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Food Storage


4% 34%


Refregirator Plastic Container None Others


Figure 2 Distribution of household based on food storage.

The chart shows that 53 % of the 292 surveyed households are using plastic container as means to store food. On the other hand, 34% are already using refrigerators, 9% still does not have means to store food due to either scarcity of resources or there is none left for keeping, and there is 4% who uses other means for storage such as basket. The above data can possibly pose a serious health issue with regards to storing of food to plastic containers which actually has the greatest percentage. Plastic containers may harbor microorganisms. Some plastic food containers may be hard to clean or have grooved or lipped surfaces that harbor bacteria, according to the International Association for Food Protection. The bacteria may contaminate the food itself and create a risk of gastrointestinal distress or food poisoning. The association recommends only using plastic food storage

containers that are wide, open and easy-to-clean. (United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: Microwave Ovens and Food SafetyRead more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/173172-what-are-the-

dangers-of-plastic-food-storage-containers/#ixzz21Yk5nL5n http://www.livestrong.com/article/173172-what-are-the-dangers-of-plastic-foodstorage-containers/#ixzz21YjbJcZn) Several research studies have found that when plastic comes in contact with certain foods, molecules of the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the food or beverage. Certain characteristics of the food item can make it more likely to pick up plastic molecules. The more liquid a food is, the more it touches the plastic, so the more opportunity it has to pick up plastic molecules. Acid foods, such as tomato sauce, appear to be particularly interactive with plastic. If you heat a food item in a plastic containereven if the container is microwave-safe the transference of plastic from the container to the food is even more likely. When molecules of plasticor more properly, molecules of the chemicals that get added to plastics during manufacturingget into our bodies, its not a good thing. They can cause unwanted effects in the human body; for instance, some of the chemicals mimic estrogen. Estrogen, of course, is a normal, essential human hormone; but having too much of it (or the molecules that mimic estrogen) has been associated with breast cancer and other health problems. (Aug 11, 2009 by Trevor Justice (admin) http://www.abbeysvegetarianrecipes.com)
Furthermore, plastic is one of the major toxic pollutants of our time. Being a non-biodegradable substance, composed of toxic chemicals, plastic pollutes earth, air and water. Plastic plays the villain right from the stage of its production. The

major chemicals that go into the making of plastic are highly toxic and pose serious threat to living beings of all species on earth. Some of the constituents of plastic such as benzene and vinyl chloride are known to cause cancer, while many others are gases and liquid hydrocarbons that vitiate earth and air. Plastic resins themselves are flammable and have contributed considerably to several accidents worldwide. The noxious substances emitted during the production of plastic are synthetic chemicals like ethylene oxide, benzene and xylenes. Besides hitting hard the eco-system, which is already fragile, these chemicals can cause an array of maladies ranging from birth defects to cancer, damage the nervous system and the immune system and also adversely affect the blood and the kidneys. And, many of these toxic substances are emitted during recycling of plastic, too. Thus, the usage of plastic in the community would not only affect the community itself but the entire communities around the world both physically, and environmentally. (Pharma correspondent April 21, 2007;

http://www.dancewithshadows.com/business/pharma/plastic.asp) Disregarding the expensive cost of refrigerators, refrigerator storage is an important way of keeping food safe. The cool temperature helps to keep the food fresh and slow the growth of most harmful microbes. At the same time, it does not change the characteristics of the food. (http://www.eufic.org/article/en/food-safetyquality/safe-food-handling/artid/food-storage-refrigerator/) However, even if having no means of storing food indicates inconvenience and expensive cost of going everyday to the market, still it can be considered better than storing food in plastics or baskets. For with the method, families would learn to cook sufficiently and refrain from spending excess on food and they will also benefit in eating fresh and newly cooked food. But, the negative side lies if the family would just stick to the

convenience of eating canned goods, or buying foods from canteens for their health will be in risk. Storing food in baskets may also impose harboring of microorganisms and it may also encourage cooking more of fried foods which may inflict risk factors for developing health problems. Frying foods is usually the cooking style used when storing foods in the basket or plastic because fried foods has the long time allowance before the foods stored spoil.

Means of Cooking Food

2% 23%

Gas Wood Charcoal Others



Figure 2 Distribution of household based on means of cooking.

The graph above shows that almost all of the 292 households use charcoal as their means of cooking. About 57% are using charcoal while only 23% uses wood, 21% uses gas, and 2% uses other means such as butane. The area of the community has minimal trees and most of such situates along the side of the river. Thus, most of the community people who utilize some

of these trees for cooking are the ones who reside near the river. Others would just buy pre-cut woods. This is the reason why the ones who are using charcoals have a higher percentage than the ones who are using woods since charcoals are cheaper than wood and at the same time charcoals are easy to handle with regards to the size and weight. Such rationale would also apply as to why the percentage of gas users is higher than that of the woods because those who cannot afford the expensive cost of gas where better convenience lies and forced to stick to alternatives would choose charcoal more than woods in relation to the mentioned availability, cost, and convenience. Based on current studies, the community opted the better alternative as they chose charcoal over wood. The association between exposure to air pollution from cooking fuels and health aspects was studied in Maputo. Mozambique. Almost 1200 randomly selected women residing in the suburbs of Maputo were interviewed and 218 were monitored for air pollution. The fuels most commonly used were wood, charcoal, electricity, and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). Wood users were exposed to significantly higher levels of particulate pollution during cooking time (1200 micrograms/m3) than charcoal users (540 micrograms/m3) and users of modern fuels (LPG and electricity) (200-380 micrograms/m3). Wood users were found to have significantly more cough symptoms than other groups. This association remained significant when controlling for a large number of environmental variables. There was no difference in cough symptoms between charcoal users and users of modern fuels. Other respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, wheezing, and inhalation

and exhalation difficulties were not associated with wood use. Reducing wood use would likely improve acute respiratory health effects in wood users and possibly improve the ambient air pollution conditions in Maputo. To reduce the health impact of wood smoke exposure, it appears that the least costly and quickest method would be to encourage charcoal use to a greater extent, although high carbon monoxide levels would have to be addressed. Turning to modern fuels is beyond the means of most these households in the short term and could not be shown to be more effective. (University of Gteborg, Department for
Human Ectology, Gteborg, Sweden. Environ Health Perspect. 1996 Sep;104(9):980-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8899378)

Even so, increased usage of charcoal can result into serious health concerns because according to the University of Texas at Houston, cooking foods at high temperatures, such as on a charcoal, produces a substance known as heterocyclic amines, also known as HCAs, in the food. HCAs have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, but scientists don't know if they have the same effects on humans. Cooking with charcoal can be dangerous if not done properly. Using too much lighter fluid, or substances such as gasoline and other flammables to ignite the charcoal could result in very serious burns. Using a charcoal in an enclosed space can cause carbon monoxide poisoning that can result in death. Operating a charcoal grill too close to a house or other building could result in damage to the building if an uncontrollable fire were to occur. (Kovach, V. May 12, 2011 http://www.livestrong.com/article/440489-ischarcoal-cooking-a-healthy-option/; University of Texas Health Center at

Houston: Fire up the Barbecue; Karen Krakower Kaplan and Phil Montgomery; May 2009)

Moreover, if the community people that resides near the river, will continue on cutting down trees for cooking, even if the people who practice such are just few, but still, over time, it will worsen the existing flood dilemma in the entire Purok Taal I. According to Jeff Sellars, if a river cannot handle the load of water it's required to carry, it must rise. With enough water, it must rise above its banks and flood. Deforestation plays several roles in the flooding equation because trees prevent sediment runoff. Some rainwater stays on the leaves, and it may evaporate directly to the air. Leaves reduce raindrop impact, and gentler rain causes less erosion. Tree roots absorb water from the soil, making the soil drier and able to store more rainwater. Tree roots hold the soil in place, reducing the movement of sediment that can shrink river channels downstream.