Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic, less than 5 millimeters in diameter. They can be found all over the world, in the oceans, freshwater ecosystems, and even the air. Microplastics can enter our bodies through food, water, and inhalation.
It can contaminate our food supply in a number of ways. They can be ingested by marine animals, which can then be eaten by humans. Microplastics can also be found in agricultural runoff, which can pollute soil and crops. Additionally, microplastics can be released from food packaging during processing and transportation.
Some plastics contain estrogen-like chemicals called xenoestrogens. These chemicals can disrupt our hormones and lead to a number of health problems, including reproductive problems, cancer, and developmental delays. Xenoestrogens are released from plastics when they are heated or frozen, which can happen during food processing and transportation.
What can we do to reduce our exposure to microplastics?
There are a number of things that we can do to reduce our exposure to microplastics, including:
Choose fresh, whole foods over processed foods. Processed foods are more likely to contain microplastics from packaging.
Avoid foods that are packaged in plastic, especially plastic that is heated or frozen.
Eat more plant-based foods and less meat. Meat and dairy products are more likely to contain microplastics from agricultural runoff.
Filter your water. Water filters can remove microplastics from drinking water.
Avoid using plastic products whenever possible. Use reusable bags, straws, and water bottles instead of single-use plastic products.
Microplastic pollution is a serious problem, but there are things that we can do to reduce our exposure. By following the tips above, we can protect our health and the environment!