You want to give your children the very best, so you buy them fancy lunchboxes and make sure they drink bottled mineral water. You buy their vegetables, fruits, dals and atta from a mall and never from a downmarket kirana or bania or those sabzi mandis—after all, supermarket food must be hygienic, right? Your kitchen is full of expensive, transparent containers that are dishwasher- and microwave-friendly. Wow! You’re joining the ranks of modern-day parents who are polluting, albeit unknowingly, their children’s endocrine (hormonal) system, making them vulnerable not just to obesity but also to irritability, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. All with the single act of bringing plastic in close contact with food and water kids consume. Plastic contains chemicals whose molecules are similar to estrogen, the female hormone. This manmade substance is called xenohormone, and has a hormone-like effect. Plastic is man-made—it is not organic and not even biodegradable. We buy bottled water thinking it’s hygienic, but overlook the toxicity the plastic bottle adds. Which would you prefer, your child coming down with a bad tummy or him/her battling hormonal disorders stemming from long-term exposure? Even milk bottles for kids are made of plastic—so exposure begins sooner than you know.
Plastic contaminates far more dangerously than most microbes do; yet we’re unaware of this pollution of our food, and through it, of our systems. It pollutes the adult body too but is more damaging to children. The choice is yours—make your kitchen, lunchboxes and water bottles plastic-free; protect your family from exposure to xenohormones.
(Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar’s latest book is called Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha)