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Friendly Food Storage

Posted on August 10, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

When you need food storage solutions, using plastic containers with super seal lids seems to do the trick right, or does it? Your leftovers are an important part of your meal making, so using un-Eco-friendly, wasteful, and sometimes even toxic storage choices is something you might not want to do.

There are many green options when it comes to saving leftovers and elongating produce life, as well as using safe heating and cooling containers. Take a look at your food storage and see if it can use a little green sprucing up for the sake of your health and your planet.

The Baggie

Zip lock storage bags are quick and easy but the back story and future repercussions are just not worth it. From crude oil and natural gas use, to greenhouse gas emissions and wastewater, to oil drilling and hydraulic fracking, these bags are downright criminal. Thankfully, plant based sources of reusable compostable bags (from BioBag) can do the job without the jive.

BioBags are made from plants, vegetable oils & Mater-Bi (biodegradable and compostable bioplastics). The best news is that these bags will not remain on earth for hundreds of years clogging up infrastructure, polluting air, water and soil and destroying wildlife. This is a material that can be consumed by microorganisms that live in our soils. Because of this, these sandwich bags can also be readily composted along with organic waste. Similar to a ziplock bag, these plastic free, toxic free bags are great for sandwiches or snacks which seal and reseal just as easily.

Go Mason

Using mason jars to store food items is a perfect alternative to plastic choices. These jars can be found in all sorts of sizes with the larger ones used for grains, flours and other dry goods; medium ones for take-to-work salads, soups or cereal; and small ones for single serve desserts, nuts or parfaits.

Glass is just as reusable as plastic but handles excessive use with less wear and tear and particulate breakdown. Plus, glass is much safer to use when heating or cooling to avoiding any leaching of toxic plastic residue.

Food Storage Choices

Stick to these and other food storage choices to keep your fridge as green as possible.

  • Foil Re-use - Plastic wrap can leach chemicals into food (unless made by Bio-Bag) so if you use aluminum foil, buy recycled, and use it again (as long you do not cross contaminate foods).
  • Stainless steel - Recycled steel is a reusable food storage option that lasts for decades.
  • Water bottles - By now, you should know that filling your fridge with disposable water bottles is short of environmentally criminal. Store your filtered water in easy to grab-n-go water bottles made from all sorts of sustainable materials.
  • Burlap sacks - It may sound like something from the 1800’s but burlap sacks made from naturally woven plant material provide a dark, dry environment for root vegetables. Look for designs with removable, organic cotton liners for easy cleaning.
  • Beeswax wraps - This is a material that surpasses plastic or aluminum foil wraps. It can mold around containers and fold into an excellent transport pouch. Best of all, it can be washed and used again and again.
  • Bamboo, bagasse (sugar cane) and recycled plastic - These are choices that continue to make food storage more Eco-friendly than ever before.

Wrong Food Storage

One of the biggest mistakes you may have been making all along is wrong food storage. This is when you store foods in or out of the refrigerator when you shouldn’t. Figuring out the best food to store will reduce waste, save electricity and avoid you throwing away your money.

Common foods that SHOULD NOT be refrigerated include:

  • Bread - Moisture gets pulled out of bread when it is refrigerated. If you need to make your bread last, put it in the freezer. This way you can take what you need, easily thaw or toast it to perfection and never throw away old bread again.
  • Tomatoes, melons, potatoes, garlic, citrus, and onions - Refrigerator cold affects the taste and texture of these foods.
  • Nuts and dried fruits - These foods will absorb refrigerator odors. Keep in an airtight container out of the fridge.
  • Honey - No need to refrigerate, when sealed honey never spoils.

Common foods that SHOULD be refrigerated include:

  • Corn - Fresh corn lasts five to seven days in the fridge
  • Flour - Any kind of flour, particularly whole wheat or those made from nuts will last longer in the fridge.
  • Large olive oil - If you need to store your large olive oil container, if it fits, put it in the fridge. It will turn cloudy, but quickly thaws out as it will last much longer and stay fresher.
  • Grapes - Happy and fresh in the refrigerator
  • Bananas, nectarines, pears, peaches, and avocados - Only put in the fridge when becoming too ripe. Banana peels will turn black but the inside will be fine.
  • Herbs - According to Serious Eats, hardy herbs -- like rosemary or thyme -- should be washed, arranged on a damp paper towel, rolled up, wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.

These are just a small example of the do’s and don’ts of refrigerator storage. Find more that fit into your sustainable mission.

 

Friendly food storage doesn’t take much, especially with all the choices available today. If you already have plastic and other suspect food storage items be sure and replace them one by one until you're fully stocked green.

 


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eating Well, Eco Home Improvement, Health and Safety, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Your Green Home and was tagged with BioBag, food storage, glass storage, kitchen cleanup, mason jars, water bottles

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