“I just want to say one word to you: plastics.” That career counseling, given to Ben (Dustin Hoffman) in the 1967 film “The Graduate,” sure predicted the future! Today we’re living in a world of plastic. And it’s everywhere around our food -- inside soup cans and outside microwaveable lunches and acidic drinks.

But a debate rages over the safety of BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical added to some plastic. Is it leaching into food and drink and damaging our bodies?

Animal study after animal study finds that BPA lowers fertility, triggers breast cancer and causes genetic changes. The latest shows early-life exposure harms adult learning ability. Yet the Food and Drug Administration says there’s no reason to remove BPA from food and beverage containers.

If you’re not convinced, follow our five-step risk-reduction plan.

1. Eliminate canned foods (BPA lines the cans) and opt for fresh or frozen. In a small study, five families who ate fresh foods for three days saw their blood levels of BPA drop by 66 percent!

2. Use ceramic, metal and glass in the kitchen, and metal water bottles without BPA liners!

3. Don’t use plastic containers with the numbers 3 or 7 on the bottom. Avoid No. 6 (styrene), too. And buy low-density polyethylene plastic wrap.

4. Avoid thermal printed receipts: one receipt made from this coated paper delivers about 2 percent of your daily exposure to BPA.

5. Don’t put very hot liquid in plastic containers made with BPA -- it’ll seep into your food.

All these steps can improve your well-being.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.