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Ever wondered if the food you’re buying is indeed healthy? Studies show that you might be consuming close to a teaspoon of microplastics daily! And, this number is higher depending on your intake of certain foods. Microplastics are tiny plastic (5mm long), which could be a disintegration of larger items such as disposable cups, plastic bags, straws, and packaged food. From the water we drink to the air we breathe, microplastics could be found in anything. Lifestyle change is the first step in reducing the intake of microplastics. Luckily, no long-term effects have been shown to arise from consuming microplastics. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double-check what you’re eating. Here are everyday foods that containing microplastics.

Teabags

Surprisingly, your favorite packaged teabags could be containing multiple microplastic particles. Basically, when you dip a tea bag in a cup of hot water, it leaches microplastic into the cup. Yes, tea bags are packaged in papers, but they add tiny plastics to strengthen and seal the bag.

What’s more, most premium brands go for a higher proportion of plastic so as to form the pyramid bag shape, which is said to better infuse the tea leaves.

To ensure you minimize the consumption of microplastics, avoid teabags altogether, and go for loose tea leaves. If that isn’t possible, then you should choose teabags without plastic seal.

Bottled Water

Almost 90% of bottled water is packaged in disposable plastic bottles. Consequently, the bottles release microplastics and other chemicals into the water. Even worse, you’re likely to buy water that has been sitting in a plastic bottle for months and it’s said that these plastics release harmful gasses to the water with time. Note that leaving your plastic bottled water in direct sunlight makes the plastic leach even more microplastics. Studies show that a liter of bottled water contains 10,000 microplastics in it! If you must buy bottled water, choose brands that use glass bottles. Avoid reusing plastic bottles as well because they deposit more microplastic with every use.

Seafood

We all love seafood and it makes an essential part of our diet. These foods include fish and other water vegetables. Unfortunately, these foods aren’t as healthy as they are made to seem. For example, shellfish is found to be the second food containing more microplastic after water. The reason being most marine lives accidentally eat lots of plastic deposits in the ocean. This leads to the fish having huge debris of plastic fibers in their bodies. So, whenever you consume them, you end up eating those microplastics as well. However, there are exceptions like salmons, fresh calamari, and whitefish, which are said to have little to no microplastics in them.

Salt

You will be surprised by how much microplastics you consume every day. There is so much plastic waste deposited in our oceans every single day and those plastics find their way into the salt we use. A kg of sea salt packs 212 particles of microplastic. But it’s not just sea salt, even table salts contain microplastics in them. The only way to avoid this consumption is by buying Himalayan pink or Redmond salt. They were formed millions of years ago from unpolluted seabeds, meaning they are safer.

Canned Food

Forget about microplastics, canned food contains a chemical called BPA (Bisphenol-A). (BPA) is a life-threatening chemical that leads to heart disease, reproductive disorder, and type 2 diabetes. The cans are lined with BPA to harden the plastic, which gradually sips into the food inside, contaminating it. Instead of canned foods, opt for foods packaged in glass. However, for good health, your best option is buying fresh and organic foodstuff. Additionally, when going shopping, carry reusable bags to avoid the use of plastic bags.

Beer

Just like bottled water, beer also contains particles of microplastic. A liter of beer carries up to 4.05 plastic fibers in it. Since most breweries use municipal water, it’s possible to find more microplastic in the beer. So, if you must drink alcohol, go for brands that use filtered water to make the beer or switch to wine instead.

Closing Remarks

Generally, the only way to completely deal with plastic issues is to come up with a lifestyle that doesn’t involve the use of anything plastic. This involves substituting plastics with more environmentally friendly alternatives. Buying reusable items is a good place to start on the journey to sustainable living. The fewer plastics there are, the fewer microplastic particles we will have in our food. Remember to avoid heated plastics. Use a pan to warm food in the oven or stove. Go for glass or ceramic when using the microwave. Additionally, when baking in the microwave or oven, avoid using plastic cookware since they release microplastic particles in the food.

All images by Shutterstock

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