Well, we all know plastic is probably not the safest vehicle for food storage. I had concerns, especially since when I clean up after dinner, I tend to put away food that is still hot, or maybe just warm. But I worried that putting hot food in a plastic container would leach harmful chemicals into our food.
As a result of this feeling, backed by science or not, I started replacing all my storage containers with glass ones. This seemed like the easiest, most logical step.
I have had varying success with this. First, glass is nice, clean, doesn’t leach anything into my food. Perfect for storing leftovers, except for one thing. I’ve found that the materials they use to make these glass containers are inferior to the glass I remember having as a child. These containers tend to chip and flake off large, sharp, shards of glass. Shards that are clear and easy to miss when you’re putting leftovers into them.
Now, some of this issue I do tend to blame on user error. I’m really not sure if that’s the proper phraseology to be honest. Basically, they are designed to nest inside each other. So that is how I store them. Sometimes they clink and clunk together when I’m putting them away. I’m not talking hard banging here. I mean they just bump each other, and that seems to be just enough to chip off one of these shards.
Usually when this happens, I notice. Generally the shards are large enough that the rough edge on the container that’s missing a piece is enough to raise a red flag and make me investigate further.
Today for dinner, my husband had warmed up some leftover potatoes from the night before that he had put away. I’d made buffalo chicken sandwiches and corn on the cob in my Instant Pot and he suggested we eat the potatoes. I was fine with that. One less thing to cook and one less thing that goes to waste.
Suddenly, my son asks us what this “thing” is in his potatoes and hands it to my husband. It was a 2 1/2 inch long, sharp, shard of glass. I asked him if he thought he might have eaten any of it. If anything in the potatoes he’d already eaten seemed “crunchy” and he said no, but now I’m in sort of a panic.
I got up and started looking through my other containers. Sure enough, the container that nested into that one, was missing a small, 2 1/2 inch section along the top edge. Where they always seem to splinter.
I should note, we’ve been using these containers for several years now. The splintering and breaking of them has become something I’ve just shrugged off as a side effect of owning glass. Glass breaks. It’s pretty much why plastic has become so popular. If you drop a plastic container on the floor, it’s just going to bounce and rattle around a little. Glass is a total nightmare.
When I break one or two, I buy another set because I’ve come to rely on these to store my leftovers in. So while I’ve been using this type of container for several years, the ones currently in my pantry are not “old”. I generally get a few months out of one before it goes in the garbage. Something I wasn’t really expecting to need to do when I first made the switch over to these.
So I’ve come to an abrupt decision to begin phasing out my glass containers. I can’t in good conscience continue to use something that could not only hurt someone in my family. It might even kill them. Could you imagine if he’d accidentally swallowed that glass??
Being reluctant to return to plastic, I’m going to give stainless steel a whirl. It will again, not leach into my food. It won’t break or chip. I’m hoping that it’s the solution to my leftover issue. As I try out new containers, I will blog about them and let you know what I find to be the good, the bad, and the ugly.
All of that said, if you are also using glass containers, I’d suggest being very careful with them. You never know when one has flaked off a large shard and you didn’t notice.
Just for the sake of transparency, I should mention the containers I currently use. I have the Anchor Hocking TrueSeal Round Glass Food Storage Containers, and the Anchor Hocking Rectangular Food Storage Containers. So do consider this my warning against using these products unless you want nearly invisible, glass shards in your food.