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

  1. When I was young (I'm nearly 70 now) people didn't use a lot of plastic. Milk and other fluids came in glass bottles, canned foods (vegetables, fruit, jams, sauces, etc.) came in glass jars, groceries were packed into paper bags, garbage was put into said paper bags and into a metal garbage can, houses didn't have a lot of carpet, no one had a cell phone or computer, very few people had more than one television or radio in the house, no one walked around with a water bottle in hand, most people bathed once a week and showers in homes weren't common (we actually shared bath water)… and the sun wasn't something to fear. As the decades go by, the use of electronics increases and along with it, the use of plastics.
    I don't think that anyone is willing to give up everything that they now have… not only ordinary people, but businesses, industries, and the leaders of the world. Our lives have been extended because of the innovations that have happened over the last century in every aspect of living. Some things could revert and we wouldn't mind, but not everything because that would be more harmful than keeping it. I'm thinking of things in places like medicine and science that now make life better for many, many people.
    If, instead of tossing televisions, computers, cell phones, etc. into the dump/garbage, people actually made an effort to use them as long as possible before they gave up (and handed them in to a proper recycling place after), that would save a LOT. We have 'rescued' many computers, televisions, and printers from our local dump and they seldom have anything 'wrong' with them… other than that they aren't the latest and greatest.
    As consumers, humans have allowed the electronics industry to shorten the life of products and make them disposable… so we toss out the microwave, coffee maker, etc. and replace it because it's made to break shortly after the 1 year warranty expires. Perhaps this is where we should be protesting.

  2. Forget about plastic straws! STOP WASTING FOOD! 40% of the food grown here in America goes straight to the garbage dump just because it is dented, bruised, blemished or just because it is no longer "fresh"! This is just insanity!

  3. Firstly, it's great if you want to start introducing reusable products to your life but also we need to be pressuring companies to reduce their waste rather than pressuring other people to change their life. Secondly, that food wrap is really expensive but you can make your own at home! There's a medieval technique to do it with cotton and beeswax so if you have old bed sheets that maybe are ripped then you can reuse the cloth to make food wraps.

  4. If somebody made a video from Mike listening to others clips, it would be the most uninteresting video ever.

    Seriously, look at his face when Ben, James and Jamie are talking. He looks like a child that's being yelled at by his mother.

  5. 12:08 because we used to use straw and then throw it away, wear as something to clean the dishes you didn't throw it away after using the dishes once, so that isn't quite as urgent as the straw thing

  6. Mike towards the end saying everything I've been thinking. Thank you so much for making this video and spreading awareness to your audience 🙏
    It's about everyone making an effort with what time and money and practicality everyone has to make individual change. Right now the biggest issue with zero waste vegan lifestyles is the class barrier that comes from everything being so expensive because there isn't enough demand. We need to actively find and use the best and most local alternatives until there's enough of a market for products like this that it can become cheap and accessible for everyday consumers. We need to make a serious effort as a planet to make our governments and companies listen to the fact that we want to change! We're willing to change! Buying concentrated washing up liquid and local wonky veg boxes and posting the packaging back to local manufacturers for reuse. I'm a student and im living a much more eco and healthy life than I did with my parents. Change is possible, we just have to do what we can!

  7. They talk about replacing current single use plastic items with single use biodegradable, but they miss the point.
    The term "plastic" is bad, but the term "single use" is bad too! None of us needs straws, unless you have some sort of disfunction!
    We should talk about replacing, but we should also talk about reducing!
    It doesn't makes sense if you don't use plastic straws but still trow away biodegradable straws in the trash, it's still energy that you need to spend to end the life cycle of an item u used once.

  8. The problem with a lot of the veggie plastics is that they are only comparable in industrial settings. That means you can’t just toss it in your backyard bin. They are also resource intensive to make. The bigger solution is to try and use fewer disposable products.

  9. Cling film can’t even be recycled, which a lot of people don’t know. I’ve been using beeswax wrap for the few things you really do need something flexible for, like chilling dough in the fridge. I am so happy you made a video like this, there is so little happening at the intersection of proper foodies and environmentally conscious food!

