Beyond BPA: Why to Avoid Plastic Food Containers

NPR

We've heard it before: Plastic containers can release chemicals into the food and liquids we store in them; It's not smart to microwave food in plastic or leave plastics, including water bottles, out in the sun. I've avoided these behaviors, but thought I was safe using BPA free water bottles and take out containers. Well, a recent study reported by NPR suggests otherwise.

It's one of those articles you hate to read. NPR reports that a new study has found that most (most!) plastics "from sippy cups to food wraps" release a hormone similar to estrogen. If you recall the shock that came along with learning about BPA in plastics and also canned goods, it's an extra blow to learn that BPA-free containers might still be leaching chemicals into food.

This study published in Environmental Health Perspectives doesn't discuss the effects of exposure to these chemicals. Scientists have debated if chemicals from plastics, even BPA, actually pose any health risks. However, why even expose yourself to these potentially dangerous materials? I switched to a glass water bottle at work and avoid heating and re-heating food in plastic. But I use a ton of plastic bags for leftovers and freezing. And when it comes to working out, especially long distance bike riding, it's going to be difficult for me to avoid plastic.

What do you think of using plastic for storing food? Are you inclined to rid your kitchen of it or do you think it's another pesky health nut issue to be ignored?

• Read More: Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals from NPR

Related: Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to BPA

(Image: David McNew/Getty Images for NPR)