Thursday, March 17, 2016
Thrifty Thursday - Food Storage Before Plastic
Have you ever thought about how people preserved and stored food before plastic? No plastic wrap, no cardboard, no paper bags, no plastic bags, no plastic containers... how did they keep food? There are a lot of ways and it depends on how far back you go. In ancient times, it would have been different than 500 years ago or 100 years ago. I looked for things on the Internet that would have been used at least 100 years ago before plastic.
Coopers were people who built wooden barrels, wooden buckets, wooden churns, wooden casks and wooden tubs. It was a craft to make and repair wooden barrels and buckets. It's, unfortunately, an obsolete job with the advent of plastic.
Then there were the tinsmiths. Tin is a low-melting, malleable, ductile metallic element nearly approaching silver in color and luster. A tinsmith was a maker of any boxes, containers, pots, vessels made of tin.
They used wood for many containers besides buckets and barrels.
Sacks were often used for grains, flour, sugar, etc.
Flour sacks had the advantage of being used for sewing flour sack dresses.
Hoosier cabinets were the kitchen cabinets of yesterday. Many had food storage built in such as flour storage and sifters, sugar storage, jar storage.
Stoneware and pottery crocks were used for many items from beverages to pickles to vegetables.
Pottery was used to make everything from bowls, containers, cookware and serveware.
Glass was used to make bottles and jars for food storage.
As glass manufacturing progressed and got easier, they made glass containers to use in refrigerators (like these refrigerator dishes) and in the oven.
Baskets were also made for food storage. There are bushel baskets, egg baskets, fish baskets (to hold fish while you continued fishing), produce baskets, fruit baskets, etc.
Dried gourds were often used.
Today, we are so spoiled to plastic containers, plastic ziplock bags, cardboard boxes, styrofoam, etc, that we forget how they did it in the old days before our modern food containers. I was raised during the age of Tupperware and Tupperware food containers were the cadillac of food storage. Last year, after reading about BPA's I decided to clear out my cabinets of old plastic and purchased all new stuff. There are basically food storage, food preparation and food servers. There are mixing bowls, leftover containers, canisters for storage, etc. Our ancestors had these same needs so, practically speaking, they had to come up with ways to do what we do so easily today.
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