This summer I got rid of about 97% of the plastic in my kitchen. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Google the dangers of plastic and you'll come up with a half million results. It's no secret that plastics are at best questionable for our health. This isn't some hippie idea, it's serious enough that leading scientists, top research schools like Harvard, global environmental organizations, EPA programs, medical organizations and more have done research into the harmful effects of plastic.
We can't avoid plastic. It's so ubiquitous we don't even notice it. Even though it's only really been in daily use, like in dishes, since the 50s. It's still too early to fully understand the daily effects of our modern reliance on this toxic chemical known as plastic. But we do know that BPA (Bisphenol A) is one of the most pervasive chemicals in modern life. BPA is a building block of plastic and is used in thousands of consumer products, including food packaging. It's one of many man-made chemicals classified as endocrine disruptors, which alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking the role of the body's natural hormones. Creepy stuff with adverse consequences, like obesity, breast growth in men, early puberty for girls, breast and prostate cancers. Many plastic additives have been banned across Europe, Canada, and China, surprisingly.
There's sufficient evidence to make you scratch your head, and perhaps think "Maybe I don't need all this plastic in my life." I can't control every piece of plastic I come in contact with, but I do have control over what I put in my mouth and on my body and in my home. I can limit my exposure to plastic, and make choices that align with what I value.
By the way, I am of the belief that fear is one of the greatest killers. No fear mongering here. I promise. Just good old-fashioned pre-plastic common sense. It's important to find a balance between being practical, living normally, listening to your own inner guidance, heeding health warnings, but also not caving to fear. I don't live in fear of plastic, nor should anyone else. But that doesn't mean it's good for us. Just like I would get rid of black mold if it was growing in my house, I am getting rid of unnecessary plastic, particularly in my kitchen where it comes in contact with what goes into my, and my family's, body.
I actually found it liberating to get rid of most of the plastic in my kitchen. It felt like I was taking back a part of my life in some strange way. I couldn't believe the copious amounts of plastic I had tucked away--food/storage containers, cutting boards, measuring cups, dog and cat bowls, cooking utensils and more.
But when it came time to let go of some of the bowls I've always liked, it wasn't easy.
I replaced what I wanted with metal or glass. I searched high and low for an all glass storage container set, but couldn't find one. So I bought this set below on the left with the red lids. The lids are BPA-free (when you buy plastic look for BPA-free) but my husband and I are still careful to not pack them so the food touches the lids. We love this set. I'll include a link to some of the things I purchased below at the end of this post.
I love these 100% cotton food storage bags!
I suppose it's like when you clean out your closet, you then wear only your favorite clothes. I started using the beautiful midcentury glass cooking ware and bowls that my grandmother passed down to me years ago as storage containers. It now makes me so happy to see them being used every day! (And I'm sure it makes her smile, as well.)
See, I'm not going bananas and feverishly ridding my house of every ounce of plastic. I used plastic bags to toss (donate and recycle) my plastic containers. (On the hunt for BPA free plastic garbage bags!)
Goodbye plastic kitchen stuff!
I hope this has inspired you to at least reconsider the plastics in your kitchen, which I think, is the most important place to start. We can't do everything, but we can all do something. And sometimes, that's enough.
Here are some of the things I bought. And I can honestly say I would purchase them all again. Great products all around! I've linked the titles to their Amazon page.
Happy BPA Plastic-Free Zoning Your Kitchen!