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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bursting my Tupperware Bubble

I was so sad the other day and I thought I would share with everyone in Cyberland. I was looking up cooking products that will not contaminate food and found some interesting information.

This is a picture of most of my tupperware containers.
Unfortunately not all the stuff fits in here...
and there are more storing food in the fridge and freezer.
(YES, it's a mess - my little one thinks it's her personal play place)
Nonstick Teflon isn't safe because they leak fluorine-containing toxic compounds. Not good. Any metal pans can leak metal into foods. For this reason, Iron (which is way too heavy for me and requires regular maintenance) is the best bet as far as metal since iron is not bad for you. Ceramic seems to be the best bet so I am looking into gradually changing out my ancient pans. Have you ever cooked with Ceramic cookware? They clean like a dream!

The problem with plastic and melamine is that they are not natural. When they are heated or cooled chemicals can get into the food. So I guess we are SOL?!

I have always thought that I was safe from BPA. I am aware of what I have and purchase and I was told that Tupperware (because it is more expensive and well known) was BPA-free. But just to be sure, I decided to write them a letter:
I am a long time user of tupperware. I have always thought that your products are BPA-free. But cannot find a place on your site that states that fact. Is this true and has is always been true? I have many older pieces (like 20 years) are those also safe? 
I would appreciate an answer. I love my microwave tupperware but would consider switching to all glass if they aren't safe to eat from. Thank you!
My reply made me feel... well, just read for yourself:
Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for contacting us and we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. Please be assured at Tupperware Brands we
re firmly committed to the safety and well-being of our consultants and the many consumers of our products worldwide.

Polycarbonate is a high-strength plastic made from a monomer known as bisphenol-A (BPA). Certain Tupperware products are made from polycarbonate, including serving products and Rock 'N Serve
Polycarbonate is a high-strength plastic made from a monomer known as bisphenol-A (BPA). Certain Tupperware products are made from polycarbonate, including serving products and Rock 'N Serve
/Vent 'N Serve storage and microwave reheating containers. However, currently in the United States and Canada we do NOT use polycarbonate in any children's products.
Of Tupperware's wide range of products around the world, less than 10 percent are made from polycarbonate. Tupperware's Research and Development group has found that polycarbonate creates the highest quality and most durable products for our consumers. Polycarbonate is used primarily in products intended for high heat resistance, as well as some serving lines. Consumers have consistently asked for durable, microwave-safe products, and we believe that polycarbonate has been a good choice for meeting this need.

However, consumers have also become concerned by questions that have arisen from the scientific community over the possible health effects from polycarbonate.

Currently we do NOT use polycarbonate in any children's products, and in March 2010, we began to use other materials for non-children's products that had been made from polycarbonate for sale in the U.S. and Canada.

Weve posted a statement on www.tupperware.com which discuss our views on polycarbonate, as well as a Q&A which should help answer any questions you may have as to the safety of our products containing this material. We would also like to direct you to the following web site for some additional information:http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food/products/plastic-safety-heat-food-6.
If you wish to know what materials are used to manufacture our products, please go to
www.tupperware.com. Click on Product Information, then go to Recycle Codes at the left hand side of the page.
If we can be of further assistance, please contact Tupperware Customer Care at 1-800-366-3800 between the hours of 8:30 AM ET to 9:00 PM your local time Monday through Friday. Any of the Customer Care Representatives will be happy to assist you.

Thank you, Stephanie, for your email.

Sincerely,
Tupperware Customer Care

What I find interesting is that they don't use polycarbonate in children's products but they use it in all the heating and cooling containers that I use and serve my kids from. I looked at the GoodHousekeeping link and it is great that BPA wasn't present in any of the food heated in their containers... But how old were those containers? Were they well-used like my entire cabinet of stuff is? no they weren't. The test items went through 30 washes and uses... so they were about a month old. I don't know how realistic that is.


So the search is on for alternatives. I figure one of my next ongoing projects will be to sell some of my tupperware on ebay and replace it with glass, ceramic and mason jars. I think I will keep some of my newer items. I love my set of white Corningware with lids. Perhaps I will get some more pieces. I found some great bpa-free lids for mason jars on amazon that I will order and see how that works out for us. 


My bad mood over this is that plastic and microwave-ware is so darn convenient!