Scary amounts of this in our food.

Plus: Recipes to finish the week strong.


"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it."

Charles R. Swindoll

Thursday. How much should an airline pay you if you were on a flight where the door blew off mid-air? That is a fairly traumatic experience, no? Well, Alaska Airlines thinks $1,500 is pretty fair (READ MORE). Yikes. Well, hopefully that includes free wifi and a complimentary set of headphones on future flights. That way, you can avoid hearing the screaming child the next time your plane starts to fall apart midair.

In other alarming news, plasticizers are everywhere. Like, literally everywhere. Let’s dive in.


Scary Stuff—Plasticizers Everywhere!

A recent Consumer Reports (READ HERE) study revealed a scary truth about our food. It turns out that most of the food from supermarkets and fast-food chains contains chemicals called “plasticizers,” specifically phthalates. These harmful chemicals are added to plastics to make them more durable. The scariest part? These plasticizers were found in 84 out of 85 food items tested. That’s almost everything!

But that’s not all. The study also found bisphenol A, or BPA, in 79% of the food samples. Although the levels of BPA were lower compared to previous tests done in 2009, it’s still a cause for concern.

Now, here’s the tricky part. The levels of phthalates found in these foods didn’t exceed the limits set by U.S. and European regulators. However, scientists haven’t agreed on a safe level for phthalates. This means that even though the food meets regulatory standards, it might not be completely safe.

So, why should we worry about phthalates and BPA in our food? These chemicals can mess with the production and regulation of hormones like estrogen. This could lead to health problems like birth defects, cancer, diabetes, infertility, neurodevelopmental disorders, and obesity.

Some foods with the highest levels of phthalate included Annie’s Organic Cheesy Ravioli, Del Monte sliced peaches, and Chicken of the Sea pink salmon. Even popular items like Cheerios, Gerber baby food, and Yoplait yogurt had elevated levels of these chemicals (READ MORE). Fast food wasn’t safe either. Items from Wendy’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s also showed high levels of phthalates.

Interestingly, the levels of phthalates varied even among similar products. For example, Wendy’s Crispy Chicken Nuggets had over four times more phthalates than McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. This suggests that reducing the amount of these chemicals in our food is possible. Obviously, McDonald’s is doing something here that Wendy’s isn’t. 

Consumer Reports is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies to reassess the risks of plasticizers in our food. It’s clear that this issue needs more attention.

In a surprising twist, one product, Polar Raspberry Lime Seltzer, didn’t have any phthalates at all. Now, before you go out and stock up on some seltzer, that’s not exactly the point. This shows that it’s possible to produce food and drinks without these harmful chemicals. Why can’t everyone aim for ZERO phthalates in their products?

Some companies have responded to this report. General Mills, Burger King, and Wendy’s haven’t commented yet. Chicken of the Sea and Del Monte claim they don’t add phthalates to their food and that their suppliers assure the same. Gerber and McDonald’s stated that they follow regulatory requirements and conduct rigorous testing for chemicals in packaging.

Of course, that’s what they said. 

The key takeaway? The presence of plasticizers in our food is a significant concern. It’s not quite an “airplane-falling-apart-midair” level of concern, but it’s a concern. While companies may be following current regulations, this study (READ HERE) suggests that those regulations might not be strict enough to ensure our food is safe from harmful chemicals. It’s a reminder to us all to be mindful of what we eat and to stay informed about what we put in our bodies. 


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Tonic Shots

1. So Simple, So Tasty

This is the perfect salad to add a touch of acid to any meal. Enjoy!

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This isn’t your usual chili recipe, but it is so so good! Chicken and white beans! Enjoy.

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Honey garlic shrimp for the win! Enjoy.

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