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How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

Every family’s refrigerator always has food containers dedicated to storing and preserving food. Most of them are made of plastic and are available at low prices and offer convenience and ease of cleaning. Other food storage containers available on the market are made of glass and are a more secure and advanced product, but it tends to be more expensive than plastic containers.

Although plastic containers have cheaper prices than glass containers, buying these types of containers can ultimately affect your family’s health over time because they tend to include hazardous substances. Therefore, this post will help you learn more about the harmful effects of some storage containers over others and the way to choose the best food storage containers for your family.

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1. The harmful effects of plastic containers

    Photo Credit: MICHAEL SULLIVAN via http://thesweethome.com/

    When using poor quality plastic containers to contain an assortment of hot foods or processed foods when reheating in the microwave at high temperatures, the additives or harmful ingredients in plastic containers will soak into the food. In the market, there are a few types of plastic that can withstand temperatures from 150 to 200oC. However, when using this type of plastic to produce food containers, the manufacturer has added some other additives to increase product quality and reduce production costs. These additives are not conducive to human health, so if you use the product in long-term, they can affect your health.

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    The best plastic for making food containers is PP (Polypropylene), which is non-toxic and very flexible. If the plastic used for food containers is recycled from waste plastic, it is very toxic because they only tolerate temperatures between 70 and 80oC, so when used for packaging hot food or exposure to high heat sources, the harmful ingredients can be released.

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    2. The way to choose the best food storage containers

      Photo Credit: easylunchboxes.com

      Choosing food storage containers is an important thing with people, so you should learn more about the way to choose the best type of food storage containers to use. There are seven types of plastic containers with different features:

      • Type 1: All products that are made by polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) are quite safe and regarded as not being harmful to your health. However, the products made from this plastic are often used one time because its surface is capable of accumulating bacteria and it is difficult to kill them just by using water to wash them normally. The plastic is used to make water bottles and 16.9 fl oz beverage bottles, such as the kinds used to hold mineral water, cola, syrup, and so on. This is the reason why you should not reuse such bottles.
      • Type 2: HDPE is considered to be relatively safe because the ability to smell and accumulate bacteria on the surface is relatively low. However, the disadvantage of this plastic is its milky color. Therefore, people often use this kind of plastic for containing water, juice, and milk.
      • Type 3: PVC is very dangerous if you use the material to produce all kinds of plastic containers for food storage containers because of its ability to prevent the development of hormones and decrease fertility. Furthermore, PVC is very susceptible to distortion when used for holding hot foods or exposure to high temperatures.
      • Type 4 and 5: They are quite similar in structure and functions. Type 4 is often used to produce all kinds of wrapping paper and food wrap film. Type 5 is suitable for making plastic bottles and food storage containers. In fact, these types of plastics are quite safe for human health. However, you should choose the containers that have number 5 on the surface to avoid toxicity.
      • Type 6: This plastic is quite similar to type 1 because it is also used to create plastic products for one time use. However, this type of plastic also contains toxic substances that affect human health because, when exposed to high temperatures, the material can soak into the food.
      • Type 7: It is a mixture of Polycarbonate and BPA. This is the plastic used for packaging food and it contains substances with no health benefits.

      In summary, when choosing food storage containers, you should choose the containers that are made of a type 2, 4 or 5 for plastic for packaging and food preservation.[1] Furthermore, in order to protect your health, you should limit exposure to high heat sources to prevent food from becoming tainted with toxic substances.

      Featured photo credit: Pleasant Kitchen via pleasantkitchen.com

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      Reference

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      Angella Copper

      Professor of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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