Eat organic all you want. Avoid plastic like the plague. It may not matter after all — you could still be ingesting a lot of nasty bisphenol A and phthalates, chemicals that leach from plastics and potentially disrupt human endocrine systems.
A study by Sheela Sathyanarayana published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology compared one group that avoided BPA and pthalates in accordance with written directions and another group that ate a catered, local, organic diet prepared without use of plastic for cooking or storage.
The researchers assumed that urinary BPA and pthalate levels would drop in the catered group compared to the group using written instructions — people are generally bad at following advice from their doctors after all. “Instead we saw big spikes and increases in the catered diet group and no changes at all in the written education group,” she says.
Sathyanarayana’s team tested the food samples in the catered group to find the source of contamination. The culprits: milk, cream, and ground coriander. “I honestly don’t know why the spices were more contaminated or why the dairy had higher contamination, but I do know it’s consistent with other reports,” she says. …
The authors conclude in their study: “It may be that our findings reflect an isolated rare contamination event because of unusual processing or a packaging abnormality. It also could be the case that the food supply is systematically contaminated with high phthalate concentrations, which are difficult to identify.”
It could! Oh god, oh god, it really could.