Two weeks to go before the school year opens and I’m already trying to draw up a list of packed school lunches and quick recess meals for the kids. But food is not the only thing on my mind right now. There’s also the matter of food containers.
When I first read about bisphenol-A, a chemical in plastic containers that is suspected of causing breast cancer, I wondered at all those years when I was a grade schooler and eating my packed lunch from Tupperware containers. Gosh, my mother loved Tupperware so much that we had them in all colors.
I wondered too if I had been remiss, if I had been negligent in not informing myself properly, because when I became a mother, I did the same for my kids. I bought Tupperwares in all the lovely colors and packed their lunches in those leak-proof (well, not always but mostly) containers. I packed their sandwiches in plastic bags too just like my mother did with mine. Oh, okay, it’s more like “like the yaya did with mine per my mother’s instructions.”
Anyway, when the kids became grade schoolers and their classes lasted from morning until afternoon, they required larger containers for their packed school lunches. Speedy bought stackable stainless steel food containers (pombrera) which they used for about two years. Their complaint? They weren’t leak-proof. Since they occasionally brought food with sauces, lunch could be a messy affair. So we switched back to plastic containers. The kids used a succession of plastic lunch boxes for the past three years or so. And plastic bags for their sandwiches. Then, along came the scare about bisphenol-A.
The question is: Are we going to switch back to the pombrera because of bisphenol-A? Or are we going to switch to glass food containers? Glass… the answer to that is a no brainer, really. The threat of maybe-cancer in the long term; the threat of cuts (which may even be fatal) from broken glass in the short term.
Honestly… I don’t like feeling scared. I like being informed but I don’t want to pull a Howard Hughes, you know? I don’t want my kids to be scared too — scared of breathing less than perfect air, scared of what-ifs, scared of the unknown… If the anti-plastic containers advocates can show me more than the results from a battery of tests done on rodents, I’d reconsider switching back to the pombrera. Otherwise, the kids and I are okay with the plastic food containers.