Kick Toxic Plastic to the Curb

Choose glass, stainless steel, silicone, or non-bleached parchment paper for food storage to be sure you are only eating leftovers.

| February 2018

  • Glass is the safest material to use for food storage.
    Photo by Getty Images/Marekuliasz
  • Parchment paper is a wonderful food wrap, but be aware that there are two different varieties: bleached and non-bleached.
    Photo by Getty Images/Mputsylo
  • Pay attention to the food storage items you use in your kitchen.
    Photo by Getty Images/Belka_35
  • “Toxic Home/Conscious Home” by Rob Brown offers key insights on how to create a conscious home by making educated choices that will preserve and increase the well-being of your home’s occupants.
    Cover courtesy Healthy Berry LLC

Dr Rob Brown is unveiling obvious and hidden sources of toxicity within the home in Toxic Home/Conscious Home: A Mindful Approach to Wellness at Home(Healthy Berry LLC, 2018). Despite our best efforts to be healthy, Brown explains how and why our homes are silently making many of us sick while stressing the importance of proper energy flow with in the home. Safer alternatives are suggested to help the reader create a truly safe and healthy refuge. The thought of detoxing the home can be overwhelming, by taking it day by day and making one or two changes at a time will make all the difference. The following excerpt is from Chapter 5, “Food Preparation and Packaging.”

Almost all materials that come into contact with food can react with it. These reactions may be minimal or significant, depending on the type of food, the composition of the wrapping or cooking material, and the prevailing atmosphere or environment — particularly temperature.

Leftovers and Food Storage

Plastic wraps, aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic containers, and covered glass dishes are the most common short-term food storage materials. The goal of wrapping and storing material is, of course, to keep bacteria and mold from growing on the food’s surface as well as to prevent food from drying out when stored on the counter, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

Food Wraps

The most ubiquitous wrap in the kitchen is plastic wrap. Saran Wrap was accidentally discovered in 1933 at the Dow Chemical Company by a lab technician working to develop a new dry-cleaning product. The material created was initially turned into a liquid spray used on U.S. fighter planes and on automobile upholstery. Dow later named the product Saran and conducted further development to make the material appropriate for a kitchen wrap, removing the foul odor and clarifying the green color of the original material. Saran Wrap hit the commercial market in 1949 and the household market in 1953.

Saran Wrap was originally made of thin film polymers using polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) containing phthalates, chemicals used to increase the wrap’s flexibility. Unfortunately, it was discovered that phthalates can disrupt hormones when leached into food and thus are bad for one’s health.34 Phthalates have been linked to allergies, asthma 35, 36 and abnormal sperm quality in adult men.

Since 2006, almost all plastic wrap made in North America has been phthalate-free. But as phthalate was phased out, manufacturers introduced a new chemical: a low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which contains the plasticizer diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA). DEHA is another potential endocrine disruptor, and although there were concerns that it could cause cancer, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that there was not enough evidence to say that DEHA was carcinogenic.

4/6/2019 3:57:59 PM

My son is serious about eliminating plastic from his home so I have learned much from him. I use wide-mouth Mason jars to store food. I make large batches of soup, eat some that day and freeze portions in the jars to take to work or warm for a quick dinner. I also freeze leftovers to heat another time or take for lunch. I buy ingredients in bulk, but the store is not set up for me to use my own jars during the purchasing process. I weigh the food into the plastic bags then at home I put them in glass jars, removing the labels from the bags and attaching them to the jars. The labels include the date of purchase which I find handy.

4/4/2019 7:10:43 AM

Excellent and concise article. Thank you!

2/8/2018 7:38:23 AM

What about Tupperware from the 70s and 80s?

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