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fifi

Food Packaging

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Starting back in November, I really started noticing food packaging. And, not necessarily in a good way. I think it started with one of the icons of my youth. I am talking about the Armour Dried Beef. My mother bought it since I was a kid and used it for various things. Starting with my sister, we always have that cream cheese hot dip thing at Thanksgiving and Christmas. That stuff morphed into a somewhat diluted form of the dip to what my kids named "Muck." Don't ask . . . It must be served over those canned "Chinese" noodles. We all have collections of the little glasses with the molded in stars just under the rim. We use them for juice glasses. Then a couple of years ago, they changed the glasses. The nicely tapered little glasses that stack conveniently in the cupboard were replaced with the lumpish looking straight sided glass that you see in the picture. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, I get a call from my sister while she is at the grocery. There aren't any glasses at all! Just those horrid pouches. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not progress.

Oddly enough, I actually like the tuna fish in the pouches. There is just enough for one person. (Oil packed, please.) And I like the proliferation of nuts and dried fruits in the resealable pouches. The round canister of raisins with the plastic lid are a good thing. I also like the zipper bags that my favorite super market deli uses, the ones with the zipper thingy.

Then there are the condiments and salad dressings that you get with your "meal" on airplanes. The little cups of salad dressing puff up with the reduced pressure and spray out all over your silk blouse when you pull the tab. (Hint, always aim the opening toward the back of the seat or the annoying seat-mate.) Then there are the little pouches of mustard and mayo that say "tear here." Yeah . . . right. They can't be torn with bolt cutters. And they don't let us carry on bolt cutters, or even that handy little Swiss Army knife that I used to carry on my key ring.

Then, in the solution-in-search-of-a-problem category . . . that new wide mouth rectangular jar thing of Kraft mayonnaise. Is getting mayo out of a jar really one of the big problems in your life? Then, unlike the venerable glass jar, the empty thing is useless for . . . well . . . just about anything.

I am really hooked on the little tin boxes that you get pastilles and other candies in. These packages seem to be more common in Europe. I like these things so much that I actually almost collect them. I bought some rose, orange flower and violet pastilles in France just because the tins are a work of art. Why don't we see more of those in the US? Perhaps we just don't have the manufacturing facilities for the tins here.

Remember Pez dispensers? I think there is actually a museum of them somewhere. That is disturbing on many levels.

What food packages have you opened lately, either with a grimace or a grin.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Mr. Weller and the guard are

endeavouring to insinuate into the fore-boot a huge cod-fish

several sizes too large for it--which is snugly packed up, in a long

brown basket, with a layer of straw over the top, and which has

been left to the last, in order that he may repose in safety on the

half-dozen barrels of real native oysters, all the property of

Mr. Pickwick, which have been arranged in regular order at the

bottom of the receptacle. 

'They're a-smokin' cigars by the kitchen fire,' said Sam.

'Ah!' observed Mr. Pickwick, rubbing his hands, 'overflowing

with kindly feelings and animal spirits. 'Just what I like

to see.'

'And one on 'em,' said Sam, not noticing his master's interruption,

'one on 'em's got his legs on the table, and is a-drinking

brandy neat, vile the t'other one--him in the barnacles--has got

a barrel o' oysters atween his knees, which he's a-openin' like

steam, and as fast as he eats 'em, he takes a aim vith the shells

at young dropsy, who's a sittin' down fast asleep, in the

chimbley corner.'

'Eccentricities of genius, Sam,' said Mr. Pickwick.  'You

may retire.'

Someday I would like to open a barrel of native oysters.


--

ID

--

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I am really hooked on the little tin boxes that you get pastilles and other candies in. These packages seem to be more common in Europe. I like these things so much that I actually almost collect them. I bought some rose, orange flower and violet pastilles in France just because the tins are a work of art. Why don't we see more of those in the US? Perhaps we just don't have the manufacturing facilities for the tins here.

I still have a wooden round box that my brie came in that I will use some day for something interesting! And while not food related, I kept my Target prescription bottle for just that same reason... it really is cool! (And my boyfriend wonders why we need a two-bedroom apartment?!?)

