Sinister poisons pervade the modern world. Plastics are everywhere
in contact with food. There is a belief abroad that plastic is inert. We
even get thought it in beginners chemistry. It is simply not true!
Plastic contains many substances! There are colours! There are softeners!
There are tougheners, there are hardeners! There are greases so that it
comes out of the moulds easily! Also, in chemistry we soon learned that
chemical reactions are not as simple as a+b=c or a+b=c+d Plastics
are a branch of carbon (or organic) chemistry. There might be 20
or 30 products from a reaction! Some of these substances are soluable
in other organic substances like, say, fat. Some of them can (and
do) leak out and into the fat in the food. Cooking oil is only sold in
glass bottles in Holland for that reason. Some additives in plastics are
known to act in a similar way to enzymes and hormones in the body. Even
though there are tiny amounts, the effects are powerful. Several of them
mimic female hormones and this could help explain a number of troubling
modern world developments.
Among them: Falling sperm counts and increased male sexual problems in developed countries. The rapidly falling age of female puberty. If you think about it, a lot of social ills might be linked to hormone problems too.
Not only is plastic put in contact with food, many packaging processes involve heating the plastic to seal it or to cut the package. Heating plastic, even for a split second, greatly facilitates the migration ot these chemicals into the food. Remembering there are minute quantities, you might say, so what!
Remembering that they act like hormones, minute quantities have a giant effect!
Until you know more, here is some simple advice.
Keep plastic away from food! Especially fatty or oily food. Do not buy single portions (they are delivered in a lot more packaging per gram). Buy the largest portions where possible. Get a cloth bag or two for carrying the groceries. They last well! I have one that is 11 years old that must have saved several hundred plastic bags by now! And still in good condition!
Brian White 18th february 01