After working hard all morning, many people look forward to their lunch breaks. They carry their food into the kitchen, over to the microwave, pop the lid off their Tupperware, and heat up their lunch. However, many Americans are unaware of the shocking side effects that come from buying plastics that aren’t BPA free. This article will focus on the effects that Bisphenol A (BPA), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), Yellow #5, BVO, and other pesticides have on the human body.
To start things off, there are the scary side effects of buying plastic containers, water bottles, etc., that are not BPA free. When a plastic is left in a hot car too long or heated up in the microwave, for example, BPA seeps into the food or water it is holding. Bisphenol A is also found in the lining of food and beverage cans in order to preserve the contents. Exposure to BPA is linked to breast cancer. In addition, it has been shown to interfere with chemotherapy treatment for the disease (“Chemicals in Food”).
As for things that are in your food before you even look, touch, or prepare it, there is ethylendiaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and Yellow #5. EDTA is used as a preservative and is named calcium disodium EDTA on food labels. One food item that is best known for using EDTA in their product is Mountain Dew. In addition to being a food preservative, EDTA is used in test tubes in forensic laboratories to prevent blood from clumping together. It is unknown why a clump-preventing agent is used in Mountain Dew, but it is still listed on all bottles to this day (“The SHOCKING Ingredients…”). Next is Yellow #5, a man-made chemical food coloring agent. For starters, Yellow #5 is known to cause allergies, especially in those with asthma and aspirin intolerance. Also, it has been associated with anxiety, asthma attacks, hives (this is in fewer than 1/10,000 people), clinical depression, migraines, blurry vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feelings of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. A man-made food coloring can cause all of this, just to make a soda a certain color. About 360,000 Americans are sensitive to the dye. In addition, Yellow #5 caused inflammation of stomach lining and altered chemicals in the kidneys and liver in laboratory animals. While the FDA is concerned about the dye, and mandate that it be listed as an ingredient, they will not entirely ban it as the countries of Norway, Austria, and Germany did (“The SHOCKING Ingredients…”).
Another chemical found in sodas, such as Mountain Dew, is Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO). BVO is banned in many countries because it competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body. This competition can lead to hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, such as Diabetes and Celiac Disease, and even cancer. The main ingredient in BVO is bromine, a poisonous and corrosive chemical. Bromine can lead to major organ system damage birth defects, growth problems, and hearing loss (“BVO…”).
Last, but not least, there is the plethora of additives and chemicals in pre-packaged and/or processed foods. First off, there is Palm Oil. Recently, it was in the news that Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread, was being taken off the shelves because it contains Palm Oil, and Palm Oil causes cancer. While this is not proven to be either true or untrue, Palm Oil does become in trans fat and raises the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Next, there are the nutrients that are sucked out of white flour, rice, pasta, and bread to extend the shelf life. This stripping of nutrients sends blood sugar and insulin to extreme levels which can lead to a multitude of problems. Then, there are the dangers of salt in canned foods (“Top Ten Toxic…”). Salt is used to preserve the food during the canning process. Excess salt can cause health risks, especially in those with high blood pressure (“Canned Food: Good or Bad?” ).
Overall, the affects that chemicals, including BPA, EDTA, Yellow #5, and BVO, have on the human body are detrimental. An estimated 700 million pounds of pesticides are used each year in agriculture in the United States. The use of these chemicals and pesticides can lead to cancers, birth defects, reproductive disorders, asthma, and Parkinson’s Disease, to name a few. If consumers become more health-conscious, they will be preventing a lifetime of medical bills and untreatable diseases (“Chemicals in the Food System”).