Friday, August 24

toxic-free and eco-friendly ways to pack snacks and store food!

i pack snacks every single day. they serve many purposes...sustenance, distraction, nourishment, and distraction. did i say distraction...twice? okay, maybe i need to work on that. at least i don't give him cookies and candy. real food should score me some points, right! plus, toddlers eat a lot. if my boy gets hungry while we're on the go, i've got to be prepared. i mean, i don't think he's had McD or BK in his whole life (21 months). i care very much about what goes in his mouth so, as soon as i learned that the plastic products i was using to store food were toxic, i tossed them out. we used plastic containers and bags for everything...salt, leftovers, spices, herbs, basically everything in the pantry and fridge! we still have zip lock bags, but it's one step at a time!

anyway, i gave up using plastic containers and zip lock bags 3 reasons:
  1. i wanted to do my part in living a greener life by using glass containers that could be repurposed.
  2. i do a good job feeding my family organic, wholesome meals. messing that up by giving them foods laced with toxic chemicals just doesn't make sense.
  3. food just looks prettier in glass!
why is plastic so bad, anyway?

plastics contain chemicals that leach into your food.

according to Scientific American, "Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous compound in plastics. First synthesized in 1891, the chemical has become a key building block of plastics from polycarbonate to polyester; in the U.S. alone more than 2.3 billion pounds (1.04 million metric tons) of the stuff is manufactured annually.

Since at least 1936 it has been known that BPA mimics estrogens, binding to the same receptors throughout the human body as natural female hormones. And tests have shown that the chemical can promote human breast cancer cell growth as well as decrease sperm count in rats, among other effects. These findings have raised questions about the potential health risks of BPA, especially in the wake of hosts of studies showing that it leaches from plastics and resins when they are exposed to hard use or high temperatures (as in microwaves or dishwashers)."

USA Today reported on "A 2000 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found phthalates in the urine of 75% of people tested. CDC research has shown that 95% of Americans have detectable levels of bisphenol A in their bodies.

There's mounting evidence, some of it in human studies and more in mice and rat studies, that these chemicals also may trigger hormonal changes. That is why they are labeled "endocrine disruptors": They can mimic the hormones that the body releases and are believed to be capable of interfering with the reproductive systems of fetuses and babies, even at extremely low doses."

great alternatives to plastic:

glass - i know what you're thinking. glass is dangerous, right? wrong! you should eat while sitting and enjoying your food. my toddler eats his snacks out of glass containers everyday. sure, he's broken a few. but, he's learned to be careful. and, if he must have a snack in hand, well, i give him a lunchskins for that.




wood - for those who want to eliminate every bit of plastic...tops and all!






ceramic


cloth

i did a post a while back on lunchskins. love them! read it, here.



if you have some sewing skills, could also use a handkerchief and some velcro!

paper


stainless steel





tips:

some metal water bottles are lined with a plastic coating that contains bpa. look for stainless steel bottles that do not have a plastic liner. 

also, try to never use plastic containers to heat food in microwaves. ceramic, glass, and other microwaveable dishware are good alternatives. avoid using old and scratched plastic bottles. most plastic bottles aren't made to be reused!

here are some green links you might find useful:

www.treehugger.com
www.thedailygreen.com
grist.org
www.mnn.com
mommygreenest.com
zerowastehome.blogspot.com
www.noimpactman.typepad.com

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