Plastic + Giant Microwave = Oil!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything to the blog, but not for lack of inspiration. I need to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and just post things, even if they’re not impeccably polished. So, in that vein, I bring you my latest post.

Sometimes I feel I’m going overboard, being cautious about potential things that could harm our family, things that many people don’t give a second thought. Once example is heating food in the microwave in plastic containers.

While all my coworkers heat their frozen diet meals in little plastic trays, I’m forever dumping my leftovers onto paper plates or into ceramic containers to heat or using the toaster oven to avoid the microwave all together. (After all, even if the chemicals migrating into the food aren’t harmful, microwaves do alter the nutritional content of the food and emit radiation.)

Occasionally somthing will arise that makes my confidence in a decision grow. This time that boost came in the form of a news story, old but only recently brought to my attention, showing how a U.S. company is using a large microwave to recycle plastic, turning it back into oil. Obviously this would be great from an environmental perspective, but yikes! I realize that most everyday microwaves can’t perform such a feat, but that it can be done at all says a lot both about both the cooking method and the composition of the container.

To add to the argument, recent tests show that many so called “microwave safe” plastics still leach BPA into food. So while going for the safer plastics with recycling codes 1, 2, 4 and 5 and only those labeled for microwave use can certainly help, the best option really is not to use plastic containers.