Thursday, May 5, 2011

{ BPA & Non-stick: How to get them out of your house}

How to get rid of BPA & Non-stick products in your home: easy! Just throw them away and quit buying more. If only it really were that simple.

Let's start with BPA, bisphenol a. It seems like it's everywhere in our lives these days and I'm doing my best to get it out of our house. It's in the aluminum and tin can linings for soda and food, it's in food storage containers, it's in water bottles... So I quit buying my beloved La Croix sparkling water in aluminum cans, but I'm having trouble getting rid of canned foods altogether. We use canned broth, tomatoes and beans - but we use a lot of these. I'm going to learn how to can beans from a friend soon and when I do I'll share that with you, but canning tomatoes and broth too... I don't think that it will happen.

As for the water bottles, we replaced sippy cups and old Nalgeen water bottles with Klean Kanteens for everyone in the family. So far Kyle has lost his, we washed Phoebe's in the dishwasher on accident so it started leaking, and Phoebe lost Tabi's so we're down to just mine now and these things aren't cheap to replace. We also have a stainless steel water bottle that Phoebe uses from Old Navy, but the lid just doesn't work as well as the Klean Kanteen sports lid; this makes me hesitant to purchase more inexpensive stainless steel water bottles.

As for the food storage, let's talk. I've been looking into getting glass food storage for a while now, but it isn't cheap and there aren't any great box sets that would meet all of our family needs. Finally, after looking online and at my local Macy's and Target I decided that I'd just bite the bullet and go with the Pyrex glass storage. I picked up a few single pieces and a box set to meet our needs, I probably spent about $65 total. (Note: Kyle takes these to work and we use them in the home, I do not have kids using them that may lose them so I am anticipating them lasting a long time.) Here is an example of what I purchased:
I actually really like these and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. They're easy to clean and I just all around enjoy them. (It's weird, I know, that I get pleasure out of odd things like this.) I picked mine up at our local Target. I started with a few single items and after taking most of my plastic storage out of the house, I finished with a $30 box set. I purchased my glassware over a month or two to spread out the cost.

If you are in the market for some glass storage, I highly recommend that you head over to Costco quickly. Today I saw box sets, good box sets - not a bunch of unusable weird sizes, of Rubbermaid Glass storage for $30 at Costco. I can't find it on their website, so I think that you have to see if your local Costco has it , but trust me this is a good deal. Here is what the Rubbermaid glass storage looks like:

They also toot having a special interlocking lid that makes storing them easy and tidy. Another good place to find kitchen stuff is Amazon (that is where I got the above images), so check there too if you're on the hunt for glass storage. Typically as long as you spend over $25 you can get free shipping.

Now you're probably wondering why we've gone through all of this trouble to get plastics and other BPA laden products out of our home. Well, without writing a research paper, here are just a few of the negative side effects that have been linked to BPA: it mimics estrogen in the body and in lab animals it's been shown to "cause nuerological and developmental defects". The prior statements are loaded with a lot of different conditions encompassed by these larger umbrella statements, for example some developmental defects are: genital defects and abnormal mammary gland development (remember these are high level tests on lab animals, but if it's doing this to animals do we really want to mess with ourselves and our kids? Plus there are lots of newer human findings that are being reported lately). There are other negative side effects from BPA that are known and being discovered, feel free to do some online research to find out more; look for reputable scientific and journalistic sources, not blogs like this.

One of the major causes of BPA leaching is heat. If you have and use plastic storage, please don't heat it in the microwave or put boiling water in them as this increases the amount of chemicals released from the plastic into your food exponentially. As you can imagine, the studies have shown that the littlest ones in our families are the most affected.

Alright, I'm going to step off of my soap box for now and leave Non-stick pans for a Part II of this series - you know you're excited. Mostly I wanted to let you know about the glass ware at Costco, because I'm secretly a little jealous of anyone who gets it - I wish my Pyrex had interlocking lids too.


Off The Cuff Cooking said...

I have been wanting to toss all my plastic storage containers (or at least relegate them to storing miscellaneous hardware, or craft items or whatever instead of food) so I'll keep an eye out for glass containers at CostCo.

Jeff & I have three stainless steel bottles that we got at Fred Meyer in the sporting goods section-- they've lasted us for YEARS, and the lids screw in and out easily, and have never leaked. I think they were about $5 per bottle. There's no fancy design or name-brand on them really, so I guess if you wanted to decorate them to keep each family member's separate, you could put colored duct tape around each bottle to make them look different (maybe a plaid pattern for one, diagonal stripes for another, one solid stripe, or two solid stripes... etc.)

Misty said...

I just wanted to let you know I just read on the La Croix facebook page that their cans are BPA free. Someone asked that question and La Croix responded w/ that. Maybe you'll drink them again now :)

~ Misty

Unknown said...

La Croix says on their Facebook page that their cans DO contain BPA-- unfortunately!!

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