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Avoid sous vide

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, its about time for me bring up the subject again ... avoid heating any food in plastic.

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post #2 of 14
Because of the possible chemical contamination?
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post #3 of 14
So odd isn't it the French have been using this technique for years. Wonder if you could use a different material for the process than plastic.
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Nicko 
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post #4 of 14
If I stop doing everything that may cause cancer I won't be able to eat, drink or breath... that's probably going to shorten my life expectancy a bit. :D

My (non-professional) opinion on it is: if someone is using sous vide to cook their food everyday, maybe they should at least become informed of the possibilities. I think maybe eating sous vide prepared food at your favorite restaurant once in a while may not be a big deal in the overall picture of things that are bad for us. Of course I could be wrong.
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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.
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post #5 of 14
Hmmm, wonder if Beef intestine (a.k.a sausage casings) or bladders might be a substitute for plastic sous-vide bags.

Don't laugh, the Germans floated their Zeppelin airships with literally hundred's of thousands of pig's bladders filled with hydrogen (or was it helium?)
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 14
When food is packaged Sous-Vide you are creating an an anerobic environment. Sous-Vide temperatures are not high enough to kill bacterial spores such as C. Botulinum, which is responsible for botulism (an anarobic bacteria) This was a major issue 25 years ago when I was first introduced to Sous-Vide. This technique seems to be making a comeback but it seems that the botulism issue isn't much of a concern nowadays.
post #7 of 14

Sous-vide is just French for

You guys aren't old enough to remember, but sous-vide is just French for "boil in a bag."

BDL
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post #8 of 14
Oh I remember it in the early '80s in Switzerland, but at that time it was reserved for convienience foods and high volume cafeterias, not even breathed in the same sentence as a'la carte. Humble beginings...
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #9 of 14
I'm scratching my head here and trying to see the link between re-using (multiple times) plastic drinking bottles and cooking food once in a plastic bag. Are they even the same kind of plastic? And what credence should I give to the one, single piece of evidence in the article that (a) dates from 7 years ago and (b) hasn't even been published in a peer-reviewed publication? Or anywhere, for that matter.

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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Plonger, I think you need to look more closely. The link to the article was to give people more information to enable them to make informed decisions about the various types of food grade plastics. It has a very easy to digest list of the contaminants that leach from each type of plastic. Essentialy, these contaminants are hormone inhibitors & immitators and can cause a unbelievable list of problems the least of which is undecinded testicles and on to learning disabilites and disease.
The book (published 7 yr.s ago)is an accumulation of research, miles of peer-reviewed articles. There is a good link through their website to more recent studies. What struck me most from the book, was that these contaminants accumulate in fats, specifically breast milk, and thus passed on.
I think as the Chef, who controls the diners total experience, you should make it as good as you can. You might say "what is one meal?" as some might have said "what is one cigarette?" ,"one toke?", "one snort?" . Everyone knows better than that now, and soon everyone will know better about cooking in plastic. (Did you know that all health food stores, and many conventional stores, no longer sell plastic baby bottles?) There are so many uncontrollable factors in our precarious life, we have to do the little we can.
post #11 of 14
Well, thanks for telling me to go back and read the article again so I can see the obvious things I've clearly missed, stupid me.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to be even more stupid and ask you, the clever one here, to point out to me, the stupid one here, how sous vide cooking is dangerous? Yup, I get that sous vide cooking is done in plastic bags. Yup, I get that a 7-year-old, non-peer-reviewed study (the only actual fact cited in the article which is otherwise full of 'plastic is bad for you take our word for it' stuff) is, and I quote, "The Idaho study has yet to be published, and sev eral critics have dismissed the research as flawed."
Maybe sous vide cookery is bad for us. Maybe it will be revealed in the future to be as bad for us as one cigarette/toke/snort. But as someone else says, I see so many stupid food-related scares nowadays that I only take notice of those which cite proper evidence. Not airy-fairy 'oh that's bad for you' nonsense from people who think they have a duty to tell the rest of us how stupid we are.

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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
The link I provided (Our Stolen Future)was to a website about a book compiling information gathered from many studies begun some time ago. This group of researchers is on the Nobel Prize list so this isn't just some scare like the butter or egg thing. If you are truely interested in proving to yourself that this is serious, there are many studies and much information available on the internet. (I think you may still be reading the article )
In regards to sous vide: as you heat the plastic, the chemical "additives" leach out into the contents. As I do not know the actual type of plastic used, I cannot guess as to its level of "danger", but without fail every article I have read has stated to "avoid heating ANY plastic in contact with food".
post #13 of 14
Thanks for answering all my questions. Very convincing.

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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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post #14 of 14
Ozark Rose seems to be concerned with the substance Bisphenol A. It's used to make a number of plastics and can leech out if the plastic is treated harshly -- in several ways. The use of bleach is certainly contra-indicated.

So, may also be the use of commercial canning temperatures on metal cans with plastic liners (a huge percentage). That is, the plastic liners in metal cans may be leeching Bis A into food. At this time, that's the primary public health concern. At this time no major public health agency in any country bans materials made with Bis A from food containers; and what has been published by the agencies seems to indicate that earlier fears were unjustified and/or overblown.

In fact, the San Francisco baby-bottle ban was never enforced while in effect, and repealed after a couple of years.

Although it's difficult to pinpoint harmful effects in human beings in statistically significant numbers, some degree of concern is warranted because the effects of ingestion can take some time to manifest themselves, perhaps generations, perhaps through "epi-genetic" mechanisms; and harm has been shown to result form multi-generational exposure in fish and some other animals.

Concern about Bis A does not warrant foregoing the use of plastic food containers altogether. In the case of sous vide, even if the bag material is made with Bis A, the temperatures employed will not trigger the leeching the phenomenon.

There's no such thing as "the Nobel Prize list." The Nobel Committee accepts suggestions from anyone, and such a suggestion means nothing without more. For instance, at the time it appeared the Committee was seriously considering Al Gore for Peace, American conservatives nominated a number of obviously unqualified candidates. Personally, I find those sorts of claims to be what I call "anti-science," both unconvincing and off-putting for their carelessness. I'm similarly suspicious of bio-chemical articles published in almost anything with the word "health" in its title; as well as to "there are many studies and much information on the [prestigious] internet." But that might be me. I can certainly be over-critical about matters which may be more linguistic than substantive.

So, to be clear, I don't mean that as a comment on the truth of Rose's beliefs, but only to suggest that there is a more convincing way to present the facts. Furthermore, while we may not make the same decision she does, there seems to be enough evidence to consider her concern "colorable," and it's a mistake to dismiss it out of hand.

Wikipedia has a decent article on bisphenol A if you're interested. It seems to be written with no axe to grind, and cites to most of the current, "peer reviewed" studies.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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