For those of us who can't (or don't have time) to cook...Ziplok Steam Bags!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 14, 2008 8:23 PM GMT
    Recently Ziplok came out with, what I think, is the best invention in quick, healthy cooking, especially for people like us. They are Ziplok steam bags. What you do is simple: throw in a bunch of ingredients, set your microwave to the approrpirate time, and you can have a fresh meal steamed in its own juices to retain flavor. For example, I've thrown in some salmon fillets, bell peppers, a few condiments; nuked it for 5 or 6 minutes; and I have a iquck and VERY tasty meal. They store in the fridge like regular ziplok bags, too.

    I thoughteveryone here should know about them and give them a try. They are really great things for fast, flavorful cooking. This morning, for example, I didn't prepare anything for lunch last night. So I cut up some chicken breat, seasoned it with garlic, chili, and paprika, added some low sodium soy sauce, and in 6 minutes I had a fresh lunch (and it actually tastes good).

    The only drawback is they are pretty much one-shot bags: once used you can't really use them again to make a different meal.

    If you do use them, post some recipes for the rest of us! I will as I come across good ones.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 14, 2008 11:55 PM GMT
    They say you're not supposed to microwave your food in plastic for some reason. Possibly some carcinogenic issue.

    Can anyone elaborate on this, or refute it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 15, 2008 12:09 AM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidThey say you're not supposed to microwave your food in plastic for some reason. Possibly some carcinogenic issue.

    Can anyone elaborate on this, or refute it?


    I've heard that too. Urban legend, medical fact or somewhere between? Inquiring minds want to know, but this one is too lazy to spend time googling it.icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 06, 2008 2:01 AM GMT
    http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cookplastic.asp

    best place to check on urban legends, email forwards, etc.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Apr 06, 2008 2:45 AM GMT
    LatinMuscleSF saidRecently Ziplok came out with, what I think, is the best invention in quick, healthy cooking, especially for people like us. [...]



    Really? When I first saw the commercial for them I was really put off at how they'd taken something really easy and turned it into an excuse to pump out more unnecessary garbage. I mean steaming vegetables was one of the first things I learned in the kitchen because it was so easy and didn't take too long, and only required a pot and steamer thingy. Now they want people to put more one-shot plastic in the landfills to save a couple of minutes. It's so wasteful and decadent, no wonder the terrorists want to kill us. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2008 4:44 AM GMT
    Why not put all the food on a plate, cover it tight with plastic wrap and microwave it? Or put it all in a glass dish with a lid and do the same? I guess the only advantage I can see to the product is if you don't have access to a kitchen, you can carry your food around with you in this bag and then pop it into whatever random microwave you happen to come across and have a decent meal. But if you have access to a microwave, wouldn't you have access to a kitchen of some sort. The only places I can think of where there is a microwave without a kitchen are 7-11s or convenience stores, but is anyone really going to be running into them with a bag of fresh but uncooked food in order to cook themselves up a homemade meal? Sounds like a marketing technique for bags.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2008 5:07 AM GMT
    Really guys... cooking shouldn't take you all that long.

    This is coming from someone who cooks for 1,500+ people in a few hours, though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 19, 2008 2:16 PM GMT
    LatinMuscleSF saidRecently Ziplok came out with, what I think, is the best invention in quick, healthy cooking, especially for people like us. They are Ziplok steam bags. What you do is simple: throw in a bunch of ingredients, set your microwave to the approrpirate time, and you can have a fresh meal steamed in its own juices to retain flavor. For example, I've thrown in some salmon fillets, bell peppers, a few condiments; nuked it for 5 or 6 minutes; and I have a iquck and VERY tasty meal. They store in the fridge like regular ziplok bags, too.

    I thoughteveryone here should know about them and give them a try. They are really great things for fast, flavorful cooking. This morning, for example, I didn't prepare anything for lunch last night. So I cut up some chicken breat, seasoned it with garlic, chili, and paprika, added some low sodium soy sauce, and in 6 minutes I had a fresh lunch (and it actually tastes good).

    The only drawback is they are pretty much one-shot bags: once used you can't really use them again to make a different meal.

    Hate to cook. Hate to clean. God bless the CROCKPOT.

    If you do use them, post some recipes for the rest of us! I will as I come across good ones.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 19, 2008 2:37 PM GMT
    I have not heard of a danger for all plastics. But I have heard that the plastic wraps are dangerous because upon heating these emit the poison dioxin and it literally drips on your food.

    It appears that there no danger.

