Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stack Your Plates To Skip the Plastic Wrap

Did you guys read Super Baby Food? With its 17,000 healthy recipes for maximizing the nutritional value of every morsel your drooling baby eats? The baby equivalent of What To Expect From a Book Chock Full of Guilt Trips for Hormonally Vulnerable Women? Anyhoo, I actually really loved reading Super Baby Food and can heartily recommend it as a curiosity piece. You can read a chapter on grinding seeds and growing your own sprouts and go back to feeding your kid some mushy avocado while you daydream about a decade in which you are able to sleep for more than four consecutive hours. Then read a different book on cutesy food decorations, and go back to feeding your kid some oatios.

But I am totally digressing. This post is about a tricky way to get around plastic wrap and foil. Plastic wrap is fraught with troubles: potential leaching into food, even if it's made from theoretically safer plastics; lack of biodegradability; cutesy holiday patterns. Foil takes a whole lotta energy to produce. So what to do? Use Pyrex and Corningware, 'fo 'sho, but what if you don't have any in the right size and no cash to restock your Tupperware supply with glass and metal tiffins?

Use your *existing* bowls and plates and stack them. Yaron, Super Baby Food author and all-round purveyor of fabulous tips, swears by her particular plates (which I don't have). Whatever. This tip still works just fine for me. Salad plate on top of bowl? Check. Soup bowl on top of cereal bowl? Check. Try it! You're just looking for a close-to-airtight fit. What do you have to lose, except a bowl of leftovers?



For other, you know, cheap and easy tips, check out Thrifty Green Thursday at the Green Baby Guide.

15 comments:

Kathleen said...

I've done this before and it can work if you don't have too much food piled on your plate. I've also used the inevitable grocery bag that somehow ends up in our house despite religiously taking cloth bags to the store. Another good item is the Wrap n Mat for sandwiches. http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/

Greenbaby said...

Ha! You're so right about "What to Expect" and "Super Baby Food." I couldn't believe how the author of "Super Baby Food" packed almost every page with anecdotes that were often totally unrelated. Still, her core message is really helpful--as is her tip for avoiding plastic wrap. We have fiesta ware dishes and they seem to have been made with food storage in mind. We just place small plates on the bows and they make a great semi-sealed container. For our large plates, we just flip one over and place it on top. It works perfectly. Thanks for joining Thrifty Green Thursday this week!

MamaBird said...

Kathleen - thanks so much for great idea, we have wrap mats for school lunches and could definitely have them do double duty in the fridge.

Greenbaby - Yaron is amazingly thorough and I can't give the book away yet for just that reason - it's packed with great info. And I might just make one or two of her recipes before my kids go to college!

Green Me said...

Perhaps this is one more reason to pick up some old dishes at the Thrift Store. I've been meaning to do this so that I have "disposable" plates for delivering baked good gifts to friends, family and my husband's office, without having to worry about my everyday dishes coming home!

When it comes to implementing this tip with our current dishes it won't work. We managed to pick out some Asian inspired stone wear when we got married that is very attractive, but not so pracitcal for stacking! Our dishes are a mix of square and round, without lips (smooth edges top and bottom). This design makes for some very precarious stacking arrangements that are also far from being airtight!

Thanks for sharing your tip and for your always clever writing. :)

MamaBird said...

Green Me - love the idea of getting thrift store plates for pain free sharing of baked goods. Maybe you already have ceramic or glass mixing bowls that would work? I'd hate for you to have to buy more stuff...maybe the wrap-n-mats or even a damp dishtowel would work....

Bobbi said...

Great tip - this is already something I do in my home.

Kellie said...

You definitely have to take Super Baby Food with a grain of salt...but don't add it to the baby's food. haha..

Well I guess I'm ahead of the game on this. My dishes are the old white Corelle that my parents got as a wedding present in 1973. Talk about thrifty and green!

Rebecca said...

I thought of getting some old Corningware casserole dishes with glass lids from a thrift store so I could avoid using Tupperware, but then I remembered that I prohibited myself from buying new kitchen things. I really like the stacking idea, but like Green Me, my dishes aren't suited to stacking.

Here's what I do: 1. I do have four glass storage containers, so I used those. 2. I use foil to cover things, but I reuse the foil many, many times. 3. I put an entire bowl of food in a zip-lock bag. The bag does not touch the food (because it's still in the bowl) and can be reused many times, too. I have had the same bags for YEARS.

If someone really loves cling wrap, Glad makes phthalate-free wrap. Not any eco-friendlier, but at least not as toxic.

Thanks for joining Thrifty Green Thursday!

Rjs said...

I thought at first this was a post on baby food (great minds think alike? It's on my list...)

Thanks for the tips on the plastic wrap/foil, prblems in my house.

greeen sheeep said...

I started doing this with hubby's dinner plate. He's the last one home so his dinner is always waiting in the fridge. If it's covered in plastic wrap, he will microwave it with the plastic wrap on. Now I just invert another plate on top of it.

I have a few glass containers with plastic lids that I catch him microwaving once in a while. If I start talking about how the chemicals from plastic leach into his food I get the obligatory eye roll. He already thinks I'm nuts!

It's easier for me to coerce my family into healthier decisions by eliminating less than desirable choices. No plastic wrap in the house, no chance of catching it in the microwave!

Jennifer Taggart said...

I totally laughed at "guilt trips for hormonally vulnerable women" since it is so true of Super Baby Food. Although yes it is full of good ideas, I just ended up feeling like a BAD MOM for not grinding my own seeds and growing my own sprouts, as you put it. And I'm a pretty green mom . . . so, yes, we stack. I will only microwave in glass (no plastic) so I have a collection of glass containers. And all of my friends and relatives know my penchant for glass, so I get all hand me downs - if someone breaks the bottom of a lidded dish, that person will give me the top. I've got a ramshackle collection that works for putting away leftovers.

And, we stack in the microwave - I use a glass plate to cover a bowl to avoid using plastic wrap. Although, I will confess, I do have some plastic wrap because my husband, who is not nearly as green, bought the jumbo pack at Costco and we have had it for like six years now. I have moved it from one house to the other . . .

Emily @ Little Home said...

Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one who does this! :) A good reminder to keep doing it! Thanks!

Going Crunchy said...

I save all sorts of glass jars for storing things. Granted, the top has a tiny amount of plastic on it, but it is much less.

These have also worked well for freezing things too. Got soup? Save it in the jar. Leftover jelly jar? Great size for lunch portions. Small jar for preserves? Great to carry my single serving of veggie juice to work.

Riana Lagarde said...

i loved that book too. it was one of my first going back to nature books for baby. it really inspired me!

great post! great ideas!

Allie said...

That's a great idea!