John read an article on Yahoo the other day called “The 7 foods experts won’t eat,” which Yahoo wouldn’t bring up when I went to look it up to read it after he mentioned it to me. I had to Google it. Past the irony of Yahoo not being the best search engine for their own site, the article was a little disturbing. Most of the listed precautions were not news to me: wash apples thoroughly, avoid artificial growth hormones in milk, and definitely don’t touch microwave popcorn. Two items, however, will be making a difference about what John and I put into our mouths.
Canned tomatoes are a staple in our house. Any of you who are at all familiar with my eating habits will not find this surprising. Spaghetti with tomato sauce is probably the one dish I could eat three times a week, every week, every year for the rest of my life and still die regretting that I couldn’t have more. I love the stuff. If we don’t go through a large can of tomato sauce every week, then I haven’t been cooking.
Apparently, according to this Yahoo article, the acidity of tomatoes causes BPA in the can line to leach into the food. BPA is a buzzword in food-scared circles, and it is reportedly nasty stuff that might mess with your weight, heart, and reproductive health. I switched my water bottle from plastic to aluminum to avoid the stuff.
Worse than the tomatoes is their partner in the crime of knocking Dan Quayle out of spelling bees everywhere: potatoes. This, my friends, just won’t do! I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, if you’re measuring them on the tomato scale, but I do love them. Dearly. Sadly, as root vegetables, potatoes just suck up all of the toxic chemicals that soak into the soil from all manner of fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides. (Again, so says Yahoo). The levels of crud in these bad boys is such that potato farmers often grow a potatoes for their own family in a separate, chemical-free plot of land.
These mournful messages, of course, don’t have to spell the end of my love affair with two truly lovely foods. Tomatoes can be bought in glass jars. Potatoes can be bought from organic farmers. The only real trouble is the blow to the wallet, and John had an interesting way of looking at this that justifies the cost: Buying foods that won’t kill you in slow and painful ways is actually a pretty sensible investment in preventative health care.
Of course, if you want to look at it that way, I suppose you could also say we would save money on birth control by just continuing to eat large quantities of BPA-laden tomato sauce.