New Cooking Trends Made Possible by Plastics

ARLINGTON, VA (June 23, 2010) – Summer is the unofficial season for national and local food festivals across the United States. These gatherings of culinary professionals, wine connoisseurs and “foodies” are often the launching points for trends in cooking and entertaining. Plastics Make it Possible®, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, and nationally recognized lifestyle and food expert Sissy Biggers partnered at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 18-20, to highlight plastic innovations that are revolutionizing the way we cook and entertain.

From the introduction of plastic wrap in 1933, to the rising popularity of Tupperware® through the 40s and 50s, to the use of silicone oven mitts and baking mats today, plastic has been at the forefront of kitchen innovations for more than 60 years. These innovations have impacted everything from food storage and preparation to entertaining and kitchen organization.

“Plastics have had a huge impact on the evolution of gadgets and techniques used by chefs and home cooks alike, helping to make food preparation more convenient, and entertaining more creative, stylish, and in many cases, more cost-effective,” said Biggers. “Thanks to the innovations made possible by plastics, many of the tools and conveniences in our kitchens today have greatly improved our cooking and entertaining experiences over the years.”

Biggers, a long-time food and lifestyle television personality and veteran host at the 2010 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, acted as the official Plastics Make It Possible® spokesperson at the FOOD & WINE Classic to highlight the latest culinary and entertaining trends emerging from the food festival circuit this summer. Helpful videos, images and a downloadable recipe for Mini Fruit Tarts with Lemon Curd, Berries & White Chocolate Crème can be found here.

When it comes to culinary trends and clever tips for making the best use of plastics during cooking and entertaining, Biggers recommends the following:

Test Your Skills: Impress your dinner guests with the latest gourmet cooking trend embraced by world-renowned chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller and Paul Bocuse. Sous-vide (pronounced /su vid) involves placing food in vacuum-sealed plastic pouches and heating them to precise temperatures to seal in moisture and tons of flavor. Make sure you’re using a bag designed by the manufacturer to take the heat.

Don’t Forget the Wine: Some of this season’s most exciting wines now feature plastic corks that are less vulnerable to cork taint. And some wines are now being bottled in handy, shatter-resistant plastic, which is lighter and easier to tote to outdoor events. As an added plus, the lighter weight means less energy is needed to ship bottles.

Keep it Easy: Check your local grocery store for foods that come packaged in resealable plastic bags and containers. Convenient resealable plastic packaging is available for shredded cheeses, tuna, sausage, dried fruit, pastas, cold cuts and more!

Super Silicone: From basting brushes and spatulas, to oven mitts and bakeware, silicone is part of today’s innovative cooking and baking. It’s a flexible, durable, and easy-to-clean plastic product, and can withstand high temperatures – some up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Best of all, silicone bakeware’s non-stick surface helps cut down on the need for added fats and shortening.

And When the Picnic’s Over, Recycle: Casual entertaining brings a tremendous opportunity to recycle. Many plastics such as beverage bottles, some food containers and plastic grocery bags and product wraps are recyclable. Check with your community to see which plastics are recycled in your bin or at your local grocery store; many of these valuable materials can go on to live second lives as carpeting, clothing, furniture, even backyard decking.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sissy to offer consumers great tips on how they can use plastics to save money and time in the kitchen,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “In addition to helping consumers prepare the latest dishes and brighten up any al fresco dining setting, today’s smart plastic packaging solutions help us do more with less. Many of the advances in plastic packaging help keep food fresher longer, reduce waste and maximize grocery budgets.”

About Plastics Make it Possible®

Plastics Make it Possible® highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems and help us design a safer, more promising future. This initiative is sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council. For more information, visit, check out our Facebook page and follow us @plasticpossible on Twitter.

About Sissy Biggers

Sissy Biggers is a nationally-recognized lifestyle and food expert, full of inspiring advice on a variety of topics ranging from family entertaining, home keeping solutions to dining on a budget. A versatile and distinctive media personality, Sissy has hosted and appeared on numerous television shows in addition to contributing her savvy tips and expert advice to radio, print, satellite media tours and Internet media.