The Richmond Register

November 23, 2012

Church, project volunteers to serve BPA-free supper Nov. 28


Special to the Register

BEREA — A BPA-free supper will be served Nov. 28, 5:45 p.m. at the Berea Friends Meeting House at 300 Harrison Road as part of Union Church’s Wednesday Nite Live program. The meal will be prepared by church members and Kentucky Safe Foods Project volunteers.

BPA, or Bisphenol-A, is a chemical used as a lining in metal food containers that is said to leach into the food product. It also has been used in plastics such as polycarbonate water bottles, “sippy” cups and baby bottles. The chemical has been linked to increased rates of cancer, reproductive disorders, developmental disabilities, diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems.

Those who attend will learn the importance of safe and healthy foods, said Melinda Alcorn, the project’s coordinator through the Kentucky Environmen-tal Foundation (KEF).

Kentucky ranks as one of the worst states for adult and childhood obesity, a statistic that Alcorn says can be changed.

“Toxic chemicals in our foods can increase the risk of obesity,” she said. “Chemicals like BPA, which is often found in canned foods and sodas, transform into fat cells and change our metabolism rates.  So it’s not only about diet and exercise, it’s also about avoiding harmful chemicals in food.  As a mother, I want to promote safer and healthier foods for both myself and my family.  I know others do, too.”

The purpose of the Kentucky Safe Foods Project is to educate Kentuckians on the link between BPA exposure and health, and to work with sustainable foods and health organizations collaboratively to reduce exposures to achieve better health outcomes, including on obesity.

The Project provides information to families on what they can do to reduce BPA exposures, and encourages industry and legislators to find and use safer substitutes for BPA in products.

Numerous health studies have shown that a reduction of canned-food consumption results in a dramatic decrease in BPA levels, which accumulate in the body. Eating foods that are fresh and local, packaged in bags (such as dried beans or frozen) or preserved in glass jars are better options for families who want to limit their intake of toxic chemicals, Alcorn said.

During the holiday season – when many people put more care into food planning at family gatherings – it is a good time to get information out on BPA, she said. “Nobody wants their families to eat toxic food, especially over the holidays.”