“How was the PET you ate for breakfast?”, “I would add a little polyethylene to this recipe”, “ This restaurant is famous for its Styrofoam, it’s to die for!”
Can you imagine how you life would be if you ate plastic?
It doesn’t sound very appetising, right? Well, you’re not going to like us telling you this, but the reality is that you already are.
THIS IS ALL THE PLASTIC YOU ALREADY EAT
According to a recent study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, each individual, depending on their sex and age, consumes between 39,000 and 52,000 particles of plastic annually.
This particular study also states that, due to the lack of data, these figures are likely to be underestimated. That means, that in reality each person is eating even more plastic.
The effect of this consumption still remains unclear. As we mentioned in our previous post about the impact of plastic during infancy, this material is very new and the potential health consequences over the long-term are still not well established.
But the data is already telling us that we are eating it and that this material contains toxic endocrine disruptors that alter our hormonal system. Something needs to be done in order to avoid the ingestion of plastic as much as possible, don’t you agree?
This is why the team at Sinplastico has decided to help you do just this, by telling you which foods contain plastic and what alternatives are available to reduce your plastic intake:
SEA SALT, SUGAR, HONEY: SOURCES OF PLASTIC
According to this study “Human Consumption of Microplastics”, some of the foods that contain the highest levels of microplastics are sea salt, sugar and honey.
What is the alternative? It’s simple. Reduce your consumption.
In order to avoid salt, try replacing it in your favourite dishes with herbs and spices and avoid ready-made sauces. You will be surprised at how quickly you get used to it.
When it comes to sugar and honey, opt for natural microplastic-free sweeteners. Such as, fruit.
Banana or homemade apple purée are great alternatives when making desserts or for livening up natural yoghurt. You can also sweeten up a coffee with a piece of homemade sugar-free fruit cake or some banana and oat biscuits like these.
DO YOU DRINK BOTTLED WATER? THEN YOU ARE CONSUMING MORE MICROPLATIC
People who drink bottled water consume an additional total of 9,000 microplastic particles annually, compared to the 4,000 particles consumed by those who drink tap water.
So, if you drink bottled water at home because you don’t like the taste of your tap water, you might like to consider using a Binchotan active charcoal filter (we explain how it works in this post) and when carrying water with you to work or to the gym use a stainless steel bottle like this one.
SEAFOOD AND FISH: PLASTIC CARRIERS
Due to the plastic contamination of the oceans, animals such as fish, shellfish (such as molluscs and crustaceans) ingest plastic and are thereby affected by the toxins present, these effects are then passed on up the food chain: to cetaceans, to larger fish and to you.
Therefore, if you eat fish and seafood at home, you may like to stop eating them, or at least reduce your consumption as much as possible.
BEER: HOPS, WATER, MALT YEAST AND MICROPLASTIC
For the beer lovers amongst us, this news is going to hurt, but we feel obligated to let you know.
Beer, no matter whether it is alcohol free or handcrafted, is also a significant source of microplastics. Why? Because of the plastic contaminated water that is used to make your favourite beer.
Take note, beer is not the only drink that is made with water and, although this study didn’t look into it, many types of soft drinks and packaged juices are suspected of harbouring microplastic.
The way to avoid it is the same as mentioned before: reduce your consumption.
PACKAGED FOOD THE EFFECTS ARE STILL TO BE CALCULATED
In addition to the plastic found in foods, Kieren Cox, the study’s author, says: “Many of the foods that have been studied are the ones you eat raw. We have not looked more deeply into the layers and layers of plastic packaging. I think it is probable that we are eating/drinking even more plastic than we think”.
Faced with this, the best option is to choose to buy in bulk in safe containers like cotton bags or stainless steel containers with silicone lids (a non-toxic inert material, as we mentioned in this previous blog).
SYNTHETIC MICROFIBRES: YOU EAT YOUR CLOTHES
If you read our blog about synthetic microfibres you will know about the impact our clothes can have on the environment.
But these microplastics result in other consequences, not just the problems associated with contaminating the oceans, but also those affecting your diet.
In fact, the study shows that the microfibres that originate from fabrics such as nylon and polyester are the most commonly found type of plastic present in our food, as they enter the food chain when they become detached from our clothes whilst being washed.
But that’s not all, each day you ingest an enormous number of plastic particles that come off your clothes and the fabrics around your home and are released into the air. These too, have the potential of contaminating your food.
How to avoid all this? Choose clothes and fabrics made from natural materials, clean your house regularly and don’t leave your food out uncovered (for this last one, try our reusable wax food wraps).
As you can see, you ingest plastic in many different ways: eating fish or packaged foods, drinking beer or soft drinks, even just breathing! As the author of the research says: “it is really difficult to avoid microplastics”.
Therefore we do not want you to get obsessed, but instead we hope that with the help of this article you find the way to let microplastic affect you as little as possible.
We hope that this information has been useful, Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Join our community of warriors, fighting for a plastic-free world