Which breed of toxins does more harm: metal or plastic?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM

As examples: there's nickel from stainless steel and BPA from plastic.

Which toxins stay in the body longer?

I am replacing some kitchen gear and since glass might not be an option, I might end up having to choose between one of these two evils.

If the food prepared in the utensil is only in contact with the plastic or metal for a short time, then it shouldn't even matter right?

High powered blenders only come in plastic and stainless steel, so which would you choose? Probably the stainless right?

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4 Answers

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on December 14, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Generally the metals (in metallic form) are inert. I would worry much more about the BPA and other pseudoestrogens in other plastics. Rather than asking the question "which stay in the body longer", ask the question "which does the most damage while they're there". And the plastics mess with your hormones much more than any metal toxicity would.



on December 14, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Plastics are worse for physical health issues, but heavy metals are worse for psychological issues.

Plastics are overall worse for you I'd say, but metals stay in the body longer.



on December 15, 2012
at 12:51 PM

Lithium, Sodium, Plutonium are very uncommon metals that are far deadlier than any plastic in their pure forms. Not sodium chloride, but the pure kind, unbound to any other atom, which burns when exposed to water.

That doesn't mean you'll encounter them in your daily life.

As plastics are far more prevalent in our lives than reactive metals, they tend to be more of the things we should avoid. If you look around, I'm sure you'll see things like phones, laptops, desktop keyboards, mice, watch bands, shoes, even clothing made from plastic and plasticizers. BPA isn't the only evil, and as usual, the corporations that make these objects get away with simply switching from BPA to a different plasticizer, which is probably far more estrogenic and possibly even more harmful, but they get away with advertising it as "BPA Free."

Obviously, one of the worst things you could do for yourself is to go to a takeout place that takes freshly fried foods (in industrial "Vegetable" oil most likely), and puts them directly in a styrofoam container, touch the BPA laden receipt, then eat the meal with plastic forks and knives, and drink soda from a BPA lined paper cup with a plastic lid and straw.

Typically I bring lunch from home, and use a pyrex 3 cup container. Problem is that the lids are plastic, so you don't want hot food in them. I also use a thermos style mug, which unfortunately has a plastic top. It's very hard to get away from this stuff. Sure there are things like lunchbots, tried those, but they leak. Ideally silicone covers would be best, but are (near?) impossible to find.

With metals, you can avoid exposing them to acids, and they'll mostly stay inert, though it's probably a good idea to avoid aluminum cooking vessels. I do like both stainless steel pots and pans, as well as cast iron, but recently bought one of those "green" ceramic frying pans, and if what they claim is true (they claimed the same about teflon), then it should be better. Had it for about six months now and it's still very slick and smooth.

We have an inexpensive Oster blender, which has a glass container. Was around $25-$30.


on December 24, 2012
at 11:51 AM

you can get bpa free plastics. Food storage I use a mix of bpa free plastics, and stainless containers. I store my drinking water in the fridge in stainless steel bottles. I always choose stainless when in double. Glass is as you hinted, the bees knees.

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