Is it safe to microwave food in plastic?

good containers for the microwave
Containers I use in the microwave
Is it safe to microwave food in plastic containers?
Have you ever heard or received an email from a friend about the dangers of microwaving our food in plastic containers and how it can put you at a greater risk of
infertility, diabetes, obesity and cancer?  I sure have, and although this may sound over alarming, scientist today are concerned and conducting a lot more research on this matter. There is evident increase in the reliance of a group of chemicals present
in almost everything we use today, from plastic water bottles, soda cans, cosmetics, toothpaste and hairspray.

Because as busy working mommies we “need” our microwave and this is a scary but confusing subject, I felt compelled to write this post.

Just so we can understand better…
There is no single substance called “plastic.” Plastic is many
materials made from an array of organic and inorganic compounds. Certain substances are added to plastic to help shape or stabilize it. Some common plasticizers include:- Bisphenol-A (BPA) (added to make clear, hard plastic)
– Phthalates (added to make plastic soft and flexible
– Polyvinyl chloride (use on food packaging, medical products and household products)
BPA and phthalates are believed to be “endocrine disrupters.” These are substances that mimic human hormones, so therefore not good to use. When food is wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container and microwaved, these plasticizers may leak into the food. Any migration is likely to be
greater with fatty foods like meats and cheeses.
Plastics don’t contain dioxins (a highly toxic compound). These are created when plastics, garbage, metals, wood, and other materials are burned. As long as you don’t burn
your food in a microwave, you aren’t exposing yourself to dioxins.
I still use regular plastic water bottles, over the counter toothpaste
and cosmetics for the most part, however when it comes to microwaving in plastic, I choose to go the safer route. Glass containers whenever possible.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using the microwave– Read the container before you put it in the microwave. If it doesn’t say microwave safe,   simply don’t use it.
– Transfer food to glass or ceramic containers labeled for use
in microwave ovens.
– Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, white paper towels, or a
domed container that fits over a plate or bowl are better alternatives than plastic covers.
– Most takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubs made to hold margarine, yogurt, and foods such as cream
cheese and mayonnaise are not microwave-safe.
– Microwavable takeout dinner trays are made and intended for one-time use only. If you decide to keep those containers, use them just for storage. Do not microwave your food in them.
– Old, scratched, or cracked containers, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticizers. Buy new ones… better yet, choose glass.
– Before microwaving foods, be sure to vent the container. Leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover.
Know your plastics
How I see it, it is as simple as better safe than sorry.
For additional information and resources for dealing with
reactions to chemicals check out The Charity of Environmental Illness.

Comments

  1. says

    Howdy! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this
    article to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

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