Perils of Single Use Packaging

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

Be Green, Save Green...

The annual observation of Earth Day serves as an important reminder of the need to take action to protect our planet and its resources, and to renew vomFASS Madison's commitment to building a more sustainable future for all. We honor your commitment to our bottle re-fill policy.

Re-Filling Prevents Packaging Pitfalls

Did you know that 29% of greenhouse emissions are from products made to package other goods? That’s more than that of heating our homes (yes, even in Wisconsin) and almost twice as much as auto emissions! In the US, packaging materials make up the largest percentage of municipal waste—even with recycling local recycling programs in place. 

Say "No" to Single Use

Another 10% comes from the discard of single use items including takeout containers, cups, napkins, eating utensils, straws, condiments, and the like. Stuff we may only use for a minute, or maybe not at all. If we’re lucky, some of it is recycled, but most ends up in landfills, creating more greenhouse gasses. This drives industries to gather more raw materials and expend energy to replace them. 

Minimize Waste

Waste minimization in the most impactful first step. Many takeout or take-home meals come with bags within bags, handfuls of single use condiments, and plasticware, some of which is never used. Food delivery services report they have saved millions of sets of plasticware just by asking customers if they wanted utensils. As consumers, we can be pre-emptive and request that condiments, plasticware, and extra bags not be used on our orders.

Better yet, cooking at home still gives you the biggest return on your dollar, the least amount of packaging per calorie, and equal or better nutrition! Use of premium vomFASS vinegars and oils can provide delicious variety in flavors so your tastebuds will always be happy. It’s good to have a couple of quick-cooking meals up our sleeves, for when LIFE happens, and you are tempted to go the fast food/high waste route. 

7 Must-Have Staples for Quick Meals

In 30 minutes (less time than it would take to decide on what to eat for takeaway, go to pick it up and get it home), you can have a meal on the table, using staples from your freezer or pantry. And it's less cost and less waste! Keep these 7 simple food staples on hand...

Burgers: Whether they're beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, you can cook them straight from the freezer on the grill. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, then place the frozen burgers directly on the grill grates. Season and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until they're cooked to your desired doneness. For extra pizazz, drizzle with vomFASS Aceto Balsamic Maletti and serve on buns with your favorite toppings and condiments for a classic burger night.
Fish: Preheat your oven to 400°F (pre-heating is important). Remove the frozen fish fillets from their packaging and rinse them under cold water to remove any ice crystals. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Brush with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season the fish fillets. Simple options include salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a basic flavor. You can also use your favorite herbs, spices, or marinades to add additional flavor. Place frozen fish fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to space them out evenly to ensure even cooking. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Veggies: While we all enjoy fresh veggies, frozen vegetables are good to have on hand. They are generally picked at their peak ripeness, which coincides with maximum nutrient content, then washed, blanched quickly and flash frozen. Whether you enjoy broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas or mixed vegetables, they are an easy way to complete any quick meal.  
Arrange your favorite frozen vegetables around the fish, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots. Drizzle everything with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like, then bake everything together (see Baked Fish above) until fish is cooked and vegetables are tender (20-25 min). Serve with a side of rice or quinoa for a complete meal.
Pasta: Can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Its versatility means you can easily adapt it to suit your taste preferences, or match whatever ingredients you have on hand. As long as it's stored properly in a cool, dry place, it can last for months or even years without spoiling. With just a few simple additional ingredients, you can whip up a satisfying and delicious dinner in no time.
Diced Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes add flavor, acidity, and texture to many kinds of dishes, enhancing the overall taste of the meal. Unlike fresh tomatoes, which are seasonal and may not always be available, canned diced tomatoes are readily available year-round and retain much of the nutritional value of fresh tomatoes. Canned diced tomatoes are pre-prepared and ready to use, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.  
Beans (of choice): Canned beans are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, dips, casseroles, and more. Beans are a nutritious source of plant-based protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, are naturally gluten-free and suitable for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. They can serve as a nutritious alternative to meat in many dishes, making them a versatile option for a wide range of dietary preferences. 
Soup Stock/Concentrate: Soup stock serves as the base for many sauces, soups, stews, and other dishes, adding depth, richness, and complexity of flavor. It provides a savory foundation that enhances the taste of your recipes. Many varieties of soup stock are available, including chicken, beef, vegetable, and seafood, allowing you to choose the best option for your recipes or dietary preferences.

Check out the recipes below and remember to get your bottles ready for refill (see Glass is Great article for suggestions). To make cooking at home easy, delicious and fun, we have over 100 other recipes on our vomFASS Madison website

E-Z Baked Cod with Vegetables

E-Z Burgers with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

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