In many kitchens we throw away large amounts of perfectly good food every day. By storing the food in a smarter we can reduce waste and save time. We also have more money left for both necessities and the fun things in life.
You've just put leftovers after eating into a food container, but can't find a lid that fits. Or maybe you've put a food container in the fridge with food in it, but you can't see what's inside the food container and completely forget about the food. These were things we heard time and time again when interviewing families about their experiences. “We wanted to develop products to make this easier,” says David Granath, a product developer who has worked with the project. “They should be simple and flexible. And easy to combine and use in ways that suit every household.”
“It can involve things like using the same food container for several steps and just changing the lid. There shouldn't be any unnecessary extra work along the way,” says David. Transparent containers increase the chances that the food is consumed. And it must be easy to adapt the containers to serve different needs. “People asked for a coherent system for food storage. Not complicated special gadgets, yet rather simple and straightforward products that can be used often.”
The IKEA 365+ food containers and lids can be combined and also come in different materials and sizes. They are super simple – and that's the point. “We've put a lot of work into them, for example by seeing to it that all the different parts fit together. But the product itself is simple in a smart way.” We can't solve the entire food waste problem – but we can make it possible for everyone to be part of the solution.
When we open our cabinets or the fridge we tend to eat what we see first. The things we don’t see are easy to forget. By using transparent containers and lids it becomes easier to find all the perfectly good to eat food you didn’t know you were looking for. On the plus side you also save money and resources. And who knows what would happen if you put all the veggies and other healthy stuff up front?
When you decide what food containers to get, you can choose between two materials: glass or BPA-free plastic. They’re both dishwasher- and microwave-safe. In addition, glass containers are oven-safe, don’t discolor or pick up taste or smell from the food they hold. Plastic containers weigh less, can take accidental falls without breaking and are easy to bring along.
A lid keeps the food fresher for a longer period of time and can help you reduce the amount of plastic or aluminum foil needed in the kitchen. There are three common materials used for lids: BPA-free plastic, silicone and bamboo. A plastic lid creates a leak-proof and tight seal that allows for less oxygen to slow down the ageing process of the food. It’s perfect when bringing lunch to work or having a potluck at the neighbors’. A silicone lid creates a vacuum that helps to keep the food fresh and retain the temperature. If you are cooking things in the oven, it can be used to cover the food and protect the oven from spill and splatter. With a bamboo lid the container becomes more decorative. It’s perfect for dry food that you want close at hand, like the healthy breakfast cereals you want the family to discover first thing in the morning. The bamboo lid can also double as potholder when you are serving hot food.
The stew that you cooked the other day will probably taste even better a few days later – when all the herbs and spices have infused the recipe. And it’s always good when you can save dishes. To get a care-free flow in the kitchen you can use the same container all the way – from preparing and cooking to tasty leftovers – just change the lid.
Captions for images in HFG: Food storage Cover all the goodies, leftovers and lunches with a lid. It helps to keep the food fresh and reduces the need for plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Cooking at home or eating out? Why not both! Glass containers can be used in the oven, plastic containers are easy to bring with you. Use the same container all the way from preparing, serving and storing the food to bringing it with you. Just change the lid and you are good to go. And ready to save dishes. Use the same container from roaring hungry to satisfied full. Just change the lid depending on if you’re preparing, serving, storing or bringing the food with you.