What food packages have you opened lately, either with a grimace or a grin.

I love tomate paste in a tube... what took them so long?!?

And I don't know if it's a decent brand or not, but I love the bottles of Pompeian brand of Olive Oil and Vinegars http://www.pompeian.com/.

Consorzio does cool packaging as well... in fact, I bought their Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Dressing yesterday just for that reason... I hope it's good! http://www.consorzio.com/

I adore the aisle of olive oils, vinegars, etc. at Whole Foods... if only I could afford some of them! They really are gorgeous! Super Target also has some fun products in the marinade aisle.

You know that saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"... I do, and it usually works! :smile:

And secret confession coming: I get great joy out of being the first to dig into that creamy peanut butter after that seal comes off! :wink:

I hate, hate, hate what they've done to the Cherry Coke can... it started to go downhill when they brought out the red can with the black pseudo-Japanese style writing on it! It's never tasted the same to me since then!

And don't even get me started on the waste of cardboard in tampon packaging!


Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I have noticed that some of the "store brand" products have finally caught on to the importance of labeling, which Consorizio does so well. Forever, store brands have had cheesy looking labels. Most still do. A few years ago, when Albertson's was still here, they really "got it." Their labels on their canned goods were beautifully done. And I bought them.

Target is "getting it," with a lot of their products. And I have a bottle of "Method" dishwashing liquid that looks really cool. The spices (I forget the brand, somebody farms?) are labeled in an understated way. One would think they belong in the local elves-in-the-hollow-tree frou-frou gourmet shop.

Tomato paste in a tube rocks!


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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This weekend I walked by a small one-storey white house with colored glass bottles perched above the sash on every single window that I could see. They evoked the homes of great-aunts and uncles in New England. Even my stepfather kept a collection of old milk bottles next to one of the kitchen windows. They were made to endure.

My own cupboards are filled with glass jars from Hellman's mayonnaise and whatever brand of spaghetti sauce listed tomatoes first vs. tomato puree and olive vs. soybean oil when I purchased them. There was no such thing as The Container Store when I was in grad school and started to fill them with dried beans, dried fruit and grains.

They're precious since Hellman's switched to plastic which I despise (though especially when it comes to mustard; it doesn't come out of the bottle as easily) and there is only one kind of spaghetti sauce that I buy now and then. My favorite is a bottle from Barilla when the company first entered the US market. The molded glass reads "ITALIA" in between vines of ripe tomatoes.

One of the things I love best about European packaging is the small round glass jar used for individual yogurts.

Right now, however, my prized possession is the can that contained Sicilian salt-packed anchovies until a few weeks ago. If you've got a copy of Molto Italiano, leaf through to one of the first pages in the section on fish. You'll see why. I LOVE old-fashioned, bright graphics. It sits on a shelf as I try to find a way to get rid of the funky smell.

Beside my computer pens and pencils fill a ceramic jar made for Dijon mustard, the kind that used to come sealed in red wax.

What do I hate? The graphics on Ben & Jerry's, the old and the new. However, this thread seems to be more about the container than its decoration, no?


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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It was either Barilla or Classico that I used to like for the jars. At one time, not only were they nice looking jars but standard canning jar lids and rings fit. I don't know if they still make them that way.

I think decoration counts. After all, that is why I love those little tin boxes of pastilles. :biggrin:

Now where is that mustard crock that my son brought me from France?

I growled loudly when Hellman's went to plastic. Yes . . . I know . . . the reduced weight makes a big difference in the fuel needed to ship. (You would be surprised how much. I once participated in a study in Mexico on soft drink bottles.) And they don't break. No . . . I won't abandon Hellman's, especially since my local grocery carries the Mayonesa. But I still don't like it.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Sometimes when I was was working in retail gourmet food the package was the most important part of the product. At one of the Fancy Food Shows I actually told someone their product tasted amazing but it just wouldnt work for us because the label was ugly and made the product look cheap. It was a shame, because sometimes other products made the cut just by their lable design.

