Is All Food Packaging Safe? The Legal Chemicals That Are Contaminating Your Food

April 29, 2020

Our blog deals with every topic to do with food—– the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Today we’re touching on an ugly subject. That is, legal chemicals in food packaging. Specifically, we’ll be chatting about chemicals that are forbidden by EU law, but somehow still managed to pass the FDA product approval process in the US. 

Want to know what chemicals are currently contaminating your favorite takeaway? Scroll down for the nitty-gritty. 

What’s the FDA’s Approval Process? 

In the US, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is the official organization for product approval. The FDA website is even classified as an official US government website. Nothing enters the US without first being scrutinized by the FDA— and passing the administration’s product approval process is key.

In light of the recent news that US food packaging contains 154 hazardous chemicals, the FDA’s process might not be as watertight as we first thought. Despite the administration’s high-profile presence, expert commentary on drugs and food and its advocation from the US government, plenty of recent news articles have surfaced that serve to question the FDA’s legitimacy. 

The FDA claims that for a product to get a green stamp of approval, the administration must determine the product on trial as safe and effective. The FDA also bases its decision on whether “the benefits to users will outweigh its risks.”

Is all food packaging safe? If we went off the FDA’s word, the answer would most likely be yes. However, we urge you to ask yourself some questions after learning about the potential dangers of some of America’s legal chemicals and see if you still trust the FDA’s judgment. 

The Benefits, Risks, and Safety of Food Packaging 

Food containers are a simple yet relatively common product— and their popularity is measured by the constant criticism of food packaging’s impact on environmental waste. According to the NRDC — an American earth safeguarding charity—– food and beverage packaging is a prime source of the estimated 269,000 tonnes of plastic pollution. Plastic is the biggest contributor to landfill waste, and although this material is a convenient way to mass-produce items like food packaging, it’s packed full to the brim with potentially harmful chemicals.  

As you’ll know, food packaging has a pretty simple benefit— the storage of food. But is this a necessary benefit? Most people would say no, and it’s a topic that’s widely debated — again because of the environmental impact of packaging. We can see where The Guardian is coming from when they write about the ridiculousness of supermarket packaging. After all, fresh fruit and vegetables having their own natural, protective packaging. 

Yet, we can also see how plastic packaging can serve to preserve food and keep consumption hygienic. Even in environmentalism, this practice helps to minimize unnecessary food waste, suggesting when we think about food packaging, we should stop and think about the bigger picture. Plenty of authoritative sources argue this idea, urging others to think about the consequences of living completely package-less. 

Now you know the very clouded benefit of food packaging, what about its risks? Well, amongst the 154 chemicals that have slipped by the FDA’s test are two dangerous substances: Tributyltin and Perchlorate. While the names are impressive and could pass as villainous, you’ll be convinced of their bad nature after we break down their associated risks. 

Tributyltin — This pesky drug is linked to both breast cancer and poor fetal development. What’s worse, Tributyltin is difficult to spot in packaging as it’s often not listed as a source material. The compound was originally used for enhancing ship performance before it found its way into the packaging industry. 

Perchlorate — It turns out that this chemical has been tested in the US numerous times because of the risks it poses to human health, including reduction of hormone production in the thyroid gland. Despite our skepticism about it during several studies, Perchlorate is still completely legal for product use. The chemical is used in food packaging to control static electricity, but that doesn’t stop it from contaminating food and water. 

From these facts, the safety of American food packaging is unclear. And remember, we’ve only covered two of the 154 chemicals the EU forbids due to associated risks. While you might think enjoying a Chinese takeout on the sofa from a plastic container is only bad for your diet — it could be even worse for your overall health. 

How Can You Control Your Chemical Consumption?
If even the FDA is getting it wrong, then is there any hope for the rest of us? Maybe. 

