Plastic is everywhere; bowls, bottles, wraps, and bags for storing foods and beverages. In recent years, more people are asking whether exposing our food (and ourselves) to this plastic is safe. Studies have found that chemicals in plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food and beverages we eat and drink.
The highest exposure comes from microwaving in plastic containers — as chemicals leached are linked to health problems; metabolic disorders, obesity, and reduced fertility. Leaching occurs faster when plastic is heated. That means you get a higher dose of potentially harmful chemicals by microwaving leftovers in a plastic container.
Most of us are aware that plastic and microwaves are a terrible match. But despite that knowledge, is the trap of heating Tupperware-packed lunches brought to work in the office microwave.
The simple answer? No. Nylon is a synthetic material that leaches chemicals when heated. You add unexpected toxins to your dish when you stir your veggie medley with a nylon tool. The good news is that it's easy to toss those nylon cooking utensils and use wood, bamboo, stainless steel, etc.
Suppose you deep dive into the dangers of plastics in the kitchen. In that case, you should quit this bad habit cold turkey. Still, the truth is much needs to be more scheduled, which means strapped for time and looking for a safe way to heat leftovers without the microwave or plastic; here's what you need to know.
What's the problem with plastic, anyway?
The evidence is mounting that plastic food containers are harmful to our health. The two key culprits are the artificial chemicals Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), often added to plastic to help it keep its shape and flexibility. Known as "endocrine disruptors," these substances have been found to affect hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, which can cause reproductive and other medical problems. According to the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, they may be especially dangerous to children, potentially impeding average growth and development.
OK, so what does that mean for microwaving?
Heat causes the BPA and Phthalates in plastics to leach into your food. That means – yeah, sorry – you should avoid microwaving food and beverages, and anything in plastic should not be heated or put in hot.
Instead, transfer food into a glass or ceramic containers. And those "microwave-safe" plastic dome covers? It's probably safest to use a lid, wax paper, parchment paper, a white paper towel, or a ceramic plate.
Are some plastics worse than others?
In general, steer clear of plastic with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) except for those marked as "biobased" or "greenware," the AAP cautions.
The Environmental Working Group stresses when storing food, avoid anything marked with recycling seven and use four instead. Plastic "#1 and #2 are BPA-free, but some researchers do not recommend their reuse," EWG notes.
Harvard Health advises plastic takeout containers and grocery food tubs (used for margarine or yogurt) are not microwave-safe. Prepackaged microwave food trays should never be reused! Old, scratched, or cracked containers may be especially apt to leach chemicals that must be tossed. Microwaving food in plastic bags is a big no-no, as is microwaving food.
Any other tips?
Washing plastic containers in the dishwasher is a no-no. Heated, they leach chemicals and should be avoided. If you have plastic, place it in the sink for handwashing, then dispose of it for recycling.
Stop microwaving food.
Before you gulp down that plastic bottled water or bite into a plastic-wrapped sandwich, could you consume PLASTIC without knowing it? YES!
Plastics are toxic!
Living Prevention, Not Prescription is knowing the danger and then making the conscious choice to reduce plastic through better buying decisions. Avoid plastic; it's good for you and the earth. And while some plastics are less toxic than others, harmful plastics are threatening your good health - even if only a little at a time.
Living Prevention is knowing the danger of toxins and consciously choosing to reduce exposure. It includes making better-informed buying decisions. Avoiding plastic is good for you, the earth, and those you love.
One of the most alarming findings relates to the act of microwaving food in plastic containers. This process can cause toxic chemicals to leach into your food, with the highest exposure levels associated with microwaved plastic containers. These chemicals, linked to a host of health issues including metabolic disorders, obesity, and reduced fertility, leach out more rapidly under the heat. Consequently, microwaving leftovers in plastic containers exposes you to a higher dose of these potentially dangerous chemicals.
Despite widespread awareness that plastic and microwaves do not mix well, many continue to heat their plastic-packed meals in microwaves, falling into a well-known trap.
The Problem with Plastic
The health risks associated with plastic food containers are becoming increasingly clear. Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), added to plastics for flexibility and durability, are known endocrine disruptors. These chemicals have been shown to interfere with hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, leading to reproductive issues and other health problems. Children are particularly at risk, with potential impacts on their growth and development.
Microwaving and Plastic
The combination of heat and plastic is problematic, as it facilitates the leaching of BPA and Phthalates into food. To mitigate this risk, it's advised to avoid microwaving food in plastic containers altogether, opting instead for glass or ceramic containers. Even products labeled as "microwave-safe" are best avoided in favor of safer alternatives like wax paper, parchment paper, or ceramic plates.
Dishwashing plastic containers causes chemicals to leach. Handwashing is recommended for any unavoidable plastic use, followed by proper recycling.
Before you reach for that plastic bottled water or unwrap a sandwich, consider the invisible risk: consuming plastic without even knowing it. Plastics, especially when heated, pose a toxic threat to our health.
Living Prevention, Not Prescription means being aware of these dangers and making conscious decisions to reduce plastic use, benefiting both our health and the environment. Opting for less harmful plastics or avoiding them altogether is a step towards safeguarding your well-being and that of the planet.
AlternaCare supports this journey towards healthier living choices, emphasizing the importance of reducing our exposure to toxins. By making informed decisions and supporting initiatives aimed at minimizing plastic use, we can collectively make a significant impact. Your support for AlternaCare helps us continue our mission to promote wellness and environmental sustainability. Together, we can create a healthier, plastic-free world.
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AlternaCare & Living Prevention trademarks are federally registered protected and enforceable. Any unauthorized use is expressly prohibited.
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Disclaimer: This website content is not a substitute for professional medical care and diagnosis. The information contained is not physical or mental health medical care or advice. We are not medical professionals, and this website should not be misconstrued to mean otherwise. There may be risks for people making lifestyle modifications, if you participate in lifestyle changes, do so with the help of a health professional. If you choose to change your lifestyle you do so of your own free will and accord, knowingly and voluntarily assuming all risks associated with lifestyle change. This site, this company, and Kari Gray have no liability for risks associated with lifestyle changes.
1317 Edgewater Dr #3286 Orlando FL 32804
AlternaCare & Living Prevention trademarks are federally registered, protected and enforceable.
Any unauthorized use is expressly prohibited.
+Donations are non-refundable.
Disclaimer: This website content is not a substitute for professional medical care and diagnosis. The information contained is not physical or mental health medical care or advice. We are not medical professionals, and this website should not be misconstrued to mean otherwise. There may be risks for people making lifestyle modifications, If you participate in lifestyle changes, do so with the help of a health professional. If you choose to change your lifestyle you do so of your own free will and accord, knowingly and voluntarily assuming all risks associated with lifestyle change. This site, this company, and Kari Gray have no liability for risks associated with lifestyle changes, risks or consequences and are exempt from any and all harm.