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Apr. 30th, 2007 @ 05:45 am Pyrex sucks now
Apparently at some point, without really telling consumers, Pyrex changed over to regular soda-lime glass. This is the stuff that really really cheap glass products are made of, it used to be made of labratory grade Borosilicate glass. This allowed it to be heated to high temperatures by bunsen burners, it eventually migrated into the kitchen.

Yet what does their website say, despite it being made out of really cheap ass glass?

"PYREX® glassware products can go directly from refrigerator or freezer to a microwave, convection, or preheated conventional oven."


Why am I babbling about this at 5:34am PST? Well, tyrc was doing a cookie round like before and was melting some butter. She had the pyrex piece filled with butter looking and talking to me over the sink. It did not touch anything and suddenly simply exploded, shattering into many many pieces. Multiple large chunks, but what was in her hand was nearly sandlike. It happened so fast and so surreal like it felt like a jumpcut from a really low budget movie. One second pyrex, another second a hand full of glass grits.


Apparently this is a common phenomenon now and it seems relatively luck that the kitchen itself and she herself were undamaged due to the insane forces of these explosions. I am pretty sure had there not been borders around the glass would have been thrown well over ten to fifteen feet in either direction if not more. Pyrex USED to be able to be heated on a burner, however they changed the glass type and have not really educated the consumer that the 'Pyrex' they buy now functions NOTHING like the 'Pyrex' from decades ago.

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Pathiaicon
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
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Where do you get lab grade cup measures nowadays? We.. have one to replace, after all. >.@!
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From:prickvixen
Date:April 30th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but if you order large amounts of lab glass, Homeland Security is liable to think you're a terrorist or drug baron.
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From:prickvixen
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Well, except that the agents are people who just live to abuse and beat up smart guys like yourself, and who think 'chatting' is something faggots do, and that only guilty people hide behind 'rights.'
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From:prickvixen
Date:April 30th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
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*smile* Good for you.
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
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This is so your essential character. We love you here for it. <3
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From:wolffit
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
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I had this happen to me about 5-6 years ago, making cornbread...
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From:kereminde
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
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Pathia, Tyrc . . . I have to ask, were you using it on the stovetop? Because I remember numerous people telling me often, repetively, at home and in the laboratory for Chem . . .

"Don't put this glass directly in the flame. Don't heat it like that, or it will explode." One teacher even SHOWED it to us, taking a tube with tongs and tossing it into an icewater bath.

All my Pyrex and Corningware says "not for stovetop use". I checked upon reading the stories. I still use the Pyrex cup to melt butter in the microwave, which is probably better; if it explodes it's not going anywhere (I hope).

But this sort of story still reinforces my decision to stick to my common sense "never ever ever cool or heat something rapidly unless it's meant to be" rule. Like the kabob spears my parents have.
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From:pathia
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
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Pyrex was stovetop usable for decades and decades, then they suddenly changed it with almost no warning and no consumer education as to this change.

The entire POINT of yrex being Pyrex was that it COULD be used stovetop.

Grandma has Pyrex from decades past that has been stovecooked almost daily for the entire time since and has never even cracked.
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From:kereminde
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
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. . . no warning?

I do swear, I picked up two sets of Pyrex baking dishes, and they CAME with a warning. They have "NO STOVETOP" on them.
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
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There's also a health reason for it, too. I was warming butter, so all I needed was a low heat over the small burner, nothing boiling hot. In fact, you really don't want to overheat butter or any such fats to begin with, but that's not even the point. The Microwave heats things as well, but in doing so it denatures the nutritional elements of whatever it heats.

Such data is controversial only in that its harmful to microwave manufacturers and those products made for microwave use, and thus becomes a target for legal scrutiny as interfering with business profitability.

In West Germany, scientists found that, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, and many compounds created in the denaturing were questionable. On the other side of the line, Soviet scientists came to the same conclusion, to such an extent that they banned its use as harmful - not that we should trust them blindly on this, I suppose!

Anyhow, if you look for specific reports, you can find ready information such as a Spanish study in 2003 that discovered a 97% reduction in flavonoids (non-essential cancer reducing chemicals), as opposed to 47% for, say, pressure cooking. Cooking food does destroy some vitamins all around, but its microwaves are remarkably effective at it. That's why, stovetop for my organic butter, so I can actually have some of the Vitamin E in it thats listed on its ingredients!
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
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Duration does matter. But I'm under the impression that the radiation itself does a good job of denaturing above and beyond the heat.
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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I use it for heating water before I put my tea into it. Nothing more.

.. Cooking well is not so hard, because the effort is so worthwhile, I find..
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From:kereminde
Date:April 30th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)

Off-topic, yes.

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There's stuff to watch on TV for me, I'm addicted to a couple shows which I mostly record and watch . . . the only "live" show which I must catch live at this time is non-fictional and on Discovery: "Mythbusters".

