The food industry went down a dark path after WW 2 in search of mass producible, shippable, shelf-stable and tasty foods. You know, money. From orange juice to margarine, TV dinners to breakfast cereals, the over-processed make believe versions of old favorites and lately a surge of [crap] that shouts "non GMO!" when there's nothing in them that had genes to start with. But you had a feeling that the healthy food wave was gaining momentum, that people were demanding and finding more real foods in stores and at restaurants. That weekend morning produce markets and farm to table eateries were making a difference, that we might not all die as chemical zombies. And yet...
According to this article in the NYT one of the staples of childhood (and college) is even nastier than you thought.
That's right, good 'ol mac and cheese is just as disgusting as you always knew it was. It's chock full of phthalates , a plasticizer used in everything from floor wax and building materials to medical devices and detergents. Yum! Turns out that because it's so heavily processed from what was at one time (possibly) real cheese it picks up toxic levels of a number of different kinds of this cheap, common production chemical.
And it's in lots more foods, too: chips, crackers, sauces and puffs and twirls and snaps and heaven knows what all. Anything marked "cheese flavored" is suspect.
Phthalates have been banned from kids toys and teething rings for over a decade but because fat absorbs these toxins so readily every step in the food-factory process exposes the product to more of them. Vats, tubes, hoses, rollers, packaging - you get the idea.
This all matters because phthalates are "linked to genital birth defects in infant boys and learning and behavior problems in older children... and may pose special risks to pregnant women and young children."
What's a mother to do? Easy. Eat more real food. Don't buy anything in a box. Take a couple minutes to learn to make a meal from non-processed stuff. Stop going to the drive through (you don't really believe what McDonald's tells you about "healthy choices" do you?).
This is about so much more than just food choices. Stop checking in on Facebook and pay attention to something that matters. That would be you. Take the time to treat yourself right. We're being sold to all day, every day. Don't you believe it. Look up, see your family and friends, care about yourself.