  10. Gloves: Already use a glove that's not made out of plastic and the difference is minimal. With the low cost, definitely a product worth buying.
    Straws: Don't use them, and as James pointed out, can't really do anything about straws in a bar or a cafe.
    Utensils: Kind of same as the straws, don't use plastic utensils at home and can't do anything about takeaways or popup restaurants that do.
    Clingfilm: Substitute is way too expensive, also I feel that the way it comes loses out on utility of a roll of cling film. But there are other ways to store things (e.g. air tight glass jars)
    Brush: Would need to see a side-by-side performance test. If there's little or no difference, and it doesn't fall apart quicker than a plastic brush, it would be a good investment. Though the wood-like handle looks very posh, I would have walked past that in a store thinking it's an expensive hipster product.

    I think that these products have the same issue as meat-alternatives: They try to sell on ethics, and a lot of them fail to be cost effective. People who are wiling to pay more for a more ethical product are people who can afford it, but that's not really a big market. The commercial industries and the poor people who all prioritize cost to an extreme is where the biggest change could be made.

  11. All these options are so much better. A good quality straw won't taste metallic and they often come with a small brush to clean them effectively. You can make the beeswax wraps yourself, use old Tupperware boxes or Wash old jar glasses too to store goods in. There are also online shops where you can purchase crochet wash clothes. I have had all my stuff well over a year and it's still in good condition. The initial cost has outweighed its self. People moan about the planet but are not willing to do anything that helps which inconviences them the smallest amount. Hopefully this might encourage some more people to make positive changes. Great video 👍🏻

  12. My biggest concern is actually styrofoam cups and takeout boxes you can recycle most plastic but you can't recycle styrofoam

  13. I recently saw an article online about Vietnamese supermarkets replacing plastic wrappers in the fruit and veg section with banana leaves. That sounds reasonable.

  14. The other issue is municipalities that are still using old garbage system (all the trash ends up in one bin).

    I live in Canada and a lot of Capital Cities have seen a better garbage system with trash, compostable, and recycle being separated. But not in the smaller cities.

  15. It would be great for you guys to continue this conversation with your fans through your videos. I try to reduce my plastic waste but I find there are certain things its just not possible with within a reasonable price.

    That brush though looks like a good idea.

  16. Love this video. I've seen the reusable cooking film and it's good to see an honest reaction about them. Preach Mike…… sooo on point. I use the Japanese Tawashi scrub brushes. I love them. Small ways to become eco conscious.

  17. Are we going to be missing out on the avocados that could be grown that aren't now being planted?
    -Illuminati Confirmed!

  18. Elimination of plastic nets. We need nets of hemp, as an example. Please note that lost fishing gear has a significant impact on ocean plastics.

  19. Hey! Amazing video this is, love that you are addressing the sustainability problem! And as Mike says, we ARE the ones that can make the change!!!
    One little remark though, the "compostable" products actually take much longer than your average spring onion greens, so they are becoming a problem in the compostsble waste industry. So, until that logistic issue is solved, I'd say use other alternatives or do not throw them away together with the compostsble waste!

  20. I love this suject.. we recycle and compost in our house.. can you give the web sites so we could purchase these products.. I think straws and plastic utensils are what we need to find alternatives for.. keep up the great work guys and please more gadget videos

  21. The policy makers are not, as a general rule, the same people as the product makers. World changing through what you buy, is, in my opinion, the right way to go.

  22. Why is a bristle brush innovative? We use those all the time in Germany. Is it the coconut fibre? The root fibre we often use does also not go bad..

  23. Mike's speech at the end: yes! A drop in a bucket, over time, can become a flood and it starts with a few people making small actions locally in the hopes of global change.

  24. OMG Ben is absolutely brilliantly sassy in this episode! "Stop sucking and start sipping!" Mike's look at the camera and Ben's sassy stare that said he knew exactly what he said and did it on purpose. I love it!

  25. "There a seven billion people in this world", that's true but half of them are living below the poverty line and a third more are barely over it. So no 7 billion people are not causing an excess in plastic usage. It's mainly developed nations ( first world),the others are doing what they can to survive.

