Ever gone to pop some food stored in a plastic container into the microwave and then wonder while last night’s food is getting hot and steamy if plastic was really the right choice? Or how about when frozen meals are covered in plastic and the back of the box tells you to simply leave the plastic in place and just poke a few fork holes into it…Should you take it off and risk losing the moisture it traps, or leave it on and wonder what’s possibly leaking out of the translucent covering into your food? Maybe your one who doesn’t think twice about plastic, and instead are too busy impatiently waiting for that BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.
Whether plastic’s on your mind or not while microwaving food, you may want to start paying more attention to you’re future choices for placing yesterday’s scrumptious spare grub.
Many types of plastic contain DHEA (referred to by Einstein’s as Dehydroepiandrosterone), a steroid that has been shown to pose several negative risks to humans. Heat, such as through microwaving, can cause DHEA and other chemicals in plastic molecules to leak into food. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, these chemicals are “potential endocrine disruptors and can negatively influence hormonal activity”.
The exact consequences of microwaving food in plastic are still being researched. However, it is still recommended to keep food that is to be microwaved away from plastic. “When you microwave, it’s a good idea not to have the plastic touch the food,” said FDA science policy analyst Catherine Bailey.
So what should you do? While plastic is fine for storing food, any eats headed to the microwave should be transferred into a non-plastic container, such as glass or ceramics, before heating. Stay away from wrapping bowls/plates with plastic wrap as well. Instead, cover food with waxed paper or a paper towel. Dampening a paper towel with water before placing over food is useful to ensure that food stays moist.
Also, it’s advised that any food that comes prepackaged in plastic should be transferred to another container before heating. The few extra minutes of your time will be worth it for your health. Just think of the extra time as a positive way to increase your appetite a tad more so that when you finally do get to enjoy your food, it will taste amazing. You may want to consider skipping the microwave all together and simply heat your food up in a saucepan…this may actually lead you to wonderful leftover creations.
Do you microwave your food in plastic?