Is your freezer a plastic-free zone? Or is it resisting? Are tupperware lids and plastic bags sneaking in, because you are still not convinced of the alternatives for freezing your food?
Reducing plastic at the time of purchase is relatively simple. You just have to be prepared with a few fabric bags, a couple of stainless steel containers and voilà, you are ready with everything you need for a zero waste shop.
BUT, when it comes to freezing, the plastic alternatives bring up questions and doubts that put off the decision to convert your freezer into a plastic-free space.
Therefore, in this post we are going to tell you how we go about freezing food at home. This way you can move forward with confidence, informed of the options available to store your food in the freezer with complete peace of mind and without any plastic in sight.
FREEZING PLASTIC-FREE : UN ISSUE FOR THE PLANET AND FOR YOUR HEALTH
Reducing waste, preventing plastic rubbish ending up in our natural environment, fighting microplastics and refusing products derived from petroleum are only some of the environmental reasons for not using plastic.
Plastic does not just contain toxins that only affect the planet, but they also affect your health. Compounds such as BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead can end up in your meals when you store food in products such as plastic cling film (or plastic wrap), freezer bags or plastic containers
These toxic chemicals, also known as endocrine disruptors, can affect your hormonal system causing disease and sickness, and are especially damaging during periods of development (such as infancy and adolescence). Hence, special care should be taken when there are children at home.
Finally, plastic is a porous material (notice how plastic containers change colour when storing tomato sauce). This means, that in addition to spreading toxic compounds present in the plastic, it also accumulates the toxins present in the chemicals used to clean the plastic itself. Such as dishwasher detergent, washing up liquid and soaps. Not very appetising, right?
HERE ARE THE 4 ALTERNATIVES WE USE AT SINPLÁSTICO FOR FREEZING FOODSTICO
Glass is an inert material that is widely recyclable, it is known not to absorb nor to release toxic substances. However, most people object to using it for freezing as they believe it will break. If this is you, don’t be concerned. We have been using glass for years and we can assure you, that if you use it correctly, glass is completely safe for freezing your food in.
For this purpose you can use wide mouthed jars like this one (removing the rubber seal) or reuse regular glass jars you have lying about at home. Either way, if you store liquids such as soups, purées or stews you should leave a small gap of 2 or 3 centimetres beneath the lid, so that the food has room to expand whilst it solidifies, thereby preventing the glass from cracking.
STAINLESS STEEL CONTAINERS
Stainless steel containers (with lids made from the same material or from high grade silicone) are perfect for storing solid food such as fruit, steaks or fish. In order to stop the different pieces of food from sticking to each other, the best option is to freeze them separately on a plate or tray and then, once they are frozen, place them into the final storage container.
PARCHMENT BAKING PAPER!
The most economical alternative for freezing food is also the one that saves you the most space. Parchment paper (or baking paper) is perfect for freezing a lot of different food and it can even be reused again and again. You can even use it for fish or meat but in this case better using it just once. Therefore, we are very happy to include it in our plastic-free range. But beware, there are many oven paper rolls available and not all are created equal (hence free of toxic substances). So, if you have some hiding in the back of your cupboard at home, make sure that it does not contain wax, paraffin or silicone coating that could be harmful to your health.
If you usually freeze sliced bread in order to make toast throughout the week, a fabric bag could be very useful and it does not take up much space in your freezer. In order to avoid having to attack the frozen baguette with a knife every morning, we recommend slicing it before you put it in the freezer.
ANY QUESTIONS? JUST ASK
We know that freezing and conserving food is one of the subjects that tends to generate questions and doubts when trying to start living plastic-free. So, if you have any questions, write them in the comments and we will answer you as best we can.
If you would like more tips and advice about how to reduce plastic in your daily life, please don’t hesitate to join our community in the fight for a plastic-free world.