Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is storing food in plastic bad for your health?

I consider myself somewhere in the middle when it comes to being green and up to speed on the latest healthy practices. By that I mean, I am way behind folks who seem to have known about certain health risks and green issues for years and are part of a whole subculture who are really up-to-speed on these things. On the other hand, I am ahead of any of many folks I personally know who are surprised when I tell them things like coconut oil is good and canola is bad.

Anyway, my point is that I believe I am jumping on the "plastics are bad" bandwagon now. This is going to be a weird change since I store pretty much all of my food in plastic bags and my boyfriend and I bring our lunches to work every day in plastic and I even microwave in plastic.

I recently read Jillian Michaels' "Master Your Metabolism". I was NOT expecting her to go off on so many every day practices that she and many folks believe are disrupting and hurting our bodies. I was really scared away by many of her suggestions that seem like drastic changes. I really needed time to let it sink in and do some more research. One of these include the use of plastics for food storage and heating.

So, what is wrong with plastic? I am very new to this but I'll give you a teaser. Apparently some types of plastic leach chemicals and other bad things into our food, especially when used to microwave or when storing fats. These things can can have all kinds of effects from disrupting your hormones to causing cancer.

You don't have to eliminate all plastics for food immediately; I personally am going to try to do this gradually. Here are some immediate things we can do:

  • Do not microwave any foods in plastic. Use glass or ceramic instead.
  • Check the bottom of your plastic containers and look for the recycling code. If it says 3 or 7, stop using them for food.
  • Start using glass, stainless steel, and wax paper storage products. If you drink a lot of water on the go, get a stainless steel water bottle.
  • Check out the resources below and search for more info. Decide whether you want to take more steps to reduce or eliminate your use of plastics or buy special plastics.