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What’s safe for your microwave ISN’T safe for you

The best thing I can say about my microwave is that it makes for an excellent clock: It’s got big, bright numbers I can see from across the room.

I won’t say I never use it to heat anything up. But since I don’t eat TV dinners and I don’t like reheated leftovers that have been turned into rubber pellets, it’s basically a glorified coffee warmer.

But whatever you put in the microwave make sure you don’t use a plastic “microwave-safe” plate or bowl.

They might be safe for your microwave… but they’re anything but safe when it comes to you!

New research finds all that label really means is that these things won’t melt when you nuke them, not that the food inside them is safe once it’s been rubber-ized by the microwave.

If anything, it’s just the opposite.

A new report in Time magazine finds “microwave-safe” plastics can have bisphenol-A (BPA) and chemical phthalates — and the heat from cooking in those containers can cause the chemicals to leech out into your food.

And having those things in your food is worse than finding a bug in your soup.

BPA is used to make plastics as well as the linings on food containers and lids, but it’s also a powerful endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen so well your body thinks it’s getting a burst of female hormones.

That leads to developmental problems in kids (which is why it’s been banned from baby bottles) as well as everything from sexual dysfunction to obesity in adults.

Phthalates are also bad news, blocking testosterone — which, again, screws up kids, causing little boys to run into the wrong bathroom and turning guys into weepy girly-men.

One study found that phthalates can cause your testosterone levels to plunge by more than a third!

So…needless to say, you don’t want either one of those chemicals.

But if you nuke your food in a plastic container — or eat those handy heat-n-eat microwave meals — you could get dosed with one or even both.

Of course, you can still use your microwave if you really want — just use it right.

First, don’t eat frozen meals. Even if the containers were safe, the food inside is a pile of processed garbage. And frankly, I’ve seen dog food that looks more appetizing than most frozen dinners.

But for reheating leftovers in a pinch, go right ahead. Just don’t use any plastic dishes and other rubbery “microwave-safe” bowls — or metal, for that matter, unless you want to see some early Fourth of July fireworks!

Stick to glass or ceramic, and the only dangers will be to the texture of your food.

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