Green Tips for Safer Use of Plastics with Food.

I am trying to avoid plastic in my kitchen at all, but if you still use it, follow these tips:

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 Don’t mix hot foods and plastic.

Putting hot foods or drinks in plastic containers is never a good idea. The chemicals and additives in plastics are not especially stable. They are released when the plastic is heated and then leach into the food or drink. That’s not good for anyone. Fatty foods and plastics are the worst combination of all because the chemicals in plastics are more soluble in fat, so they leach greater amounts of those chemicals into fatty foods.

Microwaving. Putting plastics in the microvave is a no-no unless you wish to season your food or drink with chemicals. Plastics labeled ‘microwave safe’ are supposed to be safer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any leaching going on. Glass and ceramic containers are the best for use in the microwave.

Serving. Serving hot foods and drinks in plastic is a prescription for chemical ingestion. Harder plastics are safer, but all plastics leach. Glass, ceramic, and stainless steel serving dishes are the most functional, food-friendly choices. They look nice, too.

Storing. When storing leftovers in plastic containers, wait for the food to cool to room temperature before putting it in the container. That way, you’ll avoid heating up the plastic and minimize the leaching.

Dodge the dishwasher.

Hand wash plastic items instead. It’s simple-don’t put plastics in the dishwasher, wash them by hand. Hot water and the detergents used in automatic dishwashers break down plastics and increase chemicals leaching. Wash plastic items by hand, using a sponge that won’t scratch them.

Rethink plastic water bottles.

Plastic water bottles are the bane of eco-green living, and they are pretty impossible to avoid. The reality is that we require fluids to live, and we need something to carry them in. Plastic bottles are the ubiquitous standard, but glass and stainless steel water bottles are great green options that let you avoid ingesting the chemicals that migrate from plastic and contributing to the piles of waste created by thirsty people everywhere. Glass bottles are an ideal substitute that can be used many times before recycling, but of course they are also breakable. Stainless steel is not only impervious to breaking, it;s long lasting and safe to tote around everywhere.

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I personally use these bottles for my family:

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle
If you do use plastic water bottles, avoid letting it heat up in inderect sunlight, especially in the car.

Use less plastic Cling Wrap.

Plastic wrap is a mainstay in kitchens everywhere, though its clingy convenience comes at quite a cost.  Most plastic wraps are made with the worst kind of plastics, which are laden with softening chemicals like phthalates and plasticizers that are belied to readily migrate into foods.Reusable glass containers with lids and unbleached waxed paper are great, greener alternative for storing food. Aluminum foil can also be used and then recycled, though it should not come in direct contact with hot foods because it is a soft metal that can leach into the food and cross the blood-brain barrier.

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