I love my Anova sous vide cooker. I do not love the idea, though, that using plastic bags with my Anova might be unhealthy. The answer, of course, is to buy silicon bags. I may get around to this, but in the meantime, I still wonder — just how dangerous are those zip-lock bags that I have been using?
BA offers an answer — which is that they are probably ok with respect to the dreaded “BPA”. On the other hand, they may release some other junk that is not great for my hormonal activity.
To sum up — you probably want to avoid using plastic with
… polycarbonate, which releases the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). This kind of plastic is found in cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles, take-out containers, multi-gallon water bottles, and plastic plates.
Other types of plastic bags are ok when it comes to BPA release. They include
… high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene among their ranks. The reason they’re not necessarily “good” plastics is because a 2011 study found that when some were heated, these plastics —in fact, most plastics on the market, including those advertised as BPA free—release non-BPA chemicals that disrupt hormone activity. The amount of chemicals released, however, is unknown.
Zip-locks are made of low density polyethylene.
One last tip
However, you shouldn’t use a single Ziploc bag when cooking in water temperatures above 158°F because the heat can cause the bag to open at the seams and expose your food to the water. Double-bagging with two Ziploc bags will avoid this, or using FoodSaver bags. To be on the safe side, do not wrap your food in saran wrap and then put in the bag—cling wrap is the very bad plastic.
The bottom line for me is that I will continue using zipl-locks for the time being while I locate a reasonably priced source for silicon.
Onward … and enjoy!