Food storage is all about keeping food fresh and safe. Chemicals in plastic containers leaching into foods has led to a lot of concern over the best ways to store food. Storing food properly so nothing goes to waste also makes sense for your wallet and the planet.
Studies have shown that Americans waste around 60% of their food budget. That’s a lot of greenhouse gases being generated by food waste. Here are some top ways to store and preserve your food.
BPA-Free Plastic Containers
Use these for storage only, not cooking. Empty the food onto a plate if you are going to heat it in the microwave. Give them a longer life in terms of smells and stains by oiling them lightly. The food will also slip out better.
This will help keep cereal fresh. It also allows you to buy cereal in plastic bags (such as Arrowhead Mills puffed rice, corn and so on) and cut down on consumer food packaging.
Pasta and Rice Containers
Pasta and rice can also become stale very quickly. Buy in bulk in plastic bags and refill your containers. Always keep the tops sealed.
Flour and Sugar Containers
These can be glass or BPA-free plastic. Your baked goods will only be as fresh as the ingredients you start with. Flour and sugar can absorb a lot of moisture from the air, so keep them in well-sealed containers that you find easy to handle as you take them on and off the shelf.
A Bread Box
This many sound really old-fashioned, but a bread box will keep your bread fresher longer, in a cool, dark and dry place where it will be less likely to sprout or mold. Buy wholegrain unsliced loaves at your local bakery to cut down on plastic and preservatives.
Mason Jars or Ball Jars
These come in all different shapes, sizes and even colors these days. Again, they may seem old-fashioned, but they have been used for decades by people who want to keep their food farm fresh and who also want to avoid the potential side effects of food in metal cans. The metal, and the coating on the metal to try to make it non-reactive against the content, has been found to leach into the food. Avoid highly acidic canned foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
The glass jars are non-reactive, easy to clean, and sturdy. The secret is to maintain the rubber seals or gaskets so there will be a tight fit to keep air out and freshness in. The rubber rings will wear out or dry out over time and need to be replaced.