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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 December 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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