Why not Mason Jars? (Food Chronicles 8.2)

I mentioned avoiding BPA-containing cans in the initial food chronicles post, and this is a bit of a tangent.  Part of the whole healthy/sustainable living quest will eventually involve replacing plastic food storage – the Glad & Ziploc containers that usually hold my leftovers, or extra batches of soup or sauce, the ziploc freezer bags that hold various things, and other plastic containers in general.  While this has been percolating in my mind, no solution presented itself until my brilliant friend D made me a treat she had cooked – in a small mason jar.  Voila!

As it turns out, she’s begun using Mason jars for food storage.  Apparently you can get small ones (125 mL) and large ones (4 L) and many sizes in between.  D says they go in the fridge, the freezer, can be sterilized in the dishwasher, and are easily available and not too expensive.  How, how, how did I miss such an obvious solution??  And how many “duh” moments will I have this month?  But  I am glad to benefit from D’s wisdom!

I haven’t yet made the trip to the basement to bring out Mason jars, or looked around for a greater variety of Mason jar sizes, but I am looking forward to replacing my plastic food containers.  I don’t think I’m ready to let go of Ziplocs yet.  (Every time I use them I remember a line from a radio show, about how every bit of non-degradable plastic manufactured is still with us today.)

Along the same lines, I’ve been really happy with the Laptop Lunchbox/Bento Box that I purchased a few months ago.  I love bright coloured containers, and the fact that I don’t need plastic wrap or sandwich bags.  It’s been so much fun to think of what to put in each container to enjoy the contrast of colours, and what will fit where.  It also fits only a certain amount of food, so that’s automatic portion control; plus it encourages variety for the different containers, which has encouraged me to up the veggie intake.  The one thing I would change is to have lids for the smaller containers too – if I want to pack a yogurt it must be in the bigger container.

According to the website “we manufacture our lunch containers here in California using plastics (polypropylene and polyethylene) that are FDA-approved for food use. We do not use any binding agents or plasticizers in the process. We do not use any materials that are suspected carcinogens or endocrine disrupters”  Apparently it is also possible to recycle the plastic that it’s made of, although everything in the set seems very durable and I don’t anticipate needing to recycle anytime soon.

I’d really like to hear any brilliant ideas that have come your way (or come from your own brain) in a quest for healthier eating, or more environmentally friendly eating.  I’m wondering how many more “duh” moments are in store for me!


4 thoughts on “Why not Mason Jars? (Food Chronicles 8.2)

  1. Portraits in Sepia says:

    Hi there,
    I had planned to post my views on the prolife/prochoice debate since asking the question on my blog but I am still forming my opinions. I have always been prolife but my views are becoming more defined the more thought and deep consideration I give the subject. I think if ultimately I believe that all life is precious then I can’t separate my views on the death penalty from my views on abortion. so that is where I am at the time being…more to come I’m sure.
    As always, thank you for stopping by my little piece of cyberspace.. 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    I love bento boxes! The girls do, too–especially my 6 year-old, who’s very into tiny boxes and containers. I actually gave up the ziplocs pretty easily—it’s the plastic containers I can’t let go of quite yet!

  3. (warning: Ithe author of this comment finds her brain to be .87% asleep, and wishes to absolve herself of the responsibility for what her fingers are doing on the keyboard. Particularly where spelling and syntax are concerned.)

    I recently shuddered and flung all of our toddler sippy cups in the recylcling bin, and went out and plunked down for some non-evil plastic sippy cups. And then promptly felt like a bad eco-vore for increasing the amount of plastic in the system, but trashing some and buying more.

    My grandmother, naturally, warned me about chemicals leaching out of my plastics. I hate it when she’s right like this, especially since she died in 1993. Can’t go back and be rueful at her. Oh, those Cassandras.

    But, she did get me using jars – I love Ball jars, but we save and wash and reuse anything that looks like a good size and shape. And the Eldest loves watching us recycle jam jars into pencil jars, or something to hold squeezed lemon juice.

    We did have an unpleasant surprise: always hunting for the greener pasture, we traded our sandwich bags in for some Wrap N Mats, which do wonders in making a safe zone for allergic kids to eat, as well as wrapping up a sandwich. But, some have PVCs….some don’t. Whoops. Who knew that “made in China” could be safer than “made in the USA?”

    of course, post-melamine, should I even ask?

  4. reen says:

    I’m new to your blog (linked from HFF) and thoroughly enjoying it.

    My daughters have been using the LL boxes for over a year and they’re holding up well. The accessory bits, not so much, but ah well. I like that they make me think more thoroughly about what I’m packing for their lunch.

    Thanks for the Mason jar idea, I just smacked myself in the head over that one! Do they really freeze without breaking??

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