Hydroponics Online Home Home Store Blog Forums FAQs Lesson Plans Pictures

Go Back   Hydroponics Forums Discussions > Hydroponics Discussion Forums > Hydroponics

Food Grade Plastic


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-27-2011, 06:51 PM
HPE21 HPE21 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Default Food Grade Plastic

Hello everyone,

I was wondering how many of you are concerned about food grade plastics in your consumable garden?

Plastics have a number on the bottom, some plastics seep out toxins when they are wet or raised to high temperatures.

I've read that HDPE is the safest plastic to use in hydroponic systems because it is food safe. The bottom of plastic containers should have a number.

A Brief Overview of HDPE.

What do you use?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-28-2011, 05:08 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

To each his (or her) own, but I'm not overly concerned with chemical leaching. I simply don't consider it as much of a problem as some environmental groups claim it to be. I have read about, seen on the news etc. a lot of this and that about it. But haven't really seen any true verifiable study's, from research that didn't have an agenda that would lead me to be concerned. I have even seen and read the same type of thing about leaching from food grade plastics. My mom is so paranoid (because she tends to just believe everything she hears), that she wont even put food grade plastics in the microwave. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean that I think all plastics are the same.

I basically have one general rule that I try fallow on the use of a plastic. If it smells strongly like chemicals, I will think twice about using it. Most plastics will have some smell, especially when new (like that new car smell). But that tends to go away over time. If it's a strong smell, it will basically take longer to go away. The only thing that I have come across that really made me think twice about using it was a black recycled trash can, that I planed to use as a reservoir. I wound up using it anyway, after a month or two of use I cant remember smelling anything from it again. Not that I sniff it regularly, but I'm sure after all the times I needed to change the nutrient solution I would have smelled something.

Also just because something might be in the water, doesn't mean its in the editable part of the plant. A good example is the 5000+ hydroponic tomato plants in Australia that were poisoned with an herbicide. All the plants died from the poising, but the tomatoes were tested by the Health department and no trace of the herbicide was found in the tomatoes.

But if you are the type of person that wants to do everything organic, and if you buy certified organic produce at the store, or even want to grow certified organic produce, you'll probably want to use food grade plastic. It's also my understanding that if your growing hydroponically, all plastics need to be food grade for the certified organic rating. But here again I don't buy the organic produce myself. I wouldn't mind supporting the effort, but not at such high prices. Especially when I don't feel the produce is any better for you. But the organic practices in field grown crops is better for the environment, and would be good to support.

P.S. I'm always weary of what any product manufacture has to say about their products, even similar products (theirs or not). Their goal is to sell products, not to provide objective information. Simply put, they want to make their products seem like the best on the market. Then when they convince you that they are, the next step is to explain why you simply can't do without them. That's how to make a sale.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-29-2011, 01:06 AM
HPE21 HPE21 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
To each his (or her) own, but I'm not overly concerned with chemical leaching. I simply don't consider it as much of a problem as some environmental groups claim it to be. I have read about, seen on the news etc. a lot of this and that about it. But haven't really seen any true verifiable study's, from research that didn't have an agenda that would lead me to be concerned. I have even seen and read the same type of thing about leaching from food grade plastics. My mom is so paranoid (because she tends to just believe everything she hears), that she wont even put food grade plastics in the microwave. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean that I think all plastics are the same.

I basically have one general rule that I try fallow on the use of a plastic. If it smells strongly like chemicals, I will think twice about using it. Most plastics will have some smell, especially when new (like that new car smell). But that tends to go away over time. If it's a strong smell, it will basically take longer to go away. The only thing that I have come across that really made me think twice about using it was a black recycled trash can, that I planed to use as a reservoir. I wound up using it anyway, after a month or two of use I cant remember smelling anything from it again. Not that I sniff it regularly, but I'm sure after all the times I needed to change the nutrient solution I would have smelled something.

Also just because something might be in the water, doesn't mean its in the editable part of the plant. A good example is the 5000+ hydroponic tomato plants in Australia that were poisoned with an herbicide. All the plants died from the poising, but the tomatoes were tested by the Health department and no trace of the herbicide was found in the tomatoes.

