Microwaving your food in plastic? Please think again.

Like many of you, I have made the same mistake over and over by keeping those plastic containers I get from Chinese takeout and use them to store and reheat food. They’re easy to wash, and heck, we pay for them, so why not re-use them?

Well, the problem is? They’re incredibly bad for you. Not the containers themselves, but using them in a microwave is bad news. Even the fact that the original food came in it is bad. Those paper containers that seem like clown cars (because they stuff an amazing amount of food in them) are better.

With cervical, breast, thyroid and colon cancers at an all-time high, you have to wonder how long does it take for us to harm our bodies through time. What have we done wrong in the past 30 to 40 years? We have adopted processed foods, canned stuff, and the use of the microwave. Yes, it’s convenient to pop that leftover spaghetti in a plastic container, cover it (so you don’t make a mess while it heats – splatted murder scene look from the sauce when its done) and in 2 minutes, aaaahhh, oooohhh, yessss. Lunch or dinner is ready. TWO MINUTES!!!!

Well, unfortunately, while heating plastic, it releases small amounts of chemicals into the food. Small enough that nothing will happen to you immediately, but wait 10, 20 or 30 years. Here we are, in our 40’s and 50’s and we start dying from cancer, heart attacks, strokes like never before. And to be honest, I don’t care that plastic manufacturers make “microwave safe plastic” – all that tells me is that they are letting the FDA know that this type of plastic releases particles not large enough to do any harm – long term. Really? How can you tell me something I consume today will not do harm 20 years from now? If I use this plastic container day in and day out to heat my food?

Doing the actual research, I found a great article from the Harvard Health Publishing Medical School website, and this is what I found out.

There’s no single substance called “plastic.” That term covers many materials made from an array of organic and inorganic compounds. Substances are often added to plastic to help shape or stabilize it. Two of these plasticizers are

  • bisphenol-A (BPA), added to make clear, hard plastic
  • phthalates, added to make plastic soft and flexible

BPA and phthalates are believed to be “endocrine disrupters.” These are substances that mimic human hormones and are not safe to consume at any level.

You now see the labels “BPA Free” in bottles. Well, what else are they using to make that new plastic clear and flexible or hard? I guess we will know in another 40 years.

If you’re thinking that using a “microwave” period, is not safe, well, if we’re in this war, might as well fight with the weapons that will give us the best chance of survival. My choice is glass containers from now on even if it’s too late for me, might not be for our children.

Thank you if you read this far. If you feel this has value, please share. If not, I accept it.


(IstockPhoto image)

About the Author:

"We spend our lives dwelling on yesterday and wishing for tomorrow but forget the gift of today. Today is all we have." P.A.A.