This Is the #1 Most Toxic Food Packaging Right Now — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


When it comes to food packaging, it’s important to be aware of what you’re consuming. Unfortunately, many of the most popular food packaging materials are also some of the most toxic. In this article, we’ll discuss the #1 most toxic food packaging right now and what you can do to avoid it. We’ll also provide some healthier alternatives so you can make sure you’re eating the right foods. So, if you’re looking to make healthier choices when it comes to food packaging, this is the article for you!

This Is the #1 Most Toxic Food Packaging Right Now — Eat This Not That

When it comes to food packaging, not all materials are created equal. Some are more toxic than others, and it’s important to be aware of which ones to avoid. The #1 most toxic food packaging right now is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

PVC is a type of plastic that is used in a variety of food packaging, including cling wrap, food storage bags, and even some food containers. It is made from chlorine and other chemicals, and it can leach toxins into food. This can be especially dangerous for children, as their bodies are still developing and are more vulnerable to the effects of toxins.

The best way to avoid PVC is to look for food packaging that is labeled “BPA-free” or “PVC-free.” BPA is another type of plastic that is known to be toxic, so it’s important to avoid it as well. Other safer alternatives include glass, stainless steel, and paper-based packaging.

It’s also important to be aware of other potentially toxic materials that may be used in food packaging. These include phthalates, which are used to make plastic more flexible, and bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make plastic more durable. Both of these chemicals can leach into food and have been linked to health problems.

By being aware of the most toxic food packaging materials and avoiding them, you can help protect yourself and your family from potential health risks. Choose safer alternatives such as glass, stainless steel, and paper-based packaging whenever possible.

In a perfect world, you could happily thank your food delivery driver, pop open your takeout container, and enjoy dinner in front of a good true-crime series without a worry in the world. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your burger or Chinese noodles came with a side of toxic chemicals. Especially if the containers they came in were made from a certain kind of plastic.

For more, check out 8 Fast-Food Chains With the Most Toxic Food Packaging.

That’s because the #1 most toxic food packaging is plastic that contains plasticizers such as bisphenols or phthalates, says Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, FACEP, FUHM, FACMT, a medical toxicologist and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Center.

“Plasticizers make plastics more flexible and soft. I think of these chemicals when I think of products like disposable plastic takeout containers and plastic containers that are sold in grocery stores for food storage,” she explains. “These types of containers are flexible, and they get even softer when heated in the microwave.”

Some bisphenols and phthalates can act within the human body as endocrine disruptors, she explains. “This means that the chemicals can potentially affect fertility, puberty, and even cancer development.”

There’s also this: If that plastic is heated—say you’re using a microwave—these chemicals can transfer from the plastic into the food that is being heated. And given that food is processed and packaged multiple times over before it actually gets into your hands, it’s highly likely that the food we purchase does contain plasticizers.

In fact, a recent study examined ortho-phthalate and replacement plasticizer concentrations in foods and food handling gloves from a selection of fast-food restaurants in the U.S. The results? Yup, those foods contained detectable levels. Chicken burritos, cheeseburgers, and other meat products had the highest content, while cheese pizza had the lowest level of most chemicals. None were detected in French fries.

So should we be concerned? “While occasional exposure to bisphenols and phthalates is likely not harmful, long-term exposures to foods that have been heated in containers containing bisphenols and/or phthalates may be dangerous,” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor.

“Certain populations, such as young children and women of childbearing age, may want to avoid these chemicals completely, as fertility and endocrine functions may be altered by chronic exposures to these chemicals. Overall, however, there is little risk of harm to adults who use these products on an occasional basis.”

How to avoid plastics with plasticizers

While we can’t choose which takeout containers restaurants use, we can be thoughtful of the containers and food products we buy.

Look for labels and phrases like “microwave-safe,” “BPA (bisphenol-A) free,” “free of phthalates,” or “does not contain phthalates.”

“In the past, many plastic packaging items did not include declarations on whether the products contained bisphenols or phthalates. Now, since these compounds and their potential health effects are reported more and more in the media, many companies label their products as ‘BPA free’ or ‘free of phthalates,’” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor.

If you’re concerned about your takeout container, transfer that food onto a dish as soon as you can—and avoid nuking the container it came in.