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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Shopping Saturday - Tupperware Parties

Have you ever been to a Tupperware Party? I have. It was a right of passage as a new wife and new housewife for many of us. I found this vintage Tupperware party invitation dated from the year of my birth, 1959.

And, yes, my Mom had Tupperware like this. We had the pastel glasses, bowls and the 3 piece mixing bowl set along with other odds and ends. She even had the long Tupperware teaspoons that were never used at our house.

So the old pastels (as you see in this cabinet) put me right back in my childhood.

I got married at the ripe old age of barely 18 yrs old. I was 18 for about 2 1/2 weeks when we got married back in 1977. My first Tupperware Party was at my Mother-in-law's home and I could only afford a little sandwich box for my husband to take his sandwiches to work in. (He promptly lost it.) But it whet my appetite and I collected Tupperware until the end of the 1980's when cheaper stuff started coming out. I attended parties and gave parties. I gave parties until my last one when NOBODY came. I guess I had Tupperwared them out. Eventually I got rid of nearly all my Tupperware because of the dated colors. I mean all that 70's and early 80's orange, brown and lime green got on my nerves.

If I have one criticism of Tupperware, it's the colors. I wonder how hard it would be to order something in any color your want or at least have a slew of color choices that never change, you just add to it for new colors. Then people could order the item with a color of their choice, whether it's the old pink or the new hot pink. Surely they have thought of that, so it must not be possible. But that's my beef.

Another problem with Tupperware is their prices. I know making good quality plastics is no longer prohibitively expensive so I can only guess it's their home party system that adds to the costs. Why pay $40 for a tea pitcher when you can get one at Walmart for $7?

So I drifted away from Tupperware but, always in the back of my mind, I wanted a matching Tupperware pantry. It was sort of my dream pantry system. I just couldn't afford it.

I guess I had a picture of Tupperware nirvana in the back of my head. I tried to create an organized kitchen and pantry without the expense of Tupperware but it never matched the dream. I mean, all those little perfectly matching, tailor fitted, labelled pieces of Tupperware......

In the last couple of years, I've found tons of old Tupperware for sale at yard sales, thrift stores, and online. At much more reasonable prices. So slowly I'd begun to buy it again.


Is it BPA free? If you are like me, the term BPA didn't ring a bell. I thought plastic was plastic. I didn't know there was a difference between food grade or any other grades. I certainly had never heard of BPA and EAs. I figured plastic had been around long enough to have all the wrinkles ironed out, if you know what I mean. We use plastic containers, wraps, bottles, packaging, ziploc bags, etc. And I have my whole life (born in 1959). As I said, I thought plastics must be really safe by now.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a carbon-based synthetic compound. It is a colorless solid that is soluble in organic solvents, but poorly soluble in water. It has been in commercial use since 1957. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in some consumer products and food containers. A 2010 report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children. However, an FDA assessment released in March 2013 said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. In July 2014, the FDA updated its perspective on the use of BPA in food contact applications, confirming that "BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods" based on extensive research, including two more studies issued by the agency in early 2014. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed new scientific information on BPA in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015: EFSA’s experts concluded on each occasion that they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise their opinion that the presently known levels of exposure to BPA is safe; however, EFSA does recognize some uncertainties, and will continue to investigate them...The major human exposure route to BPA is diet, including ingestion of contaminated food and water. Bisphenol A is leached from the lining of food and beverage cans where it is used as an ingredient in the plastic used to protect the food from direct contact with the can. It is especially likely to leach from plastics when they are cleaned with harsh detergents or when they contain acidic or high-temperature liquids. BPA is used to form epoxy resin coating of water pipes in older buildings... In adults, BPA is eliminated from the body through a detoxification process in the liver. In infants and children, this pathway is not fully developed so they have a decreased ability to clear BPA from their systems... Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor that can mimic estrogen and has been shown to cause negative health effects in animal studies. To be specific, bisphenol A closely mimics the structure and function of the hormone estradiol with the ability to bind to and activate the same estrogen receptor as the natural hormone... BPA works by imitating the natural hormone 17B-estradiol. In the past BPA has been considered a weak mimicker of estrogen but newer evidence indicates that it is a potent mimickerhen it binds to estrogen receptors it triggers alternative estrogenic effects that begin outside of the nucleus. This different path induced by BPA has been shown to alter glucose and lipid metabolism in animal studies... A 2007 review concluded that bisphenol-A has been shown to bind to thyroid hormone receptor and perhaps has selective effects on its functions.- Wikipedia, 6/15/2015

I will stop here as it's getting too technical for me. Some indicators show not much risk and some indicators show there may be risk. We get BPAs from a lot of sources outside our knowledge, such as food packaging. Did you notice it said, "(BPA) is leached from the lining of food and beverage cans where it is used as an ingredient in the plastic used to protect the food from direct contact with the can." So we are exposed to BPAs from canned drinks and canned food if I understand this correctly. That's something I cannot control. Will I give up buying Cokes and canned green beans? No, it's hardwired into my psyche. Sorry. If I'm already getting BPAs from sources beyond my control does should I add to them by using plastic containers in my kitchen? Or does that mean it must not be such a big deal, so I will continue to use my plastic containers in my kitchen? Only you can decide.

As of March 2010, items sold by Tupperware US and CA are BPA free. That comes from the Tupperware company. But BPA free is not necessarily EA free. That's a whole 'nother subject. I don't know where they stand on EAs. It seems that leaching (chemicals leaching) into food stored in plastic, and reheating in plastics via the microwave, are the concerns.

