Parchment paper, also known as “baking paper,” is the most popular product used in kitchens worldwide. In fact, the Parchment paper industry’s worth is estimated to be over $960 million.
But have you ever wondered if parchment paper is safe? Could their chemicals leach into food?
What is Parchment Paper
Parchment paper refers to paper that has gone through the parchment process. Most commercially produced parchment paper is treated with silicone in order to make it more durable and oil-resistant.
This type of paper is heat resistant and non-stick due to its silicone coating.
Reasons to Avoid Cooking with Parchment Paper
Bleached with Dioxin
Bleached parchment paper has a toxic chemical called dioxin which can be released when heated. It’s been linked to various reproductive and developmental diseases. When this toxic chemical gets released into our food, it can transfer to the fatty tissues in the body and attach to them for as long as 7-11 years
Coated with Silicone
Silicone cookware is made from a combination of silicon combined with carbon and/or oxygen to create a rubber-like substance. Even though silicone cookware has higher heat resistance than plastic, it is still made with synthetic rubber which should not be in your food, period. Silicone bakeware can still release chemicals at cooking temperature, especially in presence of oils.
According to Scientificamerican.com, “Back in 1979 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that silicon dioxides—the basic elements in silicone cookware—were generally recognized as safe to use even in food-grade contexts”. Imagine, this study was done 10 years prior to the silicone spatula invention. Since that time “the FDA hasn’t conducted any follow-up studies to determine whether silicone can leach out of cookware and potentially contaminate food” (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-talk-silicone-tally/)
Additionally, Studies have found siloxanes leaching from silicone nipples in baby bottles and bakeware , and that siloxanes are potentially carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors
This scientific research study finds silicone gel to cause lethal cancer in rats. So, think about it, if silicone gel is linked to cancer, it can do the same if used in any other form.
What to Use Instead
I personally bake on stainless steel or clear glass baking dishes (like these) and store in glass containers!