Avoiding Toxins in Food

“… and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18b). While the people of God have this assurance, we’re also told, “It is said, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Luke 4:12). Do we tempt God with our lifestyle choices? You have been told that eating at home is healthier than eating fast food. This may also be true of other forms of restaurant food because foods at restaurants, even the fancy ones, may have additives that are bad for us.

A large group of food additives are called phthalates. These have been shown to cause birth defects, may be associated with cancer, and are suspected of an association with other medical illnesses. Interestingly, more phthalates show up in people who eat restaurant food than people who eat at home. Here again, we see that eating fresher, non-preserved food at home is healthier for us. This is another reason to limit dining out. Obviously, we need to be aware of the fat, sugar, and calories associated with eating out, but food additives may be another reason to eat at home.

If we eat out, we need to eat the freshest,healthiest food we can find on the menu. Even the choice of restaurant may be significant interms of the types of fresh foods they have on their menu. Talk to your waiter or a manager about concerns. You are paying for their service, so get the best you can. When we take a “doggy bag,” we should make sure it is not a plastic bag or a cardboard box lined with plastic. Foil is preferred. If they only have one type which has an associated plastic, change it to a different container such as glass or non-BPA plastic when you get home. Bisphenol A (BPA) is one type of additive

Bisphenol A (BPA) is one type of additive in plastics and in water bottles, can linings, and other methods of preserving food. It is used in plastic cups and in some of the coatings of paper cups, making it a concern with cups you take with you. BPA is known to affect female-type hormone metabolism and may be associated with breast cancer and certain other illnesses in men and women. BPA may worsen your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cause liver abnormalities.

Some storage plastics have numbers at the bottom. If you see this,
try to avoid #3 (PVC), #6 (polystyrene), and #7 (polycarbonate). These plastics are most likely to release BPA into our food and drink. Warming food in these plastics increases the amount of BPA released, but it’s worse to freeze them. For this reason, we shouldn’t freeze bottles of water to keep them cold on a summer day. Also, if you use the microwave to heat food (this should generally be avoided), make sure you use glass or microwave- safe non-BPA plastics. Freezer-safe plastic for storage is hard to come by, but you can find it if you look.