Q. People are concerned about BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and other possibly harmful chemicals in plastic containers. Instead of trying to use the “safest” kinds of plastic containers (recycling numbers 2, 4, 5), I bought glass storage containers and stopped using all plastic containers. No more worrying about whether or not the plastic is safe. Problem solved.
A. There is a raging controversy over whether BPA is harmful to human health. This chemical is found in hard plastic containers and in the lining of cans holding foods and beverages such as soup and soft drinks.
The FDA recently refused to ban BPA from food containers even though animal studies show it is a hormonal disruptor. Until the controversy is completely resolved, using glass is a safe option.
If you would like to learn more about BPA and what scientists have uncovered about this potential hormone disruptor, you may want to listen to our interviews with Dr. Fred vom Saal of the University of Missouri, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, or Drs. Linda Binbaum of NIEHS and Louis Guilette of the University of Florida.

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  1. JN
    Reply

    For freezing batches of soup and other things I use pint and 1/2 pint wide mouth canning jars. With the wide mouth jars you can thaw slightly with warm water (not too hot or glass could break) and slide contents out if you forget to thaw ahead of time. They’re inexpensive and practical, especially if you also buy the white plastic tops to substitute for the 2-piece metal tops that come with the boxes of 12 jars.
    Jars and tops are available seasonally at Wal-mart and all the time at Ace Hardware stores (where you can also order on line). I also like the fact that these jars and recycled glass jars or so plentiful that you can afford to give them to folks when you want to share something with them. No need for returning containers when it’s not convenient.

  2. Paul43
    Reply

    Tell me more please.

  3. ebm
    Reply

    I have not stored anything in plastic for at least 10 years. Friends have made fun of me
    for saving their glass jars from salsa, pickles, herring, etc. I have a cupboard full of
    them. When not convenient to use, I wrap stuff in wax paper and then put it in a freezer
    bag, at least there is a barrier between food and plastic. Glass jars also let you see
    the contents easily.

  4. BR
    Reply

    Glass jars! Buy food that comes in them and after using the contents use the jars to store food on shelves and in the refrigerator. You can develop a collection that meets almost all food storage needs. Many products come in standard sizes that use the same standard size lids, and what I really like is that many of them can be stacked. Glass jars can be washed in the dishwasher (not the lids, though). Glass jars are esthetically pleasing and very hygienic to boot. Once you have a collection of glass jars you will never even think of using plastic containers.

  5. lpc
    Reply

    There are quite a few juices (like V8) that used to come in glass jars. I have contacted the company and urged them to bring back the glass jar. They said they listen to customer input, but obviously my one voice hasn’t moved them. I urge you all to call them up and weigh in. (I have also given up the cans because of concerns about aluminum.) There are alternatives in health food stores, but they are expensive.

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