There are a few actions you can take to avoid consuming harmful chemicals, which might lead to severe health conditions in the long run. Listen up: 

  • Avoid Plastic — It’s better to avoid plastic where you can. You should also get clued up on it, so you don’t get caught out. For example, polystyrene — often used for hot food containers — is a form of plastic (and a harmful one at that). Plastic doesn’t always mean transparent containers. 
  • Choose Sustainable Alternatives — There are plenty of environmental alternatives, whether you’re storing food at home or eating out. An obvious way to avoid chemicals in packaging is to store loose foods and grains in glass at home, so your pantry isn’t a breeding ground for contamination. What about if you want to have a sneaky cheat meal on the weekend? Make sure you’re picking up pizza from a responsible provider. If you do your research beforehand, there are plenty of fast-food providers with eco-friendly food packaging. Instead of using plastic, these vendors might choose to use renewable resources like paper or even sugar cane to solve storage issues. 
  • Watch Where You Shop — You need to cut your harmful packaging consumption at the source. It isn’t enough to buy a plastic-packed product and then remove the transparent sheath as the dirty work could already have been done. Chemicals contaminate food or drink when warm. This doesn’t just pose a problem when re-heating takeout food, as warm weather and long distribution journeys can mean the food is unsafe even before purchase. So, make an effort to shop in local farmers markets where food is fresh and sold without packaging in the first place. 


Beat Stress and Enjoy Your Life Daily

April 26, 2020

Everyone is so stressed these days. The will to live and the pursuit of happiness comes with a lot of ups and downs. Enjoying the good times is easy, but not everyone has the necessary skills to get through the difficult ones. When bombarded with responsibilities, setbacks, and disruptions, stress reaches chronic levels lessening one’s health and quality of life. 

How is it that some people are able to enjoy their lives no matter what? They have essentially learned how to reduce the stress which lightens their emotional load and physical strain allowing them to lead more positive lifestyles. Doing this does take practice, but it isn’t impossible. Just start with some of these suggestions listed below:

Laugh More

Life and the world around us are so serious these days. Everywhere you turn there is stress, drama, traumatic experiences, and chaos. Though you can’t always change what’s going on, learning to laugh can make even the most difficult challenges easier to overcome. As laughter is prescribed as the best medicine, start doing more to put a smile on your face. Watch a funny movie or television show, joke around with relatives and friends, or watch a funny video on the internet. 

Treat Yourself

Finances are a common struggle. When you’re barely making enough money to pay the bills, you often have to sacrifice getting things that bring you joy just to get by. Depriving yourself on a regular basis, however, dampens your mood and builds resentment. Every now and then it’s alright to treat yourself. A full body massage on a comfortable massage table in a tranquil setting will certainly take your stress away. A new t-shirt, pair of pants, or accessory can ease your frustrations. Treating yourself in an affordable and unselfish manner makes you feel better about life and fret less over your finances. 

Think Positively

Reducing your stress could be as simple as changing the way you think. When you’re constantly thinking about all you’ve got going on, particularly in a negative light, it compounds the stress to your mind and body. Altering your train of thought can take practice but those that are happiest and the least stressed in life think happy thoughts. So what your bills are a bit behind and your employer is riding you at work about a deadline. Find joy in the fact that you have a job to provide for yourself and others and these thoughts motivate you to keep pushing for better days. 

Watch the Content

The type of content you’re exposed to on a regular basis can have a lot to do with your mood. Late night news reports are often stressful as they talk of war, politics, natural disasters, and increasing crime. Social media creates an illusion of perfection in the lives of those you know which causes you to compare it to your own. Television shows and movies can be gory in nature or create a fantasy of happily ever after. Though it’s okay to review content, you should be mindful of the types you’re exposed to regularly. Too much of this type of content adds stress and can also leave you feeling anxious and depressed. Learn to intentionally watch and read things that are positive in nature to improve your mood and inspire positive change. 

Love What You Do

The average person spends more awake hours in the office than they do anywhere else. With work taking up such a large portion of your time, it only seems right to work in a career you enjoy. Unfortunately, work-related stress is common as many individuals work to pay the bills with companies they’re not satisfied with. This becomes overwhelming not only in the workplace but spills into their personal lives making everything stressful. If this is you, perhaps it’s time for a change. Create a plan of action to move into a career that you love. This daily passion will exude in your profession and reduce the stress you’re feeling at home. 

Why does it seem like some people are able to enjoy life more than others? It’s not because they have a certain amount of money, a particular house, or are married to the perfect spouse. It’s because they’ve learned how to reduce stress on a regular basis which makes it easier for them to get through the troubled times and lavish in the good ones. If you’d like to enjoy your life daily, start developing practices such as those listed above for positive change. 


2019 Met Gala: What Culture Will be Explored Next?

April 23, 2020

One of the biggest cultural events in the world takes place in a few weeks as the Met Gala gets underway in New York on Monday, May 6.

The Met Gala is a spectacle of fashion, art and culture which also acts as the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Celebrities and socialites will gather in flocks as they show off their extravagant clothing and accessories.

Every year the Gala has a theme which the guests are supposed to acknowledge via their clothing. Different cultures are often explored through these themes. In 2015 the honorary chair was Silas Chou, a Hong-Kong based billionaire who is extremely active in the fashion sector. This led to a theme directly tied to Chinese influence on western fashion and culture. It was titled “China: Through the Looking Glass” and the result was a record-setting attendance for the museum along with some of the most beautiful costume pieces the exhibition has ever seen. The designs featured tropes tied to ancient Chinese culture including dragons and floral patterns.

Other themes that have been explored include the Victorian era, Napoleon’s rule and Jackie Kennedy’s years in the White House.

This year’s theme is “Camp: Notes on Fashion”. It’s a theme celebrating a love of the unnatural. The theme is rooted in the over the top and exaggerated.

Many have been hoping for a theme tied to minimalism but that sounds like it could be the plan for the 2020 Met Gala. With contemporary thinking being, less is more and a general theme of conservation starting to emerge world-wide it should come as no surprise that this is the route the Gala might go.

With Lady Gaga being a co-chair of the 2019 event, it will be interesting to see how she utilizes a potential “camp” theme. She’s well known for her extravagant and over the top costumes for award shows. Most think she’ll tone it down for this event due to her recent Hollywood success but she’s always been unpredictable.

Regardless, the Met Gala is always an exciting event that captures the different cultures and fuses them together in unique and interesting ways. With the honorary chair being announced soon, we can only wait to see who and what will be celebrated at this year’s prestigious event.


Show Off Your Work Style with Business Cards

April 19, 2020

It is a widely recognized phenomenon that having a certain sense of style in your business doesn’t only set it apart from its competitors, but also provides you with the confidence of having a distinguished brand image.

Whether it is through your office décor or your promotional material, projecting your business’ style and personality in a holistic manner opens many doors of opportunities for you.

And when that is done in the form of some of the best business cards, it carries a few additional benefits in itself.

Using Business Card Enhances the Appeal of Your Business

As an analog contact sharing medium that has been used for centuries, business cards have an effect of their own. Regardless of how advanced of a smartphone you carry around, you cannot argue against the connection that you can invoke by sharing your info in the form of a business card instead of a digital contact.

When you think of it, there’s a simple logic behind it. As humans, we respond more strongly to things that we could sense more profoundly, as compared to the ones that we could only perceive in one way.

For instance, a chic jacket or scarf cannot have the same effect through a picture as it does when you could hold it in your hands. This is because by looking at the picture, you are using your visual senses exclusively. But when you are able to see, touch, and feel the very same jacket or scarf all by yourself, it elevates your experience to a whole new level.

Similarly, while digital contacts can do the job of sharing letters and numbers in what is a fairly monotonous way, they fail to invoke the memory, the connection, or the positive feelings that you want to establish for your business.

That is where business cards come in.

