Chefs vs Normals: Reviewing Plastic Alternative Food Products

100 thoughts on “Chefs vs Normals: Reviewing Plastic Alternative Food Products

  • A lot of people have great comments and I won’t repeat them. My thought: (which may have also been commented where I didn’t see it; if so, apologies:) Sometimes, when considering the distance something travels, people might say – well this brush comes from Australia so it’s a no, but then they go and buy mandarins from Peru. Or the plastic brush they might buy instead actually comes from China. I think it’s important to consider everything within the context of your whole life—as much as possible, at least.

  • How much damage to the environment does shipping these items cause? Sounds like great ideas but it's a two steps forward three steps back sort of thing unless they're manufactured near you.

  • Really love that you guys are talking about this topic. Would really be interested in seeing sustainable recipes or video series or even a zero waste battle. Love your work!

  • Loved the video! It was really interesting to see some of the alternatives that are being produced. You didn't test the brush on actual dirty dishes, though 🙁 I wanted to know how well it actually scrubbed!

  • Can we please stop feeding into this whole "Plastic straws are the enemy." bullshit? Plastic straws are one of the smallest offenders out there, there are thousands of other things in the world and hundreds in the food industry that are worse for the environment and no one is even talking about them.

  • I think the reason straws have become a conversation over scrub brushes is their disposable, single-use nature. A brush can last a long time, so it seems like less of a problem. That said, the next time I need to buy a new one, I'm going to be look for ways to recycle the old ones AND a biodegradable option.

  • I this is an extremely interesting and important discussion, very good you made a video on it! About the wrap: I think it's wrong to say that because you couldn't use it on five saladbowls, it's not useful. Think of the plastic bags people use every day to carry lunch in, or the small, single piece of onion you want to cover up in your fridge. The small pieces of plastic you use every day is a lot when it happens over a year, and wraps like tis might help to reduce that.

  • I love using my beewax wraps. I use them to store food in the fridge, rising dough and even for packaging my lunch to work. It all stays fresh and I use the wraps over and over again

  • The straws if made a bit less expensive for the avacado straws would be a drastic change for america alone. The scrub brush the cost of it is a valid cost point however the point was renewable and biodegradable. So that the product is sustainable. With the wooden handle i find myself wishing it had a better eco conducive water resistant handle. But both are grand products that could lead to further conversation on the potential of making a better reliable cheap renewable product.

  • I wonder how these things are manufactured. These seem like really cool ideas, and I want to use them in a small business setting, but the industrial waste may or may not be equivalent to their traditional counterparts.

  • I first try to use items until they break past the point I cant fix them anymore, then I decide if I need to replace or just shift my way of doing things, and if I cant shift, then I buy a sustainable item.
    One of the things about cotton or paper bags is that it takes a lot more water to make them than plastic. So in some ways, one should just not buy or use single use stuff or just use it until it breaks and try to step away from consumerism in general

  • None of these products will do any good in the long run, unfortunately. The majority of plastic going into the ocean comes from countries without regulations against it. Nothing that individuals do in their personal lives will make enough of a dent to counteract what the corporations in those countries are doing. We can buy all the plastic alternatives and ban all the straws we want and we'll still watch the same level of ecological destruction. It won't change until someone finds a way to enforce proper waste disposal regulations globally.

  • Hey, I'm from India. I love your videos. But, I think you guys should visit more third world countries. There's a lot of good food, but this idea of sustainability isn't really in the agenda yet. It's a different perspective.
    Not trying to be rude. And I know Ben visited India.

  • PLA plastic has been used in the 3D printing community since day 1.
    Yes, it will break down, but not in your back yard composter. It needs municipal composting to break down properly. The back yard units don't get hot enough to accelerate the breakdown.

  • Probably my favourite episode but it could have been better if you mentioned the production impact and how long it would take to compost if put in landfill because not every place has industrial level composting needed facilities for most of the biodegradable stuff

  • If you really care about helping the environment the most impactfull thing an individual can do to help the environment is go vegan. Animagriculture is one of the biggest contributors to gas emissions, waterways pollution, water usage (uses more than crops), deforestation etc. If you really care, and really want to make an impact, go vegan.

  • I like most of these products, but especially the avocado straws, much better method and would be a suitable alternative to plastic straws – unlike the paper mulch we have now. Or… Don't use a straw at all.

  • I will not buy the washing up-brush if it entails shipping it from the other side of the planet, which would be a little pointless IMO. Other than that Id switch out all plastic for more sustainable alternatives.

  • 😅🌿 There's a looooot to cover in this conversation. And a looooot of varying opinions. Including plastic free vs zero waste, plastic free trendiness vs plastic reusable, buying secondhand vs buying into a trend, biodegradable vs compostable and backyard compostable vs industrial compostable… and it goes on. 😅 Honestly, I admire any efforts people make. It's not easy!

