Cooking with Alcohol - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, what is the consensus on cooking with alcohol? One of my co-workers brought in a yummy homemade rum-cake today. And, of course, I had a slice. Another one of my co-workers who is also pregnant declined. She told me her OB said not even to eat food that is cooked with alcohol, wine sauce, etc. I always believed that coooking burned off enough of the alcohol that it didn't actually hit your bloodstream. Anyone have any insights??
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#2 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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I cooked some beer bread last week. Only had one fresh, warm slice because of my food aversions to everything.

It's not like you're eating a load of it daily, I'm sure you're just fine and a little bit is not going to hurt baby. That is my easy going, non-researched on the matter opinion.
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#3 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 12:39 PM
 
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Well, my very first midwife and ob told me that in European countries, they still have their glass of wine every night with dinner. It is all about moderation and they have no higher instances of fetal alcohol syndrome. She said that if I were to have a glass of wine every so often, it was fine. Now, I really don't. I don't like drinking that much, and get drunk off of a quarter glass of wine: And maybe that is why she told me that, she knew that I wouldn't be drinking.
As for the food being cooked with it, most alcohol is burned off in the cooking process. But it also depends on how high of heat and how long it is being cooked. If we followed her doctors advice, than none of us could eat anything that has vanilla or other flavors in it because they all contain alcohol. It would also make it so you couldn't use the wine vinegars and a few other ingrediants. So, I think that is pretty limiting in our diet again. In my view it isn't somethng that you really need to worry about. Now, if this rum cake is like the rum balls that my mother made one year for Christmas, I felt drunk after eating two, but again, a quarter glass of wine..., I might not eat any. But mostly these things are used for flavor and not to get everyone intoxicated.
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#4 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VnJW View Post
Well, my very first midwife and ob told me that in European countries, they still have their glass of wine every night with dinner. It is all about moderation and they have no higher instances of fetal alcohol syndrome. She said that if I were to have a glass of wine every so often, it was fine. Now, I really don't. I don't like drinking that much, and get drunk off of a quarter glass of wine: And maybe that is why she told me that, she knew that I wouldn't be drinking.
As for the food being cooked with it, most alcohol is burned off in the cooking process. But it also depends on how high of heat and how long it is being cooked. If we followed her doctors advice, than none of us could eat anything that has vanilla or other flavors in it because they all contain alcohol. It would also make it so you couldn't use the wine vinegars and a few other ingrediants. So, I think that is pretty limiting in our diet again. In my view it isn't somethng that you really need to worry about. Now, if this rum cake is like the rum balls that my mother made one year for Christmas, I felt drunk after eating two, but again, a quarter glass of wine..., I might not eat any. But mostly these things are used for flavor and not to get everyone intoxicated.
My gut leads to me to agree, despite all of the "research" that supports all of the hysteria around alcohol and pregnancy. I can't help but see it as part of the really unhealthy attitude that our culture has towards alcohol, that a sip is as good as a fifth. It just doesn't make sense.
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#5 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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I still cook with wine and eat things cooked with wine. But I do believe most of the alcohol burns off when you are cooking in an open pan like I do. Alcohol in baked goods, though? I'm not sure the alcohol burns off in that case. Still, I doubt you did any harm by having a slice.

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#6 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChillMom View Post
So, what is the consensus on cooking with alcohol? One of my co-workers brought in a yummy homemade rum-cake today. And, of course, I had a slice. Another one of my co-workers who is also pregnant declined. She told me her OB said not even to eat food that is cooked with alcohol, wine sauce, etc. I always believed that coooking burned off enough of the alcohol that it didn't actually hit your bloodstream. Anyone have any insights??
When pregnant with my first, I had a glass of wine a few times during my pregnancy. I think it's all about your comfort level. The other woman in your office may be more comfortable following her OBs advice to the letter.

If the cake was good and you felt good eating it, then both mama and baby were happy!
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#7 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Most of the alcohol burns off during the cooking process. Depending on how long you cook/bake for. In the whole of the rum cake there was probably only 1/4 to 1/2 c of rum and depending on how long its baked for you could have a NA cake, which is .5%. Alcohol boils at a lower temp then water so if its added to something its not going to take long before its down to almost nothing, esp if there is no lid on it. So considering that cake was baked at probably no less than 350 degrees for more than 30 min there probably was hardly any in it. You would have to eat ALOT of whatever it is with alcohol in it to be concerned with affects I think.

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#8 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 02:19 PM
 
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It's all about comfort level.

I myself tend to think our culture is a bit hysterical about alcohol. Having a beer or glass of wine or whatever doesn't make you an alcoholic. Having a beer, glass of wine or whatever and turning into an a$$h)le may very well indicate a problem.

I see nothing wrong with an occasional drink, even (GASP) during pregnancy.

