Goodbye Plastic, Hello Glass!
Over the last few years, I have been gradually culling all the plastic storage containers around our kitchen and replacing them with glass. Not just for health reasons, but for environmentally-friendly reasons.
Did you know that plastic can contain small molecules that can tranfer into food it is in contact with? Some plastics are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can mimic the body’s natural hormones and cause a range of health problems.
The Choice website advises against two particular types of plastics – polycarbonate (BPA – shown as number 7 on the bottom of plastic containers) and PVC (shown as number 3 on the bottom of plastic containers). They should be avoided at all costs, particularly for babies and children.
Have you ever noticed that food stored in plastic can take on a plasticy taste and smell? That’s a warning sign to me!
We are also avoiding plastic as much as we can for environmentally-friendly reasons. Put simply:
* Plastic will be hanging around in landfills for a very long time.
* Recycling plastic is expensive and inefficient.
* Manufacturing of plastic makes a huge, negative impact on our environment.
* Plastic can end up as litter or in our sea harming sealife or in our waterways, leaching out toxins.
How we store in glass:
* I’ve sourced glass storage jars from the op shop and Ikea to store our dry food in. I also like Maxwell and Williams brand of glass jars as they are also well priced (like the bamboo and glass ones pictured). You can get them in most good kitchen shops or online here.
* Glass storage containers like Glass Lock (this brand is air tight) are great for storing food in the fridge or freezer. I have some Pyrex but I don’t recommend as the plastic lids break and crack over time.
* A glass dish or bowl with a plate on top (instead of cling wrap) to stop the food drying out in the fridge.
* Recyling glass jars. I put anything and everything in glass jars, from vege sticks to jam to bircher muesli to leftover casserole!
Here is some pumpkin soup I made and stored in glass jars. I freeze in these jars as well. To do it safely, don’t fill all the way to the top, allow some room for expansion and don’t screw the lids on all the way until the soup is fully frozen. You could put any food in these jars.
This is how I defrost food in glass jars (if you have forgotten to defrost overnight in the fridge!). Put the jar straight from the freezer into a saucepan of cold water and put the heat on a the lowest setting. It doesn’t take long for the food to defrost enough to get out of the jar and pop it into the saucepan to heat up!
It’s also important to never, ever heat up food in plastic or use plastic wrap in the microwave. Heating causes the toxins to leach out. Cooking safely and without toxins is a whole other blog post, so I will talk about that soon!
Stainless steel and ceramic are also safe storage options for food, but I prefer to use mostly glass as it is the cheapest option!
What to do with all those plastic containers?
Some of them went to the charity shop, some went downstairs to the man area for storing man things, some went into the kids’ rooms for storing pens, craft items, bits and bobs, some are in the bathroom for storage. Be creative. Just use them for things other than food!
Do something fantastic, ditch the plastic!
Do you have any more healthy, environmentally friendly storage tips for us?
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