A home-cooked meal has many benefits, including healthier ingredients and fewer processed foods.
A home-cooked meal has many benefits, including healthier ingredients and fewer processed foods. But there’s another reason to avoid eating out all the time. Preparing meals at home can reduce your exposure to harmful PFAS chemicals that are commonly found in take-out and fast food packaging, according to a new study by researchers at Silent Spring Institute.
Reporting in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers analyzed data from 10,106 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)—a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tracks health and nutritional trends in the United States. The participants had answered detailed questions about their diet, recalling what they ate over four different time scales—in the previous 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and 12 months. The participants had also provided blood samples that had been analyzed for a number of different PFAS chemicals.
The researchers found that people who ate more meals at home had significantly lower levels of PFAS in their bodies. The vast majority (90%) of these meals consisted of food purchased at a grocery store. In contrast, people who consumed more fast food or ate more frequently at restaurants, including pizza places, tended to have higher levels of PFAS in their bodies. This suggests that fast food and food from other restaurants is more likely to be contaminated with PFAS, which may be due to greater contact with PFAS-containing food packaging.
Read more at Silent Spring Institute
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