The Dangers of Plastic and How to Store Food Properly
When was the last time you cleaned every nook and cranny of your kitchen? If it has been a while, it’s high time you sit up and focus on it. At first, it may seem like an enormous task at hand, but in the long run, you will be reaping benefits from it. The way your food is stacked up and stored in the kitchen needs a special mention. If you’re using plastics, it is advisable to get rid of them, and immediately look out for better alternatives. Take a look at how you can go about the whole process:
Look For Any Discoloration
Inspect all kitchen items for any scratches, discoloration, or cloudiness. Scrutinize the items that you use often, especially the ones that go through the dishwasher. These are signs of plastic degradation. The chemicals present in plastic diffuse out into your eatables. So, if you find any worn items and torn in places, stack them up in the dustbin. Recycling is another option, of course. Plastic shouldn’t even stand a chance to make an entry into the microwave. It’s muck!
Look Out For The Recycling Code
Take all plastic items you have, and flip them over to search for the recycling code that’s normally on the bottom side. The makers have the option of not using them, and most of them like the black plastic ones will tank the test. Moving ahead, just go through the following quick-reference of those itsy-bitsy figures on plastics.
Water is bottled up in this weak plastic and should only be used once. Heat plays a major factor when it comes to plastics. When you leave your plastic bottled water out in the heat and sun, the chemicals slowly and steadily percolate into your drinking water. In addition, repeated use of such bottles helps bacteria to accumulate. So, better recycle than reuse.
HDPE (High-density Polyethylene)
Opaque in nature, the chemicals in this plastic have a lower chance of diffusing. You may consider using it, but reusing is not advisable. Some roadside recycling programs will collect it from you.
V Or PVC (Vinyl)
These plastics are generally used to manufacture food wraps and detergent bottles. Burning it or cooking with a PVC is strictly not recommended. Phthalates in PVC are linked to various health problems, and DEHA and Phthalates exposure over a long time tend to be carcinogenic. PVCs are not accepted for recycling.
LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)
Usually found in bread bags, frozen food, and food wraps, LDPEs are not up to the acceptable standards of recycling. Though you often consider it safe, apprehensions about the chemicals harmful to the endocrine system are on the rise and quite alarming, especially when it is widely used in packing ham and cheese.
Generally used for making syrup and ketchup bottles and containers for yogurt, this category has been considered safer than the rest and is up to the best recycling standards. If in a good condition, you can consider reusing it, but exposure to heat is a strict no-no.
This is used in making egg cartons and meat trays. Since recycling is a tad difficult in this case, polystyrenes are harmful to nature and the environment. It emits toxic chemicals especially after heating and is not even accepted by recycling programs.
The rest, such as plastics, which contain the poisonous bisphenol-A (BPA) falls under this category. You always have the liberty to choose your option. Be aware, and be cautious.
Say ‘No’ To Plastic
Except for polypropylene, it is advisable not to use any other plastic for your kitchen. And for heaven’s sake, leave the microwave alone. Please don’t stick a plastic in there. For the sake of your kids, avoid using plastics with the recycling codes 3, 6, and 7, unless you see ‘greenware’ or ‘biobased’ marks on them. In addition to that, avoid sticking any kinds of food and beverage, or in that case, any plastic wrap, in the microwave. Remember, ceramic, glass and stainless steel are your best options for the kitchen.
By now, you might have understood that the greater the distance is between you and plastics, the better and safer it is for your family and kids. The health and well-being of your loved ones are in your hands. So, it is entirely up to you which path you will tread on.
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