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Thai life-Plastic with hot and oily food

Thai life-Plastic with hot and oily food

Thai people still use foam and plastic with hot and oily food. They actually get used to carry their food in plastic bags. This is a visible habit of many Thai people who live in big cities. Most people do not know about the dangerous chemical substances in foam and plastics. It remains a long time big problem in the Thai society. Meanwhile, it also causes a lot of plastic waste. Why this behaviour occurs in Thai lifestyle? In my generation, Thai food packaging is changed. Thai people do not use banana leaves as food packaging but they use more paper instead. I remember that Thai deep fried banana (an ancient Thai snack ‘กล้วยแขก‘) which was put in hand-made paper bags. It made of newspaper and magazine. That was a way to reuse a lot of newspaper and magazine at that time. Later the news reported that the deep fried banana had been dangerously contaminated by a chemical elements like Lead (Pb) from the magazine paper. The news reported more and more of that magazine paper bags are not healthy. It has colour and the black colour contained Lead. People should stop using this paper for replacing bags. Then the suggested alternative way was using foam because it is colourless. It surely has no Lead but it has carcinogens (styrene) which is involved in causing cancer. Through the direct contact with hot and oily food, the food absorbed the carcinogens of this bags.

We found people are using foam container with hot and oily food in front of schools and/or festivals in local areas in Thailand. Besides, at home some Thai people use microwave. They warm up their food in microwave and they cover food with a thin-plastic film. The chemical substance in plastic is melted by the heat of microwave. It accumulates and causes cancer in the body. You may know the increasing number of dying Thai people is caused by cancer.

Foam and plastic are dangerous to the environment because it can not be degraded. Plastic naturally break down around in 450 years and foam in around 2,000 years. Carcinogens are melted into the soil. Tree and plants take the carcinogens. We receive the styrene by eating those plants/vegetable. People who receive styrene can have dementia (memory disorders) and bad moods. Thai people like using plastic because it is cheap and convenient. This convenience is a silent danger for the health of Thai people.

We should not use foam and plastic including microwave with hot and oily food. We should support and use more organic materials which are easily degraded for hot and oily food such as materials which made of potato or corn as food container. We can also use more banana leaves and the food carrier (in Thai ‘Pinto’) and cloth bag for a better Thai lifestyle and better Thai health.

Author: Dr. Pattarapond Pimolthai

« April 2021 »