Microwaves have become a standard appliance in most American households. They are a quick and convenient way to cook or re-heat just about anything, and the nutritional value of microwaved food is higher than foods cooked by any other method. But did you know microwaving foods in plastic containers may percolate chemicals into your food and decompose them, which can take away all the benefits?
Many prepared foods come in plastic microwavable containers. Recently, concerns about the safety of eating foods cooked in microwavable plastic containers have been raised. To analyze the problem, you need to understand which plastics are considered microwave-safe.
Plastics are classified 1 to 7, according to recycling types. Of these, numbers 1, 2 and 5 are considered safe and free from BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA retards growth and causes neurological defects in humans. However, don’t assume that even these plastics are microwave-safe. Some of the microwave-safe labeled plastics have been found to contain traces of BPA.
Another concern is the use of plastic wraps which have been found to contain diethilhexyl adipate (DEHA). This is added to make the plastic wrap pliable. However, when food is heated with these plastic wraps in close contact with the food, it permeates into the fatty portion of the food, and can taint the food. If you use plastic wraps while microwaving, make sure that there is at least a one inch gap between the food and the wrap.
There is currently no regulation in place for ‘Microwave-safe’ labeling for plastics. Even those labeled microwave-safe have been found to melt, leach and decompose foods.
So what is the best and safest way to heat foods in your microwave? The best choice is to use glassware and ceramics. Most of the glass containers are safe for microwaving and the same goes for ceramics. Until research about plastic safety proves otherwise, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Healthy Choice Naturals
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- Toxic Plastics Chemical (BPA) Found in Several Common Brand Name Foods
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- Health Concerns Continue for Common Plastic Chemical, BPA
- The 6 Deadliest Chemicals and Toxins in Your Body
- New Food Law Requires Stores to Tell you Where Food Comes From