Super Bowl bashes might never be the same. It’s the biggest day of the year for pizza deliveries. Some 12.5 million were delivered for last year’s game.1
But it turns out that pizza delivery box is full of health-damaging chemicals.
Three substances commonly found in pizza cardboard containers were just banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.2,3
The three are part of a group of chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. These chemicals may lead to thyroid disease and ulcerative colitis. In pregnant women, they may cause preeclampsia. This is a potentially life-threatening high blood pressure condition. The substances remain in the body for years.
Scientists say these noxious chemicals can leech from the box into your pizza.
Last May, a group of scientists issued a statement warning about negative health consequences from repeated exposure to PFASs. DuPont, a leading chemical manufacturer, has already discontinued production of certain kinds of PFASs.
Container manufacturers use the substances because they act as a barrier that stops pizza oil from soaking through the box.4,5
It will take months, even years, before safer pizza boxes are widely used. The FDA will likely allow the industry to use its remaining inventory of boxes with PFASs.
In the meantime, eating pizza at the restaurant instead of ordering delivery solves the problem. There are other commonsense ways you can lessen your risk:
- Remove the pizza from the box as soon as it arrives at your house.
- Never store leftover pizza in the box.
- If some of the pizza has “melted” onto the box, cut off that part and discard it.
- Ask your pizzeria to put a piece of deli paper on the bottom of the box before putting the pizza inside. Many restaurants do this already. This limits contact between the pizza and the cardboard.
Of course, pizza isn’t ever a healthy choice. So we’d recommend against it. But if you’re looking for alternatives for the big game, baked (not fried) chicken wings, fresh guacamole, and chili are all crowd pleasers that up the health quotient.
Here’s a recipe for wings adapted from epicurious.com to get you started:6
Crispy Baked Super Bowl Chicken Wings
- 5 pounds organic chicken wings
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide wings between prepared racks and spread out in a single layer.
Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes.
Toss wings in Buffalo sauce (recipe below). Serve immediately (no need to bake).
For buffalo sauce:
Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in hot sauce; keep warm.
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch