Microwave Safe?

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

Nowadays warming, even cooking food in the microwave is practically second nature for many people. But how safe is it when you're using plastic containers or plastic wrap both of which contain chemicals?

"What happens in the microwave is you have heat and heat speeds any reaction. So you're going to get more than you would in a short amount of time."

Just one of the substances that could leak into your food is called a plasticizer. Basically it's a chemical agent that gives plastic its elasticity.

"In some cases it's desirable for something like an anti-oxidant, something that you don't want to oxidize, it's desirable for an anti-oxidant to come out into the product and that would be something like vitamin E."

According to Dr. Laura Bix, Assistant Professor at the MSU School of Packaging, it's almost impossible to avoid ingesting tiny amounts of chemicals from plastic. While animal studies have shown large quantities can affect male reproduction, human toxicity remains inconclusive.

"It's a challenge to correlate, if it's a very large amount and it has a negative effect on health, how does that correlate to those very, very small amounts?

And the amounts are small because the FDA regulates the chemicals in plastic containers sold on store shelves. Still you may want to use those specifically labeled microwave safe, or if you're still concerned simply use ceramic or glass.

"Informing yourself and making decisions in your own personal life based on the amount of risk you're willing to take is a smart way to go."


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