What do you think of when you hear the term "Earth friendly food storage containers"? The good news is that most of what you are already using is probably pretty eco-friendly. Here are some food storage tips for your green kitchen.
What Grandmother Used
Throughout history people have been using crocks, glass, and other reusable items for food storage. You could find refrigerator jars in almost every kitchen until the mid 1950s. These were glass containers with glass tops that held a variety of leftovers and food items. They did not stain, were very easy to clean, and kept foods fresh.
In 1953 the first plastic wrap was created from PVC. It seemed to be hygienic, easy to use, and cheap. Best of all it didn't break and you didn't have to wash it. Homes in the 1950s were embracing technology with a passion and plastic wrap became a staple in every kitchen.
The refrigerator jars were given away, put on shelves, and used to hold nails in the garage.
Modern Earth Friendly Food Storage Containers
Today there are a lot of choices when it comes to food storage and most of them are at least somewhat eco-friendly. Rubbermaid, for example, can be used over and over and will last for years. The fact that it is reusable makes it a more environmentally healthy choice than plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or other disposable materials.
However, there are some concerns with a substance in many plastics known as BPA. This is a plasticizer and has been linked with cancer and other health issues in humans. Many companies are moving away from its use. Others, like Rubbermaid, are making sure that consumers know which of their products contain BPA and which don't. Using the BPA free products would be a better choice than the conventional products.
The Best Food Storage Choices
The best food storage choices for your green kitchen are still glass and stainless steel. Each has its own benefits and a well stocked kitchen will probably want to have some of each type of container.
Glass Food Storage
Glass is a great choice for all of the reasons that Grandmother used it and more.
- Glass is easy to clean
- It keeps other foods from mixing with the foods stored in it
- Glass can be recycled
- It doesn't stain or hold odors
- It is microwavable
On the other hand glass breaks and chips easily. It may not be the best choice if you have young children that help with the dishes or when transporting foods.
Stainless steel has many of the attributes of glass.
- Stainless steel is easy to clean
- It keeps foods fresh
- It doesn't break
- It doesn't stain or hold odors
Of course, if you are going to want to warm something up you will have to use a pan or put the food in a microwavable dish. You can't microwave stainless steel.
Where to Find Eco-Friendly Food Storage Containers
You don't have to look very far to find green food storage solutions. Depending on what you are looking for, you may be able to find exactly what you want at your favorite store.
Almost any local kitchen store will have a variety of food storage containers in plastic. You will want to read the information carefully and make sure that it does not contain BPA.
Glass containers come in many shapes and sizes. You can often find vintage refrigerator jars at thrift shops, antique stores, and garage sales. Look at the item carefully to be sure it does not have chips or cracks. If there is a small chip you can often sand it smooth so that you can use it safely.
Another type of glass food storage container that is widely available is the canning jar. Mason jars are available at nearly every grocery store, department store, and kitchen store. You can find them at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets. Again, you will need to watch for cracks and chips.
Stainless steel food storage containers are available at restaurant supply stores. These are what the professional kitchens use, and they use them because they are durable and long lasting. They come in a number of different sizes and are usually square or rectangle. This allows you to make the most efficient use of your refrigerator space. Often the lids will be sold separately from the bottom part.You can also find them on eBay. This will save money because stainless steel is a bit more expensive that other materials.
Finding Reusable Containers Online
If you want a larger selection of reusable containers you can find them on the Internet. Here are some sites to try:
Finding just the right earth friendly food storage containers for your needs can take a little bit of time and research but it is worth it.