    And as far as food, there are those who shop plastic free, buying products with as little plastic as possible. It's so hard to find mayonnaise and ketchup in glass! And some people bring their own cutlery, take away containers, etc. 🥣🍴

    I'll suggest a great first step if you want to reduce your plastic waste. The reusable water bottle and coffee cup are the most popular reusables and probably the easiest first step to reducing your waste and single use plastics. Look for one that is easy to wash and sturdy.
    (more info)

  • I'd be curious how many times that wrap has to be used to actually be a benefit. Something we need to understand beyond thinking it's actually better…

  • I am generally unwilling to compromise on price, which is where things tend to get tricky. The more resources I, individually, have to spend on being a moral consumer, the more of a problem it becomes. Not only that, but the only solutions that are real solutions are the ones who don't compromise on price and functionality. The only way to get this to work is by giving me essentially the same product, but with the environmental benefit to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • I have bought or would buy everything youve shown save the cling wrap replacement. Just too expensive in comparison. I try to not use cling wrap in general these days though

  • I've been using a wax wrap for a while. It is about $17 CAD for 5 sheets from some places like Abeego.

  • I'm not willing to compromise on hygiene. It's not food related but it's an alternative to tissues.
    I didn't know people didn't properly rinse their straws. It's narrow so it would get dirty.

  • Loved the video and Mike's speech as well. This is such an important topic. A point I'd like to raise however is the fact that the products are single-use. I'd like to encourage people to consider the energy that has to go into producing an item : counting the extraction of the raw matetial, the manufacturing, the transport, the industrial composting… I would be curious whether those products are actually any better for the environment. We all need to do an effort to choose reusable products for as many products as possible. Of course, it is better to all make small efforts and change than for a few people to go all out, so no need to do everything perfectly. But, like Mike said, it is important to educate yourself to be able to make better choices, and that include thinking about the whole lifecycle of products.

  • So glad you mentioned the fact that some people need to use (plastic) straws etc. because of mobility issues/disabilities/chronic illnesses/older people etc.! This is a really important point that’s been massively overlooked in discussions of whether XYZ thing is necessary – for many people, sure, they can forego those things, but for people will disabilities or chronic conditions etc., these are specific adaptations/accommodations that help them in daily life!

  • Next time you're doing one of these, please, PLEASE point out to people that if they already have a functional product that is not eco-friendly they *SHOULD NOT THROW IT OUT*, just to replace it with the eco-friendly version. That just leads to more waste. If you already have it, use it till it breaks. Too often do I see people replacing their old stuff just to look environmentally aware, and that's just… wrong.

  • Using cotton (especially organic) to replace something (plastic) that doesn’t currently use arable land is not a solution. The land used could be used for food. Cotton requires huge amounts of water and energy to grow and because of that and its weight it’s not a’ green’ solution. Even those cotton bags you take to the shops. Have you used them 1,000 times each yet, 10,000 times? Only if yes to the latter are you even breaking even on single use plastic bags!! Love things like those straws though that use actual waste.

  • You can actually make those wax wraps yourself really easily. There are loads of tutorials on youtube. I have a lot of fabric scraps lying around from old sewing projects but you can also use an old t-shirt. And then I just bought a beeswax candle and grated it with a cheese grinder. That way you get those wraps for a lot cheaper!

  • Mike just made my day..well done on making a stand. If we all ignore these problems and leave it to our children it's going to be maybe to late to try to fix our beautiful Mother Earth and help her heal. Justvfor the sake of a few quid. Youd spend that on a blody coffee. From an Aussie from Sydney……I applaud you Mike for voicing this. And using your social media forum to spread the word. Keep up the great work…..Sorted xoxo

  • I super appreciate that you guys do this kind of content! You’re really using your platform for the betterment of all of your watchers.

    Sustainable seafood next?

  • Truth is the alternative needs to be cheaper and do the same job. If the only way to do this is to raise the cost of plastic, then fine. Give every piece of plastic, a plastic tax. And then put that money into Eco projects.

  • I really liked this video. I especially liked that it didn't just pander to the environmental argument. I've always said exactly what Jamie did, if an alternative product doesn't function properly it's not actually an alternative. I do think we can replace most single use plastic but things like paper straws are not the answer. Everyone I know now uses three or four of them for a single drink from McDonald. There are alternatives that are biodegradable and actually work but they shouldn’t cost the earth (pun intended).

  • Great video on an important topic! It was fun to learn about some of these alternatives I had never seen before. You should sell them in the Sorted Club!

  • If you're worried about change or struggling to improve old habits, just work on a little at a time, like learning to cycle, carrying a reusable cup or having a few meat-free days a week. I like to 'challenge' myself to do things like bake without eggs (it's not as hard as it sounds!) or try out all of the different milk alternatives ground fresh at my local zero-waste shop!

    If everyone does a little bit and supports each other and spends less money on products which aren't made with ethical considerations, we can show others – whether it be neighbours, policymakers or CEOs – that markets are changing for the better!

