The best bets for cooking and storage include clay, stainless steel, ceramics, glass, porcelain and cast iron cookware.  But, hey these days many kitchens don’t have these so called ole fashion products.  Many have plastic, Ttflon pans and aluminium.  So what is the deal with these, should we store food in plastic containers?

So should we store food in plastic containers?

In a nutshell, aluminium has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.  Teflon contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons).  In fact if you can, throw all non-stick pans or at least any that are old, pitted or scratched.  (back in 5 minutes as going to chuck out our frying pan as it has Teflon peeling off).  Although the compound perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is supposedly stable up to a medium setting/heat.

As for plastics, many plastics are made from toxic chemicals (phthalates) and they are very difficult to clean   If you clean your plastics sufficiently to be sure of bacteria there is also a problem that plastics can break down releasing harmful chemicals.  Try using glass for food storage and stainless steel thermoses for carrying liquids.  Easy said than done these days.  Many products are made from plastic and often the most affordable, but do what you can.  I do not believe in making people feel bad or guilty about things so just do what you can.

See below some of the plastic coding that you may like to look out for when buying products.

Should we store food in plastic containers?
  • PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate) used for soda and water containers and some waterproofing packaging.  It is not recommended for reuse, because its difficult to clean and remove bacterial contamination from.  Proper cleaning releases more chemicals and when reused this type of plastic may also leach de (2 ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), a known carcinogen
  • HDPE (High density polyethylene) used for milk, detergent, vegetable oil bottles, toys and plastic bags.  It is less toxic than many other plastics.
  •  PVC (Vinyl/polyvinyl chloride) used for food wrap, vegetable oil bottles.  It is made flexible by the use of phthalates (a carcinogenic) and dioxin ( a carcinogenic) is released during manufacturing and incineration.
  • LDPE (Low density polyethylene) used by many plastic bags shrink wrap and garment bags.  It is less toxic than many other plastics.
  • PP (Polypropylene) used for refrigerated containers, some bags most bottle tops, some carpets and some food wrap.  It is considered the safest plastic.
  • PS (Polystyrene) used for throwaway utensils, meat packaging and protective packaging,  It is known to cause functional impairment of the nervous system.  Styrene is a carcinogen and mutagen highly toxic and may leach into foods that are contained in polystyrene.
There are many more but these are the basics and might help you go some way towards deciding – should we store food in plastic containers!
My spell checker was going nuts on all these chemistry related words, so hope I have not missed spelt any, apologies if so.
Munch Mum Anna
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