We all do it; some people do it every day whereas others do it less frequently - packing and transporting food and drinks that is. We take lunch to school and work, store leftovers in the fridge, take drinks for our journey or to the gym, in the summer he have picnics etc etc. For this reason there is a wide range of food containers and drinks bottles on the market and perhaps even in your cupboards. The most common products are made of plastic but in this article we are looking closer at stainless steel food containers and bottles and why those may be better for us, our food and the environment.
safety and taste
Stainless steel is a non toxic material and 304 food grade stainless steel (used in many food containers) is proven to be the safest material to put food in. Stainless steel bottles should also keep your drink fresh for hours whereas plastic bottles can leave the drink tasting and smelling of plastic. In recent years we have also been made aware of the dangers of plastic, especially when heated in a microwave or a dishwasher. Plastic food containers and bottles can leach molecules of chemicals, like BPA (bisphenol A), into the food and beverages.
ease of use and care
Both plastic and stainless steel are generally light weight and durable and therefore good for transporting food. Certain stainless steel containers and bottles are dishwasher safe while others are better washed by hand. The 304 stainless steel has great resistance to stain or rust and is easy to clean. Plastic food containers stain rather easily from certain foods and as mentioned above should not be washed in the dishwasher to avoid leaching.
In general a leak proof container is harder to open but a must when transporting wet food.
Some stainless steel containers, like the Kids Konserve range, have a leak proof plastic lid that is made of non-leaching and BPA-free LDPE plastic, which is also recyclable.
We all know that plastic is not a great choice for the environment; plastics are not biodegradable or easily reusable. Only a fraction of all plastic products can be recycled, and of those only a very small amount is actually collected and processed. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and the production of many bottles and containers are also using a high percentage of recycled material.
One of the advantages of plastic is that it is cheap to produce and therefore cheap to buy. Stainless steel is however also a relatively cheap material but you would normally pay a bit more for stainless steel food containers and bottles. On the other hand stainless steel products will probably last longer as it is a very durable material that will stay fresh for longer.
Are you a fan of plastic or stainless steel? We would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below.