When I post pictures of my jar-filled freezer on social media, I get lots of questions about it, usually along the following lines:
Is it safe to freeze food in glass? (Yes)
Do you use special glass for the freezer? (No)
Don’t your glass containers break? (Only that one time…)
I have had little trouble freezing food in glass. I do however take a couple of precautions:
Always leave headspace when freezing liquids. I prefer wide-mouth jars for freezing or at least jars without shoulders (i.e., straight sides all the way up to the top). I have broken only one glass container in the freezer—it’s one of those things you do only once. I filled a narrow-neck milk bottle with liquid (likely broth, I forget exactly). Even though I had left head space, when the liquid froze, it expanded and snapped the narrow neck cleanly off the (very nice) bottle. Oops.
Occasionally I’ll use pyrex round or rectangular containers with plastic lids, which I bought before I went plastic-free. I don’t use these very often in the freezer because I like to keep the glass portion of them free for roasting food.
Don’t overstuff your freezer with jars stacked all over the place willy-nilly. When you open your freezer door, jars might fall out onto the floor and break.
While coconut oil has dragged itself out of the muck of vast misrepresentation over the past few years, it still rarely gets the appreciation it truly deserves. Not just a “good” saturated fat, coconut oil is an exceptional healing agent as well, with loads of useful health applications.
Some examples of “good” saturated fat include
Fat-burning: Ironic, isn’t it? A saturated fat which can accelerate the loss of midsection fat (the most dangerous kind). Well, there are now two solid, human studies showing just two tablespoons a day (30 ml), in both men and women, is capable of reducing belly fat within 1-3 months.
Brain-Boosting: A now famous study, published in 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (most plentifully found in coconut oil) in 20 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, resulted in significant increases in ketone bodies (within only 90 minutes after treatment) associated with measurable cognitive improvement in those with less severe cognitive dysfunction.[i]
Clearing Head Lice: When combined with anise spray, coconut oil was found to be superior to the insecticide permethrin (.43%).[ii]
Healing Wounds: Coconut has been used for wound healing since time immemorial. Three of the identified mechanisms behind these healing effects are its ability to accelerate re-epithelialization, improve antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulate higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue being repaired.[iii] Coconut oil has even been shown to work synergistically with traditional treatments, such as silver sulphadizine, to speed burn wound recovery.[iv]
NSAID Alternative: Coconut oil has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and fever-reducing properties.[v]
Anti-Ulcer Activity: Interestingly, coconut milk (which includes coconut oil components), has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.[vi]
Anti-Fungal: In 2004, 52 isolates of Candida species were exposed to coconut oil. The most notorious form, Candida albicans, was found to have the highest susceptibility. Researchers remarked: “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”[vii]
Testosterone-Booster: Coconut oil was found to reduce oxidative stress in the testes of rats, resulting in significantly higher levels of testosterone.[viii]
Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil has been found to reduce testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.[ix]
Improving Blood Lipids: Coconut oil consistently improves the LDL:HDL ratio in the blood of those who consume it. Given this effect, coconut oil can nolonger be dismissed for being ‘that saturated fat which clogs the arteries.’
Fat-Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Coconut oil was recently found to be superior to safflower oil in enhancing tomato carotenoid absorption.[x]
Bone Health: Coconut oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporotic bone.[xi] [Note: Osteoporosis is a Myth, as presently defined by the T-Score]
Sunscreen: Coconut oil has been shown to block out UV rays by 30%. Keep in mind that this is good, insofar as UVA rays are damaging to the skin, whereas UVB rays are highly beneficial (when exposure is moderate).[i] Make sure to check this list of other sun-blocking oils.
Of course, when speaking about coconut oil, we are only looking at one part of the amazing coconut palm. Each component, including coconut hull fiber, coconut protein and coconut water has experimentally confirmed therapeutic applications.
[i] Mark A Reger, Samuel T Henderson, Cathy Hale, Brenna Cholerton, Laura D Baker, G S Watson, Karen Hyde, Darla Chapman, Suzanne Craft . Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. PMID: 15123336
[iii] K G Nevin, T Rajamohan . Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 ;23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3. PMID: 20523108
[xi] Mouna Abdelrahman Abujazia, Norliza Muhammad, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid, Ima Nirwana Soelaiman. The Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil on Bone Oxidative Status in Ovariectomised Rat. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:525079. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PMID: 22927879
Plastic-bag makers want you to overturn California’s bag ban
Plastic-bag makers fighting California’s ban are “buying their way onto the ballot,” environmental
by David Lazarus, Nov. 4, 2014 for the Los Angeles Times
Listening to the plastic-bag industry oppose bans on their product is eerily similar to what carmakers said decades ago in opposition to seat belts and air bags.
