From lunchboxes to kitchen storage cans, plastic is irreplaceable in our daily lifestyle and we never realize that somewhere we are housing a key source of diseases that are silently growing inside us. Confused? Well, don’t be, because today we are going to enlighten you about the dangerous world that plastic containers have exposed us to, in the last 15-20 years. Read this before you store food in plastic containers now onwards.
2. Bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A is an organic synthetic compound used in hard, lightweight plastics called polycarbonates. According to studies, BPA is used in all sorts of plastic containers and when such containers are heated, the chemical leaches in the food stored in it and makes it toxic.
3. What actually happens
The toxic BPA when consumed, gets into our bloodstream and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it disrupts the functions of hormones — especially estrogens. CDC has found that more than 90% of us have detectable levels of bisphenol A in our bodies. A research says that high doses of BPA further disrupt the reproductive development and functioning in the human body.
4. How to identify the right plastic containers
Not all plastic containers release harmful chemicals, so no need to panic, The plastic containers that have #2, #4 and #5 printed at the bottom, are considered safe for food storage. While the one with #1, is a single-use container. In that case, it is meant to be used once and they should be either recycled or destroyed. The most dangerous is the one with #7, it contains a dense amount of BPA and one should avoid using such plastic containers for food storage.
5. Never reheat food in plastic
If you think that the note on the plastic container saying ‘Safe for Microwave’ is true, let us tell you that it’s not. Always transfer food to a glass or china dish before microwaving. It might sound harsh, but it’s a fact that all plastics contain possible harmful chemicals, and when heated, the chemicals can leech into the food and make it toxic.
6. Take care when washing plastic
The way microwave activates the chemical present in the plastic container, the dishwashers work in the same manner. So, the best way is to wash them with lukewarm water by hand and not use harsh chemical detergents.
7. Switch to glassware
We agree that glassware is way fragile as compared to plastic containers, but you need to understand that they are safe for your health. It’s never too late to make a shift over to glass containers. Make sure that the lid is also made of glass, if not, prefer the plastic lids that are BPA and PVC-free.
8. Avoid use of hot water
Never keep hot water or any hot liquid in the plastic container because a chemical reaction takes place in the container that further contaminates the water and makes it toxic for your body.
9. Good for storing snacks
Snacks like chips, biscuits, and namkeens can be stored in plastic container. According to food experts, such food items have healthy packaging; the plastic container keeps them safe from moisture.
The truth is, plastic is bad! And it is advisable to use glassware, steelware and chinaware if you want to prevent exposure to harmful chemicals.