Ditching the plastic habit for food storage can be very tricky, especially when freezing food. While there is less of a health hazard freezing food in plastic vs heating food in plastic there is still the environmental impact to consider. Plastic food containers have become a convenience factor for many families resulting in our landfills being clogged with plastic bags that are used once maybe twice.
What is stopping people from storing their food in something other than plastic?
Common Myth #1 - "I can't put glass in the freezer because when it thaws it will shatter"
Freezing food in glass is perfectly safe! In fact it is safer from a health perspective than freezing your food in plastic. Don't overfill your containers and when defrosting your food make sure you do so slowly. Don't throw it in the oven or douse it with hot water as sudden changes in temperature could cause the glass to break. Pull your food out the night before and place it in the fridge to defrost.
Common Myth #2 - "I need to wrap my food in as many layers as possible to prevent freezer burn"
Freezer burn is caused when air is in contact with food. The key to preventing freezer burn isn't triple layering your food in plastic wrap or using special freezer bags. You simply just need to make sure that the food is exposed to as little air as possible and you can do this without having to use plastic.
Storing your food in something other than plastic can be easy (and cheap) if you follow these simple tips and product replacement suggestions.
Food Storage Tips
- Repurpose glass jars to store sauces, stews, chili and beans.
- Replace plastic wrap with natural wax paper which you can compost afterwards.
- Buy in season produce and freeze yourself rather than buying frozen foods in the off season.
- Look for glass storage containers that are on sale, looking for a variety of sizes.
- Repurpose the bags frozen foods come in (ie: frozen fruit) to freeze other foods.
- Freeze leftovers (ie: fruit) on a tray prior to putting into a glass container to ensure you can separate when you need a handful.
Food Storage Replacements
Ziploc Perfect Portions - Use your frickin hands and then wash them!
Saran Wrap/Plastic Wraps - Natural wax paper
Ziploc Bags/Freezer Storage Bags - Glass containers that are easily resealable so you can grab portions out and then close again
Plastic Containers - Glass containers
Switching away from plastic probably won't happen over night. We are still working on it ourselves. Keep in mind that while you are making the switch that if you are still using some plastic to store your food make sure you do not use plastic marked with #3, #6 or #7.
Have you stopped using plastic to store your frozen food? What is your favourite replacement product?
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photo credit: Noah Sussman via photopin cc