My family and I have been trying to be more ecologically friendly for years now. You know the drill – we recycle as much as possible, have energy saving lightbulbs, A+++ rated appliances, cloth shopping bags etc. We decided to step it up this year, going over to reusable kitchen paper and bamboo ink pens but it really bugged me that we were still using plastic freezer bags and containers. Yes, I know – D’oh!
I use Pyrex in the oven and fridge all the time but for some reason, even though I knew it was possible, it never occurred to me to use it in the freezer. We don’t have a huge freezer, so using bags would probably be a little better space wise but I would rather the freezer held a little less and I contributed much less to the avalanche of plastic which is choking the earth. I find the Gaiety shallow oblong casserole dishes (or spacesavers) particularly useful, although fridgies are good for smaller things. I have to say that having one container which you can freeze something in, then cook it without decanting into something else, serve in and then store any leftovers in the fridge is also much easier than fiddling around transferring something from dish to dish.
When you think about it, Pyrex really does have excellent green credentials – if used and cared for properly it will last forever, after all, some of the pieces I use are over sixty years old and still outperforming their modern counterparts. It is also immune to the plague of plastic food containers; that horrible orange tinge that so many of them seem to develop and which I seem powerless to remove.
Also of course, Pyrex doesn’t leach nasty substances into food as some plastics do, it doesn’t warp or split either. The sad thing is that even though more people are starting to look towards glass for food storage, the new Pyrex available in the UK is almost exclusively clear and consequently somewhat unattractive! I have heard some people claim that this is an advantage as “you can see the food cooking”! This strikes me as the culinary equivalent of watching paint dry and I’m sorry but why would I want to watch the food cooking? Who has the time, let alone the inclination?! When you also consider the fact that clear Pyrex, although just as versatile as it’s vintage predecessors, is much less aesthetically pleasing (all those carefully lit, stunning photos of Pyrex on social media would hardly have the same pull if they consisted of clear items – they would look like the ghosts of cookware past), it’s no wonder that so many people are turning to vintage pieces that do double duty as kitchenware and decor. When you consider that a piece of Pyrex can negate the need for single use plastic freezer bags or rigid plastic containers and will last a lifetime as a tool and an ornament, they are also economically viable.
Whether you opt for vintage Pyrex or new or (heaven forbid!) even another glassware brand, please consider switching to glass containers suitable for use in the freezer – the planet will thank you.