Survey: Do You Use Food Prep Gloves in Your Kitchen?

I recently peeled a whole bunch of beets to test a recipe you'll be seeing here quite soon. When I've had to peel beets in the past, I've often used those very thin food grade gloves (kind of like surgical gloves) to protect my hands. But this time, for a number of reasons, I went without.

I now have pink fingers, which isn't a bad thing, especially because I'm planning on staying home tonight.

I've mostly used these gloves in professional and community kitchens and they're not bad. They come in many sizes and can be latex- and powder-free, if those are issues for you. They fit snugly and don't seem to inhibit gripping food, knives or other kitchen equipment. And I know they have their place in commercial kitchens for sanitation reasons.

That said, I'm not a fan of how ubiquitous plastics have become in my life. I am always looking for ways to cut down on their use in my home. I know going completely plastic-free is next to impossible, but if I can skip a plastic version of something, I always do. So using these gloves in my home has become questionable for me. And latex gloves aren't really a good substitute, either. While latex is not a plastic and is technically biodegradable, my understanding is that it would take years and years to do this, especially in landfill conditions.

I have to ask myself how are these gloves helpful or necessary? If there are issues around food contamination, I can understand their use. But the image of a mountain-sized pile of discarded prep gloves is just too much for me, so I think I'll stick with my slightly pink fingers, that you very much!

Related: Hot Pepper Hands! An Easy Way to Stop the Burn

(Image: Zesco)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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