(updated April 2023)
One of Stored Naturally’s core values is to empower you to make better, healthier choices for you and your family.
In this article we have put together some information about why using paper towel to wrap fresh food is not a good idea and more importantly, is not safe for you and your family.
It seems it is quite common for people to store some of their fresh food, such fruit and vegetables, in paper towel in the refrigerator, in an attempt to keep them fresh. People also use paper towel to absorb the fat after cooking such as bacon or fritters, and for wiping up spills.
BUT… is paper towel safe for you and your family?
1. Do you know that fresh food quite often takes on the chemical residue from its surroundings, even in the fridge?
This is a worrying fact if you are using paper towel, particularly if you wrap your food in it, as most paper towels on the market contains toxic chemicals which can compromise our health.
2. The two main chemicals found in most paper towels are Chlorine and Formaldehyde.
If you are using paper towel it could be making the food you are consuming unsafe for you and your family – just the same as plastic wrap and food contact plastic does.
3. The chemicals contained in paper towels are carcinogen.
Let’s examine these facts a little more…
Chlorine is commonly used to make the paper towel white in colour. The by-products of using Chlorine for bleaching are toxins such as dioxin and furans, some of the most toxic chemicals known to science and they are extremely dangerous to the human body.
Dioxin is formed as an unintentional by-product of many industrial processes involving chlorine such as waste incineration, chemical and pesticide manufacturing, and pulp and paper bleaching¹.
In 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation, published their research into dioxins and furans and announced that the most potent dioxin, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, is a now considered a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning that it's a known human carcinogen.
These toxins accumulate in our bodies, creating dangerous health concerns, including cancer, hormonal disorders (dioxins are hormone disruptors), immune system impairments, reduced fertility and birth defects. Dioxins are fat soluble and accumulate in the body over time creating a very dangerous situation. Dioxins can even be passed from mother to unborn baby through the placenta.
Formaldehyde is used ‘in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and some resins. It is also used as a food preservative and in household products, such as antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics. Exposure to formaldehyde can irritate the skin, throat, lungs, and eyes. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde can possibly lead to cancer.’ ²
Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogen.
Some paper products, such as grocery bags and paper towels, give off small amounts of formaldehyde. Because these products contain formaldehyde, you may also be exposed on the skin by touching or coming in direct contact with them. You may also be exposed to small amounts of formaldehyde in the food you you eat.4
• Bisphenol A (BPA)
Just like thermal (receipt) paper containing BPA and now more commonly BPS5, paper towel has been found to contain very high amounts of Bisphenol A (BPA)3, even paper towel made from recycled paper.
BPA is also a hormone disruptor.
As we are very conscious of looking after ourselves and our planet, the team at Stored Naturally developed the Fresh Produce Enhancer, a safe and effective way to store your fresh food in the refrigerator.
The Fresh Producer Enhancer bags are made from our ethically produced, chemical-free, 100% Hemp fabric, which has been specifically woven to our specifications and made right from the raw fibre to the fabric without using any chemicals. They are pure, natural, durable, and long lasting.
The Fresh Produce Enhancer’s are great for your fresh fruit and vegetables, great for your health and great for the planet.
For a safe way to store your fruit and vegetables and keep them crisp, crunchy and flavoursome - click here.
Learn more about the dangers of food contact plastic – click here.
Learn more about why chemicals in food contact materials will never be regulated - click here.
To read more comprehensive information relating to this article, click on the following links:
2017, Dioxins, Furans and Dioxin-Like Polychlorinated Biphenyls Factsheet
2012 Bisphenol S, a New Bisphenol Analogue, in Paper Products and Currency Bills and Its Association with Bisphenol A Residues, Environmental Science & Technology - 2012, Liao, Liu, & Kannan. pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es300876n
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