I recently wrote an article for Handpicked Nation detailing some of these health concerns and offered five suggestions for cutting back on our use of plastics.
- Heat food in glass containers. Heat is one of the most significant ways harmful chemicals leach into your food. Even if your food has been frozen in plastic, transfer to a glass container before heating.
- Pack food in parchment paper. It's hard to pass up the convenience of disposable plastic storage bags. Thankfully there are companies such as If You Care offering a parchment paper option. These may be a bit more costly in the short run, but they offer a much safer option. If you must use plastic bags, consider lining them with parchment paper before storing your food.
- Use stainless steel or glass water bottles. It takes anywhere from 400–1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose. You can help the environment as well as protect your health by switching to reusable water bottles.
- Avoid receipts. Many sales receipts are coated with a layer of BPA. If you don't need the receipt, let the cashier know. If you do need it, keep it in the bag until you get home (unless the receipt is exposed to raw food). Keep your receipts in a closed container such as a paper envelope.
- Think outside the box. Don't assume the status quo is the only way to live. Begin to think differently about the way you eat and live. Consider ways to bring fresh foods with you in non-plastic containers when you're on the go. Try your hand at food fermentation, or check out a local farmers market (don’t forget your reusable grocery bag!).
The following websites offer more suggestions for reducing your use of plastics:
Plastic & Food: Should You Care?