In a world of constant business, the food we consume is often mistreated in our lives. Our substitute for proper meals has become random fast food, and within the boarding community, an occasional 11 pm Doordash. But does this fast, quick, easy food come with a cost? It appears the microplastics and phthalates might be something to worry about.

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastic more durable and flexible, and also to dissolve certain materials. Unfortunately, although mostly used as a plasticiser, these chemicals often end up in the fast food we consume. According to the article, Fast Food Burgers, Fries, and Pizza May Leave You full of phthalates published in Environmental Health News, “Among the 67 food and glove samples analyzed in this study, all eight phthalates except DMP were detected. Specifically, 52 (81%) of the samples contained a phthalate called DnBP while 45 (70%) contained DEHP.’’ Should we be worried about these phthalates, and how many foods have them?

Microplastics are considered plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters in length. According to the article Microplastics in Take-out Food: Are We Over Taking It? posted in the National Library of Medicine, “Approximately 170-638 items of microplastics may be consumed by people who order take-out food 1-2 times weekly.” After the receiving of this news, a terrified Bradfordian, Carey Cai ’25, claims that he will “Curb my Doordash spending and only eat organic produce from the front yard of Bradford.” In stark contrast, Bradfordian Alan Wei ’25, an avid Doordash fan, nonchalantly replies: “Womp womp, oh well.”

The effects of these unwanted consumed materials are quite concerning. Phthalates and Their Impacts on Human Health published in the National Library of Medicine reports that, “Among the epidemiological studies, it was revealed that exposure to phthalates adversely affected the level of reproductive hormones”. Along with the negative effects of Phthalates, Microplastics also served a large health issue. In the paper, Potential Health Impact of Microplastics: A Review of Environmental Distribution, Human Exposure, and Toxic Effects the author states, “Experiments show that the exposure to microplastics induces a variety of toxic effects, including oxidative stress, metabolic disorder, immune response, neurotoxicity, as well as reproductive and developmental toxicity.” After confronting Bradfordian Isaac Lu ’27 with these facts, he replied, “Oh wow, I really didn’t know that.”

It seems that the best path for Bradford may be to create an organic garden, as to save the people of Bradford from the inevitable negative effects of microplastics and phthalates from excessive ordering of takeout, Doordash, and fast food. Regardless of the situation of Bradford, being aware of the things we consume is important due to the multitude of health side effects that could result from improper food sources. Next time you feel like ordering from your favorite fast food establishment, maybe you should reconsider.