Most people don’t think twice about using plastic bags, waxed paper, and plastic wrap to store food. But in the end, aluminum foil is cheaper.
Rather than store your refrigerator goodies in plastic wrap, plastic bags, or even waxed paper, why not give aluminum foil a whirl? Not only does it do a great job, it’s more environmentally sound — and it’s cheaper.
Intrigued? Then let’s take a closer look.
A Product of Many Uses
If nothing else, consider foil’s sheer versatility. Unlike most food storage products, it can follow a product from freezer to oven and then back to the refrigerator. Being a metal with a high melting point, it can handle temperature extremes that plastic and, heaven forbid, paper cannot.
Foil’s also much better at retaining moisture than plastic or paper, assuming you make sure to wrap the contents properly.
Add in all the other kitchen uses of aluminum foil, and it beats the heck out of plastic products and paper. You’re definitely not going to wrap your oven grills with either of those, or otherwise use them as an adjunct to cooking, as you can with foil.
But Foil Costs —
Before you pull out the expense argument, here’s the truth: foil isn’t all that expensive. You can get it for less than two cents per square foot if you buy it in bulk, and even in everyday brand-name supermarket packs it’ll cost you less than six cents per square foot.
That’s just a few cents more than plastic wrap, which isn’t bad when you calculate in the annoyance factor of trying to keep plastic from clinging to itself in favor of everything else.
Then there’s the reusability issue. If you’re frugal (which of course you are), you can reuse foil several times before it becomes too wrinkled and fatigued to use again, especially if it’s serving only as a refrigerator wrap or cover. Though you can reuse plastic bags, try reusing that plastic wrap or waxed paper.
Plus, It’s Eco-Friendly!
Plastic wrap, plastic bags, and even wax paper are manufactured using precious petroleum, which could, frankly, be put to better use. That wouldn’t be so bad if those products could be recycled, but that’s not really possible.
While environmentalists have sometimes scorned foil due to the high cost (both in dollars and resources) incurred in initially extracting aluminum, I would humbly propose that they just don’t get it. One of the best things about aluminum is that it can be recycled endlessly, and most is.
Foil made from 100% recycled aluminum is easy to find on the market nowadays, and it only costs about 5% of the original energy cost to produce. So if you’re buying that and tossing your used aluminum foil in the recycling bin, then you’re more eco-conscious than people who use those other kinds of food wraps.