Label-reading, it could lead to other compulsions…

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Like so many environmentally aware, or environmentally “sensitive”, people, I am an inveterate label reader. I know the sugar and fiber content of an array of packaged foods, from Frosted Mini-Wheats (the high fiber somewhat redeems the sugar) to Haagen Daz (good flavor with that sat fat).

As with any addiction, there’s been some collateral damage to family relationships. Only the brave and highly motivated will go grocery shopping with me. And there’s been bleed over. Having read most of the labels, I’m seeking new highs by evaluating the packaging.

This week I was distressed to find that inside my large box of crackers (from Costco) were six more boxes of crackers, each containing the different variety promised on the main container box. I don’t know what I thought would be in there. Not a jumble of crackers. But it sure seemed like some sort of paper band could have held all these boxes together, instead of the extra outer box.

Help contain plastics by knowing your plastic containers

By Kelly Rondeau
Green Right Now

It’s the holiday season, and along with the many joys that are associated with this fun time of year – cooking, baking, parties with friends and family – comes a lurking environmental problem: Toxic chemicals in everyday plastics. Plastics that seem to be everywhere in our holiday midst — in the packaging of toys, the toys themselves, our food packaging, in our holiday leftover storage containers, in plastic wrap, in water bottles — and the list goes on.

Many valid health concerns have been raised about poisonous chemicals present in our everyday plastics, and the headlines about these toxins leaching into our food are frightening. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found, for instance, that food containers labeled as “microwave safe” leached BPA when heated. (See our report, “BPA turns up in ‘microwave safe’ products“.)

FDA says BPA plastic is safe

By Barbara Kessler

After an outbreak of bad publicity earlier this year over bisphenol-A (BPA), the plastic additive which dozens of studies identify as a potential carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, the U.S. government promised to take another look. Its conclusion: BPA is safe.

The Federal Drug Administration had previously cleared BPA for use in an array of consumer products, such as clear plastic baby bottles, the resin lining in food cans and many other items. It promised a new review of the science after Canada proposed a ban of BPA in baby bottles and manufacturers of polycarbonate water bottles began voluntarily giving up BPA. All cited concerns over the plastics’ tendency to leach when when warmed and possible harmful effects on humans, particularly children.