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EnviroBits: Swedish labeling, BPA in canning lids, and my love for Mark Bittman

Bittman

I have lots of stuff swirling in my head, so it's time for a brain dump:

*** Let's start with some love. I am publicly professing my love for Mark Bittman, food and cookbook writer extraordinaire (I swear this guy is everywhere). I wasn't really even aware of Bittman until about a year ago (despite owning his Fish book for several years). The man knows his food and he knows how to present it in an accessible, user-friendly fashion that makes me feel like Yes! I can cook this and it will be delicious and good for my family! I've recently become the proud owner (thanks, Mom) of his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and I love, love, love it. Mmmwah to you, Mr. Bittman.

*** Oh those Swedes! First they get us hooked on modern particleboard furnishings, and now they've gone and started labeling food with carbon dioxide emissions! This information is supposed to help consumers make more informed choices about the food they buy in grocery stores and restaurants -- the lower the carbon rating, the better for the environment. The carbon rating measures the food's production -- the type of facility or soil in which it was grown, fuel used by machinery, packaging and transport. Will it work? Well, similarily a new study recently found that restaurant nutritional menu labeling, like what we have here in Portland, does in fact help people make better food choices. So perhaps the Swedish labeling model will work, too. Skål!

*** Finally, here's some news that will make you want to curl into a fetal position for the rest of the day: your canning jar lids contain BPA! Excellent. You try and do the right thing and can fresh food for the winter, and little do you know you could be slowly killing your family. Sorry, that's extreme, but I'm a little emotional (first love, now death!). Long-time reader Kristi sent us the above link from Utne Reader (and she just pressure-canned tomatoes for the first time ever). Apparently the only BPA-free canning jars are the lovely, but pricey, Weck jars. This article from Treehugger indicates that jarred store-bought baby food is also affected. I really don't know what to think about all of this. The BPA stuff is alarming and it's popping up everywhere and I'm sure I've ingested mass quantities of it my whole life and have fed large doses to my kids. You see? It's time to assume the position. Wah.

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