BPA alternatives are a lot like BPA
According the FDA, you should always make sure your container is specifically labeled safe for use in the microwave. But these recommendations are somewhat misleading, even if your high-tech nuking dish proclaims itself BPA-free. Unfortunately, as new products came along to edge BPA out of the consumer marketplace, what took its place may be no better for you, which is scary as hell.
One of the components that is frequently subbed into plastic containers is bisphenol S, or BPS. Even though it isn't BPA, don't get excited -- scientists at Harvard discovered that it may negatively impact developing fetal brains in the same way BPA does.
"But I'm not a fetus!" you say. Well, fetuses aren't the only ones at risk, since grown-ass adults can still be affected by BPA alternatives, which scientists say work almost exactly like BPA. Basically, if these BPA-free items say they're microwave-safe, they may be lying to your face. In other words, you may be better off not nuking your food on them.
But all of my food is in plastic! What am I supposed to do?
If you have cabinets full of plasticware (which, face it, most of us do), there are a few ways to possibly minimize your rate of plastic ingestion. For starters, don't use the microwave to heat up food on (or in) them. Put yesterday's lasagna on a couple of paper plates or, hey, a regular plate that’s microwave safe -- but not plastic! Also, always try to hand wash plastic dishes and containers, even though it's a huge drag, and don't leave your plastic bottle of water outdoors to bake in the sun, as it can fill your drink with the bad stuff.
If you're keen to chuck your plastic in the garbage instead, you can replace your favorite things with glass, stainless-steel, or ceramic dishes. A lot of these items can be microwave-safe; check the label before trying, and don't ever put metal of any kind in your mic unless you're trying to blow it and yourself up. And while buying a whole new kitchen full of plates, glasses, and containers isn't super fun, you can often find excellent deals at thrift stores and garage sales
Yes, it can seem like science comes out with a new study here and a new study there that tells you that your life sucks, you're doing it all wrong, and you're going to die sooner than planned. It's easy to ignore research because it's everywhere, and really, we're all doomed anyway so who cares? But in this case, it may be wise to back off that microwaving plastic habit and be the first in your circle of friends to buy actual dishes. Your future self may thank you.