Food Storage



STORAGE


Please do not store food in plastic containers

especially if it contains fat.


I'm not going to go into the dangers of BPA because you must have been living under a rock if you haven't heard of them.  However...the new BPA-free containers currently on the market are no better.  According to Scientific American:

BPS was a favored replacement (for BPA) because it was thought to be more resistant to leaching. Yet, nearly 81 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine. And once it enters the body ... its effect is worse than BPA.
 Since we cannot trust manufacturers to use non-toxic ingredients,
you're safer storing everything in glass or stainless.
(You know you shouldn't use aluminum, right?)


Most things last longer if they're stored in glass anyway, with either a glass or metal lid, and protected from light and heat.  A plastic lid WILL reduce longevity (yes, I tested this!).  Almost everything in our kitchen is stored in glass.  Even the dog's food is in glass.


Fido, Weck, and LeParfait are best, canning jars (Ball, etc…) will do in a pinch.  Anchor Hocking Heremes does make some bail-top jars but they don't stack well so I don't use them.  They're made in China whereas Fido, Weck, and LeParfait are made in Italy, Germany, and France respectively.

Fido jars are my favorite, because they're the cheapest, and they come in many sizes.  When we first moved to New England I could get them inexpensively from Christmas Tree Shops but CTS stopped carrying them.  Now, I get them from Wholesale Glass Bottles.  Shipping is expensive, and they don't have a free shipping threshold, but if you order in bulk you can get wholesale pricing.  Agway also sells them if you don't want to place a large order.  I'm sure there are other places, too.

If you can't afford to buy any glass-top jars, then start saving the jars your food comes in; or, ask the deli in your grocery if they have some they can give you, like pickle jars.  When you use them, make sure the food doesn't touch the lid, or put a small piece of parchment or foil-backed parchment between the food and the lid.

I do have a few stainless containers but I never use them because I can't see what's inside.  If you (or your kids) carry food to work, these would be a good option because they're light weight.  My husband takes the small GlassLock jars shown below.


Please don't freak out when you see the photos below.   I have been collecting these containers for a LONG, LOOOONG time!  Ten years at least, if not longer.  If you're just starting, buy one a week, or one case a month. Eventually, you'll have enough to store everything in glass.

Most of our jars are stored on shelving in the basement. Some jars I cover with the package the goods came in, both to protect the contents from light, and to provide additional info on what's in the jar (like exp. date).  Other jars are covered in tin foil, on the OUTSIDE where it won't contact the food.


I keep smaller jars in the kitchen that I refill from these big jars.

Below are the containers I use to store food in the fridge.  They're mostly GlassLock, (with foil-backed parchment under the lid) and small sizes of Fido, Weck, and LeParfait.  I also save jars with no shoulder like those from coconut oil, ghee, and olives and I use foil-backed parchment under the lids.

GlassLock lids off-gas horribly so I never use them without foil-backed parchment between the food and the lid.  They come with instructions to not leave the lids clamped when not in use and I'm sure that's why.  If you test his, and leave the lid on for a day, there will be a strong plastic smell inside the container when you open it.  If you're very sensitive to off-gassing, you should probably find a different brand.  Pyrex and Anchor Hocking both make something similar but the lids aren't as secure.

The ones with white lids are Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre, similar to the Pyrex and Anchor Hocking.




Here is an example of how I use the foil-backed parchment.  I tear a piece slightly larger than the lid and position the paper between the container and the lid, then clamp/screw the lid on top.




FREEZER
I use these glass jars in the freezer, too,
for all the food I've prepared.

Many things in the freezer are stored in whatever they came in - meat, bread,  tortillas, cranberries, nuts, etc...stay in their original packaging.  Raw vegetables, like onions skins, scallions, peppers, peas, broccoli, etc... I store in plastic because they're chunky and have no fat.  But things with fat, or things that are liquidy, are all stored in glass.  The jars are stacked all the way to the bottom with the same or similar in each stack.  They're labeled on the TOP in large letters.   In the first picture you can see some of the herb logs nestled between the stacks of jars. 

  




HERBS and SPICES
 
I feel STRONGLY that herbs and spices 
should not be stored near an oven or cooktop.  
Those with a high oil content will go rancid, others will lose their potency.  

Most of our herbs and spices are stored on the wall in the stairwell leading to the basement where they are protected from light.  This area is a little cooler than the rest of the house at all times.


I have a few spice jars in a cabinet across from the cooktop but I replace them often as they deteriorate faster in that location.

Here's a photo of some cayenne that was stored in two places.  The jar on the left was on the countertop, the one on the right was in a cabinet.  Which one would you rather eat?


CANNED GOODS

Purchased canned goods (Eden beans) and jarred tomatoes are all stored in the basement.  You can see some of them in the photo further up.

I also pressure-can a lot of our food, both to facilitate preparation on those days when I don't have hours to spend cooking, and to preserve it to use over the winter.  The canned goods are all stored in the basement away from light and heat.  As you can see, the individual shelves are very close together - just far enough apart to fit one quart jar (home-canned food shouldn't be stacked) - and I am able to use every inch of space.



IN MY PURSE

I'm not very strong, and my purse has a LOT of stuff in it, so when I need to carry water I use a titanium bottle or flask .  I also have a small pot for carrying nuts or other snacks.

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