Read This and You'll Never Want to Use Saran Wrap Again
On my first day of culinary school, my chef-instructor launched into a moving speech about how the next generation of chefs and home cooks can save the planet — and it all starts with using less saran wrap. Like any kitchen organization fiend, I was skeptical.
A few seconds later, Chef J.W. presented a roasted pepper from an oven and put it in a small mixing bowl. But rather than reach for the saran wrap to cover the bowl and let the pepper steam, he reached for a pot lid. Then, he did something so simple, so brilliant, that mere mortals like me could never dream up: He put the lid on top of the mixing bowl. In a few minutes, the pepper's skin would loosen, and you can peel it away easily by hand. I don't think I've ever had more of a craving for fire-roasted peppers, but that wasn't the point.
Chef J.W. wanted his students to think of all the times we reach for saran wrap in our kitchens and how it all ends up in our country's landfills (even worse: Saran wrap is made with something called low-density polyethylene, which takes of hundreds of years to decompose).
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In some instances, a pot lid will work like a charm, in others, not so much. My personal favorite swap for Saran is a dish towel and a rubber band. If I have, say, some leftover fruit salad in a bowl, I simply grab a clean dish towel and throw it over and then secure it in place with a rubber band to keep air from getting in. But there are other, fancier options like these nifty six-pack of Silicone Stretch Lids from i-Kawachi for $10.99 on Amazon. They're reusuable, dishwasher-safe, and a definite money-saver when you think of all that you spend over the years on Saran wrap dispensers.
Something tells me Chef J.W. might frown at the carbon footprint of shipping these lids to your home, but I'm going to go ahead and say the long-term benefit outweighs that drawback. Now, while we're on an eco-roll, how about nixing that Ziploc bags habit, too?