We understand the love affair with plastic. Everybody needs to have plastic boxes, plastic jars, plastic cutlery, and everyone’s favorite – a strategically hidden plastic bag full of plastic bags.
Our homes have surrendered to plastic. But do you really want it touch the food you eat? Think about it. If it’s harmful to plants and animals, it should apply to us as well.
We pick a plastic container to store our food. We put it in the freezer so that we could go at it later. But do you know what happens behind the door the second we close it? Let’s get right into this cold case.
Why is it important to keep your freezer from plastic?
Have you heard of these scary health offenders: BPA and phthalates? BPA stands for hormone-disrupting bisphenol A. There have been researches that link this estrogen-mimicking guy with effects on the brain, reproductive system, and even behavior.1 Phthalates are equally bad for health, targeting the male reproductive system and the endocrine system.2 Both BPA and phthalates are part of the chemical makeup in plastic.
Chemicals have a higher chance of seeping from the plastic into your food when it’s been used a lot, scratched, frequently put in the dishwasher, or washed several items with harsh detergents.
For the sake of the environment, and your health, pimp your freezer! Here are a few alternatives to keep your food in the freezer.
1. Mason jars
It’s not just a pretty face. Mason jars are great to store food because of their thick glass. You could freeze anything in these wide-mouthed jars.
It’s a safe bet to use glass jars for storing food in the freezer. But the shape of the glass matters. Using a slender bottle necked glass makes it difficult for the water inside to expand. That’s why mason jars are good at their job. The same concept applies to big rectangular glass containers.
Always leave a little head-space for watery items. Maybe fill them up till you have an inch of space left at the top. You got to have room for water expansion. Or be prepared to clean up after broken glass from the freezer. It’s just a mess you don’t need.
2. Aluminum foil
Heavy duty aluminum foil can be used for the freezer. It helps to store food from light and oxygen. The foil is great to keep moisture away from food. Though it’s probably not a good idea to wrap acidic type of foods like tomatoes or berries in foil. The foil could get reactive when it touches acidic foods. Also, when using aluminum foil, make sure not to go beyond eight weeks. A hole in the foil will take you straight to freezer-burn land.
For meat or chicken, you might want to double up on protection. Wrap the food in a freezer-friendly plastic and then layer it with aluminum foil. This is sure to keep moisture away.
3. Wax and parchment paper
If you’re all about quick use-and-throw, wax paper is just that. It’s resists moisture, and works for sometime. You could use wax paper as a separator sheet as well, as you would do for burger patties. But with time, the wax paper might get stuck to the meat, making it difficult to get it off the meat completely.
If you’re looking for a non-stick, wax paper sort of consistency, then take a scroll of parchment paper. Separate the layers of food using this silicone coated multipurpose paper. It’s most popular to line baking trays because parchment paper is developed to withstand extreme heat.
4. Look for a freezer-safe label
It’s all about labels. Just like how you would buy containers marked with ‘microwave-safe,’ containers do have a ‘freezer-safe’ label. Why does it matter? The extreme temperatures of the freezer has the potential to deteriorate your plastic container. This increases the chances of chemicals getting leaked from the plastic and into your food, when you take it out of the freezer. A label that marks a container to be safe for the freezer is build to withstand the cold temperature.
5. Freezer paper
The clue is in the name. Freezer paper is a greaseproof paper, with a waxy finish on one side. It’s designed to withstand freezer temperatures. This makes it easy for your food to be free from any moisture attack. It prevents the food from being dehydrated, and you don’t have witness anymore dreadful freezer burns.
6. Silicone pans
Imagine taking your food from the freezer and straight into the oven. That’s how amazing silicone pans are. They have been built to withstand extreme heat and cold, and they come with air-tight lids. There are different sizes, shapes, and colors for you to try and experiment with. These pretty cool moulds can be used to keep your food safe from moisture.
7. Zip-type freezer bags
Who doesn’t love a zip-lock bag? You could put in whatever you want. If you’re into week prepping, these freezer bags are going to be your best friend. They are useful to store sliced fruits or vegetables. The most attractive feature, besides the satisfying feeling of zipping up a bag, is that it’s incredibly affordable.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Negri-Cesi, P. “Bisphenol a interaction with brain development and functions.” Dose-Response 13, no. 2 (2015): 1559325815590394.|
|2.||↑||Diamanti-Kandarakis, Evanthia, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Linda C. Giudice, Russ Hauser, Gail S. Prins, Ana M. Soto, R. Thomas Zoeller, and Andrea C. Gore. “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement.” Endocrine reviews 30, no. 4 (2009): 293-342.|