Buying Cheese with Less Packaging

Before I talk about plastic-free cheese, let’s take a moment to review why we should REFUSE plastic packaging, especially when it is on our food and drink, because it’s about more than just our environment. It’s about our health. Studies show that the phthalates in plastic packaging leach into food. These chemicals have been linked to health ailments ranging from asthma and allergies to early puberty and fertility issues brought on by hormone disruption. There is still debate about how much of these chemicals our body can absorb before they become dangerous toxins.

Here are a few articles if you’d like to read more:

One easy way to avoid plastic packaging on cheese is to BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINER to the deli at the supermarket. Ask the store clerk to weigh your container first and “zero” the scale before placing the cheese in your container. As usual, our deli of choice is the one at Alf Sunf (1,000 Items) in Asalah Square. They have always been very patient with our requests and willing to use the containers we bring. Every once in awhile a new clerk will start working at the deli and we have to repeat our request, sometimes explaining and assisting with the scale.

We don’t buy cheese unless we have our own container with us, but that wasn’t always the case. Most supermarkets offer cheese on a polystyrene tray wrapped in plastic. In the past, if we forgot our container, we would at least REFUSE the tray and ask only for the plastic, which at least meant a little less waste.

deli cheese

But we’re still working on replacing our reusable plastic containers with other materials so, yes, that cheese pictured above is in a plastic box. This solution may be better for the environment but not necessarily better for our health. Ideally, we’d store all our food in glass or stainless steel containers. Baby steps. Reducing the amount of plastic we use is definitely a process and not something we can accomplish overnight.

What steps are you taking to reduce the amount of plastic waste your household produces?

Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle


3 thoughts on “Buying Cheese with Less Packaging

  1. We hardly buy cheese, but if we buy meat, we bring our own stainless steel container. This only works in some stores though.

    We have airtight food containers in different sizes, made by Sanctus Mundo:

    For nuts I bring a glass jar or reusable cotton produce bag. Today I forgot to bring them, so that meant no nuts for me today 😦

    • Those containers look great! Wish we could get something like that here.

      Always a bit disappointing when we forget our bags, isn’t it? I know the feeling! But slowly, slowly we’re getting a lot better at planning the bulk shopping and bringing our bags and containers, like we did today.

      Can you get a variety of nuts in bulk where you live? Do you have to go to a special store?

      • The biggest problem with nuts sold in supermarkets here is that they are often processed in some way. Some are treated with some kind of oil, sugar and other things I would like to avoid. However, there are plenty of markets where you can buy raw nuts in bulk. It’s great!

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