Avoiding plastic on all food is nearly impossible. Plastic is a part of everyday life and has been ingrained into the way we live life. It is on so many things and we don't even think twice about it. Most people are aware of the dangers of BPA in plastics and metal cans and many chose to avoid it. Bisphenol A is an endocrine disrupter which can mimic the body's own hormones and may lead to negative health effects. Some health problems linked to BPA are heart disease, obesity, digestive disorders, cancer, thyroid problems, and reproductive disorders. A recent article from Discovery News reported that BPA may not be the only problem, see article Even BPA-Free Plastic Not Always Safe. Personally, I make a big effort to avoid plastics – especially when it comes to food. You many not even realize all the plastic that touches food until you try to avoid it.
Here are some ways that you can avoid plastic containers, plastic wrap, and plastic bags touching your food.
- Meat. Meats and poultry in grocery stores are usually packaged in a styrofoam or plastic tray and then covered in plastic wrap. A trick to avoid this wrapping is to go to a local butcher because butchers usually wrap their meat in butcher paper rather then plastic wrap. Also, in a grocery store like Whole Foods, you can go up to the meat counter and order your meat which will then be packaged in butcher paper and not the usual plastic wrapping.
- Vegetables. Even when you buy fresh vegetables you would usually put them into the plastic bags provided by the grocery store. Vendors at farmer's markets also offer plastic bags to use to take home your purchases. Instead, buy some reusable produce bags like these Organic Cotton Muslin Produce Bags
- Water. Instead of buying bottled water, buy a good quality water filter for your house. It is healthier and much less expensive. For water on the go, use a refillable water bottle such as a Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Leftovers. Instead of storing your food in plastic containers purchase a set of glass food storage containers like Pyrex
- Sandwiches & Snacks. When you are packing lunches or taking snacks for the car, it's hard to live without ziplock bags. A great alternative to plastic bags are reusable sandwich and snack bags like these Munchkin Snack Bags or these LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags, both are machine washable for easy clean up.
- Utensils. Another on the go essential is utensils. Plastic are easy to throw into a lunch bag because you don't have to worry about losing your own silverware. An inexpensive set of travel utensils are great to have because they are convenient, non-toxic, and won't leave your household silverware set. This set is great: Zelco Mangia 3 Piece Utensil Set