Some years ago there were a series of forwarded emails that many people received about the dangers of plastic water bottles and heating meals in Tupperware containers because of “chemical leaching.” At the time, I tried to brush most of the concern off–I mean who can truly get rid of plastics in their household? Everything comes in plastic–look through your pantries! Even the bulk goods that I buy from the Middle Eastern store and the co-op come in plastic bags or plastic bins.
Since then multiple studies have been release about BPA–or Bisphenol A–a compound used to make many plastics, and found in containers, water bottles, can liners, jar lids, receipts, and even recycled toilet paper! Many have argued that the chemical may be partly responsible for cancer, fertility issues, behavioral issues, neurological disorders . . . you name it.
Needless to say, I’ve been trying to slowly replace my Tupperware with glass containers with glass lids, and to wean myself off of plastic wrap (even while many plastic wraps don’t contain BPA, heating up plastics can release dioxins or phthalates that are also harmful).
One simple solution? Simply cover your bowl with a plate in order to steam things in the microwave (a technique used in the Microwave Peas & Rice recipe), or to avoid splattering when re-heating. This trick also works outside of the microwave. I often roast eggplants or peppers, and steaming them after broiling them helps to remove the skin. Simply put the vegetables in a bowl and cover securely with a plate. Easy, cheaper than buying plastic wrap, and keeping harmful chemicals from entering our bodies!