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I despise cereal packaging. A box AND a bag, what a waste! Whenever I look in my kitchen garbage receptacle I become annoyed. Actually, now that I look in my cabinets, I don't like ANY cardboard boxes. They're so wasteful, and they take up so much space! But, all of the cereals that I like are packed that way. As are a lot of the teas that I buy, now that I'm looking.

Refillable bags, jars and tins, that's what I dream of! Tomato paste in a tube, though, I agree, genius. A can is just never the right amount. Ditto for anchovy paste.

Plastic milk jugs, I can't stand those. I only buy milk in paper containers, and I wish that we had glass jugs here for milk.

I really miss the tins that cocoa used to come in, when did THAT bit of evolution happen?

Plastic, foil wrapper 'bags' for chocolate bars, yuck. Remember when you could UNWRAP the foil on a Hershey bar, bit by bit? Well, I miss that, even if I actually eat a lot more of other kinds of chocolate nowadays. I still sometimes want a nibble of a Hershey bar, with the foil all embossed from the shape of the squares of chocolate. Speaking of which, gum wrappers are not as much fun anymore, either.

You know how at the market they often want you to use those flimsy plastic bags for the produce? Well, that bugs me, too. I used to have a whole slew of net bags from my old market, they had their scales calibrated to tare for those bags, and I adored using those net bags. You could even wash your produce in them, if you were so inclined. Of course, it's been over 20 years since then. Progress, you know. I collect cloth bags to use at the market, instead of plastic bags and paper bags. Much sturdier, and I can get a better hold on the handles, too.

But, nothing beats those plastic bags so far, for holding my recyclables.

Infant formula packaging leaves me cold, too. I prefer that we all try to use the original packaging for feeding infants, whenever possible. :laugh:

Whew! I guess this is a real issue for me, I never realized!

I know that a few years ago some industry folks were working on using a glass vapor on plastic bottles for importing sodas and beers. The idea is to save on shipping weight by using plastic, but to retain the freshness of the product with the glass vapor coating. It didn't pan out at the time (not cost effective, but the technology DOES work, and the bottles are still recyclable!), but I see squeeze bulbs for single serving drinks in the not too distant future.

My last rant? I MISS bottle caps that don't twist off! I've cut myself a few times on those twist off bits. OK, I'm done now. I think.

EDITED, because Arthritis Girl KANT SPEL. :wacko:


Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

More Than Salt

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The two big "just plain stupid" that immediate spring to my mind:

As the mother of a 5-year-old who adores catsup above (and with) virtually all other foods, I fight with the top seal of the plastic squeeze bottle often. Yes, the little plastic grabber on the seal is a great idea in theory. In practice, though, it tears away about half the time (in my experience,) and there is no other grabbable spot to remove the seal.

And in my grocery's produce section, one now has the option of buying individually-plastic-wrapped potatoes... Huh??? The last time I looked, potatoes generally come with their own safe, edible, biodegradable, earth-friendly wrappers. How is this an improvement?

There are a few packaging improvements that make me very happy, though. I appreciate the easy-grab indented shape of large plastic bottles of cooking oils, especially since wet hands and/or drippy oil-coated glass bottles add to my clumsiness. And I like buying my brown sugars and confectioners sugar in resealable plastic bags: not only is the newer packaging more convenient for measuring and reclosing, and for keeping brown sugar from clumping, it actually reduces the amount of waste in the landfill. (My rural area has no option for recycling, other than private aluminum buyers.)

However, nothing will ever top the ne plus ultra of easy-to-use-and-reuse packaging that is Bama jelly sold in juice glasses. Handy size, easy to get the last bits out, and, hey! The kids love the juice glasses! (And so do I. And so does Mom. I'm still on a quest for the last jelly flavor to complete Mom's prized Rocky & Bullwinkle juice glass set. Plus, she needs a "spare" Fearless Leader, since one of the poker crowd always uses that one for his mixed drinks on Saturdays -- greater chance of breakage!)


"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."

Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

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I am really hooked on the little tin boxes that you get pastilles and other candies in. These packages seem to be more common in Europe. I like these things so much that I actually almost collect them. I bought some rose, orange flower and violet pastilles in France just because the tins are a work of art. Why don't we see more of those in the US? Perhaps we just don't have the manufacturing facilities for the tins here.

