HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Eliminating plastic

p
pijamab Jan 13, 2007 11:56 PM

Recently, I've become somewhat wary of microwaving food in plastic and of putting hot food in plastic containers. I've replaced all my leftover containers with pyrex (and other borosilicates). This link sumarises my concerns:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/con...

It's not that I'm convinced that all plastics release toxins. It's more that no one seems to know for sure. Plus glass is just classier!

Anyways, in my slightly obsessive-compulsive plastic purge, I've hit a roadblock. Every single food processor in existence has a plastic work bowl. Does anyone know of a food processor with a glass or steel bowl? Plenty of blenders have glass pitchers. Why not food processors? Any manufacturers out there willing to capitalize on my paranoia?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. r
    replay RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 01:30 AM

    Food processors, ect. really do not have a long contact period of time with the food. I would not worry about that, but focus on long term food storage or using plastics in conjunction with hot foods.

    1. Magnapro RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 02:59 AM

      I have worked in the plastic industry for years. Advice given by Replay is fine. You must understand that there is food grade plastic and other materials.
      There are the right and wrong ways to use plastic.
      With respect to food I believe plastic can be used safely if you are informed well.

      1. m
        MakingSense RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 04:15 AM

        This is just a rehash of a story that has been around for years. Apparently the CBC reporter didn't bother to fact-check the story.
        http://snopes.com/medical/toxins/cook...
        Everything that appears in the media isn't necessarily accurate. Multiple stories are often the result of the same erroneous press release from a single source or related sources. In this case, the groups quoted frequently cooperate in the same causes. There were no differing opinions offered; had the reporter asked any industry sources, the premise of the story might well have been challenged.

        Yes, there are many plastics which are unsafe for use in the microwave or for food storage. But there are food-safe plastics as well, and documentation is available as to their safety that should satisfy all but the most skittish. Buy good quality that is marked for use in the microwave and safe storage.
        There may be less danger from plastics than from the small chips that can get into food from glass containers. We always found them in the butter when my kids were young because they weren't careful when they placed the lid back on the butter dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MakingSense
          Candy RE: MakingSense Jan 14, 2007 06:22 PM

          Amen!

          You can send me your plastics if you would like. Last night I rewarmed roast beef from Christmas dinner which had been packaged in a Food Saver bag and frozen,rewarmed sous-vide style in the vacuum packed plastic bag. Best re-warmed roast beef i have ever had.

        2. rworange RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 06:29 AM

          How serious are you? If you REALLY want to get rid of that plastic ... Robot Coupe ... a few thousand bucks.
          http://www.restaurantequipment.com/RO...

          Looks like Bosch may have one too for less bucks
          http://www.nutritionlifestyles.com/bo...

          1. RShea78 RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 08:47 AM

            In the microwave I mostly use the pyrex or those regular oven safe containers. Plastic has to be a very specific kind and type for me to consider. Generally I consider commercial grades like the rigid clear Cambro rounds, never the whitish soft ones.

            Now I can care less of all the phony claims that those household grade plastics are microwave safe. I am not talking about toxicities here, but if I end up having to rescue my food from container entrapment or if that noodle melts a hole the bottom.

            I was humored the other day when a worker put his 7.5 oz cup of Dinty More Beef Stew in the microwave. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to nuke the thing in its own microwave plastic cup. I walked away as not to be blamed when it flips over. It did, and rather predictable, because of the dimple on the bottom creates an air pocket that catapults the container in the heating process.

            -----

            As far as the food processor is concerned, I refuse to purchase the large plastic bowl models. I prefer those with the bowls to be around 4 inches in diameter for rigidity purposes. Larger bowls deflect to much, which is a challenge to the mechanical limits.

            -----

            3 Replies
            1. re: RShea78
              Magnapro RE: RShea78 Jan 14, 2007 09:10 AM

              Wow where did that food processor size comment come from. Do you think millions of owners and designers are wrong?
              Somehow we have managed to use larger processors with few problems. You may be limited to 4 inches however.
              Do you think you can judge plastic by it's appearance.
              Overheating many plastics can be a real problem. Think about storage and or heating of your foods.
              And perhaps consider how you use a microwave with your food and containers.

              1. re: Magnapro
                RShea78 RE: Magnapro Jan 14, 2007 02:48 PM

                ""Do you think millions of owners and designers are wrong?""

                Can they pass the cheese test or is cheese processing forbidden in the machines warranty?

                Not pass cheese test, requires further testing. The rot on the store shelf test.

                -----

              2. re: RShea78
                c
                ClaireWalter RE: RShea78 Jan 14, 2007 06:23 PM

                I think Calvin Coolidge was in the White House when I bought my Cuisinart. I use it a lot for chopping or slicing large quantities of veggies (everything from onions to cabbage for slaw), making pastry dough and, yes, ocassionally pureeing something hot. I am on my second large plastic bowl, however, the first having become scratched and quite unslightly. I have never concerned myself with the safety of plastic in that application. My husband used to be worried about storing food in plastic containers, but he isn't any longer. When I make stock, I let it cool, fill it into plastic yogurt containers and freeze the lot.

              3. f
                FlavoursGal RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 02:56 PM

                pijamab, I have also gotten rid of plastic storage containers. I've heard dozens of times that the hard, rigid plastics are perfectly safe. But we've heard for years that other supposed food-grade materials are safe as well, and this has been proven wrong (read "non-stick").

                I'd rather be safe than sorry, and I now use Mason jars, Pyrex, Corning, and stainless steel exclusively for storage.

                As for the food processor, I'm still using mine with the platic bowl, but never for hot foods. And I'm still using my non-stick electric Cuisinart griddle (I've cleaned out all of my non-stick pans, too), only because I've yet to find an electric grill/griddle that is not made with a non-stick finish.

                1. h
                  HillJ RE: pijamab Jan 14, 2007 03:12 PM

                  pij, I've had the same concerns over teflon coating. Like many the ease of cleaning, no stick surface is a key selling point but most teflon coating pits quickly and winds up in food.

                  I purchased reliable, hard core professional pans, seasoned well and avoid the entire teflon dilemma. Overkill, maybe-but I can live with a little elbow grease.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: HillJ
                    m
                    MakingSense RE: HillJ Jan 14, 2007 04:23 PM

                    That Teflon story is another myth that has been around for years and is untrue.
                    http://www.teflon.com/NASApp/Teflon/T...

                    For many years now, the non-stick coatings on cookware can be heated to temperatures as high as 660 degrees before there is any change in the material - well above what would occur in a normal kitchen environment. It does scratch from abuse.
                    If you do, by some chance, have a very old pan that is actually flaking off bits of coating and "winding up in food," the DuPont company would likely be most anxious to know about it.

                    1. re: MakingSense
                      h
                      HillJ RE: MakingSense Jan 14, 2007 05:15 PM

                      Over time nearly all the teflon (regardless of brand) I've purcahsed got nicked and wound up in the trash. Whether its another urban legend or not, I don't wish to chance those "nasty bits" in my food. Thanks for the link!

                  2. p
                    pijamab RE: pijamab Jan 29, 2007 09:15 PM

                    Thanks for all the feedback. If anyone else is interested, I decided to order the "Bravetti 400W Quad Blade Maxi-Blend Food Processor" Model # FP105B. The "Bravetti Swivel-Head Food Processor" Model #FP110H looks perfect, but I decided to go with the cheaper model for now (yes I'm afraid the Robot Coupe products are a bit out of my price range).

                    Show Hidden Posts