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#122805 - 10/22/09 08:37 PM BPA and freezer bag cooking
ncmtns Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: NC
maybe I missed the big talk on this, but dont freezer bags leech toxins when hot water is poured into them, contaminating the food?

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#122806 - 10/22/09 09:26 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: ncmtns]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Actually, they don't! Only certain plastics contain BPA and food-grade plastic bags are not among those. It's the lexan-type solid plastics that contain BPA, and most of those have had the BPA-producing materials phased out (especially since they can't be sold in Canada).

On the other hand, the freezer bag companies do not recommend boiling in their bags. There are bags sold that can be used for boiling. If you are really worried, you can get these for freezer-bag cooking. They are, of course, more expensive. However, freezer-bag "cooking" does not involve boiling in the bags, but just pouring in hot water. Remember that the normal process of preparing vegetables for freezing involves blanching the vegetables for a minute or two and packing them in the bags while scalding hot. Freezer bags are designed to take heat, even if not boiling.

By the time you turn off the stove, remove the pot from the stove, make sure the freezer bag is still open and stable, pour the hot water into the bag and stir, the water is well below the boiling point. More like 190*F, and definitely less at high altitudes where the boiling point is about 190*F.

We really should call this process rehydration, not "cooking," but of course the latter term is easier to use even if misleading.

Note that most of the foil bags in which you rehydrate commercial freeze-dried food have plastic linings. Most metal water bottles (what my daughter insists on using) also have plastic linings.

I hate washing dishes so much that I figure that nothing in the plastic bags will harm me as much as the psychological damage of having to scrub dishes, not an easy process in camp!


Edited by OregonMouse (10/22/09 09:35 PM)
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#122807 - 10/22/09 09:27 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: ncmtns]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By ncmtns
maybe I missed the big talk on this, but dont freezer bags leech toxins when hot water is poured into them, contaminating the food?


BPA is only a concern with old skool Lexan. It's not even sold any more. Freezer bags aren't Lexan and don't leach chemicals, hot or cold.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#122821 - 10/23/09 05:37 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: ncmtns]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
Ummm! Actually they do according to the manufacturing companies. I have been in contact with Zip-Loc and Glad companies and they both say that in no way were their bags made or designed for any type of cooking. To do so could be dangerous as they do release toxins into whats boiling that you put in them. Minute amounts but over the long haul it couldn't be a great idea. That's from the horses mouth...sabre11004... goodjob
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#122825 - 10/23/09 06:16 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: sabre11004]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Umm... if all you do is pour hot water in them, you're not cooking with them. It's not even boiling any more by the time it gets into the bag.

That said, I tend to dump the meal into a bowl (also plastic, usually one of the ziploc screw top deals with a reflectix cozy) and rinse and re-use the bags. Not because I'm afraid of BIG BAD PLASTIC but because I'd rather re-use and recycle it.

Dude, where are all the three armed, ten eyed people? Plastic's been around alot longer than teflon, and guess what's more dangerous? They're discontinuing teflon....
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#122828 - 10/23/09 07:02 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: lori]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
All plastics will leach. All plastics are made of things that aren't good for you. The real question here is which plastics under what conditions leach bad enough stuff in large enough quantities to cause you significant harm. There are authorities and studies on both sides so that isn't much help. I choose to avoid letting my food and drink come into contact with plastic when I can. When I can't avoid it, I choose polyethylene which appears, from what I've read, to be the least problematical. Then I use my worry quota on things like the clown tailgating me while he's texting.

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#122835 - 10/23/09 09:57 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: Eric]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
When I can't avoid it, I choose polyethylene which appears, from what I've read, to be the least problematical.


Polyethelene is what freezer bags are made of.