Oh, I love all kinds of little metal boxes like that. I especially love the little hinge-lidded tins of the sort that Altoids come in. They're so handy for ... erm ... materials you want to keep handy ... :cool::laugh:

As to the resealable ziplock-type plastic bags: man, do I ever have a love/hate relationship with those. When they work, they're terrific. When they don't--i.e. there's no way to get the damn bag open without wrecking the plastic zipper-thingie--they're a royal pain in the toosh.

I have a similar love/hate relationship with the aseptic shelf-stable packaging that many brands of silken tofu come in. The fact that it keeps in your pantry for seemingly eternity is pretty darn cool. However, I've yet to figure out how to get the tofu out of the package unsquished, without needing a knife or scissors fo serious package surgery.

Oh, and those anti-tampering safety-seals they put over the mouths of jars, just under the lid? I can't seem to pry/peel/tear those things off without destroying a fingernail. Oh well, I guess that means nobody could get in to poison my peanut butter. :rolleyes:

I do like the bottles of water, sport drinks, etc. that come with the sport-bottle pop-up squirt-nozzle top. It's nice to be able to drive around sipping on a bottle of water without having to either worry about spillage or worry about getting in a wreck while you try to get a screw-cap back on the bottle. :biggrin:

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I read this thread the other day and thought I didn't really have any opinions on packaging. Silly me, of course I do. I really like the Stagg Chili SmartPak package. It's rectangular, comes in a variety pack at Costco or individually at the local market, and you flip up the tabs, squeeze in the top, and tear off the top to open the package. And it WORKS. The tear strip comes off every time. Cleanly, without the use of teeth or gnashing of teeth, or other utensils. And it leaves a neat edge. And the chili is good.

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I despise cereal packaging. A box AND a bag, what a waste! Whenever I look in my kitchen garbage receptacle I become annoyed. Actually, now that I look in my cabinets, I don't like ANY cardboard boxes. They're so wasteful, and they take up so much space! But, all of the cereals that I like are packed that way. As are a lot of the teas that I buy, now that I'm looking.

A lot of the stuff in bags tends to spread across a flat surface if left unconstrained, and a bag provides only moderate constraint. I guess I could pack the bags together tightly enough to counter this tendency, but I must confess that I like cardboard boxes' easier stuffability on shelves.

I recently received a sample of Tetley's round tea bags in a canister just a little larger in circumference than the tea bags. I think those containers might have some potential, but I really see no problem with boxes full of tea bags in neat rows. Or were you referring to loose tea? In the case of the latter, I prefer tins or canisters too.

Plastic milk jugs, I can't stand those. I only buy milk in paper containers, and I wish that we had glass jugs here for milk.

I hear that in Canada, milk is sold in plastic bags. I'd be interested in hearing how you pour the milk out of the bag. I'd love it if Canadians had those milk dispensers you find at diners and soda fountains, in which you stick the tube sticking out of the bag through the shutoff handle and then cut off the end that protrudes down. But I suspect that the home setup is different from that.

I really miss the tins that cocoa used to come in, when did THAT bit of evolution happen?

Probably when plastic became cheaper to make and ship. I remember the similar tins that Nestlé Quik used to come in, and I think those are neater than the current packaging--although it's easier to get every last bit of powder out of today's plastic cans with their can-width openings.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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A lot of the stuff in bags tends to spread across a flat surface if left unconstrained, and a bag provides only moderate constraint.  I guess I could pack the bags together tightly enough to counter this tendency, but I must confess that I like cardboard boxes' easier stuffability on shelves...

I hear that in Canada, milk is sold in plastic bags.  I'd be interested in hearing how you pour the milk out of the bag.  I'd love it if Canadians had those milk dispensers you find at diners and soda fountains, in which you stick the tube sticking out of the bag through the shutoff handle and then cut off the end that protrudes down.  But I suspect that the home setup is different from that...

