October 14, 2010

Glass is Greener.

As much as possible, I maintain a disposable- and paper-free kitchen.

The glass is always greener...

It’s mindless to clean counter tops with paper towels; it amounts to nothing more than throwing trees in the kitchen trash. Instead, I use a dish cloth that I wring out and dry on the clothesline. Lately, I’m also feeling a sense of urgency to eliminate my kitchen plastics. It seems I’ve been too self-congratulatory for bringing my own coffee mug to the cafe or carrying lunch to work in a reusable plastic container.

The cause of my concern is BPAs (Bisphenol A). A component of plastics production, BPAs are receiving a recent surge of media coverage, and the news is grim. BPAs are in everything from plastic water bottles to the lining of canned foods. It’s attractive for being durable, lightweight and neither absorbing nor changing the flavor of food.

But it turns out that BPAs leach into food and liquid. Scientific evidence indicates that BPAs can disrupt the hormonal system, cause early-onset puberty, increase the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease—not to mention that it affects neural and behavioral development in fetuses and children. Gross. It’s evidence enough to cut out canned food and find a different conveyance for my workday lunch.

Enter an under-acknowledged hero, the mighty glass Ball Jar. Around since the mid-1800s, Ball Jars are the perfect vessel for toting to work or saving leftovers from some of my autumnal favorites—like roasted root vegetables and pumpkin soup. When transporting, I wrap the jar in a dish towel and store it in my backpack. Punky plastics, be gone.

Most delightful of all, it makes a fantastic pitcher for my recent forays into homemade sangria. Effervescence and ripe fruit are the perfect antidote to cheap white wine. Cheers!

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Abigail Wick  |  Contribution: 2,420