The Minimalist Kitchen: BPA-Free Storage Containers

Reader Contribution by Allison Martin
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Clear the plastic clutter! Keep your kitchen storage options lean and kind—to the earth and your body. These hardworking, multipurpose food-storage options should cover every need—and won’t leach plastic chemicals into your food.

Mason Magic

Widely available, cheap and versatile, Mason jars are perfect single-serving containers for leftovers. They’re also great for storing bulk groceries such as rice or beans.
To Buy: Sets for $7 to $16, Ball Fresh Preserving Store

Space-Saving Squares

Storing food in squared-off shapes can help maximize fridge space. This Pro Glass 10-Piece Food Storage Set with snap lids has you covered.
To Buy:  $20, Bed, Bath & Beyond

Oven-Safe Storage

Just pop these glass containers straight into a preheated oven to warm up leftovers (sans lid, of course). Try a 14-piece Pyrex set to accommodate leftovers or prepped food.
To Buy:  $45, Pyrex Ware

Lunch Love

Pack leftovers straight into your lunch container and save a step. This stainless ECOlunchbox Three-in-One tiffin set includes three storage boxes that click together for easy transport.
To Buy:  $26, ECOlunchbox

Gulp on the Go

Bring beverages on the road with Aquaovo’s Therm-O Terra double-walled glass bottle. It includes a built-in stainless-steel tea infuser, but will keep any beverage insulated and toxin-free.
To Buy:  $27, Aquaovo

BPA-FREE: What does it mean?

As bisphenol-A, or BPA, has gained notoriety for its tendency to leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals, more and more plastic products are being labeled BPA-free. But are BPA-free plastics safe? Studies have shown that many types of plastics, not just those that contain BPA, can leach chemicals into food and water—and BPA replacements such as bisphenol-S (BPS) and bisphenol-F (BPF) appear to have similar or worse endocrine-disrupting effects. In a study by the Center for Environmental Health, two labs tested 35 children’s sippy cups and found that nine labeled BPA-free yielded moderate to high levels of estrogenic activity. The best choice is to avoid plastic chemicals when it comes to food prep and storage and instead opt for glass, ceramic or stainless steel. If you do use plastic, choose polypropylene; look for recycling number 5 and the initials PP on the bottom of the food-storage product.

Bonus product! The Black+Blum Thermo-Pot stainless-steel vacuum food flask keeps contents hot for six hours and comes with a magnetic spoon, cork lid and 10-year warranty. $42, Black+Blum.