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I don't know for sure.....but seem to remember that silica-gel packets are placed in many things that could be damaged/altered by moisture. The silica-gel absorbs moisture vapors in the air thereby preventing rust/oxidation on electronic parts and chemical alteration of medicine in bottles. I don't believe it absorbs Oxygen so it wouldn't likely help preserve the color.....at least if Oxygen sets the enzymatic process rolling. What I would be most concerned about is potential contamination of the Avocado flesh with the silica-gel (every packet/container of which I have ever seen cautions against ingestion).
Soap vs. no-soap controversy for cleaning cast iron. The problem arises from the generic use of the word "soap". True "soap" is made by mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with animal fat in correct ratios. Very few true soaps are made today. When true soap was commonly in use we always had "soap scum" form on the walls of tubs and showers. The unique effectiveness of true soap was its ability to dissolve fats because of the lye it contained....that was also its advantage in removing dirt from clothing, because the cloth was effectively eaten by the lye from the outside toward the inside making fabrics "wear out" much faster than they do today. If true "soap" was used to clean a seasoned cast-iron pan the lye would also "eat" part of the seasoned layer on the cast-iron. Thus the admonition not to use soap.Today most of what we generically call soap is actually "detergent" and as such contains no lye....even what we call bar-soap is principally detergent with a binder. ( The binder is now the stuff that puts deposits on the tub and shower walls today, and is the reason why most bathing products are now liquids).The use of lye (local hardware store - drain cleaner) in a homemade solution of water will allow a 24-48 hr soak of any cast iron pan to dissolve and release any damaged/irregular seasoned surface so you can start over with an entirely new seasoning layer. Just be sure to use gloves, eye protection, and don't splash. Lye is dangerous, but not impossible to work with. (It also can't be used on aluminum and copper....but is fine for stainless)Personally, I use dish detergent in water to clean my cast-iron. I do not soak it in detergent, but will soak a caked area with just plain water. My "Crisco" type seasonings seem to last 2-3 years depending upon how and who of my children have abused my pans.
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