7 Stop Freezing Your Food in Plastic

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.
- Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays prior to putting them into a glass container. 

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: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

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  1. These are terrific tips. I think that many people don't know that they can freeze in glass ... I didn't for a long time and thought that the glass would break in the freezer. Thanks so much for getting the word out. BTW, the CTWW challenge this week is all about plastic ... and this post fits in nicely. I'd love to include it in next week's wrap-up. Is that okay?

  2. Absolutely you can link to it!

  3. I've always tried to avoid plastic as much as possible, but I have a long way to go. One thing I did that really helped is I went to a Pyrex outlet and bought a few boxes of stacking lidded rectangular glass containers - now I have lots of storage choices and they don't take up much space since they all fit together. It was quite a bit of money at the time, but well worth it in the long run.

  4. I've been freezing in Mason jars for a few months now and I love it!

  5. Great tips! I recently told the bf I wanted to switch to glass containers and he said whyyyy?! But I agree that a gradual shift can make things easier. That's what I did with switching to natural cleaning products/methods and the change has endured!

  6. The easiest way to make the change is to start by saving the glass you are already recycling. This way it is of no additional cost to you!

  7. we freeze a garden worth of veggies and raise meat chickens in the summer for a year's worth of meat. Glass is not going to work for us but what i did was find a company that makes tins, like for cookies. I purchased cases of rectangular tins and I line them with wax paper. I wrap the meat or veg in wax paper bags and into the lined tin. I couldn't stand the smell of the plastic bags when I used to open the freezer. This technique does work and the tins stack nicely.