A while back I blogged about the bottled water industry and the many health and environmental issues that have presented with the bottled water boom. I’d always heard rumblings in the media on the uncertainty of plastic safety, and my water bottle is by far the most re-used item in my kitchen. After seeing the movie Tapped, I vowed to clear my cabinets of any unsafe water bottles and invest in safe reusable bottles instead. It’s given me piece of mind to know that my husband and I are not drinking water that also contains chemicals leaching into it, all day every day.
However, I must confess that there has still been some big room for improvement in other areas. Despite what I’ve heard and known for a while, I continued to use plastics for storing foods more than I’d like to admit. First and foremost, having easy-to-grab healthy foods at the ready was my main concern. I used glass when possible, but really did not have enough glass storage options to fit everything I needed to store. I was still using things like my trusty plastic microwave vegetable steamer and my ever beloved Smart Spin plastic storage system on a daily basis. They were so convenient, space saving and such a huge part of my routine to stay on track with healthy eating. But were they really?
Every single time I put food into these containers, I had a voice in the back of my mind saying, “You really should invest in some more glassware.” Then anytime I would happen to shop, I’d see the price difference in plastics and glassware and say, “I’ll do it next time.” I finally got sick of my inner voice nagging me, and said enough is enough! So with that, I opened up my kitchen cabinets, removed every last piece of plastic, and drove straight to the store to make the investment in all new glass storage.
Maybe like me, you already know that too much exposure to plastics, especially when exposed to hot or cold temps with food, can be harmful to your health. And maybe you’ve also been taking a back seat to caring about it. If you aren’t aware of the implications or if the investment just doesn’t seem worth it, here are a few reasons why you should care:
It’s pretty scary to realize the overwhelming amount of plastics and harmful chemicals in our daily lives, especially considering the scientifically proven side effects! It's also virtually impossible to cut out every single exposure to plastic in today’s modern society, but limiting your exposure in your food and water is something very powerful that each of us can and should do. Here are some easy things you can do to reduce your risk substantially:
• Use refillable glass containers for all food storage.
• For wrapped foods, choose waxed paper, butcher paper, cellulose bags, or non- PVC cling wrap, such as Saran premium wrap.
• Never microwave foods in plastic, and remove plastic lids from glassware before microwaving. Heat foods in ovenproof glass or ceramic dishes. Cover with a paper towel or glass lid only when heating.
• Bring cloth bags to the grocery store or farmer’s market.
• Buy in bulk when possible. It decreases the amount of packaging overall.
• Avoid single-use, disposable packaging as much as possible. Whole fruits and vegetables don’t require any packaging!
• When you do purchase fruit, vegetables or other foods in plastics, remove them and store in glass containers at home.
• Purchase spices, oils, and any other food and drink possible in glass containers, even if it costs a little extra. It’s worth it to keep your family safe!