Everywhere you look, from sea to plastic sea, the world’s gone plastic.

Earlier this month, Trends Journal wrote about the problem of microplastic particles, which are found almost everywhere and often contain chemicals called phthalates, which are linked to a variety of health problems; see “THINK COVID WILL KILL YOU? HOW ABOUT THIS?” (5 Oct 2021).   

Now comes word, as reported on 27 October by The Washington Post, that phthalates have been found in the majority of 64 samples collected from national fast-food outlets in the San Antonio area, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Chipotle. 

TRENDPOST: The Chipotle chain (whose mission statement promised “Food with Integrity”) was once the darling of “foodies” seeking “ethical” fast-food; see “HEALTHY FAST FOOD BRINGS FAT PROFITS” (30 Apr 2014). 

While phthalates (which are called “plasticizers” and are used to make plastics pliable) have been banned from many products, they are still found in many items associated with food production, such as industrial tubing, conveyor belts and food-handlers’ gloves, and are thought to enter food via microplastic particles shed by such items.

While the Food and Drug Administration has no current standards for acceptable levels of such chemicals in food, the Environmental Protection Agency does, and the chemicals found did not exceed EPA thresholds. An FDA spokesperson said that the agency would “re-evaluate” its safety assessments “as new scientific information becomes available.” 

86 percent of the fast-food samples were also found to contain DEHT, a non-phthalate plasticizer developed as an alternative to phthalates. The health effects of such chemicals have not yet been fully studied, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recommended that federal agencies conduct such studies.

TREND FORECAST: Federal regulatory agencies, revolving door fronts controlled and pressured by industry lobbyists, will pretend to conduct the needed studies that will set limits on the levels of these chemicals permitted in food. 

Their motivation in doing so will be the observation in The Washington Post’s article that “Disadvantaged neighborhoods often have plenty of fast-food outlets but limited access to healthier foods,” and that “people of color and low-income Americans may be disproportionately affected by these chemicals.”

This is only partially true and mostly media bullshit according to MVOrganizing. They report that in general, a meal costs $5 to $7 at a fast food restaurant, but the cost of cooking at home averages out to $1.50 to $3 per person. In America, some 42 million people each get $157 per month, which gives them more than enough to eat healthy each day. 

Meanwhile, as Trends Journal has forecast, see “JUNK FAST FOOD IS STILL KING” (20 Apr 2015)—chains offering truly healthy, clean food will continue to enjoy a share of the market, but that share “will be dwarfed by the traditional junk-food chains, who are best positioned to serve cheaper food for large portions of the population still suffering from low wages and no upward mobility.” 

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