How to Properly Preserve Leftover Food

How to Properly Preserve Leftover Food

The planet could use a little help in 2021. We’ve been on a single-use plastics binge for over 70 years. Ziploc bags and plastic storage containers are a huge part of the problem when it comes to storing leftover food. But replacing convenience with sustainable eco-based alternatives is a hard habit to kick—especially in the kitchen!

Leftover food is a waste issue when lesser developed nations struggle with starvation. Leftover food waste is also a major environmental issue, contributing plastics to landfills.

In 2017 the National Zero Waste Council conducted research on household food waste in Canada, and the results were astonishing.
63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten.
For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms of wasted food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per year! For Canada as a whole, that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each year, costing Canadians in excess of $17 billion!—Love Food Hate Waste

 

Thankfully, innovative and earth-friendly products like beeswax wrap bags are becoming increasingly popular and can help you cut back on spoiled food and plastic kitchen waste. And there are other sustainable plastic-free options out there that can help to up your game!

 

Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly ways to store leftover food:

Stainless steel

Non-toxic, durable, and easy to clean, we love Dalcini stainless steel containers. Launched in 2015, Nina Tandon filled a gap in the plastic-free food container industry, replacing toxic BPA plastics with safe stainless steel. We like that Dalcini is a Canadian company—and that the containers hold soups, stews, and salad dressings without the worry of hormone-disrupting chemicals leaching into food.

 

Credo Bags

Made in Montreal, we’re big fans of Credo mesh bags for properly storing onions and potatoes so they don’t go soft too soon. We also like Credo’s nut bags for making nut milk that doesn’t come in a plastic-lined carton. Founder Judy Lazar used her textile manufacturing knowledge (20 years experience in the industry) to create the first North American-made reusable mesh produce bag, reducing the carbon footprint of Canadians across the country. Check out her mesh grocery bag tote!

 

Mason Jars

Perfect for chia pudding and overnight oats you make the night before and put in the fridge, mason jars are an all-in-one lunch container. Remember the salad-in-a-jar craze? That’s still going strong. And if you don’t eat everything in the jar, put a lid on it and put it back in the fridge.

 

 

Beeswax Wrap Bags

We love beeswax wrap bags!  These reusable and sustainable products were created by BeeBAGZ™ owner Kristi MacDonald, who was looking for plastic-free alternatives to keep her children’s lunches healthy. She saw a gap in this industry when she realized that beeswax wraps weren’t always a direct replacement for ziplocs and that a pouch format would be an easier and more convenient option. BeeBAGZ™ beeswax wrap bags are the sustainably-produced storage solution Kristi was looking for. As a busy parent herself, the beeswax wrap bags not only helped her prep food for weekly lunches but also helped to minimize food waste by keeping her produce, cheeses, herbs and other foods fresher, for longer periods while storing in the fridge.

 

 

Planning can be the easiest way to cut down on food waste. Let’s take a closer look!

 

Classic Uses

Beeswax bags are perfect for storing leftovers like cut-up fruits and vegetables. They also work well for finger foods, like sandwiches, wraps, crackers, and cookies.

A bag format offers more versatility and convenience than a traditional beeswax wrap—which is great for preserving the freshness of larger items, like a cantaloupe or avocado you’ve cut in half. But a beeswax wrap baggie is great for smaller, more delicate items, like grapes or strawberries, that might get squashed by traditional wraps. Simply open the top of the baggie, and drop your leftovers inside. Then, fold the top flap down and apply gentle pressure to close (the warmth of your fingers makes a nice seal). Done. No worries about food falling out!

 

Because beeswax baggies have a natural wax coating that forms a moisture and air barrier, they are a top pick for items like cheese that are susceptible to drying out if not properly stored.

 

Deep Greens

There's nothing more frustrating than stocking your refrigerator with fresh greens, only to discover that they've wilted or developed mushy spots. Our bags preserve the freshness of herbs, kale, chard, fiddleheads, and lettuce greens by keeping air, light, and moisture out. Simply wash and dry your leafy greens and herbs, trim off any soggy or wilted leaves and excess stems, and tuck them in the beeswax baggie. Then, store your bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer.

 

You can also use your bag to store pre-made leftover salad using this same method. Just be sure to serve the dressing on the side, and skip overly-moist ingredients if you're planning to wait a few days before serving.

 

Store Non-Food Leftovers

Don’t overlook beeswax bags when it comes to storing other non-food leftovers. Half-used bars of soap and solid shampoo are easy to slide in and out of this water-resistant pouch, keeping the rest of your luggage safe from unwanted suds and “goo” during travel. Because your beeswax bag won't absorb odor or color, it's ideal for storing toiletries like natural deodorant, toothpaste tablets, and other earth-friendly personal care items.

 

Healthy Kitchen Habits

Replacing plastic bags and containers with sustainable, non-toxic alternatives takes initiative and the right products. We are part of that solution along with our favourite sister companies who provide options like stainless steel, mesh, organic hemp and linen, and glass. These products combine to reduce leftover food waste and create an eco-friendly kitchen lifestyle.

 

We want to inspire you to change how you store and preserve leftover food.

Start with a family pack of assorted bees wrap lunch pack bags in various sizes and experiment with all the ways you can save the planet in your kitchen, at work or school, and when you travel.

 

Check out our other blog posts to discover how you can be kind to the earth one small intention at a time and about our environmentally sustainable mission. And please let us know how you use your BeeBAGZ beeswax wrap bags!

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