Actually, there is a very simple technology to manufacturing a bag that does NOT spread, it is employed by some sugar manufacturers for their new plastic resealable bags. The bag is made with 3 sides, a front, back and separate bottom. The bottom is inverted a slight amount, et voila, no spread, and no falling over when you stick your scoop into the bags, either! I wish that Latin turbinado sugar packagers would discover that trick. Of course, another option would be to put cereal into bags similar to the bags that some pasta flours come in, they are lined paper sacks with a tab close top, like coffee bags. Well, I'm just cranky about extra garbage, that's all.

And that Canadian milk bag is usually put inside a jug made especially for that purpose. I think for me it wouldn't work too well, as my kiddle can spill a closed container of milk, let alone an open bag in a jug! :laugh:


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I grew up with bag milk in Canada, and while the system quite well, you notice a few things:

1. Some people like 'high-pressure' pours, hence they cut a small hole in the bag, much to the annoyance of those wishing to pour milk on cereal.

2. Others use some dull object (read: dinner knife) to open the bag in a pinch, causing a messy, ragged edge on the bag.

3. Milk in bags is really the easiest way to keep it stocked in a small fridge. The extra liters sit flat on the bottom shelf, rather than taking up precious 'standing' space on the top shelf.

I love milk in bags, and I'm very proud of the Canadian system. Buying milk in unpourable gallon jugs (as in the U.S.) seems silly and wasteful; we used to wash our milk bags and have free sandwich bags! Now that I live in the U.K. it's one thing that I miss (of a very short list, unfortunately).

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i agree about the wastefulness of plastic wrapping individual

potatoes, apples, cucumbers, etc.

is there some rationale for doing this that i am not aware of?

also: only those who have bought the plastic bottles of

tamarind concentrate from indian stores will know what i mean:

that packaging has not changed for > 20 years and it is ridiculously

hard to open and dangerous (have to hack the plastic

inner lid with a sharp knife); why have they not evolved

a better packaging for this product?

milagai

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I have a huge collection of tea tins. Some were packed carefully in suitcases & brought back from overseas in bygone decades. Some are works of art, some simply handsome. I use them over and over again.

I've largely stopped buying tea in tins because my cupboard is full, and because the vacuum-bag packaging at places like Upton gets the tea to me in a remarkable state of freshness.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I growled loudly when Hellman's went to plastic. Yes . . . I know . . . the reduced weight makes a big difference in the fuel needed to ship. (You would be surprised how much. I once participated in a study in Mexico on soft drink bottles.)

Not exactly the jolt of Satori, but this never occurred to me.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I don't like ANY cardboard boxes. They're so wasteful, and they take up so much space!

My rats live in those. After I've taken the contents out, ofcourse. Right now they are sleeping in an apple/raisin granola box :biggrin:

A couple of years ago you could buy Nutella over here in glasses that were decorated by one of my favorite children's books authors. A different one came out every couple of weeks. I ate a lot of Nutella then (which I normally don't) just so I could collect them all. I'm still glad I did, I love all 12 of them :biggrin:


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Completely different angle on this topic, but in Washington, D.C., the recycling facilities do not accept yogurt containers (Number 5?) among other plastics used by food companies.

This strikes me as ironic since I go through so many 32 oz. containers, most from one company that tauts its environmental virtues.

I am not sure if the resulting conflict is due to my city's limitations, or if manufacturers are not attending to the policies of municipal recycling plants.

However, I am sure there are eGullet members with opinions and some scientific expertise.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Ah, yes, those nonrecyclable yogurt containers are a problem. I can't stand to throw them away, so I save them and store stuff in them and freeze stock in them, etc.--but I have way too many, even though I've started making my own yogurt. Does anyone have some esoteric use for them? Also, the little wooden crates from clementines?

I actually do have one good idea for those: When I'm starting seedlings indoors, I stack the crates upside down to keep the little plants about 4" from the light, then remove the crates as the plants get bigger. A very low-tech plant-starting system. But I have too crates now even for that purpose.

Help!

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I hear that in Canada, milk is sold in plastic bags.  I'd be interested in hearing how you pour the milk out of the bag.  I'd love it if Canadians had those milk dispensers you find at diners and soda fountains, in which you stick the tube sticking out of the bag through the shutoff handle and then cut off the end that protrudes down.  But I suspect that the home setup is different from that.

