Can You Safely Use Plastic In The Microwave?
It’s not uncommon to see people microwaving leftovers in plastic dishes, heating up meals in the plastic containers they come in, or placing plastic wrap over foods to protect the inside of a microwave from splatters. Is all this as innocent as it seems?
I don’t think so. While plastic has many terrific uses, when it comes to cooking it should be avoided. DEHA [di-(2-ethylhexyl)adipate], sometimes found in cling wrap, and other chemicals commonly found in plastic are potential endocrine disruptors, and can negatively influence hormonal activity. While studies are underway to better define the health risks associated with plastics, it is best to steer clear of using plastic and plastic wrap in the microwave, as the heat can drive plastic molecules into your food.
Instead, use glass or ceramic containers and cover foods with waxed paper or a paper towel. It used to be easy to recommend avoiding the prepared freezer section meals as they were mostly processed and high in sodium. Now the health food industry has caught up and offers many prepared meals with the exact ingredients (or sometimes better than!) you would use at home. Some companies are mindful of the plastic concern and use packaging that is deemed safer. If you purchase such products, whether in plastic or another type of container, it’s best to transfer these items to a different storage container that is glass or ceramic prior to microwaving.
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