  26. I love the idea of composting straws but they need to adjust their prices. $2 more per box of 100 straws. If it were $1 more I would have no issues with buying it. That said I am using a metal straw now but after this video worried about continuing to use it. 🙁 My son used a lot of plastic straws growing up but I didn't throw them away. I actually cleaned and saved them for use in my art studio. They come in handy for many different things including use in the art as part of the materials due to the wonderful colors. – Heidi

  27. The thing that always really annoys me is the amount of plastic cups, plates, cutlery etc being used at music events and festivals. Also considering the fact that most festival goers are the same people that tend to care a lot about the environment. Why don’t festival organisers implement a policy banning food stalls of using plastic?

  28. Wow Mike so profound! Vote Mike 2020! 😂 I honestly liked the brush replacement for dishes, I’ve always use the plastic ikea ones so happy to look for a bio alternative!

  29. That little speech of Mike's towards the end of the video really hit close to home. One step at a time, we as a community are able to make a change (involving both environmental and social issues), it's a matter of patience and resilience tbh. Really interesting theme today, I'll do my research and see what little changes I can implement here. Cheers from Chile! Hopefully I can make it til the end of the year haha

  30. i use bees wax wrap all the time and i love it!!! you can get them for quite cheap from places like etsy where u get like 3 in a pack and they come in different sizes. i use them for covering up food, wapping sandwiches, basically anything i would have used cling film for!!

  31. As anyone with a food handlers permit knows, single use gloves are a big deal. The gloves are supposed to be replaced when switching task and this produces a lot of non recyclable waste. Some cross contamination could be dangerous and a simple hand wash won’t remove all harmful pathogens that are on or around food items.

    Straws can be removed from common use, but single use gloves are crucial for any food service under health code. Please inform your superiors to these or other alternative gloves.

  32. GO MIKE! Almost got a lump in my throat there at the end. Well done guys doing your bit to add to the growing tide of care for the environment! 👏👏👏
    Leave it to Ebbers to take cleaning metal straws from tedious to pornographic. 🙈
    FYI now I'm looking up that eco coconut brush thing and the avocado straws on Amazon. WELL DONE.

  33. "We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." – Anne-Marie Bonneau

  34. None of this makes it a bit of difference consider China's Unapologetic pollution the whole plastic straw thing is it joke one millionth of 1% of the pollution

  35. Mike, you're really on this! I have been trying to cut down on single use products and bees wrap has been one of my favorites. It's a bit pricey to buy, but you can make your own with cotton, beeswax pellets, and an oven!
    I know that things aren't always "convenient" and the replacement for plastic might not work as well. However take a moment to think about the selfishness that lies behind you not wanting to expend a little more effort and make a decision that helps the global ecosystem and future generations. Your easy throw away item will take up space in a landfill or the ocean, possibly killing endangered species for THOUSANDS of years.

  36. I’ve tried beeswax wraps but I HATE the stickiness to it, and it just never feels completely clean. So I generally will try to use plastic takeout containers to store leftovers (yes, it’s plastic but if it’s reusable it’s still better than nothing… my husband hates that I keep plastic takeout containers but I refuse to toss them after one use!), thus eliminating the need for single-use plastic wrap. I’ve yet to take the plunge but I’ve seen silicone wraps that seem intriguing… I know there’s some debate around silicone as well, but again – if it’s reusable for long enough, it’ll still be better than non-biodegradable plastic wrap. Would love to see some of these bioplastic companies produce something disposable to replace plastic wrap though.

    As far as straws go, I try to avoid using them but sometimes I want one or am drinking something on the go, or my teeth are a bit sensitive that day and I just can’t have ice-cold liquid hitting them as I sip from a cup. I agree with the downsides of metal straws that the boys point out here, but I hadn’t seen glass straws yet and might have to look into those.

    Overall I think that these are good steps in the right direction, but in my opinion we need to be focusing on volume. Yes it’s good to have a biodegradable dish brush, but in the end how often are you throwing those away? Whereas if you’re stopping at fast food restaurants several times a week, those cups (most of which aren’t recyclable where I live) and containers really add up. Some places are using paper bags and compostable containers which is good, but there are still plenty out there who use Styrofoam. I think there needs to be a bigger push to change the takeout industry (and the new meal kit delivery industry – many of them use a horrifying amount of plastic packaging), because at the end of the day for many households that’s where far more of their plastic waste is coming from, rather than some cling film or a dish brush here or there.

