You are what you eat! Everything you ingest will significantly affect your overall well-being, whether for good or bad. Everything you eat becomes a part of you, so you must be responsible for choosing the right kind of meals to be healthier, fitter, and most importantly, happier.
Food is directly related to happiness; a perfectly prepared dish that suits the taste of a person will undoubtedly provide an unforgettable feast! Although some may think that deciding how to make a meal healthy yet appetizing may only involve the ingredients themselves, that’s not the case.
While the nutrients—or the lack thereof—that a meal contains is crucial to your health and satisfaction, so is the material the packaging is made of. Even though the packaging is not part of the dish itself, its impact on your health and even the entire planet itself is tremendous.
Caring about Packaging
Of course, the dish will always be the star of the show, but you mustn’t take packaging out of the equation. Food packaging plays a key role in the dining experience—it makes a meal much more appetizing, which benefits both the business and the consumer.
However, food packaging is much more than just a layer of protection for your meals, as evidenced by its impact on the environment and people’s health.
Unfortunately, most modern food packaging keeps dishes safe, clean, and shelf-stable, but at the expense of the planet. Food packaging contributes to litter pollution, overcrowded landfills, greenhouse gas emissions, and several other environmental issues.
As such, countless businesses from around the globe have started advocating for sustainable food packaging alternatives that have minimal environmental impact. Even if you don’t own a food business, you can also do your part in saving the environment by avoiding food packaging made of harmful materials such as Styrofoam.
The Spotlight on Styrofoam
Styrofoam is an impressive material. Since its invention 80 years ago, this water-resistant, buoyant, and lightweight material has benefited various businesses from different industries. From Blue Board insulation to road bank stabilization systems, you could witness the role Styrofoam has played in the modernization of society.
You don’t even need to search far and wide. Many restaurants serve their take-outs in Styrofoam containers as the material is lightweight, inexpensive, and provides superior isolation—all important factors to keep meals looking and tasting delicious.
If a person didn’t know any better, they’d think there’s nothing wrong with eating food in styrofoam. But, behind styrofoam’s immaculate white is a dark and ugly truth that is cause for concern.
The Dangers of Eating in a Styrofoam
The convenience of using styrofoam for food packaging is not without cost. In exchange for taking advantage of styrofoam’s benefits, you put your health at stake! The substances in styrofoam can migrate to your food or drink, increasing the risk of developing serious health problems.
Here are some of the reasons you must avoid styrofoam food packaging for the sake of your health:
It Increases Cancer Risk
Styrofoam, or expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, may be safe to use for other purposes, but it’s not an ideal material for food packaging because of its connection to cancer. Besides the environmental concerns, perhaps the most significant issue with polystyrene is how it’s anticipated to be a human carcinogen.
Polystyrene can leach out of food containers, leaving you exposed to the harmful substance. So, regardless if you’re eating or drinking something healthy, you may still have a greater possibility of getting cancer because of the packaging used.
It Contains Hormone Disruptors
Eating food on styrofoam is inadvisable also because it is linked to hormone disruption. When come into contact with hot or acidic foods, you can ingest the harmful substances in styrofoam, impacting your stress and sex ghormones.
Hormone disruption is especially harmful to children, as this prevents them from developing normally. The more often a child eats on styrofoam, the higher the chances they have of developing various diseases and having difficulty reproducing as adults.
When you think about how many schools and restaurants offer meals to children in styrofoam packaging for breakfast, luch, and dinner, the graver the issue becomes. Although its effects on children are not apparent now, they will suffer from long-term effects in just a few years’ time.
It’s Not as Clean as You Think
Cleanliness is an important factor in having a satisfying meal. Unfortunately, eating on styrofoam only gives you a false sense of safety that your food is free from harmful substances.
Despite being designed for storing food, styrofoam isn’t always that clean when served to the public! One of the main selling points of styrofoam is that it is convenient and easy to use, so you can’t expect businesses to clean them before food is placed on it.
Although some companies swear by safe and clean manufacturing processes, you can never be too sure about what goes on behind the scenes.
The benefits of styrofoam food packaging isn’t worth your health! In this day and age where health is wealth, you must consider buying food from establishments that use styrofoam alternatives to safeguard your body and live long.
By practicing healthy habits to go green, not only do you help yourself but also become a better inhabitant of our home, planet Earth!