Why Choosing Glass Over Plastic Matters

Infinity Jars for Food and Home Storage

 

Please Stop Using Plastic NOW

In a perfect world plastic would never have been invented.  I know, that is a bold statement; but had we known in 1907 what we know now about this harmful and insidious chemical product, we would have banned it immediately. Did you know that the first plastic based on a synthetic polymer was made from phenol and formaldehyde, with the first viable and cheap synthesis methods invented in 1907, by Leo Hendrik Baekeland. Phenol is both corrosive and toxic. Formaldehyde, aside from ALS risk or other nervous system consequences, is a respiratory irritant that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and throat irritation, according to the ATSDR. (The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) It can also cause cancer, and has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in kids. Plastics contain phthalates (click on the link to learn why the United Nations and World Health Organization view phthalates as a global threat) and are, among other bad things, on a long list of harmful endocrine disrupters. YIKES!  Why would we want to be exposed to this stuff?

Choose Glass Instead

Here is some trivia for you.

  • Americans consumed about 9.67 BILLION gallons of bottled water in 2015. Each gallon represents 7.5 individual plastic bottles 90% of which end up in landfills.
  • It takes 203 ounces of water to make a 16.9 ounce plastic bottle. Anyone see the problem with that?
  • At last count in 2015, there were 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.(Source)
  • Plastic bottles in landfills will take thousands of years to decompose.
  • Glass has been around for thousands of years. It was first used to make jewelry and amulets and then much later for vessels and building materials.
  • The first hollow glass container is believed to have been created around 1500 BC.
  • While glassmaking was originally thought of as creative and artsy, science entered the game in the late 1500s with the invention of glass telescope and microscope lenses.
  • The first American glass was made in 1608 in Jamestown, Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Modern glass making is energy intensive. Approximately 22% of production costs are consumed by energy.  This, however, is far less than the 40% figure in the making of plastic.

5 Reasons Glass Over Plastic Is the Right Choice

  1. Glass is non-porous.
    Glass is inert. This means it is safer for storage of food and skin care products as there is no leeching of chemicals into the contents like there is with plastic, no odors or other external pollutants can penetrate the glass so your food retains its original flavor and no cosmetic scents can bother the person next to you, and nothing (no bacteria, detergent etc) is left behind after cleaning.
  2. Glass is a durable good.
    I love “economics speak” don’t you? Anyway, glass containers have a much, much longer “shelf life” than plastic. For example: plastic water bottles are single use. You buy it, you drink it, you throw it away.  Americans purchase approximately 42.6 billion individual 1-liter bottles of water each year (2015 figures). Globally, people go through roughly 200 billion plastic water bottles annually. Now, consider this. If you took a glass water bottle with you in the morning, full of life-saving water, then refilled it at work and at the gym; you will have personally reduced the number of plastic water bottles hitting the landfill by 3. Multiply that by 365 days in a year and you will reduce the number of plastic water bottles in the landfill by 1,095.  That’s just you. Something else that should impress you: water from your tap or filter at home costs you about 3 cents per bottle. Water purchased in that nasty plastic bottle will cost anywhere from 50 cents if you buy it by the caseload to over $3.00 if you buy it at the airport.  By using glass you will save money in the long run and help save our planet. This same theory applies to food storage containers and skin care product containers. With proper care (like not dropping them on concrete or knocking containers together in the sink or dishwasher), glass storage containers will last for many, many years. In fact, the Infinity Jars, pictured above, are incredibly strong. Let’s see: save money, save the planet —- looks like a win-win to me.
  3. Glass is 100% recyclable.
    When the time comes years down the road, to part with your glass storage containers, you can be confident that those containers won’t need to take up space in a landfill.  A glass jar can become a glass jar again, and again, and again. It can be reused by someone else, it can be repurposed, it can be crushed to be used as a soft surface for playgrounds or for pipe-bedding in the construction industry. or become part of the glass industry’s recycling process in the production of new glass products.It takes up to 60% less energy to make new glass products from recycled glass. Plastic, on the other hand, has little chance of becoming something valuable again and again. To give you a good picture, figuratively and literally, of the importance of the recyclability of glass versus plastic, please watch this TedTalk.
  4. Glass is efficient.
    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any more clean-up than is absolutely necessary in my kitchen. Glass can help with that. Glass is so efficient you can prepare much of your food, serve it, and store leftovers all in the same dish.Side note:  I don’t think plastic tubs have a place on the dinner table!  Glass can go in your dishwasher on high temp settings as well.  Awesome, right? While these are great benefits there are more. Glass containers preserve their contents much better than plastic. You will see a dramatic reduction in waste due to spoilage and degradation. One of the best features of the Infinity Jars shown above is the preserving qualities of the dark violet glass on light-sensitive contents. I’ll talk more about that below.
  5. Glass will raise your consciousness.
    As a consumer, you have a choice. You can contribute to the deaths of our oceans, to the demise of global wildlife populations, and to the decline of human health by continuing to live a throw-away lifestyle; or, you can shift your mindset to a more sustainable lifestyle by making a simple yet powerful choice of glass over plastic. Of course, this is just one step of many we all need to take if we are to make a difference, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Feature Review – Infinity Jars

