Health – Who’s on First?

By Vincent DiBianca
Bio


Like many, I’ve heard both sides of the ‘Cooking and Freezing in
Plastic’ debate. A good friend recently sent me an email warning of the
dangers of “microwaving and freezing food in plastic containers”
accompanied with supportive research. Another friend responded by
saying that the ‘authorities’ (including the FDA and Johns Hopkins
University) say that Rubbermaid®, Tupperware®, plastic cookware and
food wrap sold for home use have been thoroughly tested, only tiny
traces of a plasticizer have been found, and even that is not an
endocrine disrupter. This set off a productive dialogue about who to believe about what.

Another
friend who is a prominent bio-chemist and clinical physiologist says
the impact of synthetics has a major impact on compromising the immune
system. (He contends that contrary to some reports, leaching from
microwave cooking has been proven to occur in virtually all plastics
and whether the plastic touches the food or not). Ugh!

Personally,
I give little credence to much of the mainstream position on health and
well-being. Unfortunately, doubting our ‘authorities’ leaves us unsure
as to what to do. Over my career, I’ve done a fair amount of work with
the FDA. At times, I’ve been dismayed by some of their inconsistent
behavior, mixed messages, political maneuverings, compromised science,
response to political pressure and unbelievable bureaucracy.

Although
I’m wary of outlandish claims by conspiracy theorists (their assertions
do nothing but generate more fear), I’ve become even more wary of how
political interests and the drive for profits overrides true public
concerns.

Given that we live in a dualistic mindset fueled by
vested interests, it’s inevitable we’ll hear at least two sides on
every issue. Whether it’s the lack of scientific consensus around
global warming or the virtues of peace versus war, synthetic versus
natural products, bottled versus tap water, plastic versus paper bags,
it’s an ongoing challenge to sort your way through the discussions and
choose what actions to take.

Who are we to believe? There are always contrary views and each view brings its risks.

Another
example: we’re told that most bottled water is better than most tap
water. Yet some companies are reported to produce bottled water that is
less pure than some municipal water systems. Not to mention that
bottled water is stored in plastic containers. Like in the old Abbot
and Costello skit about baseball, the persistent question is, "Who’s on first?”

Ultimately,
each of us is left to make our own decisions based on our own
judgments. Consider the input, trust yourself and choose. In my mind,
plastic is a synthetic, non-biodegradable, non-digestible chemical
derived from petroleum. Microwaves create unnatural and intense
radiation that impacts the molecular structure and agitates molecular
movement. So, putting any plastic in a microwave is likely to cause a
leaching of some synthetic molecules into the food (food which is
already over-processed, chemically-treated, preserved and artificially
colored). But that’s another blog topic… So I choose to use this as a
general tenet: if it’s artificial (synthetic, chemical, processed or is
put through an unnatural, man-made process like a microwave), it’s my
judgment that it’s not great for my immune system.
 
Who really
knows who’s on first base? All I know is that it appears to me that if
I do the following, I give myself the best chance of scoring a home run
(that is, living a long, happy and healthy existence):

  • Eat a lot of organic veggies and fruits
  • Drink a lot of pure water
  • Stay away from processed and refined foods (especially sugars and flour products)
  • Eat raw food, as much as possible (eliminate use of the microwave)
  • Stay away from pharmaceuticals, tobacco and alcohol
  • Exercise 5 days a week
  • Learn how to avoid or mitigate stresses in life (and have a great support system when I can’t)
  • Laugh, play a lot and create joys in my life
  • Meditate and pray
  • Surround myself with love, forgiveness and compassion
  • Do work that is inspiring and that is of service to others

Preachiness
aside, the list isn’t bad. Some people are compelled to do some or all
of this —others are not. Although I tend to follow these guidelines
most of the time, I’ve strayed from a few items on the list lately and
it has had its impact on me and my body.

I guess whether we live a happy and healthy life ultimately comes down to how we choose to live. The key is it’s always our choice.

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