My collection of left-overs in their little glass Pyrex tombs...
So I have been obsessing about buying and storing meat without using disposable plastic over the last few days. I always double wrap meat for freezing - once in cling wrap, then in a plastic bag (usually reused - I have been doing a 'bit' for the environment, you know!). This is all in order to prevent freezer burn.
What to do? What to do? I spent hours hunting for zero waste freezer solutions on the interweb (got a tiny bit side tracked..) I left a question on Bel and Dunc's site - they are a local couple doing a year's zero waste challenge, nothing new, no waste for a year. They freeze their meat unwrapped in plastic containers without a problem. Turns out, freezer burn not a problem as I only freeze meat for a fortnight or so normally. All these years I have been over-packaging for no reason.
I have decided to freeze meat in glass. I don't have enough plastic containers spare to freeze meat in, and I don't want to go and buy more plastic. I have a bunch of Pyrex containers that I already use to freeze leftovers and extra dinners in, and they are really handy. So yesterday I went out and bought more Pyrex dishes. Yes, ironically, to reduce waste, I bought more new products... my justification being that they should last me forever. They have plastic lids, but the ones I have now have lasted for years, and you can get replacements for them. They come all the way from Pennsylvania, but I love the packaging - all cardboard.
Well played, Ms/Mr Pyrex. The only information I'm not clear on is whether the plastic lids are #5 or #7 for recycling purposes. Will hopefully have that cleared up in the years before I need to recycle them... (actually, hoping #7 will be able to be recycled at that point).
So all this brings me to the point, this morning, at which I'm going to the butcher's to pick up our meat for the week. I feel a bit silly, to be honest, with my blue insulated bag full of Pyrex containers to take to the butcher. I hate feeling conspicuous, putting people out, doing odd things. I am not an extrovert environmental evangelist by any means.
But the lovely Rob doesn't bat an eyelid at my request, and is more than happy to not use a plastic bag (I have slunk in at 9.15am, figuring there won't be a crowd. Nope, only me). He is a butcher of the old school. No namby pamby plastic gloves for him. It's bare hands, and slap the meat straight on the scales. As it should be.
So, here is our new-look zero-waste freezer meat storage solution. It's rather more elegant than plastic bags, and having spent the weekend reading about the phthalates leaking into our food from plastic bags, I'm now less worried about freezer burn, and more worried about chemicals disrupting the endocrine systems of my babies. Glass storage, good on a number of levels.. it's the old story - what's good for our environment is good for our health.
However, I'm already feeling pale about the hundreds of other products in my pantry, bathroom cupboards, and laundry to consider. I think we will be well-sorted by about 2033. I'm going to have a cup of tea and a lie down..