With more and more research coming out about the dangers of plastic, many families are starting to become wary of bringing plastics into their home. Unfortunately, as many are finding, plastic is very prevalent in household and kitchen items. From plasticware to children’s toys, the chemicals in plastic are around most houses, meaning they are around our children and pets, too.
It can be hard to imagine life without plastics, and even harder when trying to imagine replacing all the plastic in our lives. There are many different ways to get around using plastic materials or any materials that have the typical chemicals of plastic in them.
Many different chemicals go into making the hard yet flexible plastic material. Unfortunately, most of these chemicals are toxic to people and animals, especially when used for an extended period of time. These chemicals include BPA, lead, phthalates, and PVC. All of these chemicals are known to be linked to illnesses and ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, impotence, and birthing abnormalities. Although not guaranteed side effects of prolonged plastic use, the threat is still there, leaving most families hesitant to allow those products in their everyday lives, especially around food.
How to Avoid Plastic Chemicals
A great way to avoid chemicals from plastic is to cease buying plastic products that contain those chemicals. However, that is easier said than done. Most of the time, plastic products will claim to be “child safe” or “all-natural” when they actually are not. Especially with recycled products, plastics are full of the dangerous chemicals that can make even the healthiest person fall ill. When looking for plastic products that are safe and harsh-chemical free, look for labels that specifically read “BPA free” or “lead free.” Be sure to research the company before making any large purchases. If the company is still ambiguous, a simple call or email to the company can help clear things up rather quickly.
When It Comes to Food Storage, This is Serious
Storing food in plasticware is a rather typical practice. However, heating non-safe plastic in the microwave is a risky game to play, especially if this happens often. When looking into the products to use in the kitchen, being thorough is key. The biggest dangers to families is getting those plastic particles into the food, drinks, or other dishware that is used daily. Avoiding this could save your family from unwanted ailments and sickness.
Here are five easy ways to cut plastic chemicals out of your family’s diet entirely:
Do not cook using plastic utensils. When cooking meat or stirring soup, do not reach for the plastic spoons and spatulas. Most of these utensils are known to contain BPA. Instead, try swapping them for wooden utensils or those that are BPA-free.
Look out for non-stick coatings. Unfortunately, those non-stick pots and pans are usually coated with BPA and even traces of lead. Although they create a little more of a hassle, normal iron, steel, or metal pots and pans can get the job done, without risking traces of the plastic’s chemicals getting into the food during the heating process.
Check your drinkware. It sounds off, but a lot of plastic cups, especially those for children, can be rather dangerous long-term. Using cups free of harsh chemicals, or simply reaching for rubber, glass, or aluminum glasses can help keep the family safe from those harsh chemicals.
Avoid the microwave. When heating plastics, their harsh chemicals can sweat off of the product and soak into the food. This can be extremely dangerous! Avoid using the microwave with any plastic products if you are unsure whether they contain these harmful chemicals. Only use the microwave when using BPA, lead, and PVC-free plastic products.
Skip the straws. Although swirly straws are super fun at dinner time, these drink transportation devices can often be covered in dangerous chemicals. Instead of using them, have kids use fun cups instead, or perhaps look for chemical-free, reusable straws that are safe for consistent use.
When it comes to the family’s diet, what we use to put food in our bodies is just as important as what food we put into our bodies. Although it can be hard to tell, looking into each product bought can have positive, long-term effects on families! Checking labels, doing research, and finding ingredient lists are just some of the ways that families can avoid plastic chemicals in the household and in the family’s diet!