Was there rum in the cake. . maybe a little bit. Depends mostly on how it was made. (Some rum cakes you don't pour on the alcohol until after the cake is baked). I'm sure that a piece isn't going to harm you or baby.

Be, happy momma to Liberty (12-31-02), Henry (3-17-07) and Prudence (7-02-09)
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#9 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it one bit. The amount of raw alcohol would have been less than a sip, less than a dose of nyquil (not that you take that either, but it wouldn't give your baby FAS if you did).
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#10 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shanna4000 View Post
My gut leads to me to agree, despite all of the "research" that supports all of the hysteria around alcohol and pregnancy. I can't help but see it as part of the really unhealthy attitude that our culture has towards alcohol, that a sip is as good as a fifth. It just doesn't make sense.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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Its interesting our culture of "don't have a single sip of wine" "no wine in cooking" "no rum cake" "no champange toast". But gimme an epi and bust out the formula.
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#12 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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I cook with it occassionally and had a drink a few times during my pregnancies. I see no harm in moderation.

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#13 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 04:22 PM
 
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On the topic of alcohol. I've found it interesting that during my pregnancy with DD even the thought of a drink made me a little green around the gills. But this time around I've been almost craving a beer. . wanting 1 maybe 2 a week.

I'll admit I have submitted once or twice this pregnancy. . but I just find it strange and interesting.

Be, happy momma to Liberty (12-31-02), Henry (3-17-07) and Prudence (7-02-09)
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#14 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I also have been almost craving beer, which is really odd because beer in general makes me ill, even the smell. And if I sip some of my husbands beer, it doesn't taste that good, but I still in some way want it. I teased my husband that my girls are driving me to want to drink. I haven't drank anything this pregnancy, besides the sips of my husbands beer but my first I had my quarter glass of wine at Thanksgiving and maybe a few other times. What is it with the beer craving??? Think we should try hops tea??
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#15 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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Think we should try hops tea??
Now that just helped rid my cravings. . .DH and I brew our own beer and I've tasted what could be considered "hop tea". . It was like drinking bitter grass clippings.

I've been tempted to send DH out to get me some O'Doules just so I can get the craving out of my head. Of course O'Doules is not anything like what I usually call a beer.

Be, happy momma to Liberty (12-31-02), Henry (3-17-07) and Prudence (7-02-09)
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#16 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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Its interesting our culture of "don't have a single sip of wine" "no wine in cooking" "no rum cake" "no champange toast". But gimme an epi and bust out the formula.
:
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#17 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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.... She told me her OB said not even to eat food that is cooked with alcohol, wine sauce, etc. ...
Because of our cultures attitude with drinking during pregnancy, the doctors must say this for liability reasons. I got this whole spiel and after I questioned my OB about this in refernce to other cultures, he told me the truth. Anything in moderation is fine but because of our sue-happy society, a doctor saying that any alcohol is o.k. opens the door for lawsuits, etc, etc if the baby was born with FAS or another related issue.

It is sad when our own doctors have to hide the medical truth from us.

\m/

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#18 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else -- it's no big deal. During my first pregnancy, I had two bites of tiramisu before realizing the ladyfingers were soaked in rum, and then felt guilty for a considerable amount of time afterward.

This pregnancy I would happily eat tiramisu without batting an eyelash.

In addition to the alchohol being eliminated when cooking (as it often is), also remember that when you're eating it in food, your body is not absorbing it in the same way as it does a drink. A glass of wine is absorbed into your blood stream from your stomach lining. But alcohol taken with food slows down the absorption considerably. Also remember that your blood volume is considerably higher in pregnancy, further mitigating the risk.

I have no qualms about cooking with or eating food made with alcohol... none at all.
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#19 of 20 Old 10-11-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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Liability is the largest reason we're cautioned to have absolutely no alcohol - fear and taking things to an extreme is another. Also, because we don't KNOW the minimum threshold (and it really doesn't seem to be that simple - some people can get drunk on a regular basis and not have a FAS-affected baby, others drink far less and may have problems), people are cautioned to act like there is none. Which I disagree with, but whatever.

If I drank, I would have no problems eating food made with alcohol, or occasionally (at least a few times during pregnancy) having 1/2 - 1 serving (glass of wine, beer). Although I gotta say, I had some zabagione at a fancy shmancy italian place a month or so ago, and it was clear the alcohol hadn't been burned off! Probably wouldn't have been a problem, except I can't stand the taste of alcohol, so it was making me slightly queasy.
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#20 of 20 Old 10-12-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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I don't remember which board I was on (I'm Pregnant?) but someone around here claimed that the studies all done on FAS were done where the mom had a minimum of 4 drinks per day! Good grief, ya know?

Anywho, I wouldn't worry about it at all. I also have the occasional drink or 1/2 drink.
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