How to Store Food Without Plastic

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

healthy food storage
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » How to Store Food Without Plastic

I’ve shared before the non-toxic and non-scratch cookware I use, and how we avoid chemicals in our water, but I get quite a few questions about how to store food without plastic in the fridge of freezer.

Plastic containers and plastic bags are the normal fare for this, and it can be a difficult switch. It has taken me years, but I’ve finally phased out all of our plastic food storage containers in favor of glass, metal or silicon options. The bonus here is that most things can be put directly in an oven or convection oven to re-heat, which minimizes dishes in the long run.

Refrigerator Food Storage

Instead of plastic bags and plastic containers, I now use these to store foods in the fridge:

  • Glass Mason Jars– Quart and half-gallon size jars work great for storing things like soups, sauces, broth, and even leftover casseroles and sides.
  • Silicon Food Storage– I love my collapsible fridge storage containers from Xtrema since they don’t take up much room in the cabinets when not in use and are easy to stack in the fridge.
  • Glass and Silicone Storage– Lifeactory makes some great all-glass food storage containers that have a silicon cover to help avoid breakage
  • Zip Top silicone containers are a great alternative and they come in fun colors to use in the kitchen or use in kids lunch boxes.
  • Pyrex Glass Containers with Lids– These do have plastic lids but they are pretty inexpensive and some of the first containers I got when I made the switch.

  • Glasslock Oven Safe Food Storage– I also have this set and use it all the time to store almost everything
  • I also recently discovered these silicon suction lids that turn bowls you already have into fridge storage

I also ditched the plastic wrap (plastic and BPA), wax paper and foil (aluminum) when we made the switch and instead I use this homemade reusable food wrap from Mommypotamus to cover bowls and dishes instead.

Freezer Storage

Finding safe freezer storage options is a little more difficult because liquids need room to expand when they freeze and glass can be tricky.

I use a few of the same things in the freezer:

Non-Toxic Plates, Cups and Bowls

Once we had children, I wanted to make sure our plates, bowls and cups were non-toxic and not plastic. We originally used Corelle plain white dishes, but have slowly been switching to metal dishes (which have the added benefit of being non-breakable). We use:

The bonus to all of these options is that they are all dishwasher safe and most are oven safe. We don’t use a microwave, but most are microwave safe too.

How do you store food without plastic?

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

111 responses to “How to Store Food Without Plastic”

  1. Melanie Batts Avatar
    Melanie Batts

    Thank you for all the research…I enjoy your site and reference it often! Looking for suggestions for bulk food prep in the freezer. I normally store my meat in marinades in a freezer bag…any alternatives that save on space? Also I make breakfast burritos and typically wrap them in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags…any suggestions for an alternative to the plastic wrap? Any input would be appreciated!

  2. Patricia Avatar
    Patricia

    What do you recommend as storage for large cereal bags? Thank you

  3. Betsy Avatar

    I know you said you garden. Do you preserve any produce by freezing? I’m used to using ziplock bags and want to put up a large amount of green beans this summer. Any ideas for plastic alternatives?

  4. Julian Avatar

    Any recommendations on a product that can freeze a gallon of bone broth? I make batches in bulk. Thank you!

  5. Malika Avatar

    Hi!! Thanks alot for this post! I a mother seeking to buikd an extra income for me and my child and am interested in working in meal prep and freeze the meals. Is there and ideal container that is able to be frozen and microwaveable at the same time?

  6. Shana Avatar

    Hey there! What would you recommend storing preschool lunches in please? I was thinking of investing in a stainless steel bento box. Would love your opinion!

  7. Heather Avatar

    I was wondering what you use to store larger quantities of pantry items like flour?

  8. Jessica L Avatar
    Jessica L

    How do you feel about Food Saver systems. They claim not to have BPA and the outer layer is nylon. What are your thoughts?

  9. BoB Underwood Avatar
    BoB Underwood

    Hi Katie,

    Great ideas.

    You CAN use mason jars for freezer storage. Use the STRAIGHT SIDED jars (the liquid presses against the shoulders of regular jars when it expands due to freeing, and cracks the jars)

    I leave about a half inch of head space, and don’t tighten the lids until AFTER the liquid has frozen. ( The air needs to escape so pressure doesn’t build up inside the jar and crack it)

    I freeze soups, stews, and pasta dishes for my work lunches in Mason Jars. I take the jar out of the freezer and put it into my lunch box in the the morning, and it keeps the rest of the lunch cool. By noon, it is a “slush” which pours easily into a micro wave safe bowl for heating.

