Category Archive: Food
Leftovers Are Great, But What About Those Plastic Containers?
As parents resume the early morning rush of sending their kids back to school, leftovers and make-ahead meals are often the easiest way to ensure everyone is getting the nutrition they need. But while busy families try to make better health decisions, some activists are blaming an unlikely aggressor for America’s expanding waistline: plastics. In recent years, flawed research has linked phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic containers to health issues like insulin resistance and weight gain, respectively. Some incorrectly claim that microwaving food in plastic containers makes the problem worse. In 2008, Good Housekeeping magazine put these claims to the test. It...Read More
Here’s the Scoop on Glyphosate in Your Ben & Jerry’s
The New York Times is making a name for itself in the realm of sensationalism lately. First came the heavily criticized article accused America’s favorite macaroni and cheese of being laden with “potentially harmful chemicals.” Now, the Times is taking on Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream over a sensationalized report claiming 10 of 11 of the company’s flavors contain traces of a common weed killer. The report was commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association, which bills itself as an advocate of “health, justice, and sustainability.” But let’s be clear: the Organic Consumers Association isn’t concerned about the dangers lurking in your dessert. If it...Read More
Chemicals in Your Mac and Cheese?
Phthalates: They’re difficult to pronounce, widely used in plastics, rubber, cosmetics, and fragrances, and yes, they’re in your macaroni and cheese. But should you really be worried about the report which inspired The New York Times to editorialize about “potentially harmful chemicals…present in high concentrations in your child’s favorite meal?” Although phthalates may migrate from plastics to food, they do so in such small quantities that the National Toxicology Program dismisses their risk for causing human reproductive harm as minimal to negligible. Such was the case with this report, but instead of presenting its findings with any context, the environmental advocacy groups which commissioned it twisted the data to...Read More
Grab Some Coffee and Perk Up to Sensationalized Science
One day it seems that coffee will kill you, while the next it's hailed as the key to a long life. So what gives? In an article published in RealClearScience, our chief science officer, Dr. Joseph Perrone, explains why poor scientific methodology accepted by groups like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) makes it incredibly difficult for the average reader to pick good science from pseudoscience. Interestingly enough, the latest back-and-forth around coffee also comes from IARC. Four of the coffee study’s authors, including lead researcher Dr. Marc Gunter, are current IARC scientists. Just like claims that someone’s lifelong medical history can be...Read More
Grocery Stores Still Carry Cans Containing BPA – Should You Be Worried?
Few chemicals get as bad a reputation as bisphenol A, or BPA. Just this week, headlines pushed by a new report from activist group Center for Environmental Health warned that “Canned food still contains toxin BPA.” Toxin? Hardly. Most metal cans are lined with a thin interior coating that contains BPA in order to protect them from corrosion, thereby preventing dissolved metals and deadly bacteria from contaminating your food. Speaking of bacteria, one particularly deadly bug, called Clostridium botulinum makes itself very happy living in improperly canned foods. The bacteria produces an actual neurotoxin that causes muscle failure, impaired vision, breathing problems, vomiting, paralysis, and in some cases, death. It’s without...Read More
‘Tis the Season for Transparency
What better time of year to talk about alcohol than the month than when boozy Christmas pudding and eggnog reign supreme? Recently, headlines buzzed with claims that white wine causes melanoma. Historically, studies show no significant difference between someone’s beverage of choice and their propensity to develop cancer. So why is this one different? For your answer, look to the sky. White wine is often consumed outdoors and in warmer months, which also happens to be when people get the most sun exposure. And as we know, UV radiation promotes the development of melanoma. The researchers did exclude lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM), a variant...Read More
Would You Pass High School Health Class?
Today the Center for Accountability in Science (CAS) released the results of a new survey showing most Americans couldn’t pass a high school health class. The national survey, conducted by ORC International, asked 1,024 adults ten questions covering food and nutrition. Overall it showed that we all could be a little smarter about nutrition. Dr. Joseph Perrone, chief science officer of CAS chalked up the poor performance to misinformation spread by pseudoscientists and TV doctors, arguing junk science has serious consequences. “When celebrities such as Dr. Oz say ‘superfoods’ are better or cast doubts on GMOs, they’re doing the public a...Read More
Meat Takes Another Hit
This month the National Toxicology Program (NTP) formally requested information on the production and consumption of red meat, processed meat, and meat cooked at high temperatures in order to justify their addition to the 2016 Report on Carcinogens. Today’s post is brought to you by déjà vu, because we’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’ve blogged about meat and cancer before. Oh wait, we have. Dr. Joseph Perrone, our Chief Science Officer, also recently wrote an article on the subject. Without re-hashing the past too much, let’s review: Nutrition studies are inherently tricky due to their reliance on self-reporting. It’s impractical for a team of scientists to...Read More
Calling TIME Out on Plastic Alarmism
There’s no shortage of news reports and websites with scary messages about chemicals, but two articles this week caught our attention. First, TIME magazine engaged in a bit of click-baiting this week with a health article warning about common plastics: “That Plastic Container You Microwave In Could Be Super-Toxic.” Next, an article at the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website, although written by two Ph.D.’s, adds to misinformation. It is generally accepted by dietitians that an unhealthy lifestyle, namely overconsumption of calories and/or inactivity, leads to weight gain. The authors, however, posit that chemicals may be making us fat. Specifically, they point to BPA...Read More
Toxics in Your Home? Woman’s Day Leaves Out Key Science
There are lots of items in your home that can be toxic if used improperly—bleach, household cleaners, bug sprays, etc. can all be toxic if ingested. But a new article from the women’s magazine, Woman’s Day, “8 of the Most Toxic Items You Have In Your Home,” doesn’t discuss any actual toxins. Instead, the magazine focuses on everyday items that pose very little risk to your family’s health. It’s completely reasonable to worry about the safety of products you and your family use every day, but those concerns should be grounded in scientific research. To help you decide which products might...Read More