It can feel like a win-win when you order takeaway. Not only do you get your delicious meal to tuck into while binge-watching Strangers Things but you also get bonus containers! It’s easy to feel so ahead of the game – unlike those chumps forking out for their fancy matching bento tiffin boxes.
But you might want to reconsider hoarding those plastic takeaway containers - especially if you use them to reheat food in the microwave.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that there is a serious health concern that comes with eating food that has been reheated in plastic containers.
It all has to do with two substances added to help stabilise the plastic. Bisphenol-A (also known as BPA) is responsible for making plastic rigid and clear, while phthalates are added to make it soft and flexible.
The problem is that when non-microwave-safe plastics are heated, like in a microwave, BPA and phthalates can leach out into your food. Both BPA and phthalates are considered to be ‘endocrine disruptors’, which means that they could have an impact on how hormones are able to work in the body.
The best tip is to always reheat food in a microwave-safe container. This includes plastic containers clearly marked as safe, or other containers such as ceramic plates and bowls. It is not advisable to microwave glass, as it may contain tiny particles of metal that can react with the microwaves. Cover food in paper towel or baking paper rather than plastic wrap, as the soft plastic can melt onto food. And when it comes to your old, scratched up takeaway containers it’s time to say goodbye – damaged plastics are likely to leach our more plasticisers.
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza