It all began with my uneducated enthusiasm and frugal nature. The first bag I bought was an 'inexpensive' "nut milk bag" on eBay. I admit, I was simply looking for an cheap ('low cost') nut-milk bag! 

A few months later I discovered I could buy the same product as a paint strainer (NO JOKE!) at the local Home Improvement or Hardware Store for... $1! The worst part of this purchase is that I don't even drink nut milk (or any type of milks/mylks). My intention for buying the paint strainer (sold as nut milk bag) was so that I could make almond nut milk for my young son. To buy a synthetic (nylon, polyester) so called "food-grade" nut milk bag for 10 times the price of the paint strainer! After doing some research I realized PLASTIC TOXINS were not an option for me because there is very little differences between "food grade" and non-food grade nylon or polyester.

nut milk bag reality

Toxic nylon paint strainer bag

When I started to learn more about plastics I did not like the idea of having my organic food making contact with nylon (in Russia, where I am from, doctors do not even recommend wearing synthetic clothing!) but I thought it was a better option than buying nut milk from a store stored in a plastic lined (usually) unrecycled aseptic containers. They seem so clean! BUT, not so clean of toxic plastics!

plastic toxic aseptic container layers

toxic-aseptic-containers-1toxic-aseptic-containers-2

I was upset when I found out I could no longer easily buy unpasteurized almonds, and then I was straining my organic milk through a toxic nylon bag! I began to realize that the nylon plastic nut milk (paint strainer) was much more harmful and toxic than pasteurized almonds. I found it odd that almost everyone was so upset about pasteurization but ignorant and/or OK with the toxins from the plastic that was in contact with their food!
I began a search to look for non-toxic alternatives. At first I bought hemp bag in a local Korean market, but then I read that hemp can be treated with toxic chemicals to make the fabric softer. Then I decided to buy an organic cotton produce bag and use it as a nut milk bag. But, when I receive the bag I saw that it had plastic/synthetic tags! Then when I bought organic bags and/or other organic product I started to notice all the plastic tags. I then started to question the type of sewing threads that were being used and the material used in the drawstrings. When you see description of product "100% hemp bag" or "Made of first-grade 4 oz. Organic Cotton Muslin Fabric, certified according to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).", most people seem to assume that the threads and cording are also made of the same material. Like most people I had assumed automatically that everything when it says organic it meant that all was organic. But to my SHOCK, after months of exhaustive research I was unable to find even one bag made of all (100%) natural non-toxic ingredients! Yes, not ONE!!!

SHOCKING FACT: Almost all of the "100% hemp" and "organic cotton" bags have threads made of polyester and the cording is usually conventional cotton (nor organic, which can be from GMO cotton)!

Of all the the dozens of bags I research and bought, NONE had a full content descriptions. All labels simply described the main bag material, conveniently leaving out the facts that the cording and threads were from toxic and conventional (possibly GMO) origin. To get this information and the full facts, I had to email the sellers and manufacturers directly. Several well known sellers even refused to respond to my probing questions about the inclusion of plastics and possibly GMO in their ‘natural’ ‘organic’ bags!
One organic cotton clothing company even claims that their product is "synthetic-free", but was still using polyester threads! Reminds me of the saying:

‘What you don’t know, can’t hurt the sales of the company!

I was so sickened by the responses from the "100% hemp" and "organic cotton" bag sellers/companies, when I questioned their use of toxic and conventional (possible GMO) sewing thread and draw string content!

plastic nut milk bag threads
Close up of fraying from polyester sewing threats

Here is on the picture I took of the synthetic (plastic) threads from my paint strainer bag and polyester thread from my slightly used "Simple Ecology" produce bag. As you can see polyester threads are fraying and can easily get into your nut milk or nut milk pulp. I have no issue eat organic cotton fiber, but I am horrified to think that petrochemical synthetic fiber can get into my food, especially with all the toxic outgassing leaching of nylon and polyester materials!

I could not even find organic or non-GMO cheese cloth anywhere in the whole USA.  I eventually gave up on searching... and decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) to fix this hidden toxic situation by producing my own pure organic nut milk bags!
After a few month of research I bought two costly sewing machines, had private sewing tutoring - since I had never sewn with a machine before! After several days of failing, I was eventually able to create an absolutely amazing 100% organic cotton nut milk bag! After putting the bags through many kitchen tests I was confident of their durability. I thought others would find the value and have now chosen to sell them at a price that competes with the standard prices of toxic plastic (nylon, polyester..) and non-organic nut milk bags!
My bags are 100% organic cotton material - fabric, threads and drawstring

Comparison table of nut milk bags, including paint strainer and organic cotton produce bag.

 

Eco Peaceful
Organic Nut Milk Bag

Simply Organic
Organic Cotton
Produce Bag

Vitamix
Filtration Hemp Bag

Paint Strainer The Raw Food World
Nut Milk Bag

Diana Stobo
Nut Milk Bag

The Health Seeker's
Nut Milk Bag

Bag
Material / Fabric

Organic Cotton

Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

Organic cotton Hemp Nylon Nylon Nylon Polyester
Sewing
Thread 
Material

Organic Cotton

Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

Polyester

Polyester Nylon or polyester

Nylon or polyester

Possibly made with GMO ingredients

Conventional cotton possibly gmo)
wrapped polyester

Polyester
Drawstring 
Material

Organic Cotton

Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

Possibly made with GMO ingredients

Conventional
(possibly GMO)
cotton

Flax Elastic top Nylon Nylon Nylon / polyester mix
Bag Size 9.5" x 14" 10" x 12" 9" x 12" 11" x 14.75" 9.5" x 12" 1 Quart 11" x 11.5"
Fits on 64 oz.
Blender
(Vitamix)
Yes Yes May Be Yes Yes ?? Yes
Color / Dyes 100% undyed,
unbleached,
brown bag is
color grown cotton
Undyed No ?? ?? ?? ??
Toxic
Chemicals
 (1)

Noorganic cotton nutmilk bag - no-toxins

non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins  non-organic plastic toxins
Biodegrade
Time
Yes, 100% biodegradability
(in only a few months)
Polyester sewing
threads which
almost never biodegrades, even
if with organic cotton
Polyester sewing threads which
almost never biodegrades
Nylon Fabric- 30-40 years Nylon Fabric - 30-40 years Nylon Fabric -
30-40 years
Pollyester fabric possibly almost
never biodegrates.
Country Origin of Fabric Grown, woven and sewn in USA India China, sewn in USA
Made by Vermont Fiddle Heads
?? ?? ?? ??
Price Buy Now
$7.99 - 9.99 with Free Shipping on order over $25
Buy Now
$10.95 (3 pack)

Buy Now
$14.95

Buy Now 
$1.94 (2 pack)

Buy Now 
$7.99
Buy Now 
$7.95
Buy Now 
$7.95

NOTE: Table information was last edited and updated on 11/19/2012

1 - Nylon and polyester may contain any or all of the following: Estroginc Activity (e.g. BPA, BPS...), Phthlates, Antibacterial Chemicals, Antimony, Lead, Cadnium, Styrine and other Toxic Chemicals. Unfortunately the manufacturers refuse to divulge all included ingredents used in the manufacturing and processing of their products.


Educate yourself more about toxic plastics!

Documentaries:

Plastic Planet - full documentary available on Netflix
Plastic Cow
Bag it - Available on Netflix
TEDx Great Pacific Garbage Patch - 40 videos!

100% organic cotton nut milk bag oval shape

 
Author Info
Lena Mumma
Author: Lena MummaWebsite: http://youtube.com/user/EcoPeaceful
Co-Founder of Ecopeaceful, LLC
creating nut milk bags
About Me
I love educating about eco and peaceful ways of living, and every now and then exposing people and companies that are not acting in the best interest of the public.
Short List of Articles by this Author


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