01/13/2015: Beverages, Sugar, BPA and more



Hey everybody. I’m back. I’m Caryn Hartglass. You’re listening to It’s All About Food. It’s the second part of our show here on January 13, 2015. I think I said 2014 before, didn’t I? Oh you know how that goes. 2015, 2015. I’ll get it, probably within the year sometime. I like the number 2015.

Let’s talk about some things in the news. I saw some interesting articles about the Coca-Cola company cutting jobs. Now, that’s unfortunate for those who have jobs that are going to be losing them because it’s never fun to lose a job. Most of us need to work. And it can be really a scary thing, especially in this kind of climate. Although they say unemployment is going down, but it’s still really challenging especially for people who have been in a position for a really long time to get out in this new kind of job climate and find employment. Things have really changed a lot in the last ten years and it can be really difficult. But, on the good side, there are reasons why Coca-Cola is cutting jobs. I don’t think they’re going to admit it, but the sale of soda- the sale of carbonated beverages is down, not just with Coke, but also with Pepsi. And, I want to say yaaaay to that! I want to believe that people are getting a little bit smarter and when we talk about the standard American diet and we talk about the animal foods that are not only cruel to produce, but unhealthy for us and devastating on the environment, the other side of that standard American diet has the highly processed foods. And, for people that really want to get healthy and improve their diet, one of the simplest first steps that they can do is eliminate soda. Eliminate those highly sugary beverages, and we’re seeing it happen. This is really exciting. What are all the things that are wrong with Coca-Cola? And when I say Coca-Cola, I also mean Pepsi because they’re like twins. To start with, when we consume Coca-Cola, it leaves a very bad, acidic environment in our bodies. It’s an atmosphere that promotes illness- that promotes disease. That’s not a good thing. The other thing- the other bad thing, and you know this, is the sugar. And, whether it’s sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, wherever you’re going to get that sweetener, it’s not- it’s empty calories, and it causes a lot of inflammation. We’re learning more and more about how addictive sugar and other sweeteners are. This is not a good thing. And the other side of that is, okay well if you want to have the carbonated beverage you think, “Well maybe I’ll have the artificial sweeteners” and those are even worse. They do all kinds of tricks to our brains. They stimulate our appetite. So, for those unfortunate people who think they’re doing a good thing by reducing the number of calories and they’re drinking diet soda (maybe they don’t want to gain weight or they maybe want to lose weight) those artificial sweeteners are tricking our brains and making us want to eat! And, it makes it that much harder to do- to make your objectives, meet your goal. The other thing is, there tends to be some caffeine in those sodas, Coke and Pepsi. And, there’s a lot of mix information out there about caffeine. We see studies all the time, every other day it seems. Some say caffeine’s good, some say caffeine’s bad. I personally don’t think we should be getting a lot of it, maybe a little, or none at all, but not too much. And, I would rather, if I’m going to have caffeine, I would rather get it in chocolate- dark chocolate. Or, in teas like black tea or green tea where we’re getting so many other health benefits. There’s a lot of things in coffee- I mean, excuse me, there’s a lot of things in Coke that really aren’t healthy for us. So we don’t need- if you think you need caffeine, you don’t need to be getting it from a Coca-Cola or a Pepsi. But, there are two other things that I think are really serious about drinking carbonated beverages like Coke and Pepsi. And number one is when our bodies are thirsty, we need water. When our bodies are thirsty, we need water, or we need water either just by drinking water or by eating foods like very juicy fruit or very juicy vegetables that are filled with water in them. We can’t live without water. Water is so important and people that feel fatigued or have headaches, or have all kinds of problems, one of the reasons might be because they’re dehydrated. Water is very important, and getting it from Coke or Pepsi is really not a good way to hydrate your body. The last thing is, most carbonated beverages today, like Coke and Pepsi, come in plastic bottles. And, we keep finding more and more issues with plastic, and it’s scary, and it’s heartbreaking. And I wanted to talk a little more about just that.

But before I talk about all the nightmares coming out in the research about plastic, I want to give some solutions. So when I’m moving around, and I move around a lot, I don’t have a car, I live in New York City, I take the subway. I travel with water in glass bottles. Now, it’s a little heavy, but there are some wonderful glass bottles today that have like a rubber carrying case, or a packaging around it, so it makes it really hard to break them. And, I just got into the habit of doing that. You could also carry water in stainless steel containers, they’re kind of pricy but those are really the options that are available. Of course, occasionally, if I’m really thirsty and there’s no other water except in a plastic bottle, I’ll drink it but I don’t even know if I want to do that anymore. The more I read about what’s in plastic and it just gets scarier and scarier.

