Plastic food packaging
I wonder about the safety of the plastic wrap that grocery stores put around meats (e.g., steaks and roasts). It appears to be the same type of plastic wrap that most of us have in our homes and which (I assume) contains plasticizers and other constituents of plastics that might leach into the meat. Should we be concerned? And is butcher paper any better? (It, too, has some sort of shiny, plastic-looking material on it.) I keep worrying that the meat I cook is tainted with toxic plastic. Thanks for your help.
POSTED BY HENRY :: UTAH USA :: 05/26/2008 3:01 PM
Plastic wrap is made from PVC, one of the most toxic plastics. In 1998, Consumer Reports magazine announced that Consumers Union (CU) scientists had found that cheddar cheese packaged in clear PVC cling wrap contained levels of DEHA (di-2-ethylhexyl adipate). Though there is clear evidence that chemicals are leaching into foods from PVC, the toxicity is not clearly established, so the plastic continues to be allows.
For more info on this see Green Guide: PVC Cling Wrap
The most prudent thing would be to not eat foods wrapped in cling wrap, but they are so prevalent that it is very difficult to find foods in the normal lines of commerce without them.
The way to have PVC-free food is to purchased fresh ingredients from farmer's markets or through Community Supported Agriculture programs or from stores that don't wrap all the produce in plastic, and use paper bags. Then prepare all your meals from scratch at home.
I have been battling with my local grocery store about their use of pre-packaged and pre-cut lamb chops. They now closed their meatcutting department and chose to get their lamb sent pre-cut and wrapped in plastic (a number 7 on top of it).
I spoke to the manager and told him I refused to eat this as it is toxic. I can taste it. Plus having it shipped from New Zealand to Canada pre-packaged is criminal in my view.
He just shrugged it off and does not care if he looses one customer. There's plenty more where I came from.
I am glad you are also thinking about the use of plastics that cover our foods. It is NOT healthy and we must make changes to prevent more toxins from entering our bodies. But if we are dependent on local grocers we have a fight on our hands.
I am frustrated as well. I write columns on our local paper, but if I mention the stores name then they will pull their advertising, so it's a political issue and people's health get lost by the wayside. I don't know what to do either, but you are definitely right to be concerned.
POSTED BY ELKE :: BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA :: 06/02/2008 1:05 PM