  37. So celery is on the allergen list, if gloves are made with composed parts of celery, I wonder if that would carry over via cross contamination? 🤔

  38. FYI you can use the wax wrap in almost anything: in left over cut fruits, meals and covering raising breads. Anything that goes in the fridge can be covered with it. Leafy greens last for up to a week when you use it! yeay ! 7 day fresh arugula

  39. I try to look for alternatives for single use items. Since having my baby, this is especially pertinent, because there are so many single use items with babies. So, I make my own baby food (the packaging!), use cloth diapers, and cloth nursing pads. I also use wool dryer balls instead of sheets.

  40. If you do your research, biodegrable plastics are often as bad if not worse for the environment. You guys should do a youtube collab with a science channel!

  41. Come on guys, so boring, have you stopped trying? You guys are really going down hill since you actually stopped cooking together. Stop trying to pretend this is actually interesting. You're terribly smug faces don't make it more watchable either. Poor James looks incredibly bored and Jamie's "I'm a meat eater so I don't understand environmentalism" face isn't made any better by the occasional hilarious joke…. "not lasagna sheets" But I just love Mike's regular pseudo-aggressive lectures.

  42. What I HATE about paper straws is that they become mush so fast when wet. And metal straws taste vile. Next stop: bamboo. But taste and store-ability (for example with the wax wrap) is something I’m not willing to compromise on

  43. It isn’t true that compostable plastics can be thrown out with your food waste. Some (not all) thin films can be put on your compost heap, but the knives and forks cannot be disposed of like that. They need to be industrially composted at a commercial facility otherwise they will not break down. It is true that they are made from better materials, but they will still cause the same issues if they make their way into the oceans.

  44. We need to stop perpetuating the myth that plastic waste is the fault of individual consumers. Plastic straws are not "the enemy". They account for less than a half of a tenth of one percent of plastic waste. The plurality of plastic waste is from corporations. They are ruining the planet. And reusable plastic straws are medical equipment. People with any number of disabilities need them, and because of this horribly uninformed trend of vilifying plastic straws, disabled people are being completely thrown under the bus. Not one of the alternatives to plastic straws are a viable replacement for plastic straws, and plastic straws are statistical white noise in plastic waste. Unregulated capitalism and industry is the source of pollution and plastic waste. Things like plastic fishing nets from massive fishing industries account for more than every other piece of consumer plastic waste combined. These kinds of things are a non-solution and a pat on the back. These accomplish nothing, and cause actual harm and further stigmatization against disabled people that rely on these kinds of products.

  45. Priorities for me have been recycling probably. When shopping buying things that have recyclable packaging. And supporting brands that are doing good things

  46. Solid message at the end. I appreciate the perspective of 7 billion all making a small change can be a big difference. Verse I am 1 in 7,000,000,000 so what I do doesn't matter.

  47. Ooooh im interested in the glove alternatives as i work in a mainstream fast food company wonder if they'd change if it was cheap

  48. Couldn't take my eyes off Mike's hair. 😉

    As for the plastics thing, Jamie had the right of it. If it's expensive and requires special treatment like that dumb bread wrapper then it's never going to fly. The PLA cutlery on the other hand is an excellent idea. I've used PLA in 3D printing and it's legitimately very good for this sort of use.

  49. A lot of disabled people need a bendy straw. Something like 80% of ocean plastics are from fishing gear. Environmental efforts need to focus on industrial polluters, but don't because they have lobbyists.

  50. You guys should do a video on how to process these bioplastics so that they are ready for compost. Most plastic replacements aren't just huck and go the way the sound like they should be.

  51. Also, as someone who works in the food industry, we’ve cut out most of our single use plastic use. The only exception being clingfilm. Clingfilm is indeed highly wasteful, but it’s also a massive part of hygiene and prevention of foreign bodies reaching the food whilst being in storage. It’s frustrating as hell that we have to use it, but regulations and red tape currently wouldn’t have any of it using that wax stuff in commercial environments. Get our thinking hats on peeps! Clingfilm is the target!

