Plastic containers will kill you — Fact or Fiction?

There is a lot of hype out there about how plastic containers leak toxins into your food and cause cancer.  Some experts advocate throwing out all your plastic and replacing it with glass.   That is going to be expensive, especially if you drop one.

I recently “got the skinny” from a book on this.  I wanted to share this to give you some peace of mind and save you some cash.

There are specific types of  plastics that cause the problems and other are harmless.  The good news is that the numbers on the bottom identify the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Okay, there is no “ugly”, I just thought it sounded good.)  There are 7 plastic types, and 3 of them will cause problems.

  • #3 Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) — Sometimes found in cooking oil bottles, cling wrap, plumbing pipes, etc.  After reading about this I went through the cooking oil bottles and cling wrap.  None of the bottles were a #3 and my cling wrap said it was PVC free.  So as these threats have become known, manufacturers have adjusted.
  • #6  Polystyrene aka Styrofoam — this is the Styrofoam in disposable cups, foam egg cartons, meat trays, etc.  Avoid these when possible, or repack foods that are packed in these when you get home.  Personally, I cook them up right away and reheat later.
  • #7  PC Polycarbonate  —  Supposedly found in baby bottles, microwave ovenware,  cooking utensils, Lexan, Nalgene, 5 gallon water jugs

So here is what I found in my kitchen

  • My plastic and very affordable ZipLoc food containers are #5.  No need to throw these out.
  • My cooking oils came in #1 bottles
  • My Rubbermaid storage containers, also #5.
  • My sports water bottles are #4.
  • Spices come in #1 bottles.

And if you are about to say that Jillian Michaels told you to avoid all plastic, well guess what.  The source for all this information is “Mastering Your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels.   You’ll find she gives a lot of absolutes when she is given a 30 second sound bite.  In the book, “Mastering Your Metabolism”, she goes into much greater detail about many things.

So if you want glass, go for it.  If you are like me and drop stuff, I recommend the Pyrex, its pretty tough stuff.  I just don’t want anyone thinking that they have to go spend a bunch of money unnecessarily.


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