When you ask the manufacturers about "cooking" in freezer bags, they assume you mean boiling in a bag or using it in a microwave, which is how most people cook in plastic . Freezer bags certainly were not made for that. We need to specify that we are not cooking but rehydrating dried food by pouring hot (no longer boiling) water into the bag and letting it sit, inside an insulating cozy. This is quite different than boiling or microwaving the freezer bag!
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#122836 - 10/23/09 10:25 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: OregonMouse]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Originally Posted By OregonMouse


Polyethelene is what freezer bags are made of.

When you ask the manufacturers about "cooking" in freezer bags, they assume you mean boiling in a bag or using it in a microwave, which is how most people cook in plastic . Freezer bags certainly were not made for that. We need to specify that we are not cooking but rehydrating dried food by pouring hot (no longer boiling) water into the bag and letting it sit, inside an insulating cozy. This is quite different than boiling or microwaving the freezer bag!


Polyethylene is also the lining of the bags that freeze dried food comes in. The ones that tell you to pour boiling water in them.

Microwaving in any plastic can be a lot of fun particularly if the food has a high fat content. You can get the plastic much hotter than melting temperature. Beef with polypropylene sauce, num-num.

BTW polyvinyl-chloride is a rather nasty plastic and if you're on city water the water in your kitchen sink has probably been running thru miles of it.

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#122840 - 10/24/09 12:14 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: Eric]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
You can microwave freezer bags, they are rated for that and yes, the manufacturers do test for that use (read the boxes or go to their websites).

The water used for FBC meals is at or lower than if you were heating foods in your microwave. (Steam gets quite hot, very fast)

As GH points out, you are NOT cooking, you are using hot (NOT boiling) water to rehydrate.

More so, polyethylene is a food grade plastic designed for levels of heat and cold. It does not contain BPA or any of the other items people worry about. Poly is used in most shelf stable bags of food, such as bags of precooked rice that one can simmer or microwave. Also seen in Food Vac bags.....

You can of course use your pot. Nothing stops you from that.
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#122851 - 10/24/09 09:31 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: OregonMouse]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By OregonMouse


We really should call this process rehydration, not "cooking," but of course the latter term is easier to use even if misleading.

Note that most of the foil bags in which you rehydrate commercial freeze-dried food have plastic linings. Most metal water bottles (what my daughter insists on using) also have plastic linings.



Yes, rephrasing the name to be accurate would be great, except it is less convenient.

"Freezer Bag Rehydrating" just doesn't sound like something that most people would particularly understand.

"After I rehydrate it, don't I have to cook it before eating?"

I try not to respond to any correspondence written in all lower case letters.

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#122852 - 10/24/09 09:37 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: sabre11004]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By sabre11004
Ummm! Actually they do according to the manufacturing companies. I have been in contact with Zip-Loc and Glad companies and they both say that in no way were their bags made or designed for any type of cooking. To do so could be dangerous as they do release toxins into whats boiling that you put in them. Minute amounts but over the long haul it couldn't be a great idea. That's from the horses mouth...sabre11004... goodjob


I love it when you say "Toxins". Really a turn-on for me.

So clear and explanatory . Very popular term in a lot of health situations, and product advertising and dis-advertising.

It might be good to send the claim of "toxins" to the FDA.

Perhaps it should be on the bags, because people do reheat frozen foods in those bags. Please, report this "Toxins" data to the FDA.

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#122899 - 10/25/09 04:27 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: Roocketman]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
I just buy a mountain house I don't like dump out the dry ingredients and use it until it falls apart. It goes in the dishwasher when I get home from a trip and last for up to 6 or 7 trips.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#122903 - 10/25/09 07:21 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: bigb]
ncmtns Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: NC
well, my hat off to Sarbar for the research and honesty!! I have been a die hard 'bag cooker' but since the word 'toxins' is introduced, im feeling uncomfortable. Kinda like a federal mandate to get innoculated for flu epidemic or be considered a threat to the public? but I digress

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#122918 - 10/26/09 10:35 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: ncmtns]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By ncmtns
well, my hat off to Sarbar for the research and honesty!! I have been a die hard 'bag cooker' but since the word 'toxins' is introduced, im feeling uncomfortable. Kinda like a federal mandate to get innoculated for flu epidemic or be considered a threat to the public? but I digress


When I hear the word "toxins" I always am reminded of those very thin serious people at the County Fair who are running a booth telling you about the need to "cleanse" and get rid of the "toxins" in your bowels .... up to 7 pounds of it.

For a brief time, I had some such friends, but they moved away. I thought of it as one of the best bowel movements of my life. wink

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#122925 - 10/26/09 02:28 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: ncmtns]
scottyb Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Quote:
BTW polyvinyl-chloride is a rather nasty plastic and if you're on city water the water in your kitchen sink has probably been running thru miles of it.


Besides PVC, there's a good possibility that it ran through AC (asbestos-concrete) pipe as well. I personally installed AC pipe on projects past the mid 80's. It was banned in the mid 80's but there are miles of it still in the ground in most cities.
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Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

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#122935 - 10/26/09 06:02 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: scottyb]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
You Know Success makes Boil in the bag rice. The bag has holes in it. But I wonder who makes the bag? Do they make a solid bag. They resemble a vacume seal bag for my vacume sealer? Yhe FDA had to approve that bag,"for what there approvals worth"?
In fact I noticed wall mart sells a microwave safe cooking bag for vacume sealer. Perhaps this is a alternative? Im going to look into it.

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#122941 - 10/26/09 07:19 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: scottyb]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By scottyb
Quote:
BTW polyvinyl-chloride is a rather nasty plastic and if you're on city water the water in your kitchen sink has probably been running thru miles of it.


Besides PVC, there's a good possibility that it ran through AC (asbestos-concrete) pipe as well. I personally installed AC pipe on projects past the mid 80's. It was banned in the mid 80's but there are miles of it still in the ground in most cities.


Some estimates place the total at 400,000 mile of asbestos/concrete water lines in the USA.

There is considerable debate on the lethality. Lethality is caused by the fibrous forms of asbestos. The particulate or lumpy forms do not cause lung damage, according to current accepted practice.

The lethality of fibrous asbestos is the sharpness of the fiber and the ability of the fiber to act as a microscopic spear puncturing lung cells, replacing healthy structures with scar tissue and degrading the ability of the remaining lung cells to function normally.

There seems to be a lack of firm understanding of what ingestion of the fibrous material does to the body. Eventually, they might figure it out.

If anybody wants to volunteer for the experiments........

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#122968 - 10/27/09 10:35 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: Kent W]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Kent W
You Know Success makes Boil in the bag rice. The bag has holes in it. But I wonder who makes the bag? Do they make a solid bag. They resemble a vacume seal bag for my vacume sealer? Yhe FDA had to approve that bag,"for what there approvals worth"?
In fact I noticed wall mart sells a microwave safe cooking bag for vacume sealer. Perhaps this is a alternative? Im going to look into it.


Vac Seal bags are nylon with a PET (good ol' Polyethyline) lining. They stand up to boiling in the bag quite well - I sometimes crack eggs into one sized to the pot I'm taking, and boil the bag over my alcohol stove to cook the eggs. You can't let the bag touch the side above water, it melts of course.

PET is everywhere, and it's not going anywhere. All the GSI bowls, and a lot of the utensils and vessels you find for camping, are also PET.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#122971 - 10/27/09 11:46 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: OregonMouse]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
No that was not a conclusion or an assumption that they came to/ I explained to them exactly how the bags were being used and they simply said, "they don't recommend doing it."
You can call them yourself and they will tell you the same thing...sabre11004... lame
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#122973 - 10/27/09 11:48 AM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: bigb]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
That's funny that you do that because that's the same thing that I do, and have done it many times too...sabre11004.

P.S. I did call Mountain House and they said that as long as they were clean it was perfectly safe to do so... goodjob
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#122974 - 10/27/09 12:33 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: sabre11004]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By sabre11004
No that was not a conclusion or an assumption that they came to/ I explained to them exactly how the bags were being used and they simply said, "they don't recommend doing it."
You can call them yourself and they will tell you the same thing...sabre11004... lame


Of course they told you that - the phone monkeys are probably told to say no to anything other than sticking stuff in the bag for storage. Because if your husband dies of cancer, and he went backpacking all the time and used plastic bags this way, and you decided with no real basis for it that the plastic bags caused his cancer, and the company phone monkey said "sure you can use them that way" - guess how many lawyers and so forth the manufacturer would end up paying for? Doesn't matter any more whether you are actually at fault. I carry ten million dollars in coverage in liability insurance, not just to protect me in the event that I do something wrong in the course of my working in my chosen field, but to protect me from the more likely occurance of having atrocious legal fees in the event someone else thinks I have done something wrong, and I have to fight for my reputation.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#122980 - 10/27/09 02:14 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: Roocketman]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Originally Posted By Roocketman
Originally Posted By scottyb
Quote:
BTW polyvinyl-chloride is a rather nasty plastic and if you're on city water the water in your kitchen sink has probably been running thru miles of it.


Besides PVC, there's a good possibility that it ran through AC (asbestos-concrete) pipe as well. I personally installed AC pipe on projects past the mid 80's. It was banned in the mid 80's but there are miles of it still in the ground in most cities.


Some estimates place the total at 400,000 mile of asbestos/concrete water lines in the USA.

There is considerable debate on the lethality. Lethality is caused by the fibrous forms of asbestos. The particulate or lumpy forms do not cause lung damage, according to current accepted practice.

The lethality of fibrous asbestos is the sharpness of the fiber and the ability of the fiber to act as a microscopic spear puncturing lung cells, replacing healthy structures with scar tissue and degrading the ability of the remaining lung cells to function normally.

There seems to be a lack of firm understanding of what ingestion of the fibrous material does to the body. Eventually, they might figure it out.

If anybody wants to volunteer for the experiments........


And all the data I'm aware of clearly indicate a danger from INHALING asbestos. Is there any single study establishing a danger from DRINKING water with asbestos in it? I think it's one of those irrational scare/panic things -- like people thinking they might get H1N1 because they ate pork . . .
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#122988 - 10/27/09 06:47 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: lori]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
No way that any body thinks that you have done any thing wrong. I just think that if you can avoid things that have the possibility of being dangerous, we should do that. For instance, I would never think of drinking tap water. Just because "I" think that it is not as safe as we are being told. That's just me...It's not doing something wrong, it's just not trusting what we are told about our supposedly clean water supply...sabre11004..

And oh yeah, I sure do hope that it is not your reputation that you are fighting for here.. thanks
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#122991 - 10/27/09 07:41 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: lori]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Originally Posted By lori

Vac Seal bags are nylon with a PET (good ol' Polyethyline) lining. They stand up to boiling in the bag quite well - I sometimes crack eggs into one sized to the pot I'm taking, and boil the bag over my alcohol stove to cook the eggs. You can't let the bag touch the side above water, it melts of course.

PET is everywhere, and it's not going anywhere. All the GSI bowls, and a lot of the utensils and vessels you find for camping, are also PET.


For the record PET is polyethylene terephthalate aka polyester. This is the stuff of which plastic soda bottles and cheep suits are made. Polyethylene which comes in low, medium, and high density, is in things like the translucent nalgene bottles and the inside layer of Platypus bags.

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#122993 - 10/27/09 07:51 PM Re: BPA and freezer bag cooking [Re: sabre11004]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
My career has nothing to do with backpacking, so no sense of competition or defensiveness should be read into anything I post. I only point it out because I'm sure that with all the misconceptions about plastics causing health issues, the manufacturers have a whole stable of attorneys telling them to keep things simple.

I organize group hikes, and have a pretty good idea that this could lead to some serious court activity if the wrong person came along. I'm sometimes accused of being paranoid because I go out of my way to avoid being considered "in charge" on group hikes.
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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