Infinity Jars for Food and Home Storage

The glass containers featured here are from Infinity Jars. Let me first say they are beautiful and perfectly sized for the uses I have committed them to. Pictured here are the 5ml Glass Push Pump Bottle, 15ml Glass Push Pump Bottle, 15ml Glass Pippette Dropper Bottle and 150ml Glass Tall Screw Top Jar. There are over 30 different containers available from Infinity Jars, but as I will be traveling soon the three small ones seemed like a perfect fit for now. Based on appearances, these containers get a solid “10” from me for form: now for the function.

Infinity Jars are made from dark ultraviolet glass which is not just aesthetic. According to the company’s information, this type of pigmented glass blocks harmful visible light rays from degrading light-sensitive contents on the inside and lets beneficial light rays in to extend the shelf life of the contents. I’m not a scientist but this makes sense to me. I know that beer and wine companies use dark glass for many of their products to keep their light-sensitive products from spoiling. Sure, there are lots of products in clear glass containers but my research tells me these are products not typically affected by light. The dark glass is quite attractive and serves a good purpose; but it is impossible to see what’s inside. Don’t worry, Infinity Jars has you covered. They provide attractive, appropriately sized labels for listing contents and dates.

I’ve chosen to use the three smaller bottles for my skin care products. I use and highly recommend KINDri.  KINDri is a line of organic, cruelty free skin care. It is incredible for many reasons not the least of which is there are no harmful man-made chemicals in them, unlike those found in most commercially available skin care products. For this reason, my KINDri products have made their home in my small Infinity Jars. I know my KINDri skin care products will stay well preserved and protected even in my carry-on bag. NOTE:  TSA rules limit liquids in carry-on bags to no more than 3.4oz per container and all liquid containers in your carry-on bag must fit into one (1) quart see-through sealable bag for screening.

The small bottles are perfect for essential oils too. My bucket list includes learning to make my own essential oils – especially lavender. What I do know already is that essential oils are really sensitive to light. It doesn’t make sense to put in all that work to realize something so lovely only to have it quickly degrade because of the container it is in.  I think the small bottles, especially the one with the dropper, are perfect for tinctures too, like Black Elderberry during cold and flu season from Mountain Rose Herbs as well as my liquid B12 and D3 from Garden of Life.

The large 150ml screw top Infinity Jar is now the home of a blend of fresh, beautifully fragrant herbs from our local farmer’s market. I use a lot of herbs in my food preparation and they are sometimes quite dear in price. I don’t want to lose any of their quality so I am glad I have this jar to keep them as fresh as possible. **Note: this jar does not meet the TSA requirements so my herbs will not be accompanying me on my journey.


I hope you have found this post useful. My goal is to help my readers live a healthy, happy, plant-strong life and to encourage everyone to take care of our planet. I love sharing my recipes, educating people about the power of food to heal and maintain good health, and learning about the many conscious entrepreneurs who are working hard to make this world a better place. I would love to hear from you about this or any of my posts.


Looking for information on how to begin a healthy, whole food, plant-based lifestyle? Why not join the more than 16,000+ people on the 2017 Engine 2 7-Day Rescue Challenge. In just 7 days, the healthy results you will experience will blow your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

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Plant Perfect Sushi

 

Vegan Sushi

Before we get too far into this post I want to offer this bit of advice about preparing this delicious plant-based food.  You need a sense of humor, a willingness to laugh at yourself and in my case your partner, and the understanding that perfection is a “state of mind”.  Armed with these defenses and delicious whole food ingredients you will have a lot of fun making these tasty sushi rolls.

