Written By: Michelle, The Green Mother
Last week, during my yearly cleaning ritual of the kitchen cupboards, I said good riddance to the last plastic containers that had been lingering around. Last year, I purchased glass containers. I use them from everything to storing food in the freezer, to packing snacks, and storing nuts. Nathaniel, my youngest son, currently uses glass baby bottles. He uses them under my supervision, considering glass can shatter if not careful.
The benefits of using glass containers:
- Glass is made from completely natural raw materials: sand, limestone and soda ash, and does not leach into foods or liquids.
- Because glass is chemically inert, it can be microwaved safely.
- Glass packaging has also received its seal of approval from the Food and Drug Administration, as it is the only packaging material “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the agency. Source of Information:
The dangers of plastic:
Many plastic containers contain BPA. Bisphenol A acts as a “xenoestrogen.” This means means it behaves in a similar fashion to the female hormone estrogen. However, it has two exceptions:
1) It is foreign to the body. That is what “xeno” means.
2) It is more harmful than our natural estrogen for everyone, male and female. Breast cancers becomes a significant risk in women who carry high levels of xenoestrogens. Both males and females are subject to a huge range of other harmful health effects. In women, birth defects and miscarriages can occur. Another significant health effect is a disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas. This can create a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance.
Considering this information, never leave a plastic water bottle on a hot surface. Phthalates (another xenoestrogen) are another common toxin found in plastic water bottles. If the water bottle is heated, phthalates leak into the water that you drink. However, with the polycarbonate bottles it has been found that even at room temperature, bisphenol A leaches into the water, and more so with increased temperature. Also with repeated use of plastics, you may notice the fine line scratches that you see on an old plastic container. These increase the surface area exposed to the liquid inside and release more of the xenoestrogens into the water.