Alternatives to Plastic for Freezing and Storing Food

Written by freddie silver
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Alternatives to Plastic for Freezing and Storing Food
Paper and glass are alternatives to plastic for food storage. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Most food storage containers are made from plastic. It is very convenient to purchase these inexpensive containers, which are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with tight-fitting lids to keep the food fresh. Alternatively zipper-type plastic storage bags are also inexpensive and versatile. However, there is growing concern that chemicals might leach out from the plastics into the food resulting in possible negative effects on long-term health.

Glass and Ceramic Containers

It is not difficult to find glass containers similar in shape and size to the more familiar plastic ones. They also come with fitted plastic lids, although the lids usually do not fit as snugly as on the plastic variety. Glass jars with screw-top lids are a good alternative but care must be taken to allow hot foods to cool before filling. These jars should not be filled to the top as the food will expand when frozen.

Paper Containers

Cardboard boxes are most appropriate for short-term storage of cakes or cookies. Although it's possible to find attractive containers made from paper that are suitable for gift giving, they are not practical for long-term storage. They function best when left on the kitchen counter for a day or two. They do not hold up well in the fridge or freezer. Takeout foods that come in their own paper containers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for only a day or two.

Metal Containers

Metal canisters are frequently used for food storage. It's possible to find attractive canisters with names on them of food staples such as sugar, flour, tea and coffee. This type of canister can usually be found in a variety of colours and designs to enhance the decor of any kitchen. Metal containers are not recommended for food storage in the refrigerator or freezer where moisture causes the container to rust.

Aluminium Foil Containers

Aluminium foil pans are a good alternative to plastic for storing foods in the freezer. They are usually available with cardboard lids that are foil-lined on one side. The rim of the foil pan can be folded over the lid to form a good seal. These pans are available in several sizes and typically come in a rectangular or circular in shape. It is easy to store several of these containers on top of each other to save space in the freezer.

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