Sushi, or more accurately sushi-meshi, is the vinegar-flavored cold cooked rice that is the basis for what we generically refer to as sushi.  Once the rice is prepared, it is topped or wrapped with other ingredients such as the raw vegetables we prepared for this meal. Our Plant Perfect Sushi was rolled in Emerald Cove Organic Pacific Nori, verified by the NON-GMO Project and purchased at Whole Foods Market (I do not receive any compensation for these links. They are simply provided as a resource to help you find ingredients.)

Our recipe for this Plant Perfect Sushi is below but, before you proceed, let me say once again a sense of humor, a desire to have some fun, and the mantra “if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again” is necessary and well worth the effort.

Plant Perfect Sushi

Plant Perfect Sushi

These Plant Perfect Sushi rolls are delicious. They do take some practice to roll but keep trying. It will definitely be worth the effort. Asparagus would be incredible in these rolls. You can also use fruit like mango. Whatever filling you choose, the key to success is ensuring your rice is cold and sticky and you do not try to build too big a roll. This is a case of "size really matters" if you want your sushi to look and taste as ours eventually turned out. Enjoy.

Ingredients

  • Nori Sheets
  • Slivers of your favorite veggies: carrots, cucumber, Roma tomato, avocado, celery, bell pepper, etc.
  • 1 cup (uncooked) short-grain brown rice rinsed
  • 2 cups water (depending on your cooking device)
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Stone ground mustard
  • Soaked raw cashews
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

    For The Rice
  1. Rince 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  2. Add to cooking device (I use an Instant-Pot)
  3. Add water (I use 1.5 cups of water in my Instant-Pot)
  4. Cook rice until water is absorbed - test for doneness
  5. Transfer cooked rice to glass bowl.
  6. Mix together rice vinegar, cane sugar and salt and add to rice
  7. Stir rice gently to mix and cool quickly. Rice will become sticky as it cools.
    For the Filling
  1. Prepare slivers of your favorite vegetables
    Putting the Roll Together
  1. We used a Sushezi Tube, but you can use a bamboo sushi mat or clear plastic wrap to create your large roll.
  2. Form two half logs of the rice approximately 6" long and about 1" wide and using approximately 1 cup of the cooked rice (dampen your fingers to keep rice from sticking to them)
  3. Make a small channel in each half of the rice log to fill with your veggie slivers. Don't overfill.
  4. Put the two halves together (this was relatively easy with the Sushezi Tube)
  5. Make sure the two halves are well "put together".
  6. Transfer onto one end of a sheet of Nori
  7. Begin to roll.
  8. Once rolled to the end of the Nori sheet use a bit of water on your fingertips to seal the edge of the Nori.
  9. Using a serrated knife, cut your sushi rolls in 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces.
    For the Dressing
  1. We blended a quick dressing with avocado, some soaked cashews, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a wee bit of stone ground mustard; but you can simply use some Tamari with a bit of wasabi.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2017/03/plant-perfect-sushi/


NOTES ON NUTRITION

Brown Rice:  All rice is not created equal. White rice has had most of its nutrition removed through the milling and polishing process it goes through. Why fill your tummy with something that does not provide nutrition when you can enjoy delicious and nutritious brown rice in your sushi? Short grain brown rice is best for sushi as it has the highest starch content making it suited for “sticky rice”. Brown rice promotes digestive health because it is high in fiber. It is also excellent for promoting heart health as it is a good source of selenium, magnesium, and ferulic acid.

Sea Vegetables – NORI (seaweed):  Sea vegetables are extraordinarily rich in iodine, Vitamin K, folate and magnesium. Iodine is essential to the function of our thyroid. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in every cell of our body so ensuring we have enough iodine in our diet is of real importance. Sea vegetables can help reduce inflammation in the body, inhibit blood clots and protect against viruses. They are loaded with iron and calcium and contain sleep-promoting tryptophan.  BONUS: sea vegetables provide great nutrition and are very low in calories.

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