A Taste of Plastic

A recent study found that people ingest as many as 11,000 plastic particles per year in their food, and that those who eat a lot of seafood may be consuming much more than that.
Orion Magazine writer Jourdan Imani Keith is a playwright, naturalist, educator, and storyteller whose work blends the textures of political, personal and natural landscapes to offer voices from the margins of American lives. In the latest issue of Orion Magazine she gives a personal view about ingesting particles of man-made items in seafood:

My tongue has not yet been able to discern cosmetics in my curried mussels or plastic pearls in my oysters, but in 2013 researchers in Belgium at Ghent University found that microplastics are present in food consumed by humans. The study showed that some Europeans eat as many as eleven thousand plastic particles per year. Coastal Salish tribes, Asians, and Asian Pacific Islanders in Washington State, and all who eat lots of fish and seafood, like I do, may also be consuming more microplastics than others. The potential risks for human health have not been studied. We don’t tend to think of plastics as part of our diet, but by the time they make it to our plates, it’s hard to say they haven’t become part of our food web.

A Taste of Plastic

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