When you think of good and better ways to store food healthily you may ask in what way? Do I mean in the freezer? Or in the crisper at the bottom or top of the refrigerator? In water? Or in glass? In paper bags? Covered with a tea towel? And others…… There are a variety of ways to use less plastic for instance and I always work on the principal of using “better and better ways” to do things.
We always think of modern man as becoming and making things better. But sadly that is often not true. Some lessons like cleaning up his bedroom when young can often transfer to a big CEO of a corporation not cleaning up the mess they leave behind. But that doesn’t leave us out of the equation either.
With plastic we have quite a huge malady. It is just all over the place. Plus it is so convenient, easy to use and so light amongst other advantages. But I weigh in on judgement here and ask that you look for alternatives. That plastic is becoming a curse. Many plastics contain hormone disrupting chemicals and it can pile us up with more health problems than we need. Consider alternatives and incorporate them where you can because they are healthy.
I know glass can be heavy and a bit clunky – but items like Pyrox can even be used safely in the freezer (just allow for about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of head space at the top of your glass item). You can also used the wide-mouthed mason jars.
Start saving all the glassware in items you buy and start using them not only to store nuts, beverages, left-overs and cut items but start changing over anything and everything you can. It is better if you store for instance a cut tomato and/or onion in a glass jar in the fridge. Not only is it healthier but it has the added advantage that you can see it easily too – so less likely to miss it and have waste. This is one of the reasons I like drying food since it “takes to glass just nicely!”
If you have boiled rainwater (like me!) or you want your drinking water at room temperature think glass. That is a glass jug to pour into glasses to drink. The water tastes much better without that plastic taste. Also I carry in the car in two different spots glass bottles (previously used for grape juice) for water. The reason I have it in two different spots is so that it won’t clunk together!
Renewable forests are used for our paper use I’m led to believe and we can often substitute using paper bags instead of plastic. Healthier of course too. Nothing nicer than the crinkle of a paper bag. Who said you couldn’t get two or more uses out of it? Remember you can compost it easily afterwards!
Paper bags are gaining momentum in use because it is said
- they are 100% recyclable (as long as they are kept separated and not put into landfill rubbish which means they can take longer to breakdown with other products.)
- they are biodegradable
- larger bags with handles are made more square and so sit more upright and are stronger
- they don’t hurt the earth as much and the creatures within it.(including us!)
- apparently they take less energy to recycle than plastic.
But even if this has got truth within – if you are shopping at the Supermarket – bring your own bag! It doesn’t have to be the harder plastic – you can use hessian or canvas bags made for such jobs.
Do things that save you using plastic
Grow a garden – even if it’s tomatoes, silver beet, lettuce, radish and some herbs – it will save you purchasing products that often can be stored in plastic. So you are storing your food in the ground until needed. How fresh and healthy is that?
If you can’t grow anything contribute some time to a community garden and it comes with benefits!
Make meals from scratch – EsmeSalon is full of ideas! Look at how much packaging you are saving. So cut down on packaged foods.
If you must use plastic
I re-call hearing this from Amy Dacyczyn – of Tightwad Gazette fame how to re-use plastic even plastic wrap. She washed it. This may not be your cup of tea – but really do think re-use wherever possible. Keep things for longer. I’m typing on my over 6 year old “plastic” computer purely because of things Amy said stuck in my mind after reading her book. If you need to cover a bowl or plate have a shower cap for just that purpose – just give a quick wash. Will last for years rather than thin film wrap (and you could have a pretty one with pink spots like mine which I use in the shower!)
Soft plastic where I am here is now being collected by Supermarkets and being recycled into playground equipment and park bench seats – which is being responsible. Just sometimes things work slowly to get people into gear.
So I’m your little reminder – get working on making your kitchen footprint healthier won’t you?