Earlier this week, we shared some of the amazing ways that beneficial bacteria help in various industries, including the food industry for food preservation and food packaging. But what about at home, when you have leftovers and other food ingredients that you want to store in your pantry or keep fresh in your fridge? One of the first things that most people do is reach for some plastic food wrap, but there are various problems with plastic food wrap.
“It may save your sandwich, but plastic wrap pollutes the planet,” warns the researchers at National Geographic in an in-depth report on the problems with plastic food wrap. It pollutes the environment, uses toxic chemicals, and the publication notes that “when it ends up in landfills or incinerators, both PVC and PVDC can release a highly toxic chemical called dioxin.”
And, WHY would you want these toxic chemicals around your food??
The next time you want to wrap a sandwich or cover up a container of food, try this recipe for homemade beeswax parchment paper. It works exactly the same, but it’s reusable and is made with all-natural beeswax. Beeswax has antimicrobial activity, meaning it helps to kill bad fungi and bacteria without using toxins that would otherwise harm beneficial bacteria.
Avoid the Problem With Plastic Food Wrap: Recipe For Homemade Beeswax Food Wrap
Beeswax food wraps are a sustainable and reusable alternative to plastic wrap for storing food. Here’s a simple recipe to make your own beeswax food wraps that will keep your food fresh without the problem of plastic food wrap which harms bacteria and the environment.
Ingredients and Materials
Beeswax pellets or grated beeswax
Natural fabric, such as cotton or hemp (cut into desired sizes for wraps)
Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
Clothespins or clips
Preheat your oven to around 185°F (85°C). Beeswax melts at a low temperature, so using a low heat setting is important to avoid overheating and causing a fire hazard.
Cut your fabric into the desired sizes for your wraps. You can make various sizes depending on your needs, such as small ones for covering bowls or larger ones for wrapping sandwiches.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat to protect it from the melted wax.
Place one fabric piece onto the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle or evenly distribute a thin layer of beeswax pellets or grated beeswax over the fabric. Make sure to cover the entire fabric surface, but avoid using too much wax as it can make the wrap too stiff.
Place the baking sheet with the fabric and beeswax into the preheated oven. Keep a close eye on it to prevent overheating or burning. The beeswax should melt within a few minutes.
Once the beeswax has melted, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a clean paintbrush or a natural bristle brush to spread the melted wax evenly across the fabric. Ensure that the wax reaches the edges and corners of the fabric.
Lift the fabric from one corner using clothespins or clips, and allow it to cool and dry in the air for a few seconds. This will help the wax set and prevent it from pooling excessively.
Remove the clothespins or clips and let the beeswax wrap fully cool and harden. This should only take a couple of minutes.
Repeat the process with the remaining fabric pieces, adding beeswax and spreading it evenly until you have made all the desired wraps.
Once the wraps have cooled and hardened, trim any excess wax or uneven edges with scissors if necessary.
Your homemade beeswax food wraps are ready to use! They can be molded and shaped using the warmth of your hands to cover bowls, wrap sandwiches, or store various types of food. And all without adding to the environmental problem of plastic food wrap.
Note: Beeswax wraps can be washed with cool water and mild dish soap after each use. Avoid using hot water, as it can melt the wax. With proper care, beeswax wraps can be reused for up to a year or longer so you never have to deal with the problem with plastic food wrap again.