During one of my many moves in the last few years, my husband and I decided it was time to get rid if the old tupperware. Some of it dated back to his and my childhood ("borrowed" from our parents when we moved out on our own). I had always heard that you shouldn't microwave food in plastic or put plastic through the dishwasher, or use plastic that looked degraded, but I never really got serious about it until we had our first child. Then I decided that I didn't want any of us eating plastic. But, you know what? Hand-washing plastic containers and transferring food into glass containers to microwave it got old really fast. So I decided that we would ditch all of our mismatched plastic containers, and buy Pyrex.
Many years later, we still love our Pyrex. Here's why:
- No plastic in my food. The lids are plastic, but the food rarely comes in contact with them. Glass has been safely used for food by humanity for years and years. No plastic in my food also means no BPA, no phthalates, or any of the other mysterious man-made chemicals in plastics in my food.
- Safe in the dishwasher. This might be the very best perk (after not eating plastic) because I truly hate hand washing dishes. Dishes that need to be hand washed just get stacked up higher and higher in my sink as the days pass. I love putting my Pyrex storage containers (and bake ware) straight into the dishwasher.
- Safe in the microwave and oven. I also put it in the toaster oven all the time (because I hate how chicken gets all rubbery when it's reheated in the microwave), even though the instructions say not to. I do hand wash the lids which are BPA-free (Pyrex says they're dishwasher safe, but I don't want to risk any warping).
- I can see my food! Lots of my plastic food containers were opaque or hard to see through. I know there are some clearer plastic containers now, but I would imagine that even those would get cloudier over time.
- Durable. Glass containers last far longer than plastic ones. You should replace your containers when the plastic looks damaged (cracking, pocking, warping) in any way. After 3 years of heavy use, my Pyrex shows no signs of wear.
- Cheaper, in the long run. Because I may never have to replace it. Also saves me precious time since I don't have to research which plastic options are safest.
- No staining. No damage from acidic foods. Have you ever microwaved tomato sauce in a plastic container? And then in certain places the surface looked kind of rough or pocked? That's the acid in the food eating away at the plastic, which ends up. . . in your food.
- No retention of flavors. I hated this about plastic containers.
- Stackable. I know this is true if you buy a set of tupperware too, but I never had a "set." Just a bunch of mismatched stuff. The Pyrex stacks very nicely.
- And last but not least, made in the USA.
P.S. I'm not morally opposed to plastic. I just like to use alternatives when I can. I bought a nicer set of Rubbermaid for a great deal at the Grocery Store Outlet (to use to give people food, and for foods on-the-go) about the same time I got all my Pyrex. Now that Rubbermaid, even with very limited use and limited hand-washing is looking pretty worn and has broken in several places. As I have found in many instances, the plastic alternative turns out to better than the plastic.
P.P.S. Anchor is also tempered glass and made in the USA. It is generally cheaper than Pyrex, but, in my experience, the lids never fit well and the pieces are less well made (this may have changed in the many years since I wrote this post). Sorry, Anchor! (I do often buy Anchor for things that don't need lids, like bake ware and liquid measuring cups.)