Hey Everyone,

Last week, we officially launched our newest course, A World of Health: Connecting People, Place and Planet.  At a launch party last Wednesday night, over 80 people came together and participated in this snippet from World of Health.  The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming. If you’d like to order A World of Health and start your own discussion course, you can order it here!

If you’d like to get the flavor of World of Health, here’s a short segment with some discussion questions at the bottom.  Enjoy!

Excerpt from “The Myth of the BPA-Free Diet “by Kat Kerlin

Though reports of its potential health effects and presence in the linings of containers and cans have long been reported in science journals and the media, an article, “Concern over canned foods,” in the December issue of Consumer Reports has brought concerns over BPA to a broad audience.   ….

It got me thinking, if I were to try to cut BPA from my diet, how might that affect my life? I’d already replaced my trusty #7 (polycarbonate) plastic water bottle with a stainless steel bottle, amid reports that #7 leached BPA. (Nalgene and other companies have since started making BPA-free versions of these bottles.) I knew not to microwave any sort of plastic, as that’s been shown to leach a range of chemicals present in various plastics, BPA and hormone-disrupting phthalates among them. But if I stopped eating foods packaged in materials known to house BPA, what would my diet look like?

I decided to find out by challenging myself to a seven-day, BPA-free diet. The parameters: No canned foods or drinks. No food packaged in anything with a waxy liner. (Not that all waxy lined containers have BPA, but some do, and I wasn’t sure which ones, so I decided to try to stay away from them all.) Nothing with a metal lid since the coating beneath it has been shown to have BPA, which ruled out almost all glass jars. No frozen foods. And my diet had to be nutritionally sound. If all I ate were eggs and fresh foods, unpackaged in the produce section, I could eat a relatively BPA-free diet (discounting the lining on some of the boxes they were shipped in). But I’m six months pregnant, which was another reason BPA-free sounded appealing, since laboratory animals prenatally exposed to it developed various health and developmental problems, and babies take in more of it per body weight than adults. So I was not going to give up any of the major food groups. …I drew up a careful shopping list, focusing on bulk and fresh foods and headed to the store.

  1. To what extent are you concerned about the health impacts of BPA in food packaging?
  2. What, if any actions have you taken (or are considering taking) to reduce your exposure to BPA or other toxins found in household items?
  3. Should keeping BPA out of one’s diet be the consumer’s responsibility?
  4. Beyond reducing exposure to BPA, what might be the other benefits of purging it from one’s diet?
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