Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Microwave Safety

Recently, there has been lots of news on microwaves. Everything from do microwave covers leach BPA to should we even be using microwaves. I know microwaves are a staple in most homes and so we'll start small and work up.

1.) If you're going to heat food in a microwave, glass or ceramic are preferred heating containers. However, just be sure the glaze on your heating container does not contain lead. I have switched my plastic containers over to Pyrex for the most part. The lids are BPA free and containers are made from glass. While the lids are BPA free, you may be better off using a cermaic plate or using a non-dyed, non-bleached paper product as a cover. On the crunchy front, I know we're all moving away from using paper prouducts when possible, so that may pose another problem. The only alternative that comes to mind if you are using a microwave is to use no cover and to clean the appliance after every use.

2.) Avoid using plastic wrap when heating your food in the microwave because it is still a questionable practice . The statement on GLAD's website is as follows: "The concern over heating plastics and migration stems from the use of chemical additives (known as plasticizers) in plastics made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). GLAD does not use any PVC plastics in its products." And the seal it forms on your containers? "According to the FDA, small amounts of such ingredients in food do not pose any health risk." My concern is if people plastic wrap all their food every week, at what point is the amount of "such ingredients" a health risk?

3.) Many white paper towels are fabricated with plastics, and are not microwave safe. Do a quick search before buying.

4.) Plain paper plates are safe in the microwave, but plastic coated paper plates are generally not microwave-safe.

5.) Ever see products touted as "microwave safe" on it? It means nothing. These aren't regulated terms, no testing is required to throw that onto a package. So it could mean it doesn't leach BPA into your food or it could simply mean it won't melt in the microwave. Don't go by packaging - do your research.

The safety of the microwave has been called into question. This happened in the past and several testing agencies said there was no detectable harm in using the microwave. The agencies tested the effects of the rays emitted from the microwave on humans, but did not test the effect the rays have on food. I haven't found reliable answers or studies on this topic, though it is a concern of mine. If any of my readers have more information on this topic, I'd love to hear it!

Hoped that helped to make your life a little more BPA-free!

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