Plastic-free refrigerator/freezer food storage?
I have a love/hate relationship with plastic. Oftentimes I'm grateful for its lightweight convenience. My beef with plastic generally comes from the environmental side: the toll that the production of plastic is taking on the planet, as well as the irresponsible disposal of it and its effect on wildlife. (Hello, sea of plastic in our oceans.) I've been less concerned about the 'toxic' issue -- the leaching and off-gassing. Maybe it's irresponsible and short-sided to separate the two. I'm starting to pay more attention to this issue and I feel like I'm slowly awakening to the fact that I need to be more vigilant about the role plastic plays in my family's life. Consider this a cry for help.
There are plastics deemed unsafe because they leach chemicals into food: #3 polyvinyl chloride, which is commonly used in some cling wraps, particularly the ones used to wrap meat and deli products in the grocery store; #6 polysterene, used in styrofoam and rigid take-out containers; and #7 polycarbonate, used in five-gallon water bottles, metal can linings and some baby bottles.
'Safer' plastics are: numbers 1,2, 4 and 5. These plastics are the most commonly recyclable plastics, like gallon milk jugs, yogurt tubs and salad dressing bottles. A lot of reusable food storage containers are made from #5 plastic. These plastics are not known to leach.
I often store leftovers in plastic containers and always store my fresh and frozen veggies in plastic bags. I am going on blind faith that I'm not contaminating my family. I stopped heating plastic containers in the microwave a couple of years ago after learning that the heat can cause the chemicals in plastic, regardless of its number, to leach into foods. An easy fix for this would be to simply invest in a bunch of glass food storage containers, much like the Corningware in which our mothers or grandmothers always stored foods! It would make the fridge-to-microwave transition a lot easier, too. I have one container like this, but I generally reach for the plastic.
So let me pose some questions to you:
Are you concerned about plastic food storage?
If you don't store refrigerated fresh veggies in plastic bags, how do you do it? What about frozen?
Scenario: You have a couple of slices of leftover pizza. How do you wrap it for fridge storage?