Re: Use of packaging bags to re-hydrate
Called both Mountain House & Richmoor just now. I was curious if the pleat was an indication the Philmont pouches were designed to be utilized for re-hydrating.
MH customer service department at 1-800-547-0244 (M-F, 8 am - 5 pm PST).
RM customer service department at 1-800-322-6325 (M-F, 8 am - 5 pm PST).
Call Results - I was informed by both companies that the Philmont bags have NOT been tested for being utilized as rehydrating bags and are specifically made thinner (less layers) than the normal commercial offerings in order to reduce the purchase cost, and because the intended meal preparation method by the customer (=the traditional Philmont method) is to re-hydrate in a pot. That's the companies' official recommendation of use: re-hydrate in a pot. They do not recommend using the thinner bag to rehydrate because it has not been tested for that use. There was concern about potential liability as well.
Re: Toxicity (thanks for the link)
For MH & RM, both customer reps did not know exactly what material was being utilized for the liner, but did know that the liner is rated the same the commercial offerings -in terms of preservation of the contents and chemical safety - i.e. NOT having PBAs.
Toxicity and Zip-Locs
Here is a "copy & paste" of the website's answers to the questions related to toxicity:
[start copy & paste]
"A recent study conducted and published by the University of Cincinnati found that the estrogen-like chemical BPA (bisphenol A) has been shown to encourage the growth of a specific category of prostate cancer cells. BPA is commonly used in the manufacture of certain plastic products, such as food-can coatings, milk-container liners, food containers, and water-supply pipes. As a result, media have been reporting on this study and the fact that this chemical is commonly found in plastic food storage containers.
SC Johnson [Zip-Loc Bags manufacturer] does not use BPA in its plastic products, Ziploc® Brand Bags and Containers.
SC Johnson is a leader in providing high-quality products. All of its products are extensively evaluated for toxicity and safety and comply with—and often even exceed—applicable quality and safety regulations.
For more information, please visit www.scjohnson.com
In 2002, we became aware of an email that was being widely circulated, which warned consumers about the alleged dangers of using plastics in the microwave. This email 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. We researched these claims and it is clear that the information is misleading, and unnecessarily alarms consumers.
Ziploc® Brand products are 100% dioxin free. You also should be aware that dioxins can be formed only when chlorine is combined with extremely high temperatures, such as 1,500°F, which even the most powerful consumer microwave ovens are unable to produce.
Our Ziploc® Brand products can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All Ziploc® Brand Containers and microwaveable Ziploc® Brand 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.
Like all Ziploc® Brand products, Zip’n Steam® Bags are dioxin free. Additionally, they are specially designed for microwave use and meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with cooking food in the microwave when label directions are followed.
Please help us alleviate consumers' concerns and share these facts with those who forwarded this misleading e-mail to you, and to whom you may have sent it. Thank you for giving us a chance to set the record straight."
[end copy & paste]
FWIW, a quick internet search reveals a long list of hits about the concerns about PBAs and Dioxins.
Ok - two years ago at this time, the story was rather different and definitely not as consistent. For rehydrating, we utilized BOTH the factory packaging bag & zip-loc bags, on both our training hikes (for testing out & training to the method) and on our 2011 Philmont trek (which worked out fine) ... it sure saved a lot of time & effort ... and we were planning to do the same for our 2013 trek, ... that is,before this thread.
Back to square one for evaluation.