    This is a posting that I found on SC Johnson's site. They make saran wrap and the ziplock products:

    I have received e-mails on dioxins in plastic wrap. Can you provide me with more information on dioxins in your products?

    "In 2002, SC Johnson became aware of an e-mail that was being widely circulated, which warned consumers about the alleged dangers of using plastics in the microwave. This e-mail claimed that the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body, thereby increasing the risk of producing cancerous cells. SC Johnson has researched these claims and it is clear that the information is not only misleading, but also unnecessarily alarms consumers.

    When used in the microwave, there is no trace level migration of dioxins from any Saran ™ or Ziploc® product. We know this because these products are 100% dioxin-free. You also should be aware that dioxins can only be formed when chlorine is combined with extremely high temperatures, such as the temperatures generated in waste incinerators. Those incinerators produce temperatures of more than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, an extreme temperature that even the most powerful consumer microwave ovens are unable to produce.

    Our Saran ™ and Ziploc® products can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All Saran ™ Wraps, Ziploc® Containers and microwaveable Ziploc® Bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures."


    http://www.saranbrands.com/faq.asp

    I notice that the way they word it sounds a little odd to me. "defrosting and reheating food"...it doesnt say cooking food. May those steam bags are made to be used at lower heat.

    This is from some science blog:

    Thursday, January 11, 2007
    Ask A Scientist: Is Microwaving Plastic Wrap Bad?


    A Gentle Reader asks: "Will you take blog suggestions and answer science questions?" Of course! Any time, dear readers; I regard it as my sacred calling to spread the word of science understanding. So, the first question:

    "What exactly is the risk to one's health of microwaving food with saran wrap on top?

    There are two things most often cited as health risks of heating plastic: dioxin(s) and phthalates. Here's my scientific summary: dioxins are not in plastic and are not formed in the microwave. Phthalates are present in many plastics; they have no demonstrated effect at low levels. There are proven effects in rats, but at higher levels than we eat. The risk appears to be low, as in less than getting run over by a truck. If you're really worried about it, use a paper towel or paper plate or wax paper on top of your food in the microwave. Actually, use wax paper anyways: it decomposes.

    1. Dioxin: In short, don’t worry about it (in your plastic wrap).

    Dioxin describes a class of chemicals made of two benzene rings connected by two oxygens. They are often halogenated (that is, they contain chlorine or fluorine) and the chemical TCDD is commonly referred to as ‘dioxin’.

    Dioxin is in fact very bad for you; it was a contaminant in Agent Orange, causing thousands of birth defects. Adult exposure is also very bad for you (ask Yuschenko). It can do a variety of nasty things to your biochemistry, interfere with immune function, or increase the risk of cancer, although a relatively high dose is necessary for any nasty or long-term effects. We’re talking chemical spill or employment at Monsanto, not everyday exposure. The first sign of dioxin exposure is usually chloroacne, which is what’s on Yuschenko’s face.

    SC Johnson informs us that their products have no chlorine or dioxin. But do they form dioxin during cooking??? you ask. No. Monochlorinated dioxin is formed ‘as low as 400 C’ in a chemical study; an old CNN article cites a minimum of 300 C in the presence of metallic catalysts (during trash burning) for dioxin formation.

    The EPA told us (2000 data) that the greatest atmospheric dioxin levels come, in fact, from backyard burning. The FDA also informs us that “although dioxin is an environmental contaminant, most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats”. Since dioxin is stored in fat, it bioaccumulates up the food chain; age and fat/meat consumption are strong predictors of total body dioxin levels.

    So in brief:


    There is no dioxin in Saran wrap, and likely not in other brands.
    Dioxin will not form in a microwave, unless it is on fire.


    http://naturalscientist.blogspot.com/2007/01/ask-scientist-is-microwaving-plastic.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 19, 2008 3:02 PM GMT
    JockTrainee saidWhy not put all the food on a plate, cover it tight with plastic wrap and microwave it? Or put it all in a glass dish with a lid and do the same? I guess the only advantage I can see to the product is if you don't have access to a kitchen, you can carry your food around with you in this bag and then pop it into whatever random microwave you happen to come across and have a decent meal. But if you have access to a microwave, wouldn't you have access to a kitchen of some sort. The only places I can think of where there is a microwave without a kitchen are 7-11s or convenience stores, but is anyone really going to be running into them with a bag of fresh but uncooked food in order to cook themselves up a homemade meal? Sounds like a marketing technique for bags.



