The kitchen is the hub of the house, where everyone gathers to sit and chat, eat and drink. But are we keeping our food products in a healthy way?
Most kitchens around the country will have a variety of food containers and methods of storing food: plastic is probably the most popular. Our freezers are packed with plastic containers, plastic zip bags and cling film, but most of us are not aware that these items are not very eco-friendly.
Never put hot food or liquids into plastic containers to use in your microwave or store in your freezer. Heat can break down plastic and release chemical additives into your food and drink. You can, however, store cold or frozen food in plastic as long as the containers are not too old or scratched in any way (as exposure to the chemicals in plastic may be greater when the surface is worn down). Hot food for freezing should be cooled in the refrigerator and frozen when chilled.
Don’t reuse single-use plastics, as they can break down and release harmful chemicals. Plastic wrap is single use and plastic zip bags have a fairly short life.
Foil is safer for your health and more eco-friendly than plastic wrap. It is also reusable. Be careful not to cross-contaminate food – if it’s used for chicken or other raw meats, throw away after use.
Glass is an ideal, safe, eco-friendly way to store food, both fresh and frozen. It’s non-toxic, recyclable and lasts for years. Make sure the glass containers you use are freezer-friendly; old glass jars will break more easily than new ones. Choose straight-sided jars and not ones that narrow towards the top. Never fill the jars right to the top – leave room for expansion. Only use metal lids that are plain metal on the underside and not white plastic.
The eco-friendly kitchen should be an energy-efficient one. Many appliances are now available with an energy-star rating, including stoves, dishwashers, freezers and refrigerators. Solid door refrigeration, available from https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/solid-door-refrigeration is used in commercial kitchens and is energy rated for maximum efficiency – an important factor when running a business.
Let’s all do our bit, make more effort and stay healthier as we contribute towards saving the planet.