The green movement and increasingly widespread information on the detrimental effects of chemicals are causing many people to consider cling film alternatives. Non-sustainable base ingredients, chemicals that leach into food and non-biodegradable waste combine to make cling film an undesirable expense for many. Fortunately, new alternatives are consistently in the development process, with some already in place and available for consumer use. Creative families may also come up with their own solutions.
Cellophane is a biodegradable material made from a cellulose base that is derived from natural and renewable resources such as wood or hemp. It is transparent, which makes it easy to identify what you've wrapped.
Many of the foods found in your grocery store, such as hard cheeses, snacks, pastas and numerous other food items, are wrapped in cellophane. It is not suitable, however, for foods that need to "breathe."
This wrap has many other applications aside from its use with food. It also wraps soaps and toiletries, as well gifts for special occasions. Cellophane wrap may come in different grades, so be sure to buy food-grade cellophane.
Glass Jars and Containers
The glass mason jars commonly used for canning are just as easily used for storage of non-canned foods and other items. These jars are designed to withstand high temperatures, and some of them are even designed to withstand freezer storage. Thus, it is easy to pop your leftovers into a jar, put the lid on and then put them in the refrigerator or freezer after they've cooled.
These jars work for fresh foods, too. A sliced tomato in a wide-mouth pint or half-pint jar stays as fresh as it does in cling film, if not fresher. The jars last for several years, so they essentially pay for themselves in the long run.
Many companies design other types of glass containers, also for storage. These come in various shapes and sizes for different purposes.
Reusable lids come in a variety of designs for multiple purposes. Microwave cooking covers are designed to put over your food when in the microwave, but they are suited to other purposes, as well.
Other reusable lids resemble a shower cap. They come in various sizes to fit over bowls and plates. Elastic around the edges keeps the lids secure.
Cheesecloth is effective for wrapping many items. Dampen the cloth to wrap foods such as cheese, to keep them from drying out.
A plate on top of a bowl serves as a suitable lid, eliminating the need for cling film. An inverted plate on top of another plate also works.
Some foods need no wrapping at all. Fresh fruits and vegetables are fine in a crisper.
A roll of the white or brown butcher paper works well at home, too. This is also called Kraft paper, and it may be available at your local grocer.