What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plastic Food Container Dilemna

A couple of days ago I posted about the new plastic food storage containers I bought.  Plastic in the kitchen presents a real dilemna.  Over the past couple of years I have been working to eliminate as much plastic as possible in the kitchen especially for food storage however this is actually a bit more challenging than it appears.  There is no doubt that food storage is a necessary aspect of any kitchen.  While a variety of wraps and bags are available these are not eco-friendly or frugal choices.  Food storage ranges from dry to refrigerator to freezer so containers used must be flexible.  Tupperware® was all the rage years ago when were newlyweds but it was something I never did get into.  I only have 4 pieces of this higher end plastic food storage/serving containers, two of which are the old harvest gold which gives their age away.  Several years ago I eliminated plastic wrap and food storage bags other than for freezer use in favour of inexpensive, disposable containers (eg. GladWare, Ziploc).  The problems with these containers is:

  • they do break when frozen
  • they create an incredible amount of clutter
  • lids go missing
  • they end up adding to landfills
  • snap on lids can come loose and leak
However, they are inexpensive so are perfect for gift giving and I don't mind if they go missing.  When I decided to eliminate more plastic from the kitchen these were my first targets.  Years ago I bought glass baking dishes that came with plastic lids.  The lids have stood the test of time so I looked for storage ones that would go from freezer to oven.  Canadian Tire puts sets of Anchor Hocking glass bakeware on sale so I bought 3 sets to be used for food storage in the refrigerator and baking in the oven.  Still the lids are plastic which really is a trade-off but are better than plastic wrap or disposable containers.  At some point plastic food storage containers are necessary for freezer use especially since I don't like using glass in my freezers and for use in the boat, picnic, and dock/pool areas where glass breakage has the potential for personal injury.  I have revised my use of plastic in the kitchen from eliminating entirely to minimizing.  My requirements for kitchen plastics are:
  • BPA free
  • heavy duty, not disposable
  • spill free plastic containers - screw-on or locking type lids
  • lids on glassware are heavy duty, sealing securely
Garden Gnome


Plastic Food Storage said...

Would it, in the end, be far more economical, not to mention more environmentally friendly, to spend a bit more money on better plastic food storage containers than those disposable ones.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Plastic Food Storage and thanks for visiting. I pointed out my requirements were 'not disposable' so yes it would be more economical. However, glass is likely better with the exception of those situations where plastic is safer.