What do Beeswax Wraps have to do with being good to the earth? We are all trying to be sustainable, reuse, repurpose, and live naturally, better yet, organic and no GMO's; as has been my practice for fifty plus years. We have reduced our plastics every way possible, now even replacing our so highly desirable plastic bottles. We brought back the paper or cloth shopping bags and rejected the prided plastic bags. Many decided to go paperless, ending bills, subscriptions for periodicals and newspapers, and some are composting them or rolling them for firewood. So my question was, "what do I do with half an apple, banana, squash, every day small food items without having a ton of tiny glass bowls in the refrigerator?
I saw an (aggravating) ad on Facebook about Beeswax food wraps and decided to go looking and do my research. Yes, of course, I went to Amazon's Organic pages first and found tons of options. They come in every color, design, size, and amount, and most times less expensive than those Facebook ads.
My next question was, "are food wraps really organic"? According to Wikipedia (and ingredients on the ones I found above), "the "food wrap material consisting of a coated fabric, most commonly cotton. It is made by infusing cotton with food-grade beeswax, rosin, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. The wrap is mouldable, it grips, and is a bit tacky (the cling). It can be shaped around containers or food products".
The ingredients such as jojoba oil and tree resin possess preservative properties that help your food last longer, so grocery costs go down while you are reducing waste. This also reduces costs by eliminating more plastic bags, containers, and cling wraps. No more bowls with lids that mysteriously multiply behind cabinet doors. These are reusable and moldable to any size and shape.
Even though Beeswax wraps are a little more expensive than plastic wrap, they last much longer. You also know you are not throwing more plastic into the ground.
You can use them in the refrigerator and the freezer.
They come in a natural color with no print or design, therefore no dyes added. I like these from Eco Junkie and are a favorite for many because you can label things if you need to. There are tea dyes and clay dyes that are organic, but very few manufacturers make wraps with these since it’s pricey.
There are also other color and pattern coordinated for your kitchen. Beeswax Wraps typically come in 3, 5, 7, and 10 pack and different sizes.
No more gooey, stinky, surprise packages looking for ingredients.
I think the worse one is scallions or green onions...or maybe it's avocado. They are breathable, allowing just enough air circulation. This is great for vegetables and fruits, bread, cheeses, and most leftovers.
They are malleable, or mold-able. Like any other wrap, which fits over any size bowls. However, these will also mold around a half an apple, watermelon, or almost any other fruit or vegetable.
Downfall? They are NOT heat-resistant. Therefore keep them away from your stovetop, and follow all package directions for using in your microwave-we are talking in seconds, never minutes. Your Hot foods must be cooled before being stored in beeswax, but then, that also saves energy making the refrigerator cool it down.
Downfall? You can NOT wrap raw meat, poultry, or fish in it and reuse it. Bacteria growth can lead to severe gastrointestinal illnesses.
They are super easy to clean. Simply wash them in cold water with eco-friendly, no to low alcohol and acid content soap. Let them air dry thoroughly, then store them in a cool place. Never store them above or near your stove, or cabinet in bright, direct sunlight.
Downfall? You can Not use them in a dishwasher or throw them in the sink with other dishes.
How Long Do They Last?
That is a loaded question because high enzyme foods (like pineapple) will break it down faster. Remember, they are organic, biodegradable, and even compostable. If you see your wrap has met it's duly earned retirement, simply cut into small strips, add it to your compost pile just like your fall leaves or summer grass clippings. Others use them for a fire starter by wrapping them around some kindling...like in the old days.
Can You Make Your Own Beeswax Food Wraps?
Well, that is another loaded question. Sure you can, if you are ready for a whole new world of trial and error. Then there is the case for the cost of jojoba oil and tree resin, so you have the preservative factor, making them work it....in my eyes. Check back, and I will find you lots of recipes; otherwise, you could begin here.
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