Milk is only sold in bags in some regions of Canada. Here in British Columbia, I haven't seen bagged milk for about 20-some-odd years now, give or take a year or two.

For all those of you wondering about bagged milk, lo and behold, there is The Canadian Milk Bag website. If you click on "The Steps", you'll find a pictorial detailing the subtle nuances of milk-bag usage. And, under "Misc.", there's also a animated demo of the snip-and-pour technique. :laugh:


Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Ah, yes, those nonrecyclable yogurt containers are a problem. I can't stand to throw them away, so I save them and store stuff in them and freeze stock in them, etc.--but I have way too many, even though I've started making my own yogurt. Does anyone have some esoteric use for them? Also, the little wooden crates from clementines?

We give our nice plastic containers to the soup kitchen we volunteer at--they use them to give leftovers to the guests.

I use the little clementine crates like gift baskets for the jam-and-cookie prezzies I give out for Xmas.

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It's not exactly a food usage, but we find that clementine crates work wonderfully to start fires in our woodstove. Put a bit of newspaper inside, turn it upside down, pile some small wood pieces on top, light a corner or two of the newspaper, and away you go!

We, too, cannot recycle the yogurt containers. They're typically #5 plastic, and around here we only recycle #1 and #2. But in the event that you buy Dannon brand yogurt, there's still something really cool to do with them, or at least with their tops. Dannon brand yogurt comes covered with a foil seal, and then a clear plastic cover with a colored rim on top of that. Cut off the colored rim, and then sand one side very lightly with fine sandpaper. (Don't do this on a nicely finished surface.) Get out your colored pencils, and draw on the sanded side. Punch a hole through if you want. Then bake on a foil-covered tray at 400 degrees F (we use our toaster oven; my MIL doesn't have a toaster oven so we used her regular oven but found that we had to preheat the pan as well as the oven) for 10 to 15 seconds. Voila---homemade Shrinky Dinks!

Are yogurt containers microwaveable? I've always been concerned about freezing them because I've had too many non-freezer plastic bags crack and spill their contents all over the deep freeze. But if they're microwaveable, I could see using them for short-term fridge storage. (Of course, there's nothing to say that I couldn't freeze my stock or whatever in the container, and then pop the frozen cylinder out and bag in a freezer bag for later use! Why didn't I think of that before? :blink: )

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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Ah, yes, those nonrecyclable yogurt containers are a problem. I can't stand to throw them away, so I save them and store stuff in them and freeze stock in them, etc.--but I have way too many, even though I've started making my own yogurt. Does anyone have some esoteric use for them? Also, the little wooden crates from clementines?

I actually do have one good idea for those: When I'm starting seedlings indoors, I stack the crates upside down to keep the little plants about 4" from the light, then remove the crates as the plants get bigger. A very low-tech plant-starting system. But I have too crates now even for that purpose.

Help!

Martha did a segment recently in which she made a decorative plant container with a Clemantine box. I think if you went to her website you could find it. Here, the Clemantines come in a cardboard box so I couldn't try it.

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Just a note about the soft drink bottles, and the study I was involved with in Mexico, that applies to just about everything else. . .

The big soft drink bottles, mayo jars, salad dressing bottles, more and more liquor bottles and a jillion more things are made of polyethylene terphthalate, PET or PETE. This is a polyester material that has a low enough permeability for such uses. It is also VERY recyclable.

In Mexico, soft drinks are a very big deal both for clean liquid to drink and the sugar to add calories to the diet. (You won't find many diet drinks there.) They are almost always packaged in glass bottles that are washed and reused. You see these huge trucks all over the place hauling around wooden crates of both full bottles and empties on the way back to the bottling plant. Mexico is very big on recycling. For one thing, the very poor snatch anything of any value from garbage, usually before it hits a landfill. The PET bottles for soft drinks could make a huge dent in the energy cost (and pollution in Mexico City) now going to hauling around all of those glass bottles. And, the PET would not be lost to landfills because it has value as a recyclable material. That polar fleece you might be wearing could well come from recycled PET packaging.

I guess that is why I have almost forgiven Hellman's.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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