Naturally Plastic Food

Union Carbide Ad 1946 Plastics for food preservation

What science didn't know then was that plastic coatings in food containers enter the bloodstream, and has been linked to cancer.

Think: In 1948, manufacturing companies had no idea about the possible long-term effects of their plastics on human health or waterways and ecosystems. In 2011, manufacturing companies DO know the long-term health, social and environmental impacts of their products, yet they still produce them, to great profit.  What do you think about this ad that calls food encased in plastic and soaked in nitrogen “natural”?

Feel: Advertising plays on our emotions, putting us in the right frame of mind to accept their messages, even when we disbelieve. How do you feel about the fact that known harmful substances are still manufactured, traded, sold and bought, sometimes with government subsidies and tax breaks?

Grow: Knowing what we know scientifically and anecdotally about the harmful effects of plastics and synthetic chemicals in our food, what new opportunities for food packaging and processing can we make for ourselves. What are our avenues for growth that would stimulate profound change?

Did you know? Consumer choices matter, but the quantity of what’s produced far out-paces what we can possibly purchase and consume. The primary responsibility is with the manufacturer. Don’t be fooled, even when you buy the recyclable products, not every state / county / city can process every single type of recyclable item you dispose of. Just because it is recyclable does NOT mean that it WILL be recycled. The treadmill of production just continues to create things to sell to us. It’s up to us to demand that the mill stop producing so much STUFF!

Want to learn more? Read Ken Gould’s book The Treadmill of Production.

Book: Treadmill o0f Production by Kenneth A. Gould, David N. Pellow and Allan Schnaiberg

A quick, informative, well-researched read by Ken Gould and friends. I've studied with Ken and can vouch for the caliber of information int he book.


Food Wrapper Coating Found in Human Blood

Keeps Out the Grease, But...

Keeps Out the Grease, But...


Hello Thinkers!

I chanced upon this quick article on wherein Emily Sohn discusses recent findings that the plastic coating placed on fast food wrappers actually breaks down and enters our bloodstream. Worse still, it mutates into a carcinogen in the body, and is likely linked to cancer. The icing on the proverbial cake is the fact that these wrappers, through our poor waste management actually enters our waterways in such quantities that the very same carcinogens that are found in human blood over here in the “civilized world”, has also been found in similar concentrations in the blood of Polar Bears all the way across the earth. I mean, really? Really really?

Someone please tell me where the surprise is? Because I missed it. Manufacture only cares about protecting the public enough so that they are not vulnerable to lawsuit. R&D, or research and development is ultimately aimed at producing inexpensive technologies that seemingly add value to the goods being sold so that higher charges result in greater profits. The fact that the long term effects of these chemicals is unknown, just as its leeching potential was unexpected and unstudied only serves to reinforce my grim understanding of the production rationale that corporations abide by.

The last line of this article quotes a scientist who says he doesn’t know if we should be concerned yet…Tell me really, at what point does one try to put out a fire in ones home? Do you wait until the fire singes you to be sure that it is actually hot, or do you spring to action as soon as you smell smoke  so as to prevent major losses.

Ah Science. If any one ever wonders why i chose environmental psychology, a social science that remains pretty uncorrupted / co-opted by industry, it is for this reason. In the physical sciences (and some of the social sciences) your funding determines just how much common sense and morality you can weave to your research. Being beholden to private interests for your wages means that you are immediately co-opted, despite your best intentions otherwise. That co-optation leads to short-sighted, fretful assertions like :

“I don’t know if it’s time to panic, and I doubt it is,” he said. “But we really don’t know what it’s doing. It’s something we need to worry about. It’s something we need to find out about.”