Better Beverage Containers

Reader Contribution by Jessica Kellner and Editor

Ah, the
beverage aisle–quite possibly one of the least healthy aisles in the grocery
store. While most of us know to avoid the sugars, artificial sweeteners and
unnatural preservatives to be found (in huge quantities) in this area, even
when we’re buying better beverages, health concerns lurk in the prepackaged
drink aisle. It’s not just the contents of those drink packages we need to be concerned
about. Drink packaging itself is rife with unhealthy ingredients.

Most beverage
cans in the United States are lined with the potentiallydangerous hormone-mimicking chemical bisphenol-A(BPA). BPA is able to leach into foods
it comes in contact with–in particular liquids. So that can of soda (even the
all-natural kind) may contain a lot more than water, sugar and flavoring. It may well also be laced with chemicals linked to
endocrine disruption, obesity, diabetes and cancer, among other health issues.  

Unfortunately,
choosing plastic bottles over canned beverages isn’t a good alternative. #7
plastic (look at the recycling code on the bottom of the bottle) is also made
with BPA. But most beverages are packaged in #1 plastic, which is often
BPA-free. Unfortunately,recent studieshave found that nearly all plastics
release estrogen-mimicking chemicals, and its ability to mimic estrogen is suspected to be the cause of
the various health effects caused by BPA . 

Lest you think you must ban all drinks besides water,
consider the better alternatives. Glass is a safe, inert and recyclable
material, and many natural sodas and sparkling waters are packaged in it. You
can also make your own much healthier beverages using combinations of herbal
teas, fruit juices and sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar, or make your own lemonade or
sodas at home. 

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