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I just want to pause for a moment of praise for Sarah of freezerbagcooking.com. She patiently put up with a whole bunch of emails from me about ordering some minor stuff for a group of Boy Scouts and went out of her way to provide me additional resources on how to make products she sells as well as offering us a good deal. Fantastic service!
04-18-2008, 05:24 PM
This is a timely thread. I'll check out her web site for supplies.
I just got a new book this week - The Bakepaker's Companion. It is recipes for freezer/oven bag cooking and baking. Seems to have some good ideas in it.
I do have a question about cooking in plastic since all the news lately seems to point to all the hazards of the plastics in bottles being really bad for you. What about bags? Are they as unhealthy type of plastic?
04-19-2008, 12:42 AM
ALL materials have potential issues - you'll be aware of others like the controversy surrounding aluminum.
No pacakging's going to be immediately toxic so, used in morderation (like on a hike/camp from time to time), there really isn't much need to be concerned. With persistent, daily (i.e., EVERY day) exposure you might need to think about your choices a bit more.
Thinking about plastics specifically, there are of course a myriad of different types. The hard, Lexan types used in Nalgene bottles like we've discussed here recently are entirely different from the flexible polythene types used in bags, so concerns about one aren't necessairly transferrable onto the other.
Another consideration is the operating temperature, which can liberate different compaunds from the plastic. Example: many people seem not to be aware that cling film (what do you call that in the U.S.? Something Wrap. Y'know, the stuff that uses electrostatic energy to stick to itself) comes in two distinct types - microwave-safe and NOT microwave-safe. Some plastic sandwich boxes also aren't microwave-safe. In both cases, the heating brings out small quantities of toxins which, over time, can be harmful to humans - but you're not about to keel over just because you nuked your lasagne in the wrong box once.
Wikipedia has a good primer on the subject, take a look (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic#Negative_health_effects).
Hope that helps a bit! All the best, Ian
04-19-2008, 08:01 AM
Unless pretty colors are a priority I suggest returning to the original polyethylene(cloudy-looking) Nalgene bottles. These were originally made to hold chemical reagents. If you store, say, nitric acid in one of these, it has to be nitric acid, not nitric acid plus whatever leaches from the bottle which may interfere with your planned chemical reaction. As I recall from my days in a chem lab, these bottles were used to store just about everything and were cleaned with plain soap and water.
I understand the Platypus bottles are two-layer, the inner layer being the same material developed to line wine boxes where off-taste from leached compounds is a definite no-no.
I recently picked up a couple of the Sigg stainless steel .6 liter (about 22 oz.) oval water bottles formed seamlessly from a single piece of steel. These were the issue water bottle for the Swiss army for many years. These are light (about 11 oz. IIRC) but do weigh more than the Nalgenes.
The black bottle comes with an oval stainless steel cup that adds a few oz. but gives you a vessel for melting snow/heating water. The other colors are just plain bottles. They also have a neoprene cover/insulator but the cup will NOT fit into this. For cold weather use, the metal bottle can be placed near a fire to melt ice formed.
I got one black bottle with cup for milder weather use, and one red bottle with the neoprene cover and the plastic "sport" stopper for cold weather use to avoid any problem with lips freezing to the bottle when drinking in extreme cold - though I don't usually go out in weather that cold anymore.
(One reviewer mentioned doubts about durability of these light bottles, but unless you plan on pounding in tent stakes "fragile" is not a word I would use for these.)
Note, for freezer bag cooking I agree with Brotzie. However, I suppose you could use the regular bags to carry the dry meal, then dump it into a cutoff Platy bag for preparation and consumption. Unless you have a lot more money than I have, you would have to wash out the Platy bag after each use, of course.
Received this email from Vermont's Barre Army Navy Store:
"20% off All Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel bottles with Coupon "Klean" from 4/19/08 to 4/25/08 due to limited supplies we will allow backorders.
We have discontinued all poly carbonate bottles or BPA bottles after broadening concern about them. Klean Kanteen provides choices that that promote health living with a respect for the environment. Klean Kanteens currently come in 3 sizes Klean Kanteen 12 oz., Klean Kanteen 18 oz, Klean Kanteen 27 oz., and Klean Kanteen 40 oz.."
04-19-2008, 11:30 AM
04-19-2008, 03:00 PM
Klean Kanteen is another option for stainless steel. I believe the 40 oz is about the same diameter as the 32 oz. Nalgenes and should fit into cups/pots designed to fit over the plastic bottles. If anyone has this set and can verify that I would appreciate it.
04-29-2008, 01:17 PM
Hey everyone, if you use Klean Kanteens and use them for hot water, be very very careul - they are single wall steel and you will get hot hands/burnt lips. The nice thing is? You can use a Kanteen on a stove in a pinch for a pot to boil water.
Some Sigg bottles do have a sprayed on lining inside - which does raise an eyebrow in the whole 'toss the polycarbonate bottles out'. The lining is similar to what lines canned food and pop cans.
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