How Business Cards Help You Achieve Your Desired Business Image

Through various color schemes, materials, and designs, business cards give you an option to turn away from the mundane looking digital contacts and project your style the way you want.

From foil business cards to clear business cards, and from photo-printed business cards to embossed business cards, ensure to find something that goes right in line with your business’ image.

With vendors such as Basic Invite, ordering business cards that are the right fit for your personal and professional vision is now easier than ever.

How Basic Invite Makes Sure You Can Project the Style You Want

Basic Invite has a state of the art online design tool that lets you customize your card to the very last detail. Whether it’s about the shade of your card’s background or the color of your business’ name, you can count on the popular stationery provider to fulfill all your personalization needs.

With over 180 different color options in each element of your card, you have almost unlimited color options at your disposal. This is clearly something that sets Basic Invite apart from other vendors. But that’s not all.

With the ability to order custom samples for each iteration of your design, you can hold your new card in your hand and see if it evokes the feeling you wanted. If it does, you can order a whole bunch right there. If it doesn’t, then you can redesign your card until its picture perfect.

There are different varieties in each card design as well. For instance, in foil business cards, you could have the option to have your raised or flat design done in gold, silver, or rose gold. While in other business cards, you could enjoy options such as two sided business cards.

Basic Invite also offers over 40 different colors of envelopes, so you do not only have the option to project your style through business cards but your other business stationery as well. With that, you also have the option to enjoy an online address capturing service, so you could keep all your mailing information in one place.

Basic Invite is currently offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 – keeping this in mind, if you want your business cards to enforce their association with all what’s good in the world, this would be the time to start designing them.


How To Be A Foodie

April 14, 2020

Being a foodie is not a straightforward role to take on for oneself. It is not every day that one can go from being just a regular civilian to having the exalted role of a foodie. One can not simply be a foodie by frequenting places such as Starbucks, Wendy’s or Burger King, we dare not even mention the mainstream golden arches.

One takes up the honorable role of being a foodie because one has a more intimate relationship with their food than others. A foodie like Ryan Hibbert respects the food that they eat and pay more attention to the fine details present within their food.

Taking on the role of being a foodie requires individuals to be more interested and invested in their food, being a foodie is not a one-time thing, it’s a lifestyle.

A Foodie has Principles

A foodie understands that food is a core part of their lives and as such, they spend more time with the types of foods that they choose. The foodie realizes that there are two components to their lives, the first is that of their home food life and the second is that of their outside food life.

Their home food life is not simply about watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks, and learning about chefs within their city, it is much more. Their home food life and their foodie role calls for constant activity, one must immerse themselves within the life of food.

The second aspect of their lives would be that of their outside food and dining habits. As noted above, the foodie would abhor a mass-produced, processed, and delivered, and vile place such as an Arby’s. They seek out hole-in-the-wall places that are privy to knowledgeable individuals within the community, places that are only present to those that conduct their homework and seek out something better and unique. They dine at an assortment of places that range from the old gems that continue to stick around to the latest and trendy restaurants within their vicinity.

Foodie Immersion

The life of a foodie requires total immersion in food and hospitality.

Immersion requires the individual on the path to foodie nirvana to realize a few key aspects. They have to be true to themselves, to their local food culture, to their utensils, and to their community at large. Full immersion requires the individual to understand and act on the fine nuances that are involved in the fundamental details of food. This means that an individual would know at least the basics of the end-to-end process, from the basics of food storage to food preparation to the proper cutting techniques, fine cooking, and proper dining as well.

This means that the food will allocate a good percentage of time per week planning their meals and spending quality time on the type of recipes they will make and the restaurants they will visit. The foodie does not compromise on food quality, utensil quality or service quality.

The foodie believes that if they are hosting others that they must provide a glorious meal and makes certain that their service quality and their food quality is equivalent to that of top restaurants within the local city.

Being a foodie is not for all but it is definitely worth it.