Silicone Cookware: the Silent Ingredient


Silicones have proved so fabulously applicable that they’re everywhere. These mixed organic-inorganic polymers can be adapted for use in plumbing, bathroom-caulking, fashioning medical equipment, creative juggling balls, tamping down frizzy hair and, most famously, filling breast implants.

A little worrying for a substance that we still don’t really know a lot about. (For example, go here and count the question marks). One thing we do know is that items made from high quality silicone items remain solid up to around 428°F (220°C) -for  lower-quality silicone, the melting point is lower.

As National Geographic Green Guide’s Alexandra Zissu reports, silicone bakeware has proved so useful (non-stick without extra treatment, for example) that it’s a big winner in the kitchen. It’s therefore concerning that this ubiquitous kitchen technology is made from a substance with poorly-understood implications for human health, and used in ovens that can often be heated beyond silicone’s melting point.

But then, you always knew, deep down, that Pyrex looked better. Here’s just the excuse.

Image: Badarama

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.