microwaving in plastic


Normally when I share healthy tips with you all, they are things that I want to do better with or have already been practicing with good results.  I will never post anything that I don’t believe in.

On the flip side, I can’t take credit for always living a healthier life.  Once upon a time I had a number of unhealthy habits.  Nowadays, I’ve tried to narrow them down to just a few but I’m nowhere near perfect. However, I firmly believe that “if you know better, you [should] do better!”

To the point…

I stopped microwaving food in plastic and styrofoam a couple of years ago, probably around the birth of my son in 2013.  Seems like we all start to do better with the addition of our children huh?

While researching this topic I came across an interesting article in ‘support’ of microwaving your food in plastic.  It didn’t come right out and say, “5 reasons why you should microwave your food in plastic” but instead the intended goal was to prove why it isn’t so harmful.

I don’t know about you but any time you have to prove why something isn’t harmful, it probably is smh.  The article in question was written by Harvard Medical School and was actually the 1st link that popped up on my Google search.  I encourage you to give it a click and read it for yourself.  It’s not that long, promise! (Click here)

Ok, so for those of you who refuse to click the link, here’s your synopsis 🙂

Major concern with plastics: (according to Harvard Health)

Substances are often added to plastic to help shape or stabilize it. Two of these plasticizers are:

  • bisphenol-A (BPA), added to make clear, hard plastic
  • phthalates, added to make plastic soft and flexible

BPA and phthalates are believed to be “endocrine disrupters.” These are substances that mimic human hormones, and not for the good.

When food is wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container and microwaved, BPA and phthalates may leak into the food. Any migration is likely to be greater with fatty foods such as meats and cheeses than with other foods.

The FDA long ago recognized the potential for small amounts of plasticizers to migrate into food. So it closely regulates plastic containers and materials that come into contact with food. The FDA requires manufacturers to test these containers using tests that meet FDA standards and specifications. It then reviews test data before approving a container for microwave use.

They even included a section, “The Bottom Line” because they know they know we don’t like to read.

The bottom line

Here are some things to keep in mind when using the microwave:

  • If you’re concerned about plastic wraps or containers in the microwave, transfer food to glass or ceramic containers labeled for use in microwave ovens.
  • Don’t let plastic wrap touch food during microwaving because it may melt. Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, white paper towels, or a domed container that fits over a plate or bowl are better alternatives.
  • Most takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubs or jars made to hold margarine, yogurt, whipped topping, and foods such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard are not microwave-safe.
  • Microwavable takeout dinner trays are formulated for one-time use only and will say so on the package.
  • Old, scratched, or cracked containers, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticizers.
  • Don’t microwave plastic storage bags or plastic bags from the grocery store.
  • Before microwaving food, be sure to vent the container: leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover.

MY interpretation: (it feels good saying that lol)

  1. That list above is just too much for me! Who has time or the brain space to remember it all? I know this mama doesn’t!
  2. If you have to perform several different tests to determine what’s safe for use but then there’s still the ‘potential’ that harmful chemicals can leak into the food, it’s not worth using!
  3. Because ‘plastic’ is so cheap to make and sell, of course the government and other for profit organizations will protect their interests with articles like this. Do your research and analyze the sources!

Thankfully, I don’t see this as an obstacle anymore because I gave our microwave away a few months ago and we only use the oven to reheat things now.  But occasionally I will visit family and friends and for the sake of convenience or to not seem like a total weirdo (lol), I’ll pop something in the microwave.  But I never, ever use plastic or styrofoam. My husband on the other hand is a work in progress.  You know men are all about convenience and if I send lunch in plastic, 9 times out of 10, it’s going to get reheated in plastic :-/.

If you thought this was extra, my next step is to actually remove all of the plastic containers and tupperware in our house and only use glass.  Can’t use what you don’t have, right?!

That’s it for #HealthyTipTuesday this week. Hope you all found it helpful!

P.S. – I’m sorry if I make your life somewhat harder. But a little bit of wisdom and encouragement never hurt anyone… 🙂


One thought on “#HealthyTipTuesday

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