By now, you are probably aware of the dangers associated with using plastic containers for storing food or cups/bottles for drinking beverages. Plastics are known to leach harmful chemicals into our bodies, especially after being heated, making them particularly unsafe for food storage/serving. I am planning a more extensive post (or two!) on plastics in April, Earth Month, but I'll give you a quick run-down of some of the pitfalls of using plastics:
*increased hormone production in females, increased female hormones in males.
*altered immune response
*increase in certain cancers, especially those of the prostate and breast.
*increase in birth defects
*increase in behaviorial disorders, such as hyperactivity and aggression
And those are just a few!
Of course, some plastics are considered more safe than others. You can read more about that here in the Smart Plastics Guide, a ultra-informative resource on plastics usage. However, I am making it a goal to have pretty much all but eliminated plastic food storage from our home by the end of summer! One step I have taken in this direction is the utilization of various glass jars for food storage. I use wide-mouth canning jars to store just about anything in my pantry--popcorn, dry beans, rice, you name it! I plan on purchasing some very large glass canning jars to store flour, as I am regretably still storing it in a big plastic bin! :( Another good option for flour storage would be ceramic crocks. I use glass canning jars for cold storage, too, anything from leftovers to homeade stocks to water kefir beverages. I love using all the Santa Cruz glass juice bottles I've saved over the past year to store fresh fruit juice from my juicer! I find my glass jars the best option for all the ferments I may have brewing at any time in the kitchen--sourdough starters, fresh ginger ale, sauerkraut, etc... As you can see, they are well-used in my kitchen! I also repurpose any glass jars from ready-made products I have bought, such as jams, honey or coffee, as they make excellent food storage containers for smaller quantities.
Are you making the switch from plastic to glass in your kitchen? I'd love to hear your ideas!