If you were to sit back and really look at it, spraying a cloud of oil out of a can and onto your food doesn’t paint a terribly healthy picture, does it?
I mean, it’s the same delivery vehicle as WD-40 or hair spray. And to be honest, aerosol cooking spray isn’t a whole lot better for your health than eating hair spray.
That iconic red and yellow can is found in kitchens all across North America. You can buy “olive oil” cooking spray and “buttery” cooking spray. You can get the “bakers” cooking spray or the plain old original variety. If you have one of those cans of spray sitting in your cupboard, you should really consider throwing it away because nothing good can come from it.
Sure a spritz of spray will create a non-stick surface on your pans and it will help add a crunch to your breaded chicken pieces, but it has many more bad sides than good, including:
• GMOs. The crops used for the oils found in the cooking spray are, in most cases, genetically modified. Food products made from GMO crops contain more pesticides than non-GMO foods, and eating them can lead to quite serious health risks including infertility, organ damage, auto-immune disorders, allergies, and diabetes.
• Chemical additives. If you thought you were spraying dimethyl silicone on your food, would you still eat it? Cooking sprays contain a cocktail of chemicals like soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, artificial flavorings, dimethylpolysiloxane, and other unsavory ingredients. The scary part is, we don’t know about the long-term effects of ingesting these things.
• Soy. I’ve gone over the dangers of soy before and most of these cooking sprays contain the stuff. Studies have shown that even a half serving of soy per day can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer and infertility.
• Lung damage. Inhaling the vapor of artificial ingredients found in cooking spray is risky and we aren’t really sure of what the long-term health implications are.
And never mind the fact that all of those cans are filling up landfills. The ones that can be recycled require a lot of energy to do so. Basically, they’re very bad for the environment.
If you’re ready to can the can, but you aren’t ready to part with the convenience of the product, get yourself an olive oil spray bottle at your local kitchen store and fill it with regular olive oil (not extra virgin if you’re cooking with it!). This way, you can have the non-stick and portion control convenience without all the dangerous stuff.
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