Food Storage Buying Guide
Why Proper Food Storage is Important
It’s really important to eat healthily, and it’s even more important to store healthy too! Proper food storage can make all the difference in preserving the quality, freshness and nutrition content of your food. Whether it’s fruits, veggies, bread, dairy, or meat - buying the right food storage containers will keep your food fresh for much longer, and your kitchen space well-organized.
Benefits of Using Food Storage Containers
Whether you live by yourself, friends or a big family, having proper food storage is important for everybody. In matters of health, it’s good to always be well organized and take the right steps to ensure the freshness and nutrition value of your food. Here are some reasons why
Keeps your kitchen organized: One of the key benefits of storing your food in containers is how easy it makes your life! Not only does your kitchen and refrigerator stay well-organized and neat, but it also makes it easy for you to know which food you’ve kept where. So say goodbye to mess, and hello to a neat and organized kitchen! If your food storage containers are not transparent and you want to take this a step further, go ahead and label your containers with the food you mean to store in them.
Food stays fresh and nutritious: One of the biggest reasons why food storage is a great idea is that it keeps your food fresh, clean and nutritious for much longer than leaving it open. It prevents the growth of bacteria and microbes that would spoil your food, and preserves its nutrients. When it comes to fresh, preservative-free foods, storing them properly is crucial to your health.
Portable: Good food storage boxes are easy to carry, so you can grab your favorite snack or drink when you’re on the go. Since they’re airtight and spill-proof, you can keep them in your bag without any worries.
Eco-friendly: Keeping quality reusable food storage containers reduces our dependence on single-use food containers. If all of us did this, it would mean a lesser demand for single-use plastic, which is an eco-friendly way of life.
Value for money: Storing your food properly saves you money in many ways. This way, you don’t purchase single-use food containers, and you reduce food wastage by spoilage.
Factors to Consider When Buying Food Storage Containers
Once you’ve decided to buy quality food storage, it’s important to know what are the factors to consider when looking for the right ones. Here are some tips to keep in mind, as the following factors are all the things that good quality food storage containers should have:
Durability: Make sure that your food storage boxes are strong and made of durable material. It’s important that they can safely store food without breaking or distorting in shape. Some plastic containers tend to distort in shape when hot food is stored in them, which is not a good idea. Go for containers that can last long.
Chemical-free and Safe: It’s crucial that your food storage boxes are free of harmful chemicals. Some plastic food storage containers have BPA and BPS in them, which are chemicals that may interfere in our body’s ability to produce and regulate hormones. If you are looking for safe plastic food storage, look for options that are BPA and BPS-free.
Airtight: Exposing food to moisture for a long time can spoil it quickly and reduce its nutritional value. Look for food storage that is airtight, so that the food stays fresher and cleaner for longer. Go for containers that have a silicone lining inside the lid or another failsafe way of keeping the container airtight.
Easy to clean: Since we’re dealing with food here, it’s a good idea to buy food storage containers that are simple in design and easy to clean. Go for ones that have rounded edges, simple shapes and don’t have complex designs or carvings that may be hard to clean. Otherwise the water and dishwashing liquid may not reach all corners of the container properly, leading to residue being left behind.
Easy to open: Food storage should always be easy to open and close. If not, then you could spill any food or liquid in the process of trying to pry it open. Buy food containers that have easy to open clasps.
Microwave safe: It’s a good idea to buy food storage that is microwave safe. This way you can simply pop the container into the microwave to reheat it, instead of having to transfer its content into another vessel.
Materials for Food Storage
Food storage containers can be made of different materials, from plastic, glass to metal. Here are the most commonly used materials for food storage boxes - take a look and pick the ones that would work best for you in your kitchen:
Plastic Food Storage: Plastic food containers are used to store food and liquids not just by companies, but also in homes. While not all types of plastic are safe to store food, there are some types that are free of harmful chemicals like BPA and BPS. When buying plastic food containers, go for ones that are free of harmful chemicals, are microwave safe. Even if the plastic container is microwave safe, it is a good idea to not use it to store hot food. Plastic food containers are a good idea for storing dry items that are not hot, as they are durable and don’t break easily.
Glass Food Storage: Glass containers and bottles have made a fabulous comeback in recent times as a great way to store food. This is because glass is inert and free of any harmful chemicals. This way, there is no danger of chemicals leaching into your food if you store them in glass containers. Most glass food containers are also transparent, which makes it easy to see what you’ve stored in them. You also get microwave safe and scratch-resistant glass food containers. However, it’s important to handle them properly while washing, so that they don’t break.
