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Thread: How to Package Meat in a "Greener" Way

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    How to Package Meat in a "Greener" Way

    Whenever I purchase meat, I buy in bulk. This saves us a lot of money, however, it means repackaging the meat into smaller portions for our freezer. I always use the ziploc bags, however, feel guilty about all the plastic I am consuming by doing this. Does anyone have a "greener" suggestion on how to package meat for the freezer?

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    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    When I used to buy fresh chicken thighs or breasts, I used Saran Wrap to wrap up indivdual pieces. That seems slightly less plastic than zip lock bags.

    Now I just buy the big frozan bags of chicken parts and continue to use the bag until all is gone.

    I wonder if you can buy butcher paper? Our beef and pork come wrapped up in paper that is slightly waxy. I hope that it breaks down in the landfill, but am not sure. We don't put it in recycling due to contamination, but I wonder if we should.
    Last edited by iris lily; 2-3-11 at 10:46am.

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    I use ziplock bags too, and then wash them out and reuse them. If you are careful they can last a long time.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have a friend who processes meat for part time work in a rural area. He wraps the meat once in plastic warp, like Saran Wrap, and then wraps again in freezer paper and tapes closed. Most of my local stores have freezer paper and as far as I can tell it is similar to butcher paper. I don't know how green this is, but might be slightly better than ziploks. Probably better all considered to use a little plastic than to have some of the meat go bad because of poor wrapping. I wash my ziploks at home, but when they are oily or greasey, they are pretty hard to get clean.

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    Reuse bags from other things: like bread, chips, cereal, etc. Double-bag for protection against freezer burn.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Butcher paper, very tightly wrapped to eliminate as much air as possible, and if you plan on keeping it for "a while" in the freezer, put the butcher-wrapped package in a bag and vacuum seal it to reduce freezer burn even more. You'll be able to re-use the bag quite a few times.

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    hmmm...some very good ideas here. I had never thought of reusing my bags. I suppose as long as they were washed really well. I also like the butcher paper idea bae has. I have never tried using it. I think maybe I'll keep my eyes open for some next time I am out shopping and give it a try. I suppose I could butcher paper wrap and then baggie the meat. The baggies would stay clean so could be used over and over again and would hopefully keep freezer burn off the butcher paper wrapped meat. hmmmmmm.......Thanks for the great ideas everyone!! *S*

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    I use cereal liners all the time instead of the baggies. Works great.. and no cost.

  9. #9
    Mrs-M
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    I second both the butcher paper and Ziploc bag ideas. Ziploc bags wash and dry and stand up to reusability marvelously. I've been washing and drying and reusing Ziploc bags for years.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    We were very disapopinted when costco stopped carrying the big bag of boneless chicken breasts with the skin left on. The skin did a good job of helping prevent freezer burn and we could just leave them in the big bag.

    I wrap everything in wax paper and then in foil. Pretty good at stopping freezer burn, and no plastic involved. Is it more green then any other method? I don't know. But we can recycle the foil and compost the wax paper, so I guess it's not too terrible.

    As for reusing other random plastic bags and cereal liners, we already use those to dispose of cat litter. Back before I thought about the environment I used to buy plastic bags for this purpose.

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