Why Mennonite Urine Is Four Times Lower in BPAs Than the Rest of Ours

Drive less, eat better, live simple and live longer: what we can learn from the Mennonite way of life.

We all carry in our bodies the legacy of our dependence on plastic products: 93 percent of U.S. urine samples contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound used in the production of plastics and resins. Most of this exposure comes from food packaging. You may also recall the shift away from the use of BPA by Nalgene, the water bottle maker.

Sydney Brownstone over at Mother Jones points out the growing body of scientific research showing that BPAs screw around with our hormones and much more:

Exposure to the chemical has been associated with risk for obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, infertility, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and neurological problems.


BPAs are ubiquitous in the modern industrial food system, and figuring our just how they find their way into our bodies can be complicated, points out Brownstone. Earlier this week researchers from the University of Rochester and Mount Sinai Medical Center published a study with a novel approach to this question. They tested the urine of pregnant Mennonite women in upstate New York for their exposure and found their levels to be four times lower than average.

So what do the Mennonites know that we don't? Well, they eat fresh, local, homegrown, pesticide free food, drive less, and their homes aren't filled with plastic products. Live simply and live longer. The global BPA market is worth about $8 billion and the FDA has balked at a ban. Perhaps it's time to reconsider.

For more on the risks of BPAs, how to avoid them, and how to move policy change forward, visit the NRDC.

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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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