For fictional, well, Heroes and Lost both grabbed me, but beyond that it's largely animation (which for most of it I can get in other mediums than off TV).
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From:kereminde
Date:April 30th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Off-topic, yes.

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. . . yeah. Internet, and a friend, is how I saw Lost.

Too bad the majority commercials anymore have drifted away from being informative and more towards the "get your attention with gimmicks" style. I think I heard it called viral marketing.
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From:kereminde
Date:April 30th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Off-topic, yes.

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Yeah, that hurts, may I not do that again?
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From:vond
Date:April 30th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
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However microwaving vegetables in a small amount of water for just enough time to steam them retains many more nutrients than boiling them. It's not the microwave radiation that's the problem, it's the duration and method of cooking applied.

Butter doesn't have any nutrients anyway, so there's not much to lose :P
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From:vond
Date:April 30th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Here's a good reference: http://www.slashfood.com/2006/03/01/in-defense-of-microwaved-broccoli/

Flavonoids are water-soluble, the water washed them away, not the microwaves.
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
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The 3rd comment down exemplifies some of the arguments, though..

Microwaving changes the structure of food and produces radiolytic by-products, new molecules that don't occur in nature. Concern about such changes has led to research and a report in the Lancet in 1989 referred to the conversion of trans amino acids into non-nutritious forms in baby formula. One amino acid, L-proline, was converted into a form that harms the nervous system and kidneys.

A Swiss clinical study found that people who had eaten microwaved food showed a decrease in the blood level of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the cells. White blood cell counts also decreased, reducing immune function. When this research was published in 1993 the Swiss electrical products dealers obtained a gagging order on the scientists who did the research. The scientists appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in 1998 and the gag was lifted.


----

I need to do more research before I claim the above as true, but it could be interesting to explore!
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From:tyrc
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Oh, it depends on from where the butter is acquired..

The nutritional content of raw milk is markedly different than that of pasteurized milk. Taking that a step further, the nutritional content varies according to what the cows were being fed. If it was nutritionally void, like Corn, then the resulting milk is no better, lacking in Omega-3 and nutrients. If they're just "organic", that could mean pointless organic Soy Meal, which helps not at all. If the cow was grazing, however, the content is greatly improved when it comes to Omega-3, and other nutrients, like E, B-6, B-12, A, D, etc. The difference is even visual, in terms of the colour - a pale white versus darker yellow, even orange hues, by the time its made into butter.

This follows through to butter, as well. We managed to get grass-fed butter, and it would be quite a waste to destroy too much of its nutritional value - so low temperature stovetop cooking seemed the way to go. :)
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From:postrodent
Date:May 1st, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
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Well, this sucks. I microwave about 90% of my food. Taking your words seriously will entail a major lifestyle change for me, and does more to erode my faith in technology than the lack of flying cars, household robots or our so-called space program. :>

More relevantly to the original comment, I am pleased that neither you nor Pathia had to dig glass shrapnel out of your bodies, and I'll pass this on to the people in our house who actually cook.


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From:cuprohastes
Date:April 30th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
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What is it with companies? Why do they suddenly start making utter crap? Do they honestly have a big board meeting and say "Well, if we move to Soda Glass, it's 30% cheaper, but we'll have an 8000% increase in our products exploding and potentially flinging glass into people's eyes, thus turning our brand into crap"
I have to assume they do and the Board members look, vote themselves $20,000,000 severance packages and then all quit 8 months later to go work for some other lucky company.
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From:prickvixen
Date:April 30th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
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This analysis is more or less accurate.
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From:mach
Date:April 30th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
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It's sadly simple. The company figures the cost associated with any expected lawsuits and the cost savings of using the cheaper materials. the one that wins is what they do.

Ford is famous for this process: They make a car. Some parts outlast others in the car. They make those parts that outlasted the car cheaper until they last about the same time as the car.

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From:leslie_r
Date:April 30th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
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Because the shareholders probably put such bastards in the driver's seat in the first place.

That's the big problem with the current corporate paradigm. You make more money, a LOT More Money, by buying low and selling high than by buying into a quality company and leeching off the dividends. This motivates the shareholders to vote for strategies that'll raise the stock price the highest ammount in the shortest time and who cares how it'll affect the brand in the long-run, by then they'll have all sold-off their shares.
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From:momentrabbit
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
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I'm pleased to see that my favourite non-metric topological manifold continues to be manufactured in a borosilicate-based beverage container format.

Because "Science Coffee Should be Relatively Safe to Drink"<tm>.
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From:doodlesthegreat
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
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Guess I'll be hitting garage sales for old Pyrex now...
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From:leslie_r
Date:April 30th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
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That, and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the retail KING now. If you're not doing buisness with Wal-Mart, you're just not doing buisness. But, Wal-Mart insists on the lowest prices on Everything, or they'll just find cheeper alternative to your brand and they're such a major player in retail that this can Seriously Hurt a company.
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From:turbinerocks
Date:April 30th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Holy what the fuck. o_o