But if you are the type of person that wants to do everything organic, and if you buy certified organic produce at the store, or even want to grow certified organic produce, you'll probably want to use food grade plastic. It's also my understanding that if your growing hydroponically, all plastics need to be food grade for the certified organic rating. But here again I don't buy the organic produce myself. I wouldn't mind supporting the effort, but not at such high prices. Especially when I don't feel the produce is any better for you. But the organic practices in field grown crops is better for the environment, and would be good to support.

P.S. I'm always weary of what any product manufacture has to say about their products, even similar products (theirs or not). Their goal is to sell products, not to provide objective information. Simply put, they want to make their products seem like the best on the market. Then when they convince you that they are, the next step is to explain why you simply can't do without them. That's how to make a sale.
I agree with some of your points. I myself am guilty of using random plastics like storage totes. I've also used PVC. PVC is probably the one I am most concerned about. PVC has been nicknamed poison pipe for plants and humans. That could also be agenda based.

Its hard to really say what exactly is safe and isn't. Like you said, if the plants don't contain the toxin at the point of consumption, it shouldn't be entering your body. On the other hand, many people close to me have fought cancer in one form or another. I think cancer is formed from bad practices with potentially toxic materials such as plastic.

There is really no telling what we have gotten ourselves into.

As far as organics are concerned, it is just plain better for the environment and the other life on this planet. I've read that using chemical fertilizer or herbicide in organic soil kills all the organic elements of the soil. I've also read it takes many years to fully recover, which I COULD understand because building a useful organic compost is not exactly, a short task. I'm not denying these same claims could be agenda based, but what's the right thing to do anyway?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-29-2011, 03:02 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello HPE21,
I'm not sure why PVC is of a concern to you? That's the best option that I can think of (of cores there are many types, depending on use ), but PVC is used to irrigate farms. If you have a soil garden using a in ground sprinkler system (like for your lawn), that's what you are watering it with now and have been for decades. PVC is used in many household pluming situations as well, including both hot and cold drinking water supply's. That's why all the different ratings (temp and pressure). I have never smelled anything coming from any PVC tubing I have ever seen.

Quote:
PVC has been nicknamed poison pipe for plants and humans. That could also be agenda based.
I would be happy to look at any creditable info you may have. But I don't just believe everything I read without digging deeper when I'm not sure about the source. First question I would have is why is the information (if creditable) not known by any authority that regulate food, like the food and drug administration (FDC) etc.? I know the wheels of the government are slow, but PVC has been around for how many years? And nothing gets the OK for use without extensive testing.

Everything is toxic if not in moderation. Do you fear walking in the sun? Yet skin cancer is typically caused by too much sun exposure over years. But that doesn't make me afraid to go outside on a sunny day. I just know when I should get some shade.

Quote:
I've read that using chemical fertilizer or herbicide in organic soil kills all the organic elements of the soil. I've also read it takes many years to fully recover, which I COULD understand because building a useful organic compost is not exactly, a short task.
Although I don't feel that the produce is any better for you using organic methods, I totally agree that it's beneficial for the environment. Especially when it's practiced on a large scale. Like a large soil farm, or many small ones. That's why I would want to support them by buying the produce at the stores, but I just don't have the money to spent twice the price for the same thing. Aside from that I don't see much point.

This falls in the category of DON'T DO THIS AT HOME. But lets say that everything you use is 100% safe (for the sake of argument), you are even using the best organic nutrients that money can buy on the market. Now with the idea that you are what you eat (the typical thought behind chemical leaching arguments), would you ever consider drinking a glass of your nutrient solution? I wouldn't either, (AND NOBODY SHOULD), but that's what your plants are drinking. So why wouldn't you worry about that? That's what plants have been being nourished with for millions of years. They know what they want to drink, and they can filter toxin's, just like the human body. But again everything can reach toxic levels if not in moderation. And the human race (as well as animals) have been eating that as long as they have been alive. Just my opinion.

P.S. Just a correction, the 5000 tomato plants mentioned before was actually about 16,000 plants (if it makes a difference). Also sorry to hear that you lost friends to cancer HPE21.

__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-30-2011 at 06:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
food grade plastic, hydroponic plant growth, hydroponic vegetables, hydroponics, hydroponics system

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.