Truth be told – I have a “jenga cabinet” in my kitchen filled to the brim with food storage containers. Most WERE made of plastic, but that is changing! “What’s the big deal?”, you ask. Although cheap and convenient, most contain chemicals which can mess with the body’s hormones (technical term = endocrine disruptors) and have toxic effects on our health. The two main chemicals in question are Bisphenol A (aka BPA) and Phthalates.
BPA is used extensively in plastic water bottles and is found in the lining of canned food. Phthalates increase the flexibility and softness in plastics and vinyl and are found in lots of products. They have been banned in many countries, but not in the US. Most people tested (over 90%) in the US do have detectable levels.
What happens is that small bits of plastic leach directly into our food from these containers. Microwaving food in plastic seems to increase the amount the leaching that goes on. And I see soooooo many people microwaving their food in plastic – it’s scary! Exposure to these toxic chemicals has been known to cause hormonal disruption and higher rates of diabetes and heart disease.
To reduce exposure to these health disruptors, here are some sound strategies to follow:
- Eat less canned food, or look for BPA-free cans (go fresh!)
- Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA. Avoid these.
- Use a paper towel instead of plastic wrap in the microwave.
- Do NOT microwave food in plastic containers (use a paper plate, glass or porcelain instead).
- Store food in glass or Pyrex containers, rather than plastic. Stock up on mason jars!
- Discard scratched or worn plastic containers.
- Hand wash plastics to reduce wear and tear.
- Try to opt for glass, porcelain, silicone or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food.
- For those of you with little ones, seek out BPA-free baby bottles.
What is YOUR biggest kitchen challenge? Stocking your pantry with the ‘right’ foods? Knowing what equipment would make your life easier? Frreezer/fridge organization? Eliminating toxins? Post a comment below.
Struggling to clean up your kitchen, your diet and your life? Email me at info@TheRightTrackWellness.com and let’s chat about it. I’m all ears.
This information is for general purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Health Coaching is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a qualified, licensed professional.