Single use plastic is ubiquitous. It’s easy to pick up a loaf of bread, packaged in a single use plastic bag and tied with a small single use plastic bread clip without thinking about the consequences. But, as we are well aware, plastic that is made to be used for just a few days in the case of a loaf of bread, sticks around in the ecosystem forever.
However, it is possible to purchase and store fresh bread without single use plastic, and we are here to show you how. All you need is a reusable produce bag!
BREAD BAGS – WHERE DOES OUR DOUGH GO?
When you buy a traditional loaf of bread from the supermarket, your money is not only going into production of the bread, but also the engineering of the single use plastic bag and plastic bread clip (starting with extracting petroleum from the ground that is refined and then used to manufacture plastic), and transportation of the bread. As with most single use packaging, it is waste of resources for our short term convenience.
HOW TO BUY BREAD WITHOUT PLASTIC
There is of course the option of making your own bread at home, which we encourage you to try when you have some time to learn this craft!
But, it is possible to purchase a loaf of bread without single use plastic, using a reusable bread bag instead.
You will find unpackaged bread at select shops and cafes, bakeries as well as farmers markets. If you coordinate your visit to the supermarket when they’re taking the bread out of the oven, they might even be happy to pop a loaf in your own bag for you too.
These days, artisanal loaves are in abundance, and you can often find them package free. As an added bonus, artisanal bread is generally healthier than traditional loaves made to last in plastic. Sourdough for example, is high in Iron, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium as well as Lactobacillus which is important for gut health.
So next time you go grocery shopping, remember to take your reusable shopping bags and produce bags. Keep them together in a handy spot so you remember!
HOW TO STORE BREAD WITHOUT PLASTIC
Storing bread in plastic encourages mould growth because moisture can not escape, and it makes bread chewy.
Bread is best stored in a bag or container that will stop airflow around the bread, but will still breathe somewhat, such as a fabric bag, tea towel or old pillowcase. Let bread cool before wrapping in the bag, or leave bag slightly open until cool.
Store in a dark, cool place – but not in the refrigerator, which makes it go stale faster.
All bread will go stale within a few days as the water migrates back to the gluten and recrystallizes. Of course, then it is time to make toast from the bread. Or, if it is a full loaf rather than sliced, run it quickly under some water then heat in the over for 10 – 15 minutes to draw out the moisture so the bread becomes crusty again.
If you wish to keep bread for a long time, you will need to freeze it – hemp produce bags are perfect for this
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