The use of plastic containers first became popular in 1970 and became a staple in every households cupboard.
From the time you were little you might remember your mother throwing kitchen supply parties with the ladies in the neighborhood. Mothers would clean out their cupboards and toss all the mismatched lids and containers and prepare for their yearly purchase while gathering together and sharing the latest gossip.
Now most of us at some point had some of those old plastic containers in our cupboards; I know when I moved out my mother sent me with a good starter kit.
Now that I have my own family one of my main priorities is to make sure that we are eating a healthy meal and I am sure that this is also a top priority for you. Now to make sure that this healthy eating continues you make extra for the next day or maybe you prepared your weekly meals in advance.
Little did you know that the storage container that you are using is making that healthy meal not so healthy.
Now when most people think about plastic they think of the great benefits that it may have like its light, easily shaped, strong, and inexpensive. Most people believe that it’s also environmentally friendly since plastic containers can be recycled.
BPA and BPS In Containers
Bisphenol A (BPA)
So, what is the issue with plastic containers? Most plastic containers are made of a chemical called Bisphenol A or BPA for short. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used during the manufacturing of certain hard, clear plastics. It has been known that this toxic chemical can leach out of the container and into your food.
This chemical is known as an endocrine-disrupting component; EDCs are synthetic chemicals that mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. This disruption can alter normal hormone levels, stopping or stimulating the production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body, thus affecting the functions that these hormones control. (1)
Independent studies have shown links to long-term health effects such as reproductive effects in males and females, neurobehavioral abnormalities, and increased risk of obesity and heart disease. Recent studies concluded that prenatal exposure to BPA is also associated with increased odds of wheezing and asthma early in life. (2) Furthermore, BPA has been linked to breast cancer, as a result of its hormone disrupting qualities. (6)
Bisphenol S (BPS)
That being said plastic food container manufacturers started making BPA- Free containers. Great news, right? Not really, they started using a chemical called Bisphenol S (BPS). BPS also mimics estrogen, accelerates embryonic development and disrupts reproductive system. (3)
Unfortunately, BPS is just as toxic as BPA. Some studies have been shown that BPS can actually be absorbed into the body faster than BPA.(4)
Now not all plastic containers are made of BPA and BPS but how can you tell? The trouble is there is no way of actually knowing this; the best option is to avoid plastic altogether if you can.
So how do you safely store your leftovers? There are lots of safe food containers available.
12 Great Storage Ideas
- Mason jars (Check out these great food prep ideas using mason jars!)
- Corning Ware
- Enamel-on-steel bowls, with lids
- Glass Lock containers
- Stainless steel containers
- 100-percent cotton outer with nylon lining storage bags
- Reusable Beeswax wraps
- You can reuse glass jars
- Pyrex Glass containers
- Ceramic Cookware (lots come with lids)
- Silicone Suction Lids and Food Covers (You could leave your food in the original bowl)
- Natural parchment paper (Use to wrap food in)
Check out this link with tons of safe alternatives!
How To Get Rid Your Body of Bisphenols
Now that you know the dangers of plastic containers and know the safe alternatives, you may be wondering how to rid the body of these bisphenols
- Avoid drinking water and juices from plastic bottles.
- Avoid canned foods lined with BPA or BPS.
- Avoid buying foods in bisphenol plastics.
- Avoid cooking foods contained in plastic in the microwave (if you can avoid the microwave altogether).
- Detox with fresh, clean water, fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs.
- Probiotics have been shown to accelerate the breakdown and thus help detoxify many types of toxins.(5)
If you would like to learn more about Food Containers what is safe vs. what is not, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has some great information.