Short Answer: It is probably best to reheat your Chipotle bowl in another container.
There is no information anywhere saying you should never microwave a Chipotle bowl, but a recent study might sway you to think otherwise.
Many people ask this question because they know other materials are not microwave safe. So asking, how to reheat your Chipotle bowl is perfectly normal.
So, let’s take a look at Chipotle bowls and a recent study about them.
All Chipotle Bowls Are Made From Compostable Materials
This is great news! Environmentally friendly packaging and utensils is something restaurants of every size should consider.
The only thing that can definitely not go in your microwave is the aluminum top. Metal can never go in your microwave.
Even though these bowls come from compostable material, this still doesn’t mean they are entirely safe for your microwave. The study below may show you why this is.
Recent Study on Chipotle & Sweetgreen Disposable Bowls
A recent study by the Counter.org shows disposable bowls from restaurants like Sweetgreen, Chipotle, Dig, etc. contain PFA’s. What does that stand for?
PFA’s stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Companies have been manufacturing these since the 1940’s and they are commonly found in the environment and the human body…
This means that PFA’s can accumulate over time and they do not break down easily. Also, the EPA says there is evidence that suggests “PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.”
How People Get Exposed to PFA’s
There are a wide variety of ways people can get exposure to PFA’s. Some of these include:
- Contaminated water or soil used to grow food
- Food packaging
- Equipment used for food processing.
These are some of the most common ways people can get exposure. Many other exposure methods are commonly seen in people who work around PFA’s.
So Can I Microwave My Chipotle Bowl?
Nowhere on the Chipotle packaging does it say you cannot reheat your Chipotle bowl, but we do not.
Also, certain chemicals in packaging you microwave, may leech into your food. it’s important to note that, fatty foods like meats and cheeses are more susceptible to absorbing chemicals.
According to Harvard Health, the FDA deems some chemicals safe to microwave. These designations are based off some the following:
- How long the container will be in the microwave
- How much food a person will likely eat from the container
- The amount of food that will be in the microwave container
One of the easiest ways to microwave your Chipotle bowl is to put it in a ceramic bowl or a microwave safe container in your home. This is a little less convenient, but it could seriously help your health in the long-term.
Can I Microwave Other Chipotle Containers?
If the container does not say it is microwave safe then do not microwave it. Other Chipotle containers include their taco kits, condiment cups, chip bags etc.
Usually you can find this information by looking on the back, or the bottom of a container. If you cannot find it there, you can try to check online.
Are These Bowls Actually Safe to Compost?
Even though the manufacturers of these bowls say they are safe to compost, this may not be true. According to Counter.org, the chemicals in these bowls and other packaging have no known half-life. This means they never go away naturally, so they are always “floating” around our environment.
Microwave Safety Tips
Here some microwave safety tips to help keep you “microwave safe”:
- Always read packaging before microwaving
- Use glass containers
- Use ceramic containers
- Check company websites for microwave safe information
In Review: Are Chipotle Bowls Microwavable?
There is no clear cut information from Chipotle, or other sources that says you absolutely cannot reheat Chipotle bowls. However, there is research that shows the materials this packaging is made out of may not be healthy for humans to consume.
So, it’s probably best to not eat from these containers every day, but eating from them once in awhile will probably not give you adverse health effects.
Check out some of our other health news here.