BPA (and other chemicals) that you never thought you were exposed to (and were wrong)

Did you know?

Although it has been in use by manufacturers since late 1950s, prior to 2008 very few people among the general public have heard about Bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical widely used in plastics and epoxy resins.  Around 2008, as a result of controversy surrounding the effects of BPA and concerns that babies during prenatal and neonatal development are especially sensitive to even the tiniest doses of endocrine disruptors, based on studies on animals and high expectations of similar effects in humans – several governments banned the use of BPA in infant bottles and infant formula packaging, sippy cups, etc.  But the general message delivered by government health authorities was and still continues to be that BPA – at least at levels that an average person would be commonly exposed to – is harmless, as those levels are far below the ones that were linked to any adverse effects in studies.

Some evidence, however, suggests that you are not as safe as you might be lead to believe.  First, if you thought that by replacing your bad plastic water bottles with BPA-free plastic alternatives would do the trick – you are missing a much bigger picture.  BPA is actually also found in quite a few other products and places.  This not only includes products you normally don’t ingest – such as CDs, DVDs, sunglasses, thermal paper used in sales receipts, newspapers, tickets, napkins, toilet paper – but also in dental sealants (that stay in your mouth) or in products that come in direct contact with food or drinks you may consume (such as those large polycarbonate water bottles used in office coolers, PVC film commonly used in food storage – think plastic wrap – and even such less obvious places as canned food and drinks (the inside of these cans are often lined with BPA-containing epoxy resin coating – allegedly, to prevent leaching of aluminum – but contributing to leaching BPA, instead.

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Getting strong, lean and sexy with deadlifts

For both men and women, deadlift has been one of the best measures of core strength.  But, surprisingly, you don’t see too many women (with the exception of Crossfit enthusiasts) performing deadlifts in the gym.  This mostly has to do with twisted misconceptions around women and exercise and how women’s fitness became practically a quest for movement aesthetics that are better suited for marketing, rather than a quest for actual results.  Deadlifts just don’t fit very well into “conventional” image of a skinny girl with iPod earplugs in tight gym clothes doing rounds of useless brisk treadmill walks.

Of course, you know that nothing can be further from the truth – properly executed deadlift, whether done by men or women, is a beautiful thing to watch and, along with the other two powerlifting moves – bench press and squat – is an absolute must if you want to increase your overall muscle strength, get lean, chiseled and sexy and is one of very few exercises of choice when you want to achieve maximum results in minimum time.

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The Ultimate Guide to Eating Better Meat (Part III) – six reasons to eat organ meats

(Continued from Part I and Part II)

When modern cultures talk about “meat”, they usually mean muscle meat – the tenderloins, roasts, shoulders, strip loins, and T-bones we can all buy in stores.  But this wasn’t always the case.  In fact, as early as only about 100 years ago, the same modern cultures happily consumed organ meats, bone broths and even blood.  And although some traditional recipes still make use of these, the concept is generally not very well received.  Unless you specifically look for them, organ meats are hard to come by in conventional stores and regular recipe books don’t describe many ways to cook them.

This is very unfortunate, because organ meats are extremely beneficial for your health.  Several observational studies of Indigenous people (probably the most widely known is a series of studies by Weston A. Price) have demonstrated that non-industrialized cultures regularly consuming organ meats have significantly lower occurrence of cancer and degenerative diseases, as well as longer life span.  This makes sense, given how many nutrients organ meats can pack. If you care about your health – you’d better work those into your diet.  Let’s look at what makes them so exceptional, to provide you some encouragement.

It is unlikely that ancient hunter-gatherer tribes – or even our ancestors as recently as 100 years ago, unless you come from a lineage of particularly affluent individuals – would have been able to afford throwing away or otherwise passing on an opportunity to consume whatever nutritious food they could lay their hands on.  Abundance of food in the last several decades and animal farming on industrial scale shifted the focus towards muscle meats as “higher-class” food that was now more affordable and available.

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The Ultimate Guide to Eating Better Meat – Part II

(Continued from Part I – Buyer’s Guide)

Part II – Food safety, poisoning, and how to cook meat the right way

 

Disclaimer: 

The risks of food poisoning due to improper cooking – especially for certain susceptible groups of people – are real and consumption of undercooked food may lead to serious illness or, certain cases, death. This article does not constitute and is not intended to be used as medical, microbiological, or any other advice.  While the topics discussed in this article appear to have been researched and supported by various scientific sources, make sure you understand them and thoroughly research this topic further, prior to making any changes in your dietary habits.  Due to many variables affecting the risk of contamination, the author of this article does not guarantee that following the recommendations in this article completely eliminate the risk of food poisoning. Further, the author does not accept any responsibility for any health issues that may result from following the advice presented in this article.

Meat usually requires some sort of preparation to lower one (or all) of the following potential risks:

  • Parasitic worms
  • Viral infection
  • Plasmids
  • Prions
  • Bacterial contamination
  • Protist infection

Of all these, viral infection (led by Norovirus) remains the most prevalent in terms of the number of cases (according to estimates made in 1999 by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), but these cases are usually mild and, while being responsible for about 68% of all food-related illnesses, the related death rate remains at about 7%. Even though illnesses attributed to protists amount to only about 3%, the death rate is about 20%, while bacteria, responsible for about 30% of all food poisoning are responsible for about 72% of fatalities.  These statistics make bacteria the highest-risk microorganism that may cause foodborne illnesses.  So we will make bacteria the center of our discussion.

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