    I work as a substitute teacher... and I'm sure the same applies for full-time teachers, but the teacher lounges themselves often have a microwave, sometimes a refrigerator and maybe a water cooler. And that's about it. So not all microwaves necessarily come with a full kitchen in tow.

    That said, I too am not a fan of making excessive waste, but found that Ziploc also makes microwaveable tupperware like sealable bowls. So when I am working at the school, I can throw together some microwaveable mac and cheese with a can of tuna and have an ok lunch that doesn't need refrigerating all morning. Then just rinse out the container until you get home and have it to use another day. I imagine steaming would work as well...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 22, 2008 10:15 AM GMT
    i'm using a chinese steam basket. I can re-use it and it does the work in about 20 minutes (if there are potatoes in it)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2008 7:46 AM GMT
    Since microwave ovens heat your food from the inside out I don't trust them as far as i can throw a train.
    there are many studies saying the food gets changed milk aint really milk anymore some say totally harmless but its a fact that nutritions get lost. Besides I don't like the idea of throwaway bags the plastic i have to separate every month for garbage is just INSANE I wish not everything was wrapped 3x in waste... I bought a steamer and I love it, even steam full size potatoes in it..goes VERY quick, easy to clean. Vegetables take like 10-15 min potatoes 20..the taste is incomparable better to microwave crap.

    So I would not lean myself out the window and call this
    "healthy cooking" since you destroy a quit substantial amount of nutrients.

    jm2cents
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2008 10:16 AM GMT
    Librarian saidbut its a fact that nutritions get lost.


    Can you point us to a reference for this fact?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2008 10:17 AM GMT
    imperator saidno wonder the terrorists want to kill us.


    Wow, it was our plastic bags! Who knew?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2008 11:00 AM GMT

    http://www.naturalnews.com/021966.htmlThe rise of widespread nutritional deficiencies in the western world correlates almost perfectly with the introduction of the microwave oven. This is no coincidence. Microwave ovens heat food through a process of creating molecular friction, but this same molecular friction quickly destroys the delicate molecules of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant medicines) naturally found in foods. One study showed that microwaving vegetables destroys up to 97% of the nutritional content (vitamins and other plant-based nutrients that prevent disease, boost immune function and enhance health).

    Using a microwave is a bit like dropping a nuclear bomb on your food, then eating the fallout. (You don't actually get radiation from eating microwaved foods, however. But you don't get much nutrition, either.)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2008 8:17 PM GMT
    LatinMuscleSF said I have a iquck and VERY tasty meal.


    I'd love to put you in a Ziplock Steam Bag.icon_wink.gif
  • Brinker

    Posts: 20

    Jul 18, 2008 10:05 PM GMT
    Muchmorethanmuscle is the closest to being right here. Heated plastics 'can' release xenoestrogens. Sure, the makers of Ziploc would like you to believe otherwise, and they are 'probably' right in telling you it is only a trace amount that 'may' not affect you.

    I prefer not to ingest anything that 'may' increase estrogen...like soy products. If I know something carries a documented risk with it, I'll avoid or minimize it.

    For the last few years, anytime I get a frozen dinner I put it on a ceramic plate covered with a paper towel and then nuke it.

    Perhaps the best reason for me, besides holding onto all the testosterone I can, is that plastic is an oil product that doesn't degrade and stays in landfills a few thousand years. A momentary convenience isn't worth knowing my dinner will have that long of a legacy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2008 10:22 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]citpolo said


    but the teacher lounges themselves often have a microwave, sometimes a refrigerator and maybe a water cooler. And that's about it. So not all microwaves necessarily come with a full kitchen in tow.


    [/quote]

    Um try working on a Construction site!!! Now there's a challenge!!!
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Jul 18, 2008 10:27 PM GMT
    I'm addicted to Publix's fresh spinach, comes cut and pre-washed in a bag for instant salad just add dressing.

    I don't think that deserves a new thread, so I'm just sayin' ;)
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Aug 21, 2008 2:15 AM GMT
    imperator said
    LatinMuscleSF saidRecently Ziplok came out with, what I think, is the best invention in quick, healthy cooking, especially for people like us. [...]


    Now they want people to put more one-shot plastic in the landfills to save a couple of minutes. It's so wasteful and decadent, no wonder the terrorists want to kill us. icon_neutral.gif


    It's not wasteful, just wash the bag out and let it dry and then reuse it!


    It would be interesting to see how much energy goes into steaming vegetables in a bag via the microwave verses conventional methods and the materials involved.