Eat like a Mennonite (New York Times, 1/18/2013)

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What does it take for a modern American family to lower its BPA levels? Author Florence Williams offers a peek into her stint in the nearly-plastic-free world in an opinion piece for the New York Times:

On the second day of my chemical-detox diet, I was very hungry. I’d been eating like a rabbit, all carrots and greens that I’d gathered, barehanded, from the baskets of the farmer’s market, no gloves or plastic bags allowed. I cooked up some quinoa that I bought packaged in paper from the supermarket sometimes known as Whole Paycheck. I was effectively a vegan because I couldn’t find meat or cheese that wasn’t wrapped in plastic, and I didn’t have access to accommodating livestock.

My 7-year-old daughter and I were participating in a pilot study conducted in 2011 by the Silent Spring Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund (a follow-up study was published later that year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives). We had urinated into some glass containers a few weeks earlier, back when we were "normal" Americans, and now we were spending three days trying to reduce our exposure to plastics before supplying our urine again.

As Williams notes, the "normal" phase of the study, which allowed for painted toenails and canned beans, was more fun. Yet it's possible to create modern conveniences that don't leave toxic traces in their human consumers.

Says Williams, "It's why we need the government to require testing of commercial chemicals for hormonal effects, and to regulate them in a meaningful way. And it's why we need manufacturers to design products with safer substances in the first place." (Read complete article.)

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One thought on “Eat like a Mennonite (New York Times, 1/18/2013)

  1. I was curious, do you know whether paper food storage products are treated? I know growing up my mom refused to buy many boxed goods because she reacted to BHT (a preservative) and it was often used in box material.

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