Can you use plastic in a microwave
Microwave is one the best culinary inventions, not only is it a lazy man’s best companion but at the same time it can make your life super simple by cooking your food faster than anything else in the world.
No wonder, cooking and baking is so easy in a microwave, but one thing that we are often confused about is the type of cookware to use for a microwave. Several myths are floating around the use of plastic for cooking in a microwave, whereas some say that cooking in plasticware is a strict ‘No’ as it can impact health in the long run.
Is plastic cookware safe?
No doubt, plastic cookware is the most widely used cookware for baking and cooking in a microwave. Well, plastic is a chemically prepared synthetic and semi-synthetic material, which makes it lightweight as well as durable. The composition of plastic is made of long chain of polymers, which are made with units called the monomers. In fact, renewable plastics are made of wood pulp and cotton lints to name a few. Several types of plastics are used for different purposes, but the ones used for cooking with a triangular sign are deemed safe for use. Apart from that, the most common types of plastic used for storing food are Polypropylene and Polystyrene, which are used to make food containers, baby bottles, plastic plates, disposable cups etc.
How can use of low-quality plastic ware affect your health
Microwave uses extreme heat and radiation for cooking, which can melt plastic if not used wisely. Hence, it is important to use microwaveable plastic. The problem with cooking in a plastic ware is associated with the use of additives used in the making of the plastic which can release chemicals into your food, when heated.
A chemical that is often released upon heating low-quality plastic is Bisphenol A (BPA), which is a type of chemical known as phthalates. What makes plastic unsafe is the risk of releasing BPA, which can impact your hormones and can lead to lifestyle disorders like diabetes and it can also affect your reproductive health in the long run.
Tips to keep in mind while using plastic
Of late, there has been a shift in the use of plastic used for ovens and microwaves. Companies are now coming up with BPA free plastic and using PP and other safe forms of plastic approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This is simply because heat leads to release of phthalates and BPA into the food can lead to serious health disorders. Hence, it is safe to go for either PP microwavable plastic ware or use alternatives like glass ware.
Apart from that the best way to avoid chemical leaching into your food is by taking care of a few things:
Make sure you do not use harsh scrubs on your plastic ware as these scratches can make way for chemicals to mix into your food.
(With inputs from timesofindia)