Metal Food Storage: Metal containers are lightweight, durable, breakage-free strong and ideal for storing food. This is because they can maintain the original taste and nutrition of the food for a long time. Metals such as stainless steel are used to store spices, tea, coffee, and other food items. Since metals are opaque, you could label your metal containers to know what you’re storing inside them. It’s also important to note that metal food containers are not microwave-safe.
Vacuum pouches: Vacuum pouches work by removing the air from the packaging before sealing it. This is a good way of preserving frozen foods, vegetables, meats, cereals, etc. and can extend the life of the food. However, vacuum sealing hot food is not a good idea. Since the air/oxygen within the package is removed before sealing it, there are no microbes of bacteria that could spoil the food.
Ceramic Food Storage: Ceramic food containers are also a good idea since they’re free of chemicals easy to clean and microwave safe. You can also use them to store condiments such as pickles, sauces, and chutneys. Just like glass, it is important to handle them with care, since they could break during rough handling.
Caring for Food Storage Containers
Since these containers are used to store food, it is important to keep them clean and care for them. Food containers can be easily washed with warm water and a dishwashing sponge. Most containers are also dishwasher safe, though you should check this before buying the container.
Make sure to thoroughly clean your containers before storing fresh food in them, so that there is no residue left. It is also important to ensure that your food storage containers are fully dried before you use them, to prevent moisture from being trapped inside the container and spoiling the food.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Storage
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about food storage containers, and storing your food the right way:
1) What is food storage?
Food storage is a method of storing food and drinks in a way that preserves their freshness, nutrition value, and hygiene. Food storage is done for a wide variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy and more. It’s a convenient and easy way to keep your kitchen space well-organized and your food fresh, clean and nutritious for longer.
2) How much food storage do I need?
How much food storage you need differs from person to person - ideally, it’s a good idea to have different containers to store a wide variety of foods - such as grains, veggies, fruits, dairy, etc. Keeping enough storage containers for a week’s worth of fresh veggies, dairy and fruits is a good idea.
3) Where to buy food storage containers?
You can find food storage containers such as food storage jars, boxes and more in any department store or home improvement store. If you’re looking to buy online, there are many online stores where you’ll find a wide variety of food storage containers - you can easily compare their materials, features, and prices when making your decision.
4) How to organize food storage containers?
It is a good idea to buy food storage containers that are of similar dimensions so that you can stack them up easily on top of one other. You can organize your food storage boxes on kitchen shelves, drawers and also keep them in refrigerators.
5) Which plastic is safe for food storage?
Only certain plastics are ideal for storing food. Look to the bottom of your plastic container - you will find a number written within a triangle-shaped pattern. Those marked 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE) and 5 (PP) are considered safe for storing food. Avoid containers that are marked with 7 or with the letters ‘PC’ means that they may contain BPA, a chemical that may interfere with human hormones.
6) How to package food for long term storage?
To package food for long term storage, pick dry foods that have less than 10% moisture content and very low oil content such as grains - white rice, rolled oats, kidney beans, pasta, and dry lentils. Vacuum sealing is a good idea for long term storage, as it gets rid o all oxygen in the container before sealing it. This removes any chance of contamination by microbes or moisture.
Mylar bags are made from multiple players of food-grade plastic and aluminum that do not react with the food and protect it from moisture and insects. Glass jars are also a great way to store dry food items for long term storage. It is important to make sure that your food storage containers are thoroughly clean and dry before storing food.
7) How to build a food storage pantry?
To build a food storage pantry, pick a cool, dry area in your house - your attic, or a closet would be a good option. A good food storage attic should have a lot of shelves to neatly organize the food containers. So if you don’t have shelves, you can easily construct them from sheets of plywood as well. It is also possible to cut out dividers from the plywood to separate the food containers vertically from each other as well.
Make sure you buy food storage containers that are similar in size and dimensions, so you can easily stack them up side by side and top of one another. It is a simple but important way to use space efficiently in your pantry.
Eating fresh and nutritious food goes a long way in ensuring a happy and healthy life. This is why storing your food in high-quality food storage containers is important. They not only preserve the hygiene and nutrition content of your eatables for much longer but also prevent contamination from microbes. From food-grade plastic, glass, ceramic to metal containers, there are many affordable and quality options to pick from in the market. Go for the containers that are chemical-free, easy to open, easy to clean and durable. Here’s wishing you a healthy and wholesome life!