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Plastic Free July–Chewing on Plastic?

By Fredrica Syren:

My 11-year-olds  friends are chewing gum and, since I bought her a sugar-free type, I didn’t see a problem with it. It made me remember my own experience with Hubba Bubba, Big Bubbles, No Troubles☺ Everything was fine until I learned that gum might contain plastic. Ewwwwww. I don’t know anyone who would want to chew on a piece of plastic, and I particularly did not want my child to absorb any harmful chemicals from plastic by chewing on it.

bubblegum_girl mainChewing gum dates back at least 3,000 years. It used to be made from tree sap, resin, and natural rubber, so it was pretty harmless. However, today it’s made from synthetic rubber along with lots of chemicals. If the gum ingredients list reads “gum based,” chances are it contains petroleum, lanolin, glycerin, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, petroleum wax, stearic acid, or latex. Now chew on that! Manufacturers use vinyl acetate to produce polyvinyl acetate, which is a chemical that has been shown to cause tumors in lab rats.

Plastic is not in all chewing gums, but the problem is that we as consumers have no way of knowing which of these ingredients are included in the gum base since manufacturers are not required to give us that information. Another problem is that the few gums that don’t contain plastic as an ingredient come in plastic packaging.

Besides being a potential problem for our health, chewing gum also is a hazard for the planet because, once gum is discarded, where does it go? Into the trash perhaps. But much of it ends up in toilets, water, nature, etc. So, here is yet another piece of non-biodegradable plastic polluting our planet.

Here is some good news. If you like chewing gum here are your best option for chewing gum made with organic ingredients and without any plastic gum base or plastic packaging.

Simple Gum

Chicza Chewing gum

Glee Gum

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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  1. i’ve chewed if for years……and i’m still alive.

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