Tetrapaks or that innocent “popper” you put in your kids lunch box – have you ever given any thought as to how “natural” they are, and whether they are having any ill effects on your family’s health? We tend to think of them as cardboard containers that sit on shelves and mainly contain ingredients with a long shelf-life such as milk, stock and fruit juices but as we know, cardboard isn’t waterproof, so what are they coated with, or more importantly, what are they lined with, that stops the liquid inside permeating the cardboard container resulting in a soggy mess?

I had a patient ask me if the V8 poppers she put in her child’s lunch box were good for him, the children were aged 3 and 7. Firstly, children this age should be given watered down juice, which most fruit juices are anyway, but I would think the V8 is likely to be more concentrated. Anyway… yes, poppers are very convenient and the kids love them but have you ever given any thought to the lining of the tetrapak or the fact that most of them contain a lotof sugar?


Canned foods are lined with estrogen-leaching BPA plastic.

The trees from which the cardboard is made for these tetrapaks stand poised to carry an FSC certification which means that these trees are grown in an ethical and ecologically sustainable environment whereby the waterways are protected and pesticide use is reduced but there is more to a tetrapak than just the cardboard.

On average, about 25% of the weight of a tetrapak is in the plastic polymer coating covering the outside of the tetrapak and on the inside there is more plastic and some aluminium – otherwise you are not going to have a water-tight, air-proof container.

The plastic or LDPE (low density polyethylene) on the inside and outside of the cardboard doesn’t sound like any sort of a threat to our health does it, but when you learn that it is a petroleum plastic derived from gasoline production it makes you think again! And then you couple this LDPE with the aluminium content that most of us associate with Alzheimers, kidney disease and bone disease in children, and yes, I have got your attention haven’t I.

My response to her was that I would buy juice in glass bottles and then send it to school in your own plastic container in which it will only sit for a few hours.


Date posted: 2014-05-11 | posted by: debras

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