The Forever Chemicals in Our Food—And Now in Our Bodies
Disclaimer: this article may result in appetite loss, stomach ache, and a lack of faith in our nation’s food safety regulations.
On Monday, the New York Times published a piece that may leave you squirming in your seat—or at the very least passing on that slice of chocolate cake. According to recent FDA findings, troubling levels of a class of chemicals called PFAS are turning up in our food.
What are PFAS? Good question.
PFAS are manmade compounds used to repel water, grease, and stains, and can be found in products like non-stick frying pans and food packaging. There are approximately 5,000 different varieties of PFAS, and studies have shown a correlation between PFAS and adverse health problems like cancer, liver damage, and low birth weight. A federal toxicology report last year concluded that these compounds are more dangerous than previously thought.
Hold up, break this down for me.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t break down easily—in fact, PFAS can take over 1,000 years to degrade. And we’re eating them.
In the study, the FDA sampled foods from markets in three mid-Atlantic cities and found that close to half of all meats and fish tested contained two to three times the federal advisory level for PFAS, which stands at 70 parts-per-trillion (PPT). Notably, this is an advisory threshold, not a legally enforceable standard, so it lacks any regulatory teeth.
Chocolate cake tested at 17,640 PPT, and one leafy vegetable from a farmers market grown in close proximity to a PFAS plant tested at over 1,000 PPT.
At Allergy Amulet, we care about food safety. Not only do we care about protecting the food allergy community from inadvertent exposure to allergens, but we also care about the broader food community and ensuring that the foods we eat pose no risk to human health. Since our technology is well positioned to detect for food contaminants after tackling common allergens, we look forward to creating a future paradigm shift in food transparency, and ultimately bringing food safety to the palm of your hand.
Because hunnie, you deserve to eat nut-free AND PFAS-free cake.
- Abi and the Allergy Amulet Team