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Earth Friendly & Recycling Are you doing your part to help save the Earth and make it a better place for the next generations? Talk about recycling and going green here!

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:21 AM
happymomof4's Avatar
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Reusing plastic---Warning!!

Rumors about plastic's detrimental impact on our health have circulated for decades. Though the FDA, CDC, and other official agencies issue periodic reassurances, other experts believe that this miracle of modern alchemy may be lacing our food with chemicals. But you don't have to forgo all your wraps and containers just yet. By learning the ground rules for different types of plastic, you can strike a reasonable balance between convenience and caution.
The FDA keeps close tabs on anything designed for contact with foods -- and it stands by the safety of approved plastic containers, saying they leach negligible amounts of chemicals when used for their express purposes. But what about that yogurt container you used for leftovers and then popped into the microwave for reheating? Since federal standards only address how plastic performs during its "intended use," those of us trying to do the green thing by reusing plastics could be gambling with our health.
Stepping outside the bounds of intended use, we risk heightened exposure to preservatives and other additives. While studies are mixed as to how much of these chemicals we can tolerate, research does confirm at least three things: First, certain types of plastic contain dangerous compounds, including carcinogens and hormone imitators, substances that the body can mistake for estrogen; second, overheating or overusing plastic food containers may cause some of these compounds to "migrate" into food; and third, heat from microwaving or dishwashing and high levels of fat in foods like meat and cheese can expedite this migration.
In the case of polycarbonate, polystyrene, and polyvinyl chloride (plastics often used to make certain cling wrap, takeout, and durable food storage containers), even low-level migration of their chemicals may damage hormone and gene function over time. Studies have yet to prove that concentrations found in food pose a threat to humans, but the basic building blocks of these plastics include known human carcinogens and substances harmful to the reproductive system. Other plastics, such as polyethelenes (used to make some cling wraps and containers as well as zippered bags), contain fewer additives and less toxic ingredients. Optimal safety requires that you abide by manufacturer instructions and, in some cases, take a few additional precautions to minimize your exposure. With a little food-storage know-how, you can easily spot the best -- and the safest-plastic for the job.
Have a wonderful day.

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Old 04-19-2010, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,238
Yogurt containers are not designed for microwave use, they are designed for cold foods. You should only be using plastic ware designed for the microwave.

There is nothing wrong however with reusing plastic for food storage as long as you pop it out of the container and put it in a microwave safe container.

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11
This is really informative. Thank you. I will have to tell my mother this. She is constantly using old yogurt containers to store left over food and then sticking it in the microwave to heat it up. By instinct, I too feel like yogurt containers were really just meant for cold items, not hot ones.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:05 AM
AnnaInOhio's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,238

I just wanted to pop in and say Welcome. We look forward to getting to know you better.

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