Save the Jars!

So, in my quest to eat better, healthier, higher quality food, I have to share with you one of my little secrets.

I save glass jars. Pickle, jelly, salsa, canning, whatever…I save jars. Once they’re empty, I sanitize them in my dishwasher and add them to my food storage collection. For every piece of glass storage I add, I throw away a piece of plastic.

Why? Well, let me answer a question with a question… if I am being mindful of eating healthier, organic, farm fresh, pasture raised food, why would I serve, store, and reheat in containers that possibly transfer BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Antibacterials and other chemicals into my food? Doesn’t that seem silly?

I already have started rebuilding my collection with the leakproof glass food storage items, and the tempered glass prep bowls from The Pampered Chef (I LOVE these!) as well as glass storage from Pyrex and other places. Tempered glass is safe to use in the freezer, the refrigerator, the microwave, and the oven. Reheating in glass does not allow harmful chemicals and compounds to leech into my food, and then into my body. Now, I DO use a FoodSaver for freezing, however the FoodSaver company states that its bags are BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free. Also, I try to be very diligent about not putting HOT food into those bags (I let my blanched vegetables cool before bagging and freezing) and taking the food out of the bags before cooking.

Today, I packed some potato-leek soup and a poached pear for my lunch. Two glass jars with their tight fitting lids fit beautifully into my thermal lunch tote, and all I had to do was take off the lids and reheat in our work microwave. Delicious! Plus I didn’t have to wory about warped lids not fitting correctly, or the glass heating up so that I couldn’t lift it and carry it back to my desk.

As an added bonus, when I store food in glass, it’s easier to see the contents and I find myself far more likely to USE what’s inside, rather than let it go to waste. This applies to the pantry too! Jelly, Dip, Salsa, Pickle… any jar can be sanitized in the dishwasher and then put to good use. Canning jars can be had for pennies or even free at yard and garage sales.

Also, never EVER reheat food on Styrofoam plates, or in those foam carryout containers you get at restaurants. Styrofoam is a petroleum product, and melts when heat contacts it. Where do you think those toxins end up? In your food. Transfer leftovers to glass containers as soon as you get home and store them in your fridge. Then you’re guaranteed a delicious and non-toxic meal the second time around.

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