Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Safe Is...Freezing in Baggies?


ANSWER: It is actually safe to freeze foods in plastic baggies.  But is it green?  No, not really.  Read on...

Ziploc, made by SC Johnson brands, answers the question about whether or not its plastic products contain BPA (bisphenol A):

No. SC Johnson does not use BPA in its plastic products, Ziploc® brand bags and containers, and Saran™ brand wraps.  SC Johnson is a leader in providing high quality products. All of its products are extensively evaluated for toxicity and safety and comply with, and often even exceed, applicable quality and safety regulations.

When asked if its products contain pthalates, BPA or PVC, Glad responds:

NO. Glad food containers, wraps, storage bags and other food contact products are not made of phthalates or polycarbonate. Nor is Bisphenol A (BPA) used as a raw material in their production. For more information, you can read our official statement here.  GLAD does not use any polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics in its products. Our products are made from polyethylene and contain no plasticizers.

Okay, so it sounds like the two leading baggie manufacturers are producing baggies that won't leach crap into our food while it hangs out behind the tater tots.  BUT, what about the planet?  Should we really be using these disposable plastic bags with such abandon when we know they, like all their plastic brethren, end up in the landfill to cohabitate for eons?   There are better ways to store food in the freezer.  And these options may end up being cheaper if you find them used at thrift stores or yard sales.   

Like, say, storing leftovers in glass mason jars.  Did you know you can store jars in the freezer without cracking the glass?  I honestly didn't know this until I looked into it today.   Check out this great blog post by Green Your Way, for pretty much everything you need to know about freezing foods in glass jars.  

Pyrex also makes a set of freezer-safe glass storage containers WITH GLASS LIDS!! so you can be sure that absolutely nothing is leaching into your food.  Plus the square boxes stack nicely.

If you want to be ultra green and reuse glass jars, consider these options since they are in varying sizes to hold whatever leftovers you encounter:

  • spaghetti sauce (3 cups)
  • mayonnaise (nearly 4 cups)
  • peanut butter (1.5 cups)
  • salsa and pizza sauce (often 1.5-2 cups)
  • ½ gallons from honey
  • purchased quart-sized canning jars are also handy, especially because of the wide mouth
  • pickles
NOTE: It usually works to remove the pickle smell by filling the jar with hot broth; the broth’s flavor doesn’t suffer, and the jar is “cured” of its pickle-ness after that. Attempt at your own risk!

Now that I see the glass options out there, I am very excited to jump on the glass storage boat and say goodbye to my freezer baggies!

Oh, and last but not least, if you are ready to ditch daily plastic snack and sandwich baggies too, check out these mega adorable 100% organic cotton lunch pouches from Graze Organic.  I can't stand how stinkin' adorable the bags are.  I look forward to packing these in Goose's school lunches.  I'll have to be patient for five more years. :/

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