5 mistakes you should never make with aluminum – TIPS & TRICKS

5 mistakes you should never make with aluminum

Aluminum foil is widely used in French kitchens, both for cooking and for preserving food. It can also be used, for example, to sharpen worn-out scissors, rub a dirty barbecue bowl or grill, or improve radiator efficiency. However, its use is controversial, as we often hear that aluminum foil is hazardous to health. To protect yourself from these potential dangers, it is therefore advisable to make good use of them. As is often the case, knowing and using everyday objects well is indeed of great importance. To avoid the most harmful pitfalls that can pose health risks, here are the mistakes you should never make with aluminum.

Aluminum: is it so bad for your health?

In the kitchen, aluminum is used to store and prepare certain dishes (fish in foil, barbecue Cambert, wood-fired potatoes, etc.). However, according to some highly unreliable media, aluminum is said to cause Alzheimer’s disease, build up in the bones or cause pulmonary fibrosis. In reality, these statements are: very alarming regarding our current knowledge on the subject.

aluminum food preservation
Credit: Flickr/Topquark22

ANSES also explains that: “The toxic effects of aluminum mainly relate to the central nervous system (encephalopathies, psychomotor disorders) and bone tissue. But right now no studies have shown such effects in the general population, exposed through everyday food or health products.” The adverse clinical effects have mainly been observed with high chronic exposure (dialysis, etc.). However, EFSA has set a tolerable weekly intake of aluminum in food, and this threshold is only very rarely exceeded in children (1.6%) and adults (0.2%).

Since it is difficult to calculate our aluminum consumption accurately, taking some daily measures remains a good precautionary principle to avoid excess. So be vigilant!

Make room for mistakes you never make with aluminum

1) Storing acidic foods in aluminum? Bad idea !

Tomatoes, vinegar, citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.)… Acidic foods and aluminum don’t mix, aluminum oxide doesn’t support it. Indeed, contact and mixing with acidity will promote the migration of aluminum particles into the food. Also, for anything acidic, it’s better to use plastic wrap or an airtight container.

2) heating aluminum: one of the mistakes you should never make

fish-in-foil-foil
Credit: iStock

We are talking about a neurotoxic substance that cannot withstand heat. It is also clearly not recommended for cooking of any type (papillotes, etc.). You can absolutely use baking paper for a salmon or herring papillot! As for use in the microwave, it should also be avoided, the potential sparks could cause a fire.

3) Keep food refrigerated in aluminum: limit

In the kitchen, aluminum creates unnecessary additional waste because it is easy to replace. Contact between aluminum and food should also be minimized to reduce the risk of metal traces on the food. Therefore, to keep your food in the refrigerator, you prefer alternative solutions: wax packaging, plastic box, etc.

4) Using aluminum for coloring? Only if you want to burn your hair!

hair coloring aluminum
Credit: iStock

By locking the hair on itself, there is a risk that it will overheat and burn as a result. However, aluminum should be especially avoided in the case of sensitive and fragile hair. THE’aluminum indeed promotes the oxidation of the color, which will further damage damaged hair. This is why many hairdressers use plastic wrap instead. It is less harmful to the hair fiber in combination with the oxidizing agent present in the coloring. Do not use it for homemade coloring. Leave that to the pros who know your hair type and what they’re doing!

5) One of the mistakes also relates to salt and spices

Contact of salt with aluminum will release ions into the food, which can be harmful. It is therefore better to limit its use for salty preparations. In addition, a study from the American University of Sharjah showed that aluminum penetrates into spices easily. It should therefore be avoided for the preservation of herbs.

Good to know: Contrary to popular belief, the two sides of aluminum are no different. If there is a difference in gloss between the two sides, it is due to the making of this metal film. Because it is extremely thin, manufacturers simply layer two sheets together to avoid the risk of tearing.