Whether you are the veteran of hygiene, even a tiny mistake can turn out your food to be harmful and tasteless. One of the most common mistakes that we make is cooking our food in the wrong utensils. Styrofoam is one such product that is used for microwaving. However, when you examine its contents carefully, you will find that it has a detrimental and harmful product for both your health and planet.
So, Can you microwave Styrofoam?
Well, as it is petroleum based product, you must never use it to microwave your food. When People buy containers, they lack the understanding of material which is used in making them. What you consider as the plastic used for microwaving the food is not always any other plastic, there are different categories of plastic, and thus, you must only use the one which has a mark of being microwave friendly.
What does the process of microwaving Styrofoam produce?
The microwave is considered safe and better than a gas stove; however, if not used properly, it can produce greater issues like explosions and sparks. In fact, usage of the wrong container and inappropriate time setting can cause toxins to get transferred from the microwave to your container, and that goes to your food too.
If you have ever put your food to Styrofoam and microwave it, you would have smelled an odor of burnt plastic that comes out of it. For those who believe in having a safe diet with lesser negative problems, you must always choose to cook your food in microwave friendly containers.
Thus, it is recommended to use glass containers, paper plates or even towels which are safe to use and health friendly as well. In fact, porcelain and stoneware can also be used to microwave the food. However, whenever you use a specific container, just make sure that it is made up of a suitable material which keeps your food healthy and retains its originality.
In fact, Styrofoam doesn’t show up its tendency when used for a short time, but when you increase the temperature a bit and heat it for a long duration, you will figure out an uneasy smell and bad taste in your food.
See also: Toaster Oven vs. Microwave
Why must you avoid microwaving Styrofoam?
People keep on asking various questions like “can you microwave Styrofoam?” However, they do not explore and examine the product before buying it. The most harmful thing contained in Styrofoam is a chemical termed as styrene which is largely linked to various critical illnesses like cancer, impairment of memory, lack of concentration power, chances of hearing and vision loss, and huge negative influences on your nervous system.
Well, these are generally the long-term problems, but in a shorter duration, styrene causes skin and eyes irritation along with gastrointestinal effects. The essential thing is to know its composition. A lot of people believe that some Styrofoam containers are reliable, but to cross check, always ensure that they are microwave friendly and healthy.
Level of harm that styrene can produce
A type of Styrofoam, polystyrene is used to produce plastic cutlery, cups, yogurt containers and a lot more. However, styrene can never compete out with the hard ones. Usage of such containers can be done for storing neutral contents with normal temperature. In case, you turn out with hot coffee or tea; then the container might be risky for your health.
The most prominent problems and negative consequences of this product occur around its manufacturing stage. The workers who stay in touch with styrene can get influenced by these harmful chemicals and face issues like that of damaged lymph, white blood cells, and even leukemia. It also causes fatigue, respiratory problems, and headache.
The product when again inspected can cause huge danger to our environment too. It is a tough material to get decomposed within a short time. As it stays in the soil for long, the harmful things contained in Styrofoam could be a cause of greater risk and ill effects. This largely creates a problem as the natural processes like photosynthesis are disrupted. In fact, the accumulation of waste keeps on increasing, which has a greater negative effect on health.
Choose a labeled Styrofoam! How are they labeled?
Generally, in the US, some specific tests are performed on animals before any of the product reaches to humans. FDA conducts the tests, and thus, all the products are approved only after their results turn out to be positive on animals.
There are various factors from which a particular container is approved for being used in the microwave. The specialists here take various factors into account like the type of food it is being used for, the time and temperature on which the food will be in microwave and much more. When all of such factors turn out to be favorable, the product is marked as microwave friendly.
So, can aluminum be the substitute?
Definitely not! As many of you might have already noticed the constituents of aluminum foils, you will find that these things are even more harmful to our health. But, unlike the Styrofoam, you can make use of these foils to store your hot food, but never try to microwave the food in it as some small residues of it can stay in your food and can harm you for long.
Now thinking about brown paper bags? Well, it’s not safe either. As the natural tendency of paper is largely inclined towards a fire, you must always use it consciously, as it can easily cause fire and emit out toxic fumes. In fact, when these paper bags are kept in the heat for more than a minute, they may catch up fire instantly and cause a fire in your oven.
So, now if someone ever asks – Can you microwave Styrofoam? Just say NO! Try avoiding the use of Styrofoam as much as possible. Even if you have got packed frost meat or any other food item in Styrofoam, first take it out completely from the container for the betterment of your family’s health.
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