaged? Odds are, the food you ate today was either packaged, stored, heated, lined, or served in plastic. And there’s mounting evidence that plastic is harmful to our health, and it starts as early as in the womb.

Microplastics and other chemicals in plastic build up in our foods and therefore in our bodies. The biggest thing they wreak havoc on are your hormones: they mimic estrogen and inhibit testosterone, which can lead to infertility issues.

Polysterene (aka Styrofoam) is a known carcinogen (and also an environmental nightmare).

PFSA (polyfluoroalkyl), which is often used in food packaging like popcorn bags and in non-stick pans, has been shown to cause reproductive, developmental, liver, kidney, and immunological problems, and may also be associated with low birth rate and thyroid disruption.

BPA (bisphenol A) acts as an endocrine disruptor (which means it is linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility and metabolic disorders), and while it has been removed from many plastic packaging, it is still used in the plastic that lines the inside of aluminum cans.

There are many more chemicals found in all different types of plastics, but packaging is often unmarked making it difficult to deduce which types of chemicals are in them.

The good thing is that we are (slowly) starting to move away from plastic packaging. That’s good news for both your health and the health of the planet! More stores are adding bulk sections and allowing you to use your own jars and containers to package them in. Bulk Barn is my go-to place for all my dried goods, and if I need anything more specific (like shampoo, dish soap, local produce and cheese), I venture my way to Nu Grocery.

Whenever you can, buy food package-free, or in paper or glass packaging. If you have to heat something in the microwave, use a glass container. Instead of using saran wrap, try beeswax wraps (ideally from a local maker that uses local honey!).

There’s also so many toxins added into our food (an article for another day), so I have been doing my best to make as much food at home as I can: that includes things like bread, cookies, meals, and other snacks! That avoids any additives I don’t want in my food, and it also prevents chemicals from leaching into my food since I don’t store it in plastic.

Dr. Marie-Pier Sauriol has a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Alberta, attended the renown New York Chiropractic College where she received her Doctor of Chiropractic and is a member of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario. A resident of Stittsville for three years, Dr. Sauriol is the part owner of Oaktree Health (www.oaktreehealth.ca) on Carp Road in Stittsville.


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