Why We Still Need Rebels

Plus: New European Report Finds PFAS in Food Packaging

Rebel: a person who resists authority, control, or tradition.

Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I'm living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you're a woman. —Joan Jett, American Rock Singer

Disruptor, dissident, agitator, renegade, fighter, badass, whatever you want to call it, we need people willing to speak up and speak out in this world, especially when it comes to pollution and people.

I really mean it when I say Superman’s not coming; we have to be the ones to save ourselves. We can stand up, we can show up, we can be the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Last week, I learned that our show Rebel on ABC won’t be renewed for a second season. And that’s disappointing.

Rebel tells the story of a woman not afraid to speak up for what is right, so clearly I have to speak up now too.

There are very, very few female leads over the age of 60 on primetime television in general, and certainly none who are fighting the system and standing up for the people. I’m so proud of the show we created! It’s edgy, it’s different, it offers hope.

AND… we still have 5 more episodes, so I encourage you to watch it and show your support!

Let’s show the networks that we support strong woman on primetime.

Let's show the networks that we support protagonists that fight for what is right.

This isn’t about a “TV show.” This is about the mainstreaming of standing up for what is right. This is about strong middle-aged women not fading into the background. We have experience, wisdom, and we know how to fight and that scares the crap out of the status quo.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we hoped, but we don’t stay down, we get the f*ck up and keep going.

As Rebel would say, “Fight for what you want and make people listen.”

You can sign the petition and show your support for Rebel here.

PFAS in Food Packaging

A new report released this week has found PFAS chemicals are widely used in disposable food packaging sold by major food brands throughout Europe, including paper wrapping used by both McDonald’s and Subway in the United Kingdom.

PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are extremely persistent in nature and in our bodies, so it’s deeply troubling that fast food chains continue to use it in single-use packaging, which quickly gets thrown away and contributes more toxic PFAS waste.

Researchers collected samples of disposable food packaging, including disposable bowls and plates, from six European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

Out of 42 samples sent to the lab for analysis, 32 were found to have high levels of PFAS, suggesting the chemicals had been intentionally applied.

“PFAS pollution is so ubiquitous that we found PFAS even in products which have not been intentionally treated with these chemicals,” said Dr Julie Schneider, PFAS Campaigner at CHEM Trust in a statement. “The same PFAS contaminants have been found in the Arctic air, snow, and wildlife. Every year of delay in regulating this group of ‘forever chemicals’ increases the pollution burden for future generations of people and wildlife. A ban on all non-essential uses of PFAS chemicals should be urgently implemented.”

Scientific studies have associated exposure to PFAS chemicals with severe adverse health effects, including cancer, and impacts on the immune, reproductive and hormone systems. In addition, some PFAS can migrate from the packaging into the food, adding to the overall PFAS exposure of the general population from other sources such as drinking water.

Companies use PFAS in packaging to prevent oil and grease from soaking into paper and cardboard packaging, even in materials that are labeled compostable.

According to the report, alternatives to PFAS exist, and even more importantly, safe, durable and reusable options for food containers and tableware are already widely available. So the question is: why are these companies still using it?

These companies are the ones who hate regulations and yet they refuse to do the right thing until someone else steps in. Denmark banned PFAS in food packing back in July 2020. The study found that none of the sampled McDonald’s French fries bags bought in Denmark exhibited PFAS treatment. Those same items bought in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom did have PFAS. So, legislation can protect people from exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Want to help find the PFAS? You can join citizen scientists here.

Find brands and retailers that are PFAS free here.