    I use mason jars quite a bit for my working lunches.The pint, half and quarter pints are perfect for portion control. You can re-use the lids, just not for canning. They are fine just for a cover.

    I have an old fashioned “dome top” lunch box, and the jars fit perfectly. Use other food like fruit or sandwiches for cushioning, or a couple paper towels. (I have never had a jar break, although everyone on the bus was treated to the aroma of my vinegar and oil salad dressing when a jar fell over and leaked!

    You can also pack a salad in a quart mason jar. Pour the salad dressing into the bottom of the jar, and fill n layers: You want a layer of cherry tomatoes to keep everything else out of the dressing so it all doesn’t get soggy. Then add your other veggies, like cucumbers, peppers, carrots, etc., then the lettuce, and any toppings like raisins, or hard boiled eggs on top. Pack croutons separately. Remember to pack a rubber spatula with your lunch utensils.

    About an hour before lunch, turn the jar over and let the dressing trickle through everything.

    Also, you can save spice jars for condiments, dips, salad dressings, etc for lunches.
    About an hour before lunch, I just turn the jar over and let the dressing trickle through everything.

  10. Rosetta Avatar

    I just recently found my way back to your website. Do you still recommend mineralized water made with distilled water and Himalayan?

  11. Kathy Avatar

    how about traveling, when you don’t want it to leak and you can’t take a glass jar with you? Looking for a safe zip lock bag. Cellophane??

  12. Jill Avatar

    Hello,
    I was wondering about the mason jar lids.
    They have a seal on it and was wondering if that contains some of the same harmful chemicals.

    Thanks
    JMM

  13. Barbara Avatar

    Would it be ok to wrap something in parchment or aluminum foil and then put it in a freezer bag?

  14. Jen Avatar

    How do you store all of your produce when everything from the grocery comes in plastic containers or bags? Do you transfer it into something else?

      1. Jennifer Avatar
        Jennifer

        What about foods like lettuces that wilt? Or things that come in quantities like berries?

        1. Stephanie Avatar
          Stephanie

          I’ve heard you can line the fridge produce drawer with damp towels to keep things from wilting. The produce drawer is plastic anyways isn’t it though? I put berries in a glass container with a paper towel on the bottom and a loose lid and put that in the produce drawer for moisture management.

  15. Renee Avatar

    I just bought some Rubbermaid Brilliance plastic storage containers. They say BPA FREE and the recycle rating is 7
    BUT they are still plastic and I’m not sure of the safety. I can’t find any info on the internet other than it is recommended that they NOT be heated ina microwave for more than 30 seconds at a time.
    What do you think of the Rubbermaid Brilliance Plastic containers. Thanks.

  16. Emily Avatar

    Thank you for these resources and links. But I also have a question. Do you have any suggestions for large quantity storage? I found great sources for organic rice, millet, chick peas, etc. but if I’m concerned about moisture, mold and mildew how can I store my 50lbs of kamut without using plastic buckets? A whole lot of mason jars?

  17. Kayla Avatar

    How do you store pantry items without plastic? Do you have good go to containers that you use for items in the pantry? Preferably square so they fit space better, like the OXO brand ones? Thank you!

  18. Whitney Avatar
    Whitney

    What tape works well to stick to parchment paper when freezing meat? 🙂

  19. Jamie Avatar

    Do you have links or brands of the options you use? Also do you just wrap the meat in the paper and stick it in the freezer? How long would it be safe to keep in the freezer like that? Thanks 🙂 Also how do you buy baking ingredients and frozen veggies/fruits when you do? Do you just transfer them from the plastic bag/container into glass/stainless? 🙂

  20. Edy Avatar

    Would it be possible to combine the Pyrex containers with the Silicon suction lids? That would completely take care of the plastic lid issue that Pyrex has not addressed but I wonder if that would bump it out of feasibility? Did that combination make it unnecessarily expensive? Also, Kitchen + Home make silicon covers for all the Pyrex sizes or will it be a hit and miss thing! I guess I need to do more research though I am sure I am not the first to think of this. Hopefully someone can chime in?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *