Back in the old days, aluminum foil (aka tin foil) was used to wrap just about everything. Kids went to school with their lunch box fully packed with sandwiches wrapped in it. Pickles were wrapped in aluminum foil and so were the homemade snacks. Just about everything we carried in our lunchbox was wrapped in foil (balled up aluminum foil was a great source of entertainment).
In addition to stuffing our lunch boxes with tin foil and later throwing the aluminum balls around the lunchroom, my parents also used the product more traditionally in cooking. After the hot roast came out of the oven, covering it with foil was a perfectly acceptable way to keep it protected.
When the roast was cool enough to touch, it went into the fridge. I never remember seeing small black holes in the foil or traces of dissolved foil on the meat (ahh, the good old days).
New and Improved Aluminum Foil
I don’t know if I was living in my childhood fantasy, but I never remember my mother complaining about the aluminum foil dissolving. Nowadays I cannot use tin foil to cover foods. It appears to melt when it spends too much time in contact with
My first response was to purchase a thicker, heavier grade of aluminum foil. That didn’t work because it dissolved onto the food too. Seeing that my first line of action didn’t work, I decided to see if other folks on the internet had the same problem. Imagine my surprise when I found that aluminum foil dissolves when it comes into contact with acidic foods.
Check out these links:
- Acidic Foods in Contact with Aluminum Foil: A Cause of Parkinson’s/Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Ask A Scientist
Although my research indicates that eating food with dissolved aluminum on it is perfectly safe, I’d rather not. I’ve spent time cutting off the ‘melted’ portions of aluminum from my food. I now wait until the food is cool enough and use plastic wrap followed by a layer of tin foil.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Aluminum
There appears to be a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum toxicity in the brain. Although these sites do not point to aluminum foil as the cause of the toxicity, they do mention items like antiperspirants containing aluminum, aluminum utensils and self-rising flour which contains aluminum, just to name a few (Here’s another article: Case Study to Show the Link between Aluminum and Alzheimer’s).
There may not be a connection between aluminum foil and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, according to my limited research, it may be ‘perfectly safe’ to eat food with melted tin foil; however, in my book, I’m not doing it. I already had a calcified brain scare. No sense in eating aluminum to create some other unwanted health condition.
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Wow! Aluminum melting into food. This cannot be good for you or me.
I googled aluminum foil melting on foods in the refrigerator and your post popped up. The day before I opened a london broil….put seasoned salt on it and pepper. I then covered it with aluminum foil…..and was just going to cook it and I seen all these holes in the top of the foil. It looked like something fell on the top and melted it right through onto the meat. It didn’t look too appetizing…..so we 86’d the meat. Now were at a loss for dinner. My mom is 80….and she said I’ve never seen this happen before. So yeah…..this happens. There should be something on the label about it.
It’s rather disconcerting to find melted aluminum foil on your food. I’ve switched to using either wax paper or clear wrap. If I must use aluminum foil, I make sure to put something between it and the food.
I don’t ever remember that happening back in the day. I think it’s a more recent phenomenon, as they must have switched to cheaper materials to make the foil. Unfortunately, it’s all about big companies cutting their expenses at the expense of the consumer.
Sorry you had to toss out a perfectly good piece of meat.
I know I’m replying to this rather late but anyway, here goes:
I was searching online for a safer alternative (non-plastic) for lunch boxes I came across your article and also the SIGG aluminum lunch box. You’ve mentioned in your article about aluminum melting into your food and I was wondering if an aluminum-made lunch box would do the same?
My other alternative would be stainless steel but they don’t really keep the food warm (rubberless lid) as compared to SIGG’s.
Would like to know your opinions! (:
I’m not an expert on aluminum, but I don’t think an aluminum lunch box would be a problem. It wouldn’t come in direct contact with the food so you shouldn’t run into the same problem as I did.
Additionally, I’m sure that aluminum foil and an aluminum lunch box are made much differently. The lunchbox has to be more durable, unlike foil.
Hope it works out well for you.