There are a lot of things to watch out for, but we rarely think to look in our daily cup of Joe - or tea. But, it turns out that tea bags are harboring plastic and carcinogens. Uggghhh.
Sometimes the sneakiest products are the small, barely noticeable products that we may even use every day. Today, we take a look at straws - ubiquitous and not as safe as we would like. We also provides options for plastic-free alternatives - that are also pretty swanky.
I share this pet peeve. Several weeks ago while traveling, I was leaving a restaurant after breakfast, rushing to a meeting. I hadn't finished my tea, and was hoping to take it with me. The host said, no problem, and before I could say anything, poured the hot tea into a plastic cup.
I thanked him, and grabbed the cup, and yet I knew that now the cup and tea were going to be wasted. Drinking out of plastic is a health compromise I hate to make - especially hot drinks in plastic.
I admit, there are still a few plastic tupperware in my home and we are still looking for an alternative to our Brita filter, but I have gradually replaced the vast majority of plastic-ware around the house, and try to never eat or drink out of heated plastic in particular.
Components in plastic containers can leach into food and drink, and that leaching process is accelerated when the plastic is heated. These leaching components are plasticizers, additives to plastic that help plastic things retain their shape. Two common plasticizers are endocrine disrupters - bisphenols and phthalates1 - a word whose spelling continues to baffle me.
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Plasticizers leach into food, but this leaching process is accelerated when plastic is heated. In addition, containers that have been microwaved many times or are old, scratched, or cracked may leach more3.
Like waterbottles and water, tupperware holds the food we put into our bodies. And, similarly, tupperware materials can leach into our food1 and from there into our body2, if we aren't careful. The risk with tupperware may actually be greater because we heat up our leftovers in tupperware3. If we are using plastic food containers, this can cause increased leaching into our food.
Cara's Market recommends several alternatives for housing your food.
My personal favorite is glass tupperware.
Less-ideal attributes include:
- Heavier than most other options
- Some reports of exploding tupperware when going between extreme heat
- No risk of leaching and no linings, phthalate free
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
Despite the cons, this is the option I prefer for my home - it gives me the most peace of mind. Below are some options if you are interested in glass tupperware. Otherwise, there are other additional tupperware solutions below.
Stainless Steel Tupperware
- Can't be microwaved or easily re-heated
- Lighter than glass, good for lunchboxes and the road
- No BPA/BPS, no lining, phthalate free
- Doesn't maintain shape under higher temperatures
- A lightweight option
- BPA/BPS and phthalate free
- Should not leach chemicals into food