  52. You can make this wax wrap yourself. Buy organic cotton and some bees wax (the one that you can grate like a cheese). Spread the cotton, shave some bees wax, put it betweet two sheets of baking paper and iron it on low-ish heat. The wax will get into cotton. Ad more wax if you think it's not enought. But dont over do it. The wrap wax can't be totally stiff couse it will start to crack

  53. I'd like to know what we can see on an industrial scale to help reduce or remove plastic from commercial industries. Ie. One use plastic containers from take aways, grocery store product packaging, etc.

    This seems to be where I see a huge plastic problem, but then we have to look at the manufacturer's choices and ask are they willing to change. For them it will all come down to cost and profits.

  54. Thank you for recognizing that some people need a straw because of mobility issues!
    The plastic alternative movement is great until it starts hurting those who need it because of disabilities. I think Jessica Kellgren-Fozard covered the topic of plastic versus alternative straws very well.

  55. The biggest thing on all of these is durability. Whatever we’re replacing, the new thing has to be able to last as long

    That’s why everyone hates paper straws. Unless you’re shotgunning you’re drinks through a straw, they don’t hold up.

  56. Lol Ben was in fine form today!- I feel another Benuendo video coming on!

    Also, as an Aussie, should I feel insulted re: the “shoe brush” thing!?🤔😏

  57. When you make changes to eco-frendly items, do so gradually and think it through. Will this really benefit you. Is it monetarily sustainable for repurchasing. Is it something you really need or can you use something else. Questions like this.
    Tried the beeswax cover and, after so long, the wax starts to flake off into the food. Unappetizing to say the least. Then I tried silicon stretch covers and stayed with them. Had them for a number of years and they're still going strong. I put the largest one over food in the microwave to prevent spatters.

    Reusable storage bags, with the zip tops, have recently been developed. They're a tad expensive for an initial buy but they will last a very long time so your investment will be recouped. They work great and are easy to clean.
    Silicon containers are great but they do have a tendency of absorbing odors.
    In place of conventional kitchen sponges, I've been using a biodegradable cellulose sponge cloth. The one I'm using has lasted 6 months and still looks good and cleans up messes like it did when brand new. I stick it in the dishwasher for a good clean. It has almost completely stopped paper towel usage in my house. I go through, maybe, 2 rolls of paper towels a year since they are used for only the grimiest of messes.

    On the non-kitchen front, I purchased a non-electric bidet. that installs under the toilet seat, and that has reduced toilet paper usage by around 75%. I recouped the cost in less than a year. Used cloth pads and menstrual cups too.
    I'm always on the lookout for eco-friendly items to replace those that aren't eco-friendly. When the conventional items run out, or stop working, I want to know what's available.

    Not too long ago I came acros a website, called Grove Collaborative, and have been purchasing eco-friendly items from there. I'm not affiliated but they have great eco-products at very good prices. It's a good way to familiarize yourself with what's out there.

  58. 12:55 PREACH MIKE!!!! 😄(that's a compliment by the way)
    I'd get the straws from avo pips and the beez wax clingfilm. And the Australian scourer.
    What i'd like a solution for is the platics used for our lunch time meals at supermarkets. What if there was a deli type where customers could bring their lunchboxes to be filled.
    Great awareness from a Great Group of Mates!

  59. I personally like the plastic gloves and straws. They do cost a fair bit more than the plastic products, but they also double as garbage disposal. With some work, this could be done to cut down costs for the average consumer (like maybe give the companies that make these rebates and tax cuts by the government to have them lower the costs), which is the main barrier to eliminating single-use plastics.

    The bread wrap though just sounds like five kinds of stupid to me. I wonder if it's possible for the people who made the gloves to also make clingfilm with a wax coating or something.

  60. "Biodegradable" plastic do the same damage to nature, for an insane amount of time. With the added bonus of being left in nature like an half eaten apple.

  61. 🙌🙌🙌 thank you guys so much for making this video! Love seeing people that have an audience/influence have these crucial conversations. Also appreciate the increase in vegan recipes (meat consumption is a huge environmental issue). Would love to see more content like this 😁

  62. Isnt the benefit of some of these items negated by the import of the raw materials? We'll never be able to commercially produce coconuts in the UK so anything we make with coconut fibres such as the scrubbing brush comes with a built in eco-burden.

  63. There is a difference: the plastic straw youa re going to use once and then throw away, possibly even several in one evening. The plastic brush you are gonna use hundreds, maybe even thousand, of times before it needs replacing.

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