So is old Tupperware safe? Do NOT microwave in anything plastic even if it says it's microwave safe. Transfer it to a glass, porcelain, or china bowl. You can also find many glass, stainless steel, porcelain storage containers with lids now. Using an inert material such as glass, stainless steel, porcelain won't leach chemicals into stored or reheated foods. There may be other ways to use old Tupperware besides food storage, but do some research into BPAs and make an informed decision whether or not to use your old pieces of Tupperware for food preparation, food storage, and serving. And, it seems, Tupperware containers made after 2010 is safe so new pieces should be OK. And there are many new products and colors available. But if you are interested in VINTAGE Tupperware, do a search at Ebay or Etsy or do a Google search. You can find it easily. I do NOT sell Tupperware or vintage wares of any kind. I do not have a business. But it won't be hard for you to find.

As I said, I loved Tupperware for it's convenience and light weight practicality. It usually lasts for years and is easy to clean. They also have the lifetime warranty for those times when something unusual happens such as cracking. They don't replace it if it's melted or warped (your fault) but cracking and peeling can be manufacturing defects and they will replace for the cost of SandH. Older pieces are also available easily and inexpensively all over the place.

It's definitely a childhood memory trigger for me. I can remember my Aunt Ruth using a Tupperware creamer to pour cream in her coffee cup. I remember drinking iced tea and Koolaid in Mom's pastel Tupperware glasses. I remember eating my cereal out of the pastel cereal bowls. It's just one of those things that makes me a little dreamy eyed.

According to Wikipedia, Tupperware is a home products line that includes preparation, storage, containment, and serving products for the kitchen and home. Earl Silas Tupper invented the plastic for Tupperware in 1938. In 1942, he developed his first bell shaped container; the brand products were introduced to the public in 1948. The once-patented "burping seal" was a famous aspect of Tupperware, which distinguished it from competitors. Once you burped the seal, it was considered airtight. The product began to be sold through presentation home parties in 1949. Holding Tupperware Parties allowed women of the 1950s to earn an income from home. Women had hit the factories and working places during World War II while men were serving our country in the military. After the men came home and flooded the job markets, women needed new opportunities. They liked making their own income and the independence it had given them. But the men needed the jobs, so women were looking for ways to make extra income without male competition. The "Party" model builds on skills developed by a housewife (such as party planning, hosting a party, social events with friends and neighbors) and created an alternative choice for women who needed or wanted to work. Ms. Brownie Wise (1913–92), a former sales representative of Stanley Home Products, developed the home party strategy. Tupper was so impressed that Brownie Wise was made vice president of marketing in 1951. Tupperware popularity exploded thanks to Tupperware ladies (aka consultants or representatives) and the company's Jubilees which were "outlandish" themed parties or rallies celebrating the products and the Tupperware ladies, encouraging them and giving them new strategies for their sales. It was a way to recognize and reward top sellers. In 1958, Earl Tupper fired Brownie Wise and sold the business to Rexall. It's gone through many changes but the quality of the product has remained.

But, if it took 60 yrs to find out about BPAs what will we find out about the new silicone that is so popular now?

I used to enjoy a small Tupperware party. I always learned something and enjoyed getting together with a few friends and family and playing the little games. Of course, I always felt pressured to reciprocate and give a party or, worse yet, to become a Tupperware lady, and that was uncomfortable. But the products were useful and high quality. I think the home party sales strategy is probably on it's last leg. People are busy, they don't want to have or attend parties and feel pressured to sell or have a party and they want to take their time shopping. Internet online shopping is probably the future. But I wanted to share some of the vintage Tupperware and vintage ads I found on the Internet. If you are old enough, it will bring back some memories for you too. If you are like me, you will be saying, "I remember Mom had one of those" or "Grandma used to have that".

Pitchers came in gallon and half gallon sizes.

Christmas plates and mugs

Cookie cutters

For canned hams


Tupperware gadgets that were party favors and game prizes.

The red piece was suppose to be a scrubber. It would get in corner. The long orange piece was an orange or grapefruit peeler. The little yellow tongs were for capping strawberries. There is a white over-the-door hook. The white rectangular box was to cover toothbrush heads for travel. The flat yellow piece with the serated edges was for making designs in cake icing.

The green piece on the left was to put a piece of butter in and used to butter corn on the cob. The yellow thing in the middle is the orange and grapefruit peeler. The orange on the right was a shrimp de-veiner.

In this photo you have a scoop, a measuring spoon, the corn butterer, sippy cup lids and an orange and grapefruit peeler. The long green thing with serated edge was a lettuce corer. The green and orange things in the upper right corner were for plunging into an orange, lemon or lime for juice.

In this picture you have the green lettuce corer, a book marker, a beige pickle and olive server (good for getting them out of a jar), a wall plaque for keyrings and a dark gray icing decorator. The yellow thing with the hooks on each end was to neaten electrical or phone cords. The brown piece in the bottom right corner was a small ruler/letter opener/book mark. The beige thing that looks like a pair of fake lips (LOL) were for holding a knife on the counter. And the bottle caps. The rings fit over a Coke or Pepsi bottle and the lid can cap it.

Cake server

Spoon rests in various colors


Condiment server

Grater keeper

Small salt and pepper shakers with caddy

Pickle keeper

Cereal keeper


Saltine cracker keeper

Hot dogs, cold cuts and small marinator

Cheese grater and keeper

Modular Mates (those pantry organizers)

Cabbage and Lettuce Keepers

The cabbage keeper. There is a large one called a lettuce keeper.

Bread box

Ice cream box

Deviled Egg Keeper

Cheese Tray (for those blocks of Velveeta)

Butter dish

Vintage coasters and tray

Shaker for mixing those protein drinks or salad dressing

Sippy cups


Here are some ideas for your Tupperware collection. Think outside the box and recycle or reuse your old Tupperware.

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