How Dangerous Is Plastic?
Common Food ContainersWhat to know: It’s been reported that BPA and other chemicals leach into food at increased levels when plastic containers are heated. We’re talking about juice, milk, soft-drink, and water bottles, margarine tubs, microwavable kitchenware and meals, salad-dressing containers, and yogurt tubs, most of which you’re probably not microwaving anyway. If you’re concerned about BPA, it’s best not to put any type of plastic in the microwave, says Martin Bucknavage, an instructor in food safety at the department of food science at Penn State University. Also, he adds, “avoid adding hot food or liquid to containers that are not designed to hold hot items.”
What to look for: Glass or ceramic containers, recommends Nena Baker, an investigative journalist and the author of The Body Toxic (North Point Press, $24, due out in August 2008). If your microwavable meal is packaged in Styrofoam or plastic or has a plastic seal, remove the food from the container before heating. And before using plastic storage containers, call the company’s 800 number and ask whether the container is made from polycarbonate plastic.
Product to Try:
- The Container Store Vintage Glass Food Storage Containers with Glass Lids, from $6 (shown), containerstore.com
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