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How to be food safe, the natural way

in Food and Beverages / Cooking Tips by Anshu Pande on 02/25/2016

Some ten to fifteen years earlier you would find food being served in pattals and dona, which is nothing but plates and bowls made with sal or banyan leaves. This was how any public function would be solemnized, be it a wedding, festivity at a temple or even a roadside hawker. There was little littering and there was no problem of non-biodegradable waste as everything would become part of the earth.

In many cultures of the world food is cooked and served on a leaf. Sometimes the leaf is to be devoured with the dish and sometimes not. Why go far, in Southern India dosa is traditionally served on a banana leaf which is hygienic, flexible and waterproof way of serving your food. This banana leaf is also used in cooking. The food is wrapped with banana leaf and steamed to perfection. The leaf imparts a subtle sweet flavour to the dish, lends an overwhelming aroma and acts as a platter for serving. Not just south India, the culture of using banana leaf is widely popular in many other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, China Vietnam.  


In Mexico, their popular breakfast Tamales are steamed and cooked wrapped in a corn cob leaf and served in the same leafy wrapper. Similarly, in many countries bamboo barks are used as natural eco friendly packaging material. The list is endless. However, over years the culture of using leaves as food wrapping and packaging material has been replaced by clay, ceramic, metal and now plastic. This advent has been, not only a disaster for environment but has also exposed our food to a number of hazards. The plastic reacts with our food and makes it toxic. Also, the plastic doesn't biodegrade itself. When it breaks it readily soaks up and releases toxins that then contaminate soil and water.

It's understandable, the world is moving at a fast pace where everything is portable and in a hurry. Fast food chains are mushrooming up with junk food and adopting unsafe ways of cooking and serving them. On the other hand, finding such leaves appropriate for wrapping and cooking food can be quite a task. They may not be readily available or may be too expensive. So the pertinent question arises what are the other safer available food wrapping material, which do not cause havoc to environment, are safe to use and sound on your pocket?

Of Course nothing replaces the good old Banana Leaf. As discussed earlier they are convenient, safe and natural product used both for cooking and serving.
Traditional cotton towels can be used to wrap lunches. However, care has to be taken to wash them after every single usage. Otherwise, they themself can be storehouse of germs and highly unsafe for the food you wrap in it. You can cook your food wrapped in parchment paper or en papillote (Read More http://www.uniwraps.com/blog/cooking-in-parchment-paper-or-en-papillote)
Use of good quality Food wrapping Paper is a safer way of wrapping food for storage, for take aways and hygienic lunch boxes.
Parchment Paper is another multi purpose and safer option. It can be used for baking, wrapping and even lining confections.

Airtight containers are another option, but they have their own limitation. They are to be washed after every usage. They are not very compact and not that light weight and of course they can be messy as the food can spill inside the container.

If there are other viable options do write them in the comments below. The intent is to make food safe for us and our family and at the same time be concerned about our environment. Remember to leave the world clean for our future generations and not a pile of non biodegradable toxic waste. Stick to natural ways of cooking,storing and wrapping food and if adjustments have to be made they should be food safe and environment friendly.

About The Author


Oddy Uniwraps is a brand name of Atul Paper Pvt. Limited, a renowned player in stationery and paper products for the past 20 years.We personally experienced that there was no product for packing food for our loved ones in the Indian market, which ensured that the packed food remained fresh and healthy. This led to the inception of Uniwraps Food Wrapping Paper, which is microwave & oven safe, and ISO 22000:2005 & IS 6615:1972 certified for Food Safety!We always like to help the people related to food and food safety processes.Read more: www.uniwraps.com





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