Food storage is a top priority for everyone who loves home cooking. It is also a thing of concern for those who love to buy food,mostly in large quantities, perhaps to serve them for a week or a month.
Knowing the right way to store food will bring about the following benefits:
- It will enable a balanced diet and maintain the nutritional value of the food.
- It reduces kitchen waste and prevents spoilage.
- Storing food also prepares one for emergency cooking or serving of food.
- It also helps in preventing food-borne illnesses caused by harmful bacteria, insects, or rodents.
- It makes one have the confidence to buy in bulk, thereby saving money.
- It will make seasonal food available throughout the year.
- It increases the shelf life of the food.
However, we find ourselves using plastic containers, plastic wraps, plastic bags, and plastic storage of all kinds on our shelves in storing foods. Plastics of all sorts have found their way into human lives and we have chosen to ignore the repercussions they could bring to the environment.Fortunately, there are lots of ways we can store food without using plastic. They are still cheaper and contain less chemicals, and they also come in beautiful designs.Here are healthy, environmentally friendly food storage methods:
- Mason jars: A mason storage jar is reusable, and they come in various sizes. They are good for storing both fresh and dried items. They are also good for storing cooked food. We normally buy jam, which is sold in mason jars. The empty bottles can serve as storage containers as their surfaces don’t absorb colors, germs, and smell. They are safe to use in the freezer and oven. With this container, there are no risks of harmful chemicals getting into our food.
- Glass food storage containers:It is easier to eat straight from this type of container, so it is best for small servings where you want to microwave and eat immediately. Some are made of tempered glass which makes them waterproof. The tempered ones that come in various colours and designs are a great choice for any child’s lunch at school. They are safe for use in the oven, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave. That bad-smelling odour that plastic containers have because of retaining the stench of old food doesn’t happen in a glass container. Although it is more expensive than plastic, it will last longer when handled with care. The beautiful thing about it is that it is 100 percent recyclable, thereby saving the earth.
- Beeswax wraps:These are reusable wraps which are cotton sheets mixed with beeswax. They are similar to plastic wraps and used for food coverings. They can be beautifully crafted to be moldable, so you can use your hands to help press them over the surface of the plate or food item you need it to cover. A Great option for lovers of sandwiches or those who like to take snacks in plastic or aluminium foil. Furthermore, they are biodegradable and do not leave any sticky residue after washing. They are easy to clean in cold water and food fresh when kept cool. Keep away from heat.
- Stainless steel containers: Lightweight food storage containers. These are durable and can undergo a lot of wear and tear. Do not mistake a stainless steel container for aluminium. Always buy 100 percent stainless steel containers. They are reusable and BPA-free. A very beautiful alternative to plastic for those who are afraid of using glass containers. Great for kids lunches and picnic use.
- Reusable silicone bags:These are flexible to use, just like plastic bags, but they are reusable. Good for snacks and sandwiches, they are also suitable for dried items. This silicone bag’s food-grade type is safe for use in the microwave, freezer, oven, dishwasher, and boiling water. They are heat-resistant up to about 400 degrees, unlike plastic bags which are not. They’re self-sealing and contain no BPA, latex, nor PVC. Due to their airtight nature, they keep food fresh, thereby locking in food nutrients.
- Silicone covers:A great plastic wrap substitution, especially when one wants to achieve a tighter seal around a container. They are a stretchy sheet kind of covering for pots, bowls, and jars. What’s more, they don’t lose elasticity even when used in a refrigerator or dishwasher. The silicone material used in it is safe for our bodies. Due to their airtight nature, they keep food fresh, and are easy to clean.