I LOVE reader requests and today's post is just that! A quick look around and it's easy to see that plastics have become a big part of our every day life. Many (including me) are concerned with the impact this could have on our health. At the same time, part of health is sanity and it could just about drive you crazy stressing over and trying to remove all of that plastic! With that in mind, I wanted to provide you guys with some info on how I prioritize when to avoid plastics at all costs and when to not worry so much. I've numbered them, with the first being the most critical.
- Hot/Heated Foods. If there is one thing you take away from this post it should be this: never heat your food in plastic! Risk for chemical leaching is higher when the plastic is heated so use reusable glass containers or ceramic dishes for anything you plan to reheat or that is to be consumed hot. An example would be avoiding hot coffee or tea served in a Styrofoam cup. Opt for a proper mug instead!
- Most Used Items. Switching out the things you use on a daily basis is going to give you the most bang for your buck in terms of limiting exposure. Try replacing your plastic water bottle with a glass one.
- Long Term Storage. The longer something is stored in a plastic container, the higher the chance of chemical leaching. Look for large glass jars or containers to store these foods instead.
- Cold/Frozen. This is the area I would tackle last. Remember, if you plan to reheat the food you need to make sure to transfer it before heating.
Also, as a general rule in all categories, the more liquid a food is the more concerned I am with chemical leaching. Think soup vs a sandwich.
I don't think there is any need to go out any buy all new containers and have your bank account crying on the way home. If you have the money, feel free to do an overhaul, but, if your budget is more limited, institute a gradual and calculated change. Start with the containers for hot foods and your most commonly used items and replace things as you're able to from there. Also, keeping a ceramic plate or bowl at work for reheating is a great option. Just make sure you have a way to clean it after each use.
Do you try to avoid plastics? Share in the comments below!