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Safe food storage containers: what do you love and use?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi!!

I am looking to get rid of all our plastics in the kitchen - are there any BPa, PVC,phthalate-free food containers that you love and recommend?

Thanks so much in advance!!
post #2 of 13

I spent some time looking into this, and I believe Glad and Ziploc bags are made of polyethylene, which is either #2 or #4 plastic, depending on specifics. The safe plastics are 2, 4, 5. They don't have phthalates or BPA. PVC contains phthalates, so my understanding is that if something is phthalate free, it's also PVC free.

 

You can google this to double check. Here (you gotta scroll way down), Dr. Mercola talks about how 2, 4, and 5 are safe. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/24/europe-bans-penis-shrinking-chemical-america-does-not.aspx 

 

I even microwave my sweet potatoes in that plastic-y wrap that they come in from the grocery store, because I looked into it, and its a safe plastic. That is a little risky if you are paranoid, but theoretically it should be fine. As long as it's 2, 4, or 5, I don't worry. Glad saran-type wrap is safe too. I remember reading the regular Glad wrap had been tested, so I always buy Glad now. I think the Press N Seal is one that does have something bad, though, so don't use Press N Seal.

 

However, for longterm food storage in freezer, I get paranoid, and while I "know" there are no chemicals in Ziplocs, and Ziplocs take up less space in freezer, I still feel better using my Pyrex. Pyrex can't go from extreme cold to extreme hot anymore though, word of warning. You gotta baby it a little more and not put it straight in oven, etc. But I have tons of Pyrex glass containers, and cover them with plastic wrap (it doesn't touch my food, even though I know it's safe)....because I get sick of washing the lids that came with the Pyrex, and I never bothered to research them, so I actually have more doubts about those colorful Pyrex lids then my Glad wrap.

 

The Pyrex is great for fridge storage of messy things like lasagna or pastas or soups, because it doesn't stain or absorb odors, and you can then just microwave in that container. But if I store rinsed veggies in the fridge, or cut up cheddar slices, I use ziplocs, because like I said, everything I read says it's polyethylene and thus safe. There are only so many glass containers I can SANELY handle at once.

 

I hope that puts your mind at ease a little. I want to get to the point that I'm storing my cooked ground meats in ziplocs in the freezer, but I can't do it, yet....brain tells me yes, heart tells me "watch out."

 

However, I like ziplocs more than ceramic things, because I always have doubts about what is in the glaze, or if there are cracks in the glaze so then what's in the clay, etc. So I prefer pyrex, then ziplocs/glad wrap, then ceramic covered with something.

 

I used to be paranoid about eating a sandwich out of a ziploc bag, until I actually READ about plastics, and now I feel a lot more confident. I remember the good ones with the phrase I made up, "Go 2 Studio 54." 2, 4, 5. The bad ones are 1, 3, 7. I dunno where 6 went, haha.

 

I noticed that those ready-to-eat enchiladas from places like Target, or Stouffer's meals, are either in #5 or #1 black hard plastic containers. So one's bad, one's good, both look the same. Check the bottom. I see #1 a lot and I avoid it. But more commonly I see #5 and breathe a sigh of relief. I know it's not preferred by my paranoid standards where nothing that looks plastic-y gets heated, but I tell myself it's theoretically safe.

 

I think the Starbucks iced drinks come in 5, which I feel good about storing in fridge....but I noticed many other coffee shops like Whole Foods or small establishments use 1, which makes me pour it into a glass cup before storing overnight. Those are just examples of things you notice when you look around.

 

I store leftover juices, coffee, and smoothies a LOT (both homemade and from elsewhere), and I normally store them in a glass covered in my favorite...Glad wrap. Supposedly your mouth germs contaminate that stuff if you've drank from it already, and you shouldn't store too long even in fridge, but whatever. I dunno if I'd store a toddler's drink, but I store mine for a day or so.


Edited by bobcat - 4/11/13 at 12:41pm
post #3 of 13

Anchor Hocking glass storage with glass lids for pantry and refrigerator.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much Puma and Bobcat--much appreciated!! Have a great day!
post #5 of 13

Glass containers with locking lids like Lock 'n Lock or Glasslock. There is plastic in the lids but that plastic is  rarely in contact with the food because I don't overfill them. There is a good variety of sizes available. DH and the kids prefer these containers because they don't leak if they use them to pack lunches.  

 

Mason jars also work well for a lot of things. 

post #6 of 13

Mason Jars until you are able to buy the cute glass bowls and jars of preferance.  Mason jars are great for dried goods and leftovers, etc.

post #7 of 13

2, 4, and 5s may not have BPA but they do contain other chemicals.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

Anchor Hocking glass storage with glass lids for pantry and refrigerator.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I have been using these http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/For_The_Home/Kitchen_&_Dining/Food_Storage_&_Prep/Glass_Storage_Dishes/54675

for many years.  We love them!  I use them in the oven, fridge, counter, pantry, etc.  I have never used them in the freezer.

I bought my first set at Lehmans or Vermont Cty Store and then found more locally.  There isn't a day that I do not use them in some way.

 

I also use mason jars.  I found a bunch of the old gallon size and they work great for dried beans, rice, etc.

post #9 of 13

We use vintage pyrex(I have an obsession with finding it cheap at yard sales) and mason jars.  My mom uses the glass food storage containers with plastic lids.  I wanna say they are pyrex as well but I'm not positive.  

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat View Post

I spent some time looking into this, and I believe Glad and Ziploc bags are made of polyethylene, which is either #2 or #4 plastic, depending on specifics. The safe plastics are 2, 4, 5. They don't have phthalates or BPA. PVC contains phthalates, so my understanding is that if something is phthalate free, it's also PVC free.

 

You can google this to double check. Here (you gotta scroll way down), Dr. Mercola talks about how 2, 4, and 5 are safe. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/24/europe-bans-penis-shrinking-chemical-america-does-not.aspx 

 

I even microwave my sweet potatoes in that plastic-y wrap that they come in from the grocery store, because I looked into it, and its a safe plastic. That is a little risky if you are paranoid, but theoretically it should be fine. As long as it's 2, 4, or 5, I don't worry. Glad saran-type wrap is safe too. I remember reading the regular Glad wrap had been tested, so I always buy Glad now. I think the Press N Seal is one that does have something bad, though, so don't use Press N Seal.

 

However, for longterm food storage in freezer, I get paranoid, and while I "know" there are no chemicals in Ziplocs, and Ziplocs take up less space in freezer, I still feel better using my Pyrex. Pyrex can't go from extreme cold to extreme hot anymore though, word of warning. You gotta baby it a little more and not put it straight in oven, etc. But I have tons of Pyrex glass containers, and cover them with plastic wrap (it doesn't touch my food, even though I know it's safe)....because I get sick of washing the lids that came with the Pyrex, and I never bothered to research them, so I actually have more doubts about those colorful Pyrex lids then my Glad wrap.

 

The Pyrex is great for fridge storage of messy things like lasagna or pastas or soups, because it doesn't stain or absorb odors, and you can then just microwave in that container. But if I store rinsed veggies in the fridge, or cut up cheddar slices, I use ziplocs, because like I said, everything I read says it's polyethylene and thus safe. There are only so many glass containers I can SANELY handle at once.

 

I hope that puts your mind at ease a little. I want to get to the point that I'm storing my cooked ground meats in ziplocs in the freezer, but I can't do it, yet....brain tells me yes, heart tells me "watch out."

 

However, I like ziplocs more than ceramic things, because I always have doubts about what is in the glaze, or if there are cracks in the glaze so then what's in the clay, etc. So I prefer pyrex, then ziplocs/glad wrap, then ceramic covered with something.

 

I used to be paranoid about eating a sandwich out of a ziploc bag, until I actually READ about plastics, and now I feel a lot more confident. I remember the good ones with the phrase I made up, "Go 2 Studio 54." 2, 4, 5. The bad ones are 1, 3, 7. I dunno where 6 went, haha.

 

I noticed that those ready-to-eat enchiladas from places like Target, or Stouffer's meals, are either in #5 or #1 black hard plastic containers. So one's bad, one's good, both look the same. Check the bottom. I see #1 a lot and I avoid it. But more commonly I see #5 and breathe a sigh of relief. I know it's not preferred by my paranoid standards where nothing that looks plastic-y gets heated, but I tell myself it's theoretically safe.

 

I think the Starbucks iced drinks come in 5, which I feel good about storing in fridge....but I noticed many other coffee shops like Whole Foods or small establishments use 1, which makes me pour it into a glass cup before storing overnight. Those are just examples of things you notice when you look around.

 

I store leftover juices, coffee, and smoothies a LOT (both homemade and from elsewhere), and I normally store them in a glass covered in my favorite...Glad wrap. Supposedly your mouth germs contaminate that stuff if you've drank from it already, and you shouldn't store too long even in fridge, but whatever. I dunno if I'd store a toddler's drink, but I store mine for a day or so.

Thank you for taking the time to type that all out.  I'm sure it took forever but I definitely appreciate someone else's take on plastics and food storage.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsam View Post

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I have been using these http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/For_The_Home/Kitchen_&_Dining/Food_Storage_&_Prep/Glass_Storage_Dishes/54675

for many years.  We love them!  I use them in the oven, fridge, counter, pantry, etc.  I have never used them in the freezer.

I bought my first set at Lehmans or Vermont Cty Store and then found more locally.  There isn't a day that I do not use them in some way.

 

Yep, those are the ones I use. Fingers crossed, they will last as long as I do :)

post #12 of 13

Yes, glass containers with lock lids,and jars!

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and insight! Just ordered some glass storage containers from the Vermont Country Store:)  Have a great day!

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