I think most of us would agree that buying fresh, organic (when available), whole foods is vital to living a healthy life. That being said, I think it is equally important to be mindful of the types of storage containers that we use. In my view, there’s no point in spending good money on buying fresh, organic herbs, oils, food and drink products only to store them in flimsy toxic plastic containers.
Choosing Glass Over Plastic
If you spent a few extra bucks on buying a quality olive oil, it wouldn’t be best to store that oil in plastic. A great choice for storing oil would be an ultraviolet glass bottle that stops the passage of visible light which over time can damage and deteriorate your products. UV glass, instead, allows in beneficial UVA and infrared light rays which actually benefit your products.
Another consideration is bottled water. Why purchase bottled water that sits in plastic for an indefinite amount of time, sits on trucks in extreme temperatures and the water quality is pretty much unknown. A more practical way to go may be to purchase an affordable water filtration system and then store filtered water in a glass storage container. This one liter ultraviolet glass bottle may help to gently filter drinking water from harmful bacteria, is environmentally friendly, is perfect for taking on long trips and can be used and re-used. If you are concerned about traveling with a glass water bottle, consider using a sort of decorative/protective water bottle sleeve.
In terms of storing bulk herbs and spices, I am a fan of these apothecary jars by Infinity Jars! I just recently bought some dried oregano in bulk and these jars really lock in the freshness with their natural airtight glass-on-glass seal.
I have also found these screw top glass jars to come in very handy. As one who is always on the move, I find that these glass jars are ideal for storing my vitamins and/or a small amount of lotion. In the colder month’s my hands get very dry and this is the perfect size jar to carry with me. I fill my glass jar with my favorite lotion and toss it into my pocketbook. Infinity screw top glass jars are also excellent for preserving things such as herbs, seasonings, teas, cosmetics, etc.
The impressive preservation capability of the Infinity Jars is found in the deep violet glass. This particular type of glass blocks out the harmful visible light rays while allowing other beneficial light rays to preserve and extend the life of your product. Learn more here on how these jars can help keep your goods fresh. The jars are very easy to care for as well. Just clean with a mild soap and warm water or wipe with alcohol and allow the jars to dry before using. That’s it!
Why Plastics are So Popular
Sure, plastic containers are handy for storing and re-heating leftovers. They’re lightweight, easy to transport, and cheap. When we’re done, we can just throw these containers into the dishwasher and re-use them again or throw them out. Easy, right?! But…they can come with a big price in the long run. Health experts have warned that there is a possible link between health issues and Bisphenol-A, which is a particular coating to improve the stability of plastic containers.
Need a Few More Reasons to Minimize Plastic in Your Kitchen?
The Scientific American outlines the chief health concerns of plastic:
- Chemicals in the plastic (like BPA) can bind to the same receptors as the female hormone estrogen.
- The chemical promotes human breast cancer cell growth and decreases sperm count (in rats).
- Developing lab mice exposed to BPA had suffered abnormal menstrual cycles and diabetes.
The Global Healing Center adds to the laundry list of worries:
- Di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP) found in plastic – studies suggest it may affect male genital development.
- Children born to mothers with increased phthalate levels were over 3x likely to have asthma.
- Women with high levels of plasticizers were 2x as likely to exhibit low libido.
- Moms with high BPA levels may be more likely to have hyperactive, anxious or depressed daughters.
The FDA’s review of more than 300 (mostly animal-rats/mice) studies on BPA concluded:
- BPA exposure promotes hyperactivity, lean body composition, and hormonal responses post-natal.
- Prenatal BPA exposure alters sex-specific estrogen receptor expression in the brain.
- Post-natal exposure to BPA influences various emotional conditions.
- Developmental exposure to BPA affected anxiety and spatial learning.
- BPA exposure in middle age may contribute to decreases in working memory.
What About BPA-FREE Plastic?
In 2012, the FDA banned the use of BPA in all baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula packaging in response to more than 300 illuminating studies. However, BPA is still found in water bottles, food storage containers, plastic tableware, contact lens cases, and other consumer goods. Simply switching to “BPA-free” may not be enough to protect your family, experts caution. There is more to the danger of plastic than this one chemical.
Men’s Journal summarized the problem this way: “Items that are free of BPA often contain other chemicals that behave in much the same way – leaching into foods and drinks. After being absorbed by the body, the chemicals mimic the hormone estrogen, and may increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and reproductive problems.”
“Our findings are frightening and important; Consider it the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine,” lead author and reproductive endocrinologist Nancy Wayne told CNN, after her team at UCLA linked a common BPA alternative (BPS) to thyroid hormone disturbances.
Independent testing firm CertiChem found that nearly all 455 plastic products they examined leached chemicals mimicking estrogen – even those labeled “BPA-free.” Testers said they wouldn’t consider any type of plastic truly “safe.”
Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science for the Breast Cancer Fund, concluded: “This is a classic case of ‘regrettable substitution’ in which the replacement chemical is as toxic as the chemical it was replacing.” The lack of transparency among manufacturers is troubling, she added.
What Should You Do?
Here are many practical steps to limit your exposure:
- Use high-quality glass, stainless steel and food-safe ceramic containers to store food and drinks.
- NEVER microwave plastic. Use glass or ceramic if you must use the microwave. To reheat food in a flash it is just as easy to use a stainless steel double boiler.
- Do not re-use plastic bottles or leave them sitting out in the sunlight.
- Research canned goods that do not use plastic liners.
- Cover leftovers in natural parchment or wax paper, rather than plastic wrap.
- Opt for stainless steel or glass coffee makers and blenders when possible.
- Use a glass or stainless steel water bottle.
- Recycle your old plastic containers.
- If you must use it, hand-wash all plastic containers in cool water. Never add hot food to plastic containers.
- Especially avoid plastics labeled 3, 6 and 7.
- Buy fresh, frozen or dried vegetables, rather than canned. Grow your own if possible!
- Put to-go food in glass or paper containers, rather than plastic. If you must use aluminum foil or plastic wrap, consider wrapping your food in a natural parchment paper or wax paper first…then wrap over that with your desired packaging.
- Here are a few options for glass or stainless steel baby bottles and toddler sippy cups.
- Read Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit & How You Can Too by Beth Terry for more tips.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to anything ingestible, choose glass over plastic whenever possible.
I would like to give a big shout out to Infinity Jars for providing me samples of their apothecary jars and glass screw top jars. I love the options that your glass jars provide me. Infinity Jars has a wide variety of ultraviolet jars for all of your kitchen, apothecary and cosmetic needs. All bottles come with purple and white decorative labels. Check out Infinity Jars here to learn more or to purchase your own products.
#InfinityJars, #WorldsBestGlass, #glassoverplastic, and #ultravioletglass