One of the hardest things for me to “switch for safer” has been the use of plastics in my home. I have been successful in the past couple years in almost never heating our food in plastic containers and have even been making a very conscious effort to not use the microwave in general. That said, we have roughly 5.7 million toys in our home and they are all made of cheap, toxic plastic from China ?
It’s a work in progress to say the least, but I am trying hard to not be overwhelmed and to “go green” slowly, but diligently. I have made some swaps in the kitchen that I want to share to help you on your journey to healthier living.
Before I give you my product recommendations it’s important to understand why plastic is so dangerous – especially when heated and in contact with food. Check out this article for an in depth explanation.
Off gassing (also known as out-gassing) is a term mentioned in the above article that is important to learn more about. It is the release of gas that was dissolved, trapped, frozen, or absorbed in a material. It is a phenomenon that affects every single person in the modern world and is of major concern. It’s not just a concern for plastics, but in carpet and furniture and a host of other household items, but on this post I’m focusing my attention on plastics only. For the most part we have only been using plastic (aka polymers, which means a synthetic substance made of long chains of molecules, none of which are found in nature) since World War II. The true health effects are unknown, but there is certainly a questionable and substantial uptick in diseases, disorders and reproductive issues since then and our environment, including our overuse of plastics, has got to be to blame at least in part. Check out this article to learn more about off gassing.
Lastly, after reading about the dangers of plastic I became intrigued about silicone. I wondered how it could be any safer. This article was very helpful and worth a read. While silicone is certainly a better option than plastic, it’s still a wild card in my eyes, so whenever possible I’m trying to use glass and wood.
And now, my “switch to safer” recommendations:
Kids plates/bowls/cups – For a non-plastic line of plates and bowls for my kids I use Duralex, which is made of tempered glass, which makes it durable and completely safe (glass is the safest option for anything touching food).
For storage of food I LOVE my Pyrex glass containers. The lids are plastic and should not be heated, but for storage it is fine because it doesn’t even touch the food.
For those times I give in an use the microwave I use a glass cover.
For kids portable cups I use Thermos Funtainer sippy cups so I don’t have to worry about the plastic heating up in the car and off gassing into the water they drink during the hot months.
For sending food to school I’m lusting over the stainless steel Planet Boxes food storage containers, but they are so expensive ?. Maybe it will be their Hanukkah gifts – just what they always wanted LOL.
I use stainless steel kids utensils rather than plastic. I do still serve plastic water cups, because what kid doesn’t want to drink from a cup with TMNT, Jake, Dory and any of the other beloved cartoon characters. It’s my compromise. It’s not heated, so it seems like a good time to throw them a bone. I also use Itzy Ritzy reusable snack bags rather than plastic bags for carrying apples around to avoid sugar drops and meltdowns 🙂
I switched to wooden and silicone spatulas after moving to ceramic pans. I always got scared when the non-stick, plastic spatulas would start breaking off into the food YIKES! Can’t be heathy.
I switched to a wood cutting board that I LOVE! I will post tomorrow about this as I feel it’s worth a separate shout out. Stay tuned ?
I hope this helps! Please share your switch to safer swaps in the kitchen – or anywhere!