Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dalty and His Reindeer

(Originally posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 by Tim)

Well, clearly Cathy has been making me look bad in terms of posting lately. Actually, I've been making me look bad. I've blown all my New Year's Resolutions at this point. Still, it has been a good year to date.

Dalton was in the mood to pose for pictures this evening. Here's a cute one with him and a stuffed reindeer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

BPA listings

(Originally posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 by Cathy)

(I'm sorry, this is a diatribe about plastic, etc, not a cute picture of the toddler.)

Anyone who's been around us lately has probably noticed our "weird" plastic and can using habits. Namely, we don't eat anything out of cans if we can help it, and we look at the labels on all our plastics.

Due to concerns about Bisphenol A, we're avoiding polycarbonate, which is the plastic in some things labeled with recycling code #7. It's a hard, clear plastic, also found in baby bottles (yikes!) and reusable drinking bottles, and many of the plastic glasses found in restaurants.

BPA is also used to line many food cans. So no canned food for us, since no one labels their cans one way or another. We're cooking beans from dried, buying fruit and veggies fresh or frozen, and still trying to figure out what to do about tomatoes.

We also don't think PVC is good to play with or eat from, both because vinyl chloride is nasty, and because some PVC contains either phthalates or lead, neither of which we want. Unfortunately, most PVC is unlabeled (it's #3 when labeled), and it is less easy to spot than polycarbonate is. We use the listings at healthytoys.org to tell us if something is PVC, and if it is, we try to keep it out of the kitchen and out of our mouths.

I'm also not nuts about polystyrene, which means no styrofoam and no polystyrene (many drink cups, clear or colored, even the ones that aren't obviously "styrofoam").

So what does that leave? We're willing to eat things out of plastics #1, #2, #4, and #5. We're hesitant to buy any unlabeled unless we can find information on what it is elsewhere.

And given the issues with things coming out of China, I'm not convinced that anything made in China actually conforms to its label, so I'm skeptical about even well-labeled plastics coming out of China.

So now, time for some applause:

  • Rubbermaid lists BPA content (or lack thereof) in all their containers. They also make some of these containers in the USA. Here's the link: http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/bpa-info.jhtml. This is a bit of an A-, since they do use the website to list of to the pro-industry site (bisphenol-a.org) that claims BPA is no problem under any circumstances.
  • Saran also gives information on plastic ingredients here: http://www.saranbrands.com/faq.asp#1

Sorry, maybe next time you'll get a cute picture of the toddler eating out of his polypropylene dishes. :)