So there’s a new study, just came out in- it just came out in, have you been to the PNAS website? It’s the- proceedings of- here we go. It is the- I can’t stand when there are always acronyms and then you never know what the real name is. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PNAS. They have wonderful information and they’ve got incredible amount of studies going on all the time. When I went over to look at this particular study today, I read the content and found a few more things that I wanted to talk about. But basically, there was a recent study on Bisphenol A, BPA. We all know how bad that is and how it’s used in the liner cans of soups and other canned foods. It’s in like everything, coats, sales receipts, and it’s in Tippy cups and all kinds of things and now it’s being banned and companies are taking it out, but they’re- the things that they’re using instead may be just as harmful, or worse. And this particular study compared Biphenol, or Bisphenol, “you say Bisphenol, I say Biphenol- BPA” and they compared it with BPS, Bisphenol S. So there’s Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S. And it’s a common analog used in BPA-free products. And what they discovered- now I have to make a disclaimer because the studies were done on mice, and I’m not happy when I see studies done on animals, but when we learn things- oh no I’m sorry, the study was done on Zebra fish larvae. It wasn’t done on mice; I’m confusing it with another study I was just looking at. Bottom line is these studies were not done on humans, but the humans’ epidemiological results, while they’re still emerging are showing an association with the results that they found on the Zebra fish. The bottom line is that this Bisphenol S is even more powerful on causing- wreaking havoc. So, there was a 180% increase in neuronal- neurogenesis, neuronal birth issues with the hypothalamus and in the Zebra fish with the PA and it was 240% increase with BPS. So, the BPS which we thought could be used instead of BPA and is in a lot of plastics today is actually worse than BPA. And this is scary. And they were connecting the dots and seeing that some of the issues like behavioral disturbances in children, hyperactivity, all types of things, can come out of the problems related to these plastics and in some cases, they’ve seen a greater impact on the males versus the females. And we see some of those issues when it comes to Autism for example there are higher- more cases in boys than in girls. So, the thing is we really need to get some plastic out of our lives and fast! But here’s another problem, and I really don’t know what the solution is, but all of our clothing for example that’s made from plastic materials like fleece. You know we were all so happy when people were recycling Coke bottles and making warm fleece jackets out of it, it just seems so economically friendly, all this great recycling. Well when we wash things like fleece, these microfibers come off in the laundry water and go into the water and end up in the ocean and we’re seeing them in all kinds of sea life today and wreaking all kinds of havoc. The plastics that we have created are everywhere. So to start with, we can be using less and none at all. And then we have to figure out how to clean up our mess, the plastic that we put out there into the environment. I want to believe that we can do it, and when put to the test humans can be pretty damn creative. But in the meanwhile, I think we have a lot of work to do and I personally use glass as much as I can. As I mentioned before, when I bring food home from the supermarket I move everything into glass containers, I refrigerate a lot of it, and for me it’s glass and stainless for the most part and eliminating much of the plastic in my life. I wish you the same.

There was some other interesting articles while I was visiting the PNAS website, that’s the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Whew, that’s a mouthful. And it has to do- a new article says the commonly used antimicrobial additive tricloson is a liver tumor promoter. Yaaaay. Now, this isn’t something necessarily that we eat, but it is related to food in that we see these antimicrobials a lot in cleaning products and in sponges. Something that drove me crazy for a long time is trying to find a sponge that doesn’t have these antimicrobial agents. Have you ever experienced that? Most supermarkets you can’t find them. And, whenever I do see just plain old sponges, I usually buy out the store because these antimicrobial agents really are dangerous, and this is just one example in the PNAS proceedings where they found that this additive causes liver tumors. Not something that we want, is it?

Now before I leave you, I wanted to talk about some happier notes, quasi-happy notes. A few months ago I started talking about some things that I am grateful for and that leads us into the arts and entertainment portion of this program. Did you know we had an arts and entertainment portion? Well, last week I played a song so I guess that was an entertainment portion. And maybe all this conversation about food is entertaining, maybe. I was recently invited to a night at the Opera. I had some friends who had some wonderful tickets at the Met, and I was invited to see Aida. And I loved the opera, I normally can’t afford to go, the prices are crazy expensive, but primarily it’s because there are so many people involved in these productions and this production of Aida that I just went to, it was manic! There were so many people onstage, it was quite a spectacle. And of course there is some wonderful musicians in the pit, and just to create all the costumes and the sets, tremendously expensive so I can understand the cost of the tickets, but I still couldn’t afford it and I was really glad that I was invited to go. But there were a few things that I was so conflicted with because number one the story of Aida is about this conflict between Ethiopia and Egypt and although the story is fictitious and it took place a long time ago, you realize that these conflicts are still going on today all over the world and it’s just frustrating that we cannot solve these conflicts. But the thing that I was a little nervous about was I knew that the production of Aida was a big spectacle and I had read about different productions and while I was sitting there in the audience I kept thinking, “Oh no I hope they’re not going to bring out live elephants and other animals” because that’s what I read happens in some of these productions. Fortunately, there were no elephants and there were no camels in this production, but there were two horses and one of them was really putting up a fuss. I don’t think he was too happy to have big feathers on his head and be standing there on the stage in front of so many people. But that’s what we do. And where everyone was delighted, I was kind of cringing in my seat. And I was really sorry to see that. Anyway, I think we’re out of time and I had a few more things that I wanted to talk about, but I’m going to have to bring them up next time. Shall we do that? Thanks for joining me on It’s All About Food, I’m Caryn Hartglass. You can find me at https://responsibleeatingandliving.com/. We have some exciting projects coming up very soon; we’ve got a new video series that I will tell you about next week. In the mean time, have a delicious week!

Transcribed by Kalsoom Leghari, August 7, 2016

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