Food Storage Without Plastic or BPA Concerns

I received a question from Jackie regarding an alternative to wrapping her food in plastic to store in the freezer.  Funny enough I was wondering how to eliminate wrapping meat that I buy to freeze in plastic wrap, then popping them into a freezer bag.  I’m no longer comfortable with having my food in close contact with plastic and I’ve realized I have a serious addiction to plastic baggies that I’m trying to break.  They are just wayyy too handy to use.  BUT – after googling Pyrex glass food containers, I’ve found my solution to both of these problems.  We know that glass baby bottles have been recommended rather than plastic for babies and toddlers, well it’s back-to-basics with all food storage. Pyrex is a name that has been around forever and they are very cost effective.  I find it shocking how expensive Tupperware is and they don’t code their products with a plastic recycling code.  Really, it’s scary to know what kind of plastic they use…and it costs a fortune! 

With food storage, Pyrex products can go into the refrigerator, freezer,  microwave, or oven.  They are also dishwasher and microwave safe. Unlike the plastics we are so suspicious about, they won’t absorb food flavors, odors, or stains…including tomato-based sauces.   I always wondered after storing left-overs with tomato sauce, why my plastic was stained from sauce. Well now I know the cheap plastic was probably leaching BPA into my food.  Lovely.

Pyrex is also made in America.  If you’ve purged your kitchen of all plastic containers, it’s time to start fresh with a quality product..and won’t it be nice to have lids that match the container?  <smile>

 

If you divide up bulk food to freeze from Costco, etc., this 6 piece set looks great for larger items.

 

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26 Responses to Food Storage Without Plastic or BPA Concerns

  1. Sandra Jonas May 30, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    Are you concerned that these have plastic lids? I checked with Pyrex and the lids are made with plastic number 7. Are these any options for food storage without any plastic 7?

  2. suzanne May 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the post! I agree, eliminating plastic in your kitchen is the best way to go. I figured the plastic lids on the pyrex were ok for my needs, as I was looking to replace my plastic options when freezing food. Here are some more options that are all non- plastic:
    Anchor Hocking Glass Refriderator Storage – http://www.amazon.com/Anchor-Hocking-85694S-Storage-Container/dp/B000LNW3OC/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1212179527&sr=1-30

    Corning Ware – http://www.corningware.com/

    Thermos stainess steel food jars, although very expensive are a great option for a lunch bag – http://www.thermos.com/Product_detail.aspx?CatCode=SCHO&SubcategoryID=32&ProductID=305

    I hope these ideas help!

  3. suzanne May 30, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi again,
    I’m double checking with Pyrex, but I’m sure before I wrote this article I saw the storage sets being advertised as BPA free. I’m double checking this information and will post again.
    Great topic hey? So many things to double check these days on the plastics front.

  4. suzanne May 30, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    Here is the response from Pyrex regarding their plastic lids. Just to summarize…the are BPA free. tx Suzanne

    Thank you for contacting World Kitchen, LLC

    Our PYREX brand lids are a composite of ingredients that, in the amounts
    included in the lids, meet all FDA requirements for food contact
    materials. In addition, our PYREX lids meet the requirements of
    California’s Proposition 65 relating to heavy metals release. We are
    sorry that we cannot provide you the exact ingredients in our lids. The
    actual list of those ingredients is proprietary to World Kitchen and its
    supplier. However, our supplier has confirmed that these covers do not
    contain BPA. We hope this is helpful.

    For further assistance, please contact our Consumer Care Center at
    800-999-3436. Representatives are available from 8am to 6pm, EST, Monday
    through Thursday and 8am to 5pm on Friday, and will be more than happy
    to assist you.

  5. Amandeep Singh June 14, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    If Sandra says it has plastic #7 in the lids, then its not safe for food storage. If you search on internet, they say avoid plastics #3, #6 and #7. Since the query was specific to BPA, the company may be right when it says the lids dont have BPA.

    I think I will follow a safer route and use all glass containers.

  6. suzanne June 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Amandeep,
    Glass is always better for sure! I will post another article with all glass and bamboo food storage ideas. Thanks for the feedback.
    S

  7. Debbie July 25, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Suzanne:
    Looking to buy glass cups, I found a nice selection of Anchor Hocking at Zellers of all places! They are very reasonably priced and made in the US.

  8. jessica December 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    I just want to clear up something about recycling code #7. Not all items coded with 7 are harmful. 7 is used as the catchall for anything that doesn’t fit into the other numbers. Additionally, polycarbonate, which is where BPA is often found being in use, falls under 7. However, if a manufacturer says that their #7 item does not contain BPA, phthalates or other harmful materials then it can be considered safe.

    Also, I have started using glass storage containers and I am yet to find ones with plastic lids that are not made in China. So, I put a layer of wax or parchment paper between by food and the lid when I am going to use if for freezing and need to fill to the top to prevent freezer burn – just to be extra safe (even though I buy ones that all say that the plastic lids are safe and do not contain BPA.).

  9. suzanne December 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    Great comment Jessica – thank you for posting!

  10. susan July 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    agree re glass being best. Here’s a way to recycle glass containers. For years now i’ve been saving all my peanut butter glass jars w/ metal lids and using them for leftovers in fridge. they are widemouth and even stackable because uniform in size. i even use them for freezing food. Easy for berries or food with air space…be sure to leave lid off when freezing liquids or purees or glass may break…add lid after frozen. they take more space than square plastic freezer containers, but circulation between items in freezer is actually a good thing.

  11. diane November 13, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    re: glass food storage containers.
    glass jars from condiments, jelly, fruit and vegetables are good for leftovers and don’t forget the ball and mason jars which also come with glass lids.

  12. Tom December 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Don’t forget that the inside coating of metal lids to glass condiment/canning jars often have BPA.

    As bad as BPA seems to be, ALL petroleum-based plastics leach toxic chemicals into food, air, and water. Guess what you’re breathing when you’re driving in your car- the outgassings of all the various plastics that make up the interior. And take a look around a given room in your house and try to count all the things made of plastic… Unless you completely thoroughly air out your house every day you’re breathing a soup of plastic toxins. Your water pipes are probably made of PVC, which is supposed to be the worst plastic. Even if you store your food in glass, it probably came in a plastic package so it already received some plastic chemicals. It is almost overwhelming if you really start to think about it!

    Here is the most comprehensive overview of the problems with petroleum-based plastics in our world today that I’ve read:

    Get Plastic Out of Your Diet
    http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm

    It was amazing to me to learn that the FDA actually classified plastic food containers as “indirect food additives” because it was a given that plastics would “migrate” into the food. Unfortunately, the FDA, EPA, and USDA are all run by lobbyists who have worked, and will work again, for the very corporations that they are supposed to be protecting our health from. So don’t expect help from them, and also just because the FDA says something is ‘within safe levels’ I would be very skeptical before believing it.

    But back to plastics- my point is that this is such a far-reaching problem that merely trying to avoid BPA is not enough… Corporations love petroleum-based plastics because they are cheap to make, but at what cost to our health and environment? Not to mention the pollution and trash that this cheap throw-away mentality allows. What everyone needs to do is wake up and start demanding better solutions. Corporations can only get away with things like this if we keep shoveling money at them and buying their harmful junk products.

    Anyway, here is another idea: Central Market here in Texas sells their organic lettuce, spinach, etc in plastic containers MADE FROM PLANTS, which are reusable and compostable. It occurred to me that if there were other sizes, this would be perfect for food storage. Unfortunately these are a little bigger than you’d want to use for say, half an onion, but would be very useful for many foods. I wrote them asking if they could come up with a line of food storage containers made of this biodegradable plastic. A good question though is what chemicals are involved and what processing is done to it. I hope to find out soon. But the fact that they can be composted and aren’t made from oil puts them way ahead of other plastics already.

    We need to start trying to solve this problem! If enough people wrote these companies saying they would buy non-petroleum containers if they made them but will be looking elsewhere for alternatives, companies would start to realize that they’re losing out on a growing market of people who don’t want their toxic junk and would start offering better alternatives. Money talks, and it’s the only language the corporate world understands.

    WE are the ones who have to start to change this messed up modern world!

  13. Padma January 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    I recently threw away lot of my old plastics from pantry and replaced them with snapware bpa free containers and rubber maid easy lids. I am using them to store only dry food like beans, lentils, spices, flours etc. All thos plastic is made with #5 and #4 plastics. I want to know if this is safe for dry foods.

    Also, I am yet to find a good set for my left overs. Someone here suggested that Pyrex is the best and we can use wax paper between the food and the lid as the lid is plastic. Is it safe to use reynold’s wax paper. Does this have any chemicals in it. Please some one answer. Also, please suggest if there is any alternative foe left overs which does not plastic at all. Is corning ware set good for left overs.

    Padma

  14. Kasandra February 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I’m wondering what the refrigerator itself is made of…

  15. suzanne March 7, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    This article might help you also:

    http://mommyfootprint.com/alternatives-to-freezing-food-in-plastic/

    Suzanne

  16. Anna May 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Last night on 60 Minutes they had a segment on plastics,which caused me to freak out, so today I was searching the internet for possible replacements to freeze food in. The 60 Minutes segment mentioned everything from toys and food containers to shower curtains, cosmetics, body lotions and carpet. Also, I started thinking about all the plastics in our landfills. Surely the BPA in that stuff is leaching out into our water supply, the ground we plant our gardens in, etc.
    Unfortunately, scientist cannot agree as to whether it is actually harmful.

    I’m convinced the FDA will approved almost anything (the road of least resistance). They don’t want to deal with corporate America giants. I guess they forget we are all using the same products.

    I do have to say my Mom, who is 95, always canned with Mason jars using the metal lids and I’m still here (although BPA may not have been around then. Where do I find the glass lids????

    I agree we do have to speak up and start doing something about this (among many other things)!

  17. Suzanne May 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I’ve had lots of people ask about using glass jars to store or freeze food but don’t want to use the metal lids. I asked my friend Carolyn, owner of the Tickle Trunk for some ideas to get around this (she specializes in stainless steel products to store or freeze food) and mentioned using wax, parchment paper, or cheesecloth with a rubber band. This would eliminate your concerns with any toxins leeching from lids. Give it a try and please post back. Thanks! Suzanne

  18. Candy Eve July 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I have used Tupperware for years, and in the last three I switched to the ROCK N SERVE set for freezing and food storage including my spaghetti sauces! I now found out, it is BPA filled and #7.

    (I have had medical issues with low estrogen levels in the past few years and wonder if that is connected?)

    Now I have to go back to glass. Pyrex has always been best, and luckily, I didn’t throw it all out, being a packrat… Other brands have chipped, and I found glass in my dry pastas, so I use the Hard clear plastics for storing dry pasta. Is that bad, too? I know some #7 now are BPA free, but sadly, not mine. I have some purging to do in ALL my closets. I am frustrated and a bit frantic!!!

  19. Cindy October 29, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    I am a little worried about how everyone is so ready to throw away their plastic in favor of glass. I too have wanted to purge my house of plastic. I use pyrex, anchor hocking, and mason jars for food storage and reheating. I will refuse to buy new plastics as much as possible. My main dilemma: What should we all do with our old plastics. If we simply throw them away, are we just contributing to a landfill problem? Are they going to end up in the belly of a baby albatross or tumbling around some beach somewhere turning into plastic sand? Does anyone have a good suggestion how to reuse all of this plastic that we have around?

  20. homeschoolingmom March 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    My pyrex lids have PC on them. That’s polycarbonate, right? Isn’t that always a dangerous plastic?

  21. suzanne March 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi! To my knowledge, Tupperware never coded their plastics because they have a ‘lifelong’ guarantee they didn’t feel like their products would even need to be recycled. Yes, polycarbonate plastic is a number 7 plastic that can sometimes contain BPA. Because we are talking about Tupperware, if the product is older than 2010, it might contain BPA…it will be a frustrating process trying to find out. Tupperware doesn’t acknowledge that BPA is dangerous because it’s only been banned in baby products. So it’s not like they will take it back if it does contain BPA (a reason I’m not a fan of Tupperware’s products or company). If you really like the container and want to know, you’ll have to contact Tupperware…I have a feeling it doesn’t stand for Polycarbonate…the abbrev. for this form of plastic is normally a number 7.

    Suzanne
    Mommy Footprint

  22. suzanne March 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I just noticed your post was referencing Pyrex. They use food safe plastic for their lids #5. You would have to contact Pyrex to see what PC stands for. I don’t think it’s polycarbonate…but it’s worth checking. Please let us know.

    Suzanne
    Mommy Footprint

  23. Valerie February 25, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I’ve replaced most of my plastics with glass. The only problem I’m finding is when I bring soup to work. The lock-and-look still leaks the soup. I bought an non-BPA container from Rubbermaid and there website says its all non-BPA (including the lid); however, I prefer to use glass.

    Does anyone know of a glass container, made of glass with a secure lid, for transporting liquids?

  24. Nathalie September 18, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Glasslock clean and fresh is also another freezer alternative. it’s BPA free.
    I also wanted to post a comment about how our food is packaged, and packaged and over-packaged in the grocery stores. There’s something wrong with the world when the only way I can eat organic produce is by buying it individually packaged in saranwrap or plastic wrap steamed-molded onto round produce like green peppers to “seal in the freshness”. The truth is the cost of producing, shipping and the profit margin maintained by all parties – all these costs are charged to me and I not only get what I paid for, the “organic” produce is now contaminated with BPA. The only solution is to plant your own garden or eat local and encourage your local farmers. This solution will not resolve the “plastic” problem, but it will significantly reduce the use of plastic packaging used to ship non local foods to your grocery store, and it will reduce the amount of pollution the trucks and airplanes are producing to ship your non-local food. As for the way the grocery stores are individually wrapping their products, please talk to the store managers and let them know you have stopped buying certain products BECAUSE of the way they are wrapped. Demand no plastic AND no styrofoam (the styrofoam rant is another monster I will not tackle on this conversation, but is another relatedproblem that needs to be addressed).

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