This summer you might want to think twice about grabbing the tin foil out of the cupboard for a BBQ or a baked potato, and cooking banana boat s’mores in it over a campfire may have more havoc on you than the amount of sugar consumed from that tasty treat. Scientists have known for some time that aluminum is a neurotoxin, so why is it being sold in our grocery stores to wrap our food in it? That is a whole other article, but for now, here are some alarming facts to keep your tin foil tendencies in check.
Aluminum- It’s Not Just in Your Tin Foil!
“The first use of foil in the United States came about in 1913, when it was used to wrap Life Savers, candy bars, and gum.”
“Aluminium doesn’t just appear in foil: it is the most popular cookware material used by people in developing countries. Pots and pans are lined with it and it is found in some kitchen utensils like large serving spoons.
-Aluminium is present in corn, yellow cheese, salt, herbs, spices and tea. It’s used in cooking utensils, as described above, as well as in pharmacological agents like antacids and antiperspirants.”
How Much Aluminum is Too Much?
“- the World Health Organisation has established a safe daily intake of 40 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. So for a person who weighs 60 kg the allowable intake would be 2400 mg. -But most people are exposed to and ingest far more than this suggested safe daily intake.”
The Health Effects
“-researchers have found high concentrations of aluminum in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also found that high aluminum intake may be linked to a reduction in the growth rate of human cells, and may be potentially harmful for patients with bone diseases or renal impairment.”
“Scientists have examined the community of old people with Alzheimer’s and concluded that it is a modern disease that’s developed from altered living conditions associated with society’s industrialisation. These conditions may include high levels of aluminium in daily life.”
How Much of it is Getting into Your Food?
“A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Electrochemical Science investigated the amount of aluminum that leaches into food cooked with foil. The amount varied based on factors such as temperature and acidity (fish and tomatoes are highly acidic), but the findings showed conclusively that aluminum foil does leach into food cooked in foil. “Aluminum foil used in cooking provides an easy channel for the metal to enter the human body,” the study authors wrote. “The increase in cooking temperature causes more leaching. The leaching is also highly dependent on the pH value of the food solution, salt, and spices added to the food solutions.”
“Aluminium is significantly more likely to leach into food, and at higher levels, in acidic and liquid food solutions like lemon and tomato juice than in those containing alcohol or salt.”
“My research found that the migration of aluminium into food during the cooking process of food wrapped in aluminium foil is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organisation.”
What about Storing Your Food in Aluminum?
“It’s safe to wrap cold food in foil, though not for long stretches of time because food has a shelf life and because aluminium in the foil will begin to leach into the food depending on ingredients like spices.”
There you have it. Add tin foil to your discard list and go back to roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on a wooden stick, it looks as though that is a safer bet when it comes to campfire cooking.
Photo Source: here