In addition, I was engulfed last week with reading anything and everything I could on the internet on BPA (Bisphenol A), a synthetic estrogen and plastic component, that is toxic. This toxic chemical is found in polycarbonate plastic, usually marked with a recycle code of 7 and also used to coat metal, so it's found in the lining of most canned food (including baby formula) and beverages. It can seep out of the polycarbonate plastic and into food and liquid, especially when the plastic is heated, worn or scratched or when in contact with fatty or acidic foods. I like to think of BPA like the high fructose corn syrup of the plastic industry in that it is everywhere however it far more dangerous. I'll let you do your own research and you won't have to look far. Everyone knows it's bad for you but yet, we still haven't banned it. I knew not to heat food in plastic in the microwave or to use saran wrap however I hadn't researched the issue enough to see just how bad it was.
Last week, I made the decision to remove just about everything plastic from my kitchen and created a 24 step action plan on all of the things I could do. One of the main things I'll do is to switch most of my dry goods and refrigerated items to glass containers or wide mouth mason jars. The issue with the mason jars was finding "BPA free" lids. I finally found a vendor that had that. As I researched further, just because something is BPA free does not mean it's safe. They can use other toxic chemicals and not identify them and just list a recycle code of "7" which is a mixed bag category. I still am looking for different spice containers, and once again, it's finding a BPA free lid that's a challenge. I've changed cutting boards and started using the wood and am purchasing some bamboo ones. I've been researching water bottles and learned that it's not enough to look for stainless steel but to look for "food grade" stainless steel. One good thing is that I don't eat many processed foods so I don't have to worry about the plastic containers they come in however there is just so many items to be concerned about. There is BPA in cans. While I don't use many, I use a few like soups or vegetables. I buy mostly fresh vegetables anyway so that won't be a big deal and I can purchase liquid soup in the boxes versus the cans. The Mini-Prep food processor I was using has a plastic work bowl. Well, the plastic isn't marked (Most of the time when plastic isn't marked with a recycle code at all, it almost always is a tip off that it's got BPA in it.) and I tried to order a replacement in glass only they don't have it in glass. Not only that, many of the work bowls from any brand is made with plastic that has BPA in it! Yikes! I haven't found solutions yet for my vitamin containers. I am working on eliminating all plastic bags however previously I would freeze cooked, chopped vegetables and store them in 1/2 cup serving sizes in freezer bags. I also would cook a turkey in the rotisserie and store that in 3 oz. bags in the freezer. I do some bulk cooking like that and am working on alternatives for food storage. I have seen some glass containers that can go in the freezer, the problem is making sure the lid is secure and it won't break. I still have to replace the dish drainer and plastic lids for the cat's food. Then there is cat food that comes in cans; I suppose those cans are lined with BPA as well. I've eliminated the plastic container for egg storage in the refrigerator and replaced that with glass. I haven't researched the plastic bags at the grocery store, the ones I put my fruit and vegetables in or any of the plastics that food is sold in. I used to store things like nuts and cheese in plastic containers in the refrigerator but I am changing those to glass. My big issue with glass was that it was heavy. In addition, when I went looking for glass containers, many had plastic lids! While I realize that not all plastic may be bad (those with codes of 2, 4 and 5 are supposed to be safe), other research showed that those plastics when heated in a microwave showed traces of BPA as well. Anchor Hocking has some nice glass bowls with glass lids although I'd like some different sizes. Most come in a 2 cup or 5 cup size. The Glad containers I was using were the 3 cup size and that was perfect for most of the items I stored in the refrigerator.