  • About that food wrap, you can make your own with some cloth and beeswax! Don't gotta go out of your way to get vegan ingredients if you're not a vegan. Besides, beeswax is a honey byproduct. Might as well put it to good use.

  • We might as well learn to use these things while we can and not when we have to because then there are so much other shit we have to do to not burn down to the ground these products on top of it is just too much. And I know, it's already very very late.
    Help Greta help us! 😀

  • I really loved this video! Sometimes the biggest factor I have with jumping in with these is I am not sure how well they work. Getting reviews of the items or just bringing awareness to great items is so important.

  • I'm a believer in recycling the trash we already have. However, I do like the idea of the avocado straws. The biggest thing is getting them into all the fast food places because most people don't use straws at home. The gloves are great because many use them while cleaning.

  • Straws. Love those! If they could lower the costs I'm sure Restaurants, Bars, and Deli Stores; (here in N.Y we call Deli Stores Corner Stores btw), would by them up in a second! 🍸

  • 100 companies make up 70% of tbe world's pollution.

    You can make a change, but remember that multi billion dollar companies are your enemy, not yourselves.

  • The fault isnt with us for using a plastic fork. Its with the companies still making billions of them.

    It doesnt matter what we do until companies start changing. We HAVE to keep buying plastics because companies keep wrapping meat in plastic. Until that changes, nothing will change.

    Cheaper options are always covered in plastic. But i cant afford fresh and organic and neither can a large chunk of the population.

    The companies havr to change. And they are not going to until the money moves from Oil and Gas to Renewable and god knows when. that will be

  • For me, the biggest problem with most plastic alternatives is the price compared to its plastic counterpart. Simply because of my financial situation. But, when it comes to straws, which I rarely ever buy anyway, if I needed straws I would definitely consider buying the ones out of avocado stone – if they are available in a store close to me. The same goes for the vegetable cutlery. That being said, I actually own 6 cups made out of cor. I bought to have for picnics, but they also came in handy when the niece and nephew visited, as they don't break if you drop them. They're reusable and a great non-plastic option.

  • If you ever find a monthly/quarterly subscription box for gadgets or pretentious food … I would LOVE to see a review. Mostly because I can't find a good gadget/food subscription box that isn't just meal prep.

  • Probably too late to film now but a pass it on traditional thanksgiving or christmas side dishes would have been interesting.

  • On the straws if you want to go that way for those restaurant charge the customer for the service that you are providing!!

  • I live in Oregon and a few years ago stores started charging you for having to use the plastic bags they use at grocery stores. They want everyone to use the cloth reusable bags instead. The other thing about plastic spoons, forks and knives vs organic or compost friendly or what ever you want to call it is WAY more expensive than plastic. I would much rather use the compostable material utensils and or plates but I can't afford twice the price (or close to it). If they would make it a little more affordable I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the people would stop using the "poisonous" plastic version. Just a thought. Thank you. Keep up the good work guys! I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays now!! 🤗

  • I feel like we should be focusing more on items like the clingwrap, gloves, and other items instead of being so obsessed with straws. The main components of ocean waste are not straws, they're plastic bags, food wrappings, bottles, and caps.

  • Thank you Ben for mentioning those of us with hand problems. Adding straw shaming to the issues we have sucks, there's already enough adversity for us to deal with. They need to come out with an alternative to the flexy straw.

  • Avocados are horrible for the environment; they're leading to the same sort of deforestation and monoculture growths that beef has led to; switching from plastic straws to avocado pit straws is like murdering someone with a baseball bat instead of a knife.

  • Recommend using glass straws. Totally safe, easy to clean and you can see if they're clean and we've not had one break on us yet.

  • I've replaced cling film for covering bowls with silicone stretch lids, or I transfer into tupperware or pyrex, for stuff that will be reheated which have lids already.

    For everything else I use aluminium foil, which gets recycled.

  • Wow, this might be my favorite video from you guys yet. Not only was it hilarious (literally too many good bits to go back and transcribe for a comment) but I learned a ton and it got me thinking, which is incredible. I love how Mike said at the end that you guys should be talking about these things, because he's so right, but you do it in such an entertaining way and one that gives people options. I like what Ben said about the items we use on a much more daily basis not even being considered. I just go out and buy a new pack of sponges every time I run out, and I've never though to research a better option to help due my part. Thank you guys for this video; it was super inspiring to me and really got me thinking about what I can change in my personal life.

  • My thoughts on the plastic straw debate:
    Don't use a straw. No need for metal straws, paper straws, etc. Just drink like a normal person. Use a plastic spoon.

  • How about all the single use plastic we buy during our weekly food shop. Aka the food wrapping, bread bags, labels etc etc.

    Also I had never even thought about the plastic things we use every day for washing up. Now I’m looking around my flat and judging everything.

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