No More Plastic Wrap Green - Our Daily Green

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No More Plastic Wrap Green

This week's Change the World Wednesday (that I'm a day late in sharing) suggestion was to:

This week refuse to use plastic wrap (aka cling film, cling wrap, glad wrap, etc). Instead, choose Eco-friendly, safe ways to store food. And, as always, we'd like to hear all about your efforts. Or ...
If you've already banned plastic wrap from your life, please review your food storage methods to see if there's any room for improvement. For example, if you're reusing plastic containers to store food consider glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers instead (old plastic containers may leach harmful toxins into your food). If you use aluminum foil to cover your food, consider covering food with an inverted plate, a lid from a casserole or pan, etc. And, please tell us about your efforts.
no plastic wrap
Guilty as charged. We don't use a lot of plastic wrap, but will admit that when faced with odd shaped leftovers, we wrestled with that roll of wrap. Interestingly, the better "cling" a plastic wrap has? The more infused with petroleum chemicals that will leech into the food it wraps. From a pure flavor perspective, cheese and meat should actually never touch plastic. That is why many butchers and delis use paper for their food, even if they still encase it in plastic.

Let's examine some of the alternatives:

  • The family teases me about hoarding jars. I don't throw out glass jars and I love reusing them for assorted leftovers when feasible. I can see what I have readily. Right now, there are peeled garlic cloves, cooked vegetables and cheese in different sized jars in my refrigerator.  
  • Waxed paper isn't such a great alternative as it is usually coated either with paraffin wax (which is petroleum based) or a formaldehyde based resin. There are some unbleached soy-based wax papers available, but honestly, the last thing I need to do when I'm shopping is read yet another label. 
  • Aluminum foil takes a lot of energy to manufacture, but it can be used over and over again. I have often joked that growing up, I didn't even realize it came on a roll, we reused it so often. It's not a great choice for acidic foods though, as the "tin" flavor will affect the food. 
  • Bowl covers which look like shower caps. The plastic will not come in contact with the food. 
  • A product I've never heard about, but now wish to try is Abeego wraps, which are a cotton and hemp fabric wrap coated with a beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil blend. These wraps are washable and durable.  They are a little pricey, but I think of such items as an investment compared to literally throwing my money away. 

  • With a little creativity and forethought, we can stop using plastic wrap and rethink how we keep our food from spoiling or drying out.

    Will you take the pledge to go without plastic wrap this week?

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