It’s hard to find food storage containers that aren’t made of plastic. Especially portable ones for lunches on the go. That’s why I was so excited to see a new vendor at the antique market in my neighborhood. They were selling all sorts of lunch boxes and containers made of stainless steel, glass, and other safer materials.
Here are some of the great finds I got:
- Lunchskins – bags made of frosting piping material. Free of lead, BPA, and phthalates. Dishwasher safe. A great alternative to plastic sandwich bags.
- LunchBots – My sister-in-law gave me one last year and I love it. They make various sizes. I love that they aren’t breakable like many of the glass containers we use at home. Much better for my children’s school lunches.
- Lifefactory sippy cups – These bottles and “cups” are made out of glass, but are protected from breakage by a silicone cover. The sippy cup top is made with plastic #5 (one of the safest options out there) with a silicone stopper to prevent leakage. Continue reading »
Just over a week ago, I found out that SIGG water bottles are lined with BPA (at least the older ones are, which were mostly what we had). I thought about sending my older ones back to BPA and requesting gift certificates for new ones, which I heard SIGG was doing, but I honestly was so upset by the whole thing that I’d rather not have SIGG bottles in my home anymore. I realize that having SIGG replace my BPA-lined bottles is one way of holding the company accountable and letting them know how important this issue is to their consumers. But I just decided to take my dollars elsewhere–to a company that discloses all.
My kids are now drinking out of Innate water bottles. The bottles specifically say on the label that they contain no BPA or phthalates. Plus they’re made of stainless steel, not alluminum like SIGG, so I actually believe them (I really should have put two and two together–alluminum cans are lined with BPA to prevent flouridated water in the cans from destroying them. So I should have been more cautious about using an alluminum water bottle that would presumably be suceptible to same degredation as cans… unless lined with something like BPA). The new water bottle container is 18/8 stainless steel, while the top is food grade #5 polypropylene (one of the safest plastics.) The opening is also large, so I can really clean out the bottle and dry it quicker. And the icing on the cake is that they are only $11.50 each compared to the $17.95 plus shipping I paid for SIGG. I purchased mine at REI.
In April 2006, I was on the market for a sippy cup or water bottle not made from plastic. I was hoping to avoid some of the chemicals often used in plastics (i.e. BPA, phthalates). I opted for a SIGG water bottle and bought three for my son. Since then, I’ve acquired two more and we use them as water bottles for our kids when we’re on the go (at home the 4 year old uses glasses, the 1 year old drinks from a polypropylene, #5, plastic sippy cup).
More than three years later, I am now learning that SIGG’s aluminum water bottles do in fact contain BPA in the lining. The company asserts that tests show that no BPA leaches from that lining. I personally don’t care what their tests show. I bought that water bottle in an attempt to avoid plastics, whether or not their maker believes they leach into the liquids they contain. Please see the Zrecs summary of the story.
Now….. what to do with my five SIGG water bottles?
I love bean dishes, as they are good for you and super cheap! This is a dish that my grandmother has prepared since I was a child and I love it. I recently tried making it with lima beans (since it’s hard to find the large beans the recipe usually calls for) and I have to say that it’s one of my favorite meals. If you liked my lentil soup recipe, you’ll love this one too. It’s amazing!
- 1 3/4 cups lima beans
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 onions, chopped
- 1-2 celery sticks, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 14 oz can tomatoes (or we used jarred strained tomatoes to avoid BPA)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper Continue reading »
I recently discovered a blog that follows the life of a woman trying to live without plastic called Life Less Plastic. There are many reasons why one might want to reduce their own use of plastic:
- The U.S. produced 27 million tons of plastic waste that ended up in landfills in 2005.
- It takes hundreds of years for a plastic bottle to degrade in a landfill.
- Many plastics contain BPA, which give polycarbonate (PC or often #7) strength. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 92% of Americans over 6 years of age test positive for BPA.
- Some plastic additives, like BPA and phthalates, are endocrine disruptors. They mimic hormones, such as estrogen, which can affect many different systems in the body. Continue reading »
A friend of mine sent me an email about my previous post and I thought it was worthy of sharing here and responding to since her concerns are very valid.
Do you know if there is any focus on what the replacement materials will be? If the phthalates were in the toys for a specific purpose – to make them more pliable and less likely to crack/break or whatever, isn’t another synthetic material going to have to be used in its place? Particularly for the toys that fulfill the market demand for the cheapest toys possible (found at dollar stores and Walmart)? And who is going to decide what that material will be? I saw the “green” plastic toys on your blog (and that tea set is so adorable by the way) which are great for families that make it a priority to buy quality toys, but I feel like most people in this country are now (unfortunately) used to buying a cheap plastic tea set at Walmart for $4.99… and for this market are companies going to have to find another cheap synthetic material (that is not banned by this bill) to meet the demand that is out there for cheap toys. And will it be tested? Or will the kids be the test market again? Maybe the companies need specific guidelines from actual scientists on what to put in their plastics (say, whatever formula that green toys company is using), which in turn will make the toys more expensive, and some people will just have to buy fewer toys? These are just things I wondered about as I read that article. I haven’t done a lot of research on this topic, so I don’t know much about it. Continue reading »
Our modern environment is chock-full of chemicals and compounds that threaten our health and safety. Few people, much less government agencies, seem very concerned though. Certainly, this in part due to the impracticality of thoroughly testing the safety of every chemical we come in contact with, much less examining its safety in not only adults, but in children and infants as well. U.S. policy regarding chemicals added to the products we consume is that they are assumed safe until proven otherwise. Alarmingly though, this lack of safety testing and appropriate regulation is also due to industry pressures to minimize government regulations on what can or cannot be added to the materials we come in contact with daily. There are many arguably dangerous substances in our immediate environment that our government fails to acknowledge or to protect us from by enacting appropriate legislation. This concerns me greatly. We certainly have been in denial before about the dangers of products we consume regularly—for example, lead, cigarettes, and most recently, trans fats. For years, research mounted against these dangers while industry touted their safety. How long did the general public believe that margarine, with all its trans fats, was actually better for our health than butter? Are we again in denial about products we use now that could be a threat to our health? I began to believe so when years ago I learned that a chemical found in plastics was banned in Europe, but freely added to products sold in the US. I was worried because this chemical was shown to leak from the plastic and was added to, of all things, baby toys.
Continue reading »