From the beginning, at Sinplástico we have considered that focus only on the ingredients we use to prepare what we eat regardless of where we cook does not make any sense. The materials of the utensils and containers we use to prepare our meals can also have multiple hazards.
Which materials do you have to be careful about?
- Aluminum is an element even though it does not have the density to be called “heavy”, due to its toxicity, is included as one of the heavy metals in some of those toxic lists. Therefore, aluminum tools we use at the kitchen come laminated.
- Teflon®, best known brand by DuPont Co, is maded of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic fluoropolymer that has numerous applications. PFOA has been used as a surfactant in the emulsion polymerization of PTFE. This plastic (PTFE), above 260 °C, can release toxic gases.
- PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid, acts in the body as an endocrine disruptor mimicking the effect of our hormones and is associated with various cancers, thyroid problems and infertility in both animals and humans. Although it has now been almost eliminated from the leading manufacturers presenting now their products as eco-friendly, we do not know what has been the replacement for PFOA and therefore its safety.
- Nylon, used in plastic kitchenware, especially those in black, may contain diaminodiphenylmethane, also known as DDM or methylenedianiline, a chemical used as a hardening element in epoxy-like blends that is carcinogenic.
- Silicone, which is a synthetic polymer made mainly of silica (being also the main ingredient of glass) and oxygen, is a very stable and inert material, i.e., it does not absorb or transmit any substance by contact. But beware, within all different types of silicone utensils you could find at shops there are a variety of prices and quality. We must use those made of food or medical grade silicone since they use platinum, a noble metal, as a catalyst. Cheap silicones can be made of plastic and carried heavy metals in its composition. Furthermore, although silicone has thermal stability, constancy of properties over a wide temperature range, and thus is used both for freezing and baking, recent studies have shown that high temperatures (+ 220°C) can alter its properties peeling silicone microparticles, each time we cook, which get mixed with our food and behave in our bodies like heavy metals usually do.
- Non-stick Pans either with ceramic, titanium, sapphire, stone, or diamond coating carry PTFE blends and/or nanoparticles of which we know very little about the security they offer in the long term.
How to avoid plastic in the kitchen?
As secrecy of brands, when it comes to tell us the composition of their products, is high and as, although there may be plastics less hazardous to our health, they are still an environmental problem at Sinplástico we recommend:
- Use stainless steel pots and pans for your sauces, stews and casseroles, and iron ones for frying and roasting.
- Use glass and ceramic baking dishes for the oven or microwave.
- Use kitchen tools made of stainless steel, wood or bamboo.
- Avoid foil, steaming or boiling bags -tea-bags included-, laminated baking paper – popcorn bags included-, and plastic film at your kitchen.
- Use cutting boards made of wood or bamboo.
Now it’s your turn, start the challenge: What are your tricks when it comes to prepare, make and cook your food? What kind of pots, pans, utensils do you use in order to avoid that nasty plastic taste?