I hate plastic. I think it’s weird, overused, and mis-used too often. Its great for certain things, but for food storage, I’m over it. Did you know that the reason your tupperware turns orange, and STAYS orange after having stuff like pasta sauce in it is because it’s absorbed some of the food? At high temperatures (think microwaving, or putting hot food into a plastic container) the oil in your foods, and the plastic in your containers actually become structurally similar, blurring the divide between them. So the result is that you have food in your plastic, and yup, plastic in your food. Gross. Aside from all the studies linking chemicals in plastic to various toxicity levels in humans… wait, do we even need another reason? Nope. We most certainly do not.
But eliminating, or at least reducing the amount of plastic my food comes in contact with, cooked or not, means that I needed an alternative. A constant recycler, I started fishing all of my glass jars out of the bin, washing them off, and re-using them. It was sort of like a “DUH” moment, and I felt stupid for it not dawning on me sooner. Alas. I’m a full convert now, and if you recall from my “secret stash” post a few weeks back, my freezer is chock full of glass containers. Not only can you see what’s in them perfectly, and not only can you label and re-label them easily, but they don’t stain, they don’t retain smells or flavors, and while, sure, they can break, they’re very durable.
I have actually modified my grocery shopping to include more glass jars, and when given a choice, will pass up plastic for glass every time. I’ll even sometimes buy something just for the jar it’s in! Bonne Maman Jam for example is not organic, but it’s tasty, and their jars are PERFECT for freezing or refrigerating single serve sizes. Plus they are really cute, and for me, that totally matters.
Pasta sauce jars are washed well, and used to store all kinds of dried beans, lentils, and grains, and my steel cut oats sit in an old pickle jar. Of course there’s always the Ball canning jars, which are storage container of choice. Those of course I actually have to go out and buy, but come berry season, when I start jamming (both making jam, and rockin out!), and making tomato sauce, they are indispensable. The quart sized mason jars are inexpensive, perfect for storing my homemade granola, and almond milk, separately of course. I recently discovered these sexy little jars, and would love to splurge on them, only cos they are so so lovely!
Aside from storing food, these jars are great for stuff around the house… everything from spare buttons, to cotton balls, and q-tips in the bathroom. In the garage, or work room, small jars are great for screws, nuts, and bolts, and can even serve as drinking glasses for an old fashioned-y summertime lemonade! You can get craft and slather them with a little liquid etch to make them frosty, and use them as votive holders for summer evening barbeques (can you tell I’m ready for summer??)
Recycle them, or re-use them, just don’t throw them away!