The Cleanest Ways to Store Food Without Using Plastic

Even if it's BPA-free, plastic still isn't a great choice when storing leftovers. Instead, try these clean, safe and more sustainable options.
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Even if it's BPA-free, plastic still isn't a great choice when storing leftovers. Instead, try these clean, safe and more sustainable options.
Mushrooms in Glasslock Container

When it comes to clean storage, Pamela Salzman's No.1 pick is glassware.

In Clean Eating's newest online course, Batch Cooking 101: Cook Once, Eat All Week, Pamela Salzman, certified holistic health counselor and cooking instructor, revolutionizes the concept of make-ahead meals with easy-to-learn recipes and seven weeks of in-depth lessons on shopping, planning and cooking. Ready to learn more? Sign up here.

When you're batch cooking and making meals ahead, there's one essential that's often overlooked: How to store your food. I mean that literally!

As a clean eater, I'm not only concerned about what I eat, but how that food is packaged and stored. It all matters.

As a general rule, I try to avoid the use of plastics because liquids, oils and acidic foods (such as citrus and tomatoes) can make the plastic leech. Instead, I look to alternatives such as glass, parchment and even stainless steel.

Here are my recommendations for the cleanest ways to store your food without using plastic:

Glass

I always choose glass. From Tupperware-style containers to mason jars, it's a versatile, sustainable option and there are so many great brands to choose from. Some of my favorites include: Glasslock, Anchor Hocking and Ball.

Stainless Steel Tins

I love stainless steel tins, which are so lightweight. They're great for taking lunch to work. I prefer U Konserve.

Coated Canvas Baggies

Instead of plastic sandwich bags, I use Neat-Os, which are made of BPA-free polyethylene-coated canvas cloth. I store prepped produce in these and stash them in the refrigerator or freezer—it makes assembling lunch and dinner so easy during weekdays.

Recycled Paper Boxes

When I'm traveling, packing a picnic or eating on the beach, I like to use recycled paper-based containers such as ice cream pints or craft paper boxes (which are perfect for salads). I buy them in bulk for the best price.

Parchment Paper

Storing food in unbleached parchment—such as the If You Care brand—is a great option, and it can be used interchangeably for foil, except on the grill. (Though if you want to make a hobo pack for the grill, you can wrap your food in parchment first and then the foil.) 

Ready to become a batch cooking boss? Sign up for Batch Cooking 101: Cook Once, Eat All Week with Pamela Salzman.