I am getting lots of great questions lately submitted via email. I usually just hit the reply button and give a quickie response but I will try harder to address questions on the blog just in case other people are wondering.
Janelle, who asked about what I use to store food in besides plastic last week, emailed again to know what I use in my freezer instead of plastic containers or plastic baggies. She was primarily concerned about storing leftovers in the freezer. That is a great question Janelle, unfortunately the answer is not as easy as the first one. ;)
I do not usually store leftovers in the freezer. In fact I “almost” never do. If I have leftovers from dinner time they go in glass containers in the regular frig to be used as lunch for the next day. I am not big on making huge dinners to spread out through the week or month as some moms are. I think it is great that some moms do that…it is just not something I do. On rare occasions when I do have something leftover I want to store I will use a plastic storage container. This is what I use for garden produce like loose berries, that I want to freeze. If I can get away with it, I will wrap stuff in paper (like the brown kind you wrap packages in) and then compost the paper afterwards. You have to be willing to accept freezer burn though. I have also put Wrap-N-Mats in the freezer with food wrapped in it.
Jennifer also submitted a good question. She asked me if I buy foods packaged in plastic. I try to avoid buying processed or packaged foods but there will always be times when there just isn’t an alternative. Milk, as Jennifer mentioned, is one of those items that has few alternatives. There is no milk, organic or otherwise, sold in glass containers where I live. They are sold in plastic jugs or plastic/paper cartons. Even the raw milk I have bought comes in a plastic jug and the company wasn’t willing to to use glass or even reuse jugs due to contamination issues. With all the hysteria around raw milk I can’t say that I blame them. So what do I do? I buy organic milk in less than favorable containers because my youngest likes milk. However, I don’t drink milk and neither do my other two kids so when my youngest child decides to give up his milk we just won’t buy it anymore. I would make an exception for raw milk though, because I love that stuff.
As for other foods packaged in plastic….
I usually buy cheese from Whole Foods wrapped in plastic but cheese lasts a long while in our house. I do buy frozen fruit for smoothies and they come in big plastic bags. Sometimes I buy cereal that is wrapped in plastic. So I guess the answer is that I try to avoid plastic if I can but I have not eliminated it completely. The more raw I go with my diet the less plastic I seem to use and of course packaging should always be considered when making any purchase. I would love to hear how other people have tackled this tough issue!
Jennifer also asked me about big gatherings in the home and what I use if I don’t have enough plates and glasses for everyone. Do I use plastic, Styrofoam?
Actually I don’t have a problem in this regard. I could invite 100 people to my house and easily be able to scrounge up enough plates and glasses….seriously. I think I even have enough eating utensils. Family china sets, yard sales finds, boxes of inherited flatware, etc mean I would have more than enough plates and glasses. The picture of our china cabinet in the dining room (below) gives a small sampling. ;) There is an absolute ton of Currier & Ives dishware (above).
What I suggest Jennifer, if you do not have enough dinnerware is to pick some up at yard sales, garage sales, and estate sales. Estate sales especially are a good place to pick up complete sets of China, flatware, and linen napkins for low prices. Even mismatched dinnerware would look better than paper or Styrofoam and it would be much more eco friendly. If this is not feasible either you may consider asking your guests to bring their own tableware. There is a green parents meetup in my area that does this.
I “hope” I have answered these questions sufficiently but I would LOVE to hear from others about how they would answer these questions…so speak up and share the knowledge!