We all know people who wash their plastic carryout containers to use for leftovers or sterilize their plastic water bottles and refill them with tap water. It’s so convenient. One of the clients at Pro Weight Loss in Massachusetts, has to do with carryout containers and reusing them to make and pack healthy meals. The biggest question is whether there are side effects of heating food in plastic containers or reusing plastic bottles and trays.
What’s the biggest concern?
You may have heard of BPA—Bisphenol-A and polyethylene terephthalates—PET. These are the two chemicals that are the most concerning. Studies by the FDA are seeking to find if reusing these bottles and containers or microwaving food in them can cause leaching that could be harmful to the human body. The BPA is part of the plastic and PET make it flexible so it doesn’t break. Food or liquid in these containers may have both chemicals in it and if we eat the food or drink the water, it enters our system.
What are the dangers of these two chemicals?
BPA may have an effect on behavior, the brain, behavior and the prostate gland. Some studies conclude the chemicals may be linked to a metabolic disorder causing obesity. Some products have removed the BPA entirely to avoid the problem. Studies show that leaching occurs faster if you heat the plastic. Recent studies found that some exposure to the two chemicals may occur, but the exposure is minimal and the body quickly metabolizes and eliminates it.
If you’re still concerned, you can take some additional steps.
One simple answer is to store your food in plastic containers, such as take out containers, but unless they’re labeled microwave safe, transfer them to glass when reheating. It’s not as convenient, but it’s the heat that effects the leaching of chemicals. Cracked containers or ones that have a number of scratches may have more leaching, too. Toss them when they look a little worn.
- You also need to be careful if you use plastic wrap. It should never touch your food in case it melts. Don’t use a lid that presses on food. Use a white paper towel, wax or parchment paper instead.
- Plastic storage bags like Ziploc bags can be put in the microwave for defrosting, but should never be used for cooking, according to manufacturers recommendations.
- To be your safest, if BPA dangers bother you, carry your own glass or steel water bottle with tap water and reduce the amount of canned food you and your family uses. Check baby bottles for labels that show they are BPA free.
- PET can leach antimony. While antimony isn’t a carcinogen, it can cause digestive distress. Even though it leaches from bottles over time, the amount isn’t considered dangerous.
For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym