Plastic food containers: facts and myths
Every housewife has plastic containers in the kitchen. These reusable dishes are convenient for storing and heating food. It is lightweight, cheap and practical. However, despite all these positive properties of containers, they have certain disadvantages.
- The harm of plastic containers
- How to make the kitchen safer?
The harm of plastic containers
There is evidence that the chemicals used to make plastic dishes tend to accumulate in food and enter the human body with them. In this regard, those types of plastics that contain bisphenol A are dangerous. This substance poses a real threat to health.
Studies have shown that bisphenol A is capable of provoking the growth of breast cancer cells, and also negatively affects human reproductive function. This substance is especially dangerous for pregnant women, infants and young children.
Scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study in 2004. They sampled urine from people who used plastic dishes containing bisphenol A. In the analyzes of 93% of the subjects, traces of this dangerous substance were found.
Scientists have come to the conclusion that this amount of bisphenol cannot enter the human body only from plastic containers. To achieve such concentrations, doses are required that are tens of times higher than those that are emitted by plastic dishes. This means there are other sources. This information was published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
Study author Laura Vandenberg points out that BPA isn't just found in plastic food containers. It is everywhere, even in the checks that a person receives daily in the store. Therefore, the rejection of containers will not solve the problem of accumulation of this substance in the human body.
Also, it's not just bisphenol A that needs to be worried. All types of plastics release chemicals into food. The US Department of Health and Human Services (FDA) has acknowledged this.
Plastic is not eternal material. The more it is used, cooled, and heated, the more chemicals it will release into food. Microscopic damage to containers results in small plastic particles entering the food. This can cause serious health problems. Therefore, you should try to do your best to get rid of plastic items in the kitchen.
How to make the kitchen safer?
It's hard to imagine a modern kitchen without plastic. This material is used throughout. It stores bread, vegetable oils, cereals, ice cream, spices, etc. An attempt to fill the consumer basket with products without plastic packaging will end in failure.
However, it is possible to reduce its harmful effect on the body.
To do this, the following recommendations must be observed:
Do not heat plastic containers. It is not recommended to heat food in them in a microwave oven. It has been found that when heated, chemicals are released 55 times faster. For the same reason, hot liquids should not be poured into plastic containers. Even if the item is labeled as safe for microwave use, experts advise against doing so. The containers will still release harmful substances into food. Typically, the microwave oven symbol only means that the product will not deform at high temperatures.
When buying a plastic container, you need to choose a product numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5. They are considered the safest. This is especially true for baby plastic bottles. If possible, they should be replaced with glass products. Any purchases must be made in trusted stores that can provide all the necessary certificates of conformity.
Avoid plastic food storage containers. Glass or stainless steel products are a great alternative.
Buy fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. They are not packaged in plastic. Better yet, eat vegetables from your garden.
When shopping for cheese, ask to cut it in front of you and wrap it in wax paper. It is not known what kind of film sellers use to pack the cut pieces.
Study expert opinions. There are people who are trying to protect their lives from plastic. An example is Beth Terry, blogger for My Plastic Free Life. The author talks about how to make your life better by getting rid of plastic products. In 2010, she used no more than 2.18 pounds of plastic (2% of what the average person uses). Her experience is inspiring.
- Use glass jars and bottles to store water.
It is impossible to completely get rid of plastic products, but it is quite possible to minimize their harmful effects on the body. You need to start with plastic containers, replacing them with glass jars. Why not do it now?
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".