Bad idea, they argued. Bad for consumers. Won’t accomplish what supporters intend.
In fact, seat belts cut the number of crash-related injuries and deaths in half, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the combination of seat belts and air bags reduced fatalities by more than 60%.
And now we have plastic-bag manufacturers claiming that bans at the local and state level hurt the economy, kill jobs, tax the poor and don’t actually help the environment.
“It’s yet another job-killing, big grocer cash grab masquerading as an environmental bill,” Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, said of California’s ban on plastic bags that takes effect in July.
It’s yet another job-killing, big grocer cash grab masquerading as an environmental bill. – Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance
A ban on plastic bags in Los Angeles County took effect four months ago. A 10-cent fee is charged for paper bags.
The plastic-bag industry, like the auto industry before it, wants people to think it’s fighting the good fight on behalf of personal freedom, individual liberty and common sense.
All it’s really doing is trying to protect its profits.
The plastic-bag industry is now gearing up — and spending heavily — to place a referendum on the November 2016 ballot that would overturn California’s bag ban. It has until Dec. 29 to collect the more than 500,000 signatures needed to put the matter to voters.
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I spotted an ad on Craigslist for people to receive $1.50 for every signature they gather in support of the referendum. “It is basically to reverse the ban,” the ad says, “but the way you pitch is to vote on it whether you want it or not.”
Daniels acknowledged that the industry is employing professional signature gatherers.
Plastics companies recently contributed about $1.2 million toward the referendum campaign, according to public records. All but $50,000 came from companies based outside California.
The largest donation — $566,666.67 — was made by South Carolina’s Hilex Poly, one of the country’s largest plastic-bag makers and the main provider of funds for Daniels’ American Progressive Bag Alliance.
Indeed, when he isn’t defending “progressive” bags, which are more friendly sounding than plastic bags, Daniels is Hilex Poly’s vice president of sustainability and environmental policy.
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California’s ban, Daniels told me, is not about the environment. “It’s about a backroom deal to scam Californians out of billions of dollars.”
By the industry’s reckoning, he said, state lawmakers bowed to pressure from grocery stores and unions to require that consumers pay extra for paper or reusable bags.
“We’re getting inundated with calls from Californians thanking us for doing this,” Daniels said of the planned referendum. “It’s very encouraging for our industry.”
Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, which spearheaded the statewide bag ban, said he very much doubted that bag makers are being swamped with calls of support from state residents.
About 60% of voters said they support the statewide bag ban, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll released Friday.
Kill the ban! I’ve questioned why the bag ban only targeted plastic grocery bags, but yet there is no ban against the Hefty or GLAD plastic trash bags we all use every day. Makes no sense. Stupid leftists and union leaders! In anticipation of the ban (I live in Riverside where the ban…
at 12:46 PM November 04, 2014
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Murray said the industry’s claims of broad support mirror its insistence that plastic bags are environmentally safe. “They don’t have a real argument, so they’re using bogus arguments,” he said.
A plastics industry website, BagTheBan.com, says that “studies show banning plastic bags could increase global warming, put more carbon in the air, require more trucks on the road and use up more water because consumers would be forced to use resource-heavy alternatives like paper and reusable bags.”
The reality, Murray said, is that plastic bags are a blight on the landscape after being discarded by careless consumers or blowing from trash cans, garbage trucks or landfills.
The Natural Resources Defense Council reported last year that California communities spend more than $428 million a year trying to prevent litter from entering the state’s waterways.
Plastic bags make up as much as a quarter of all that trash, the group found. They pose a threat to wildlife, clog storm drains and threaten vital industries, such as tourism and commercial fishing, it said.
“The environmental cost of this product far exceeds its utility,” Murray said.
He said California’s bag ban was the result of many hours of public hearings and negotiations with interested parties. But because the industry didn’t get its way, Murray said, “they’re now just buying their way onto the ballot.”
It’s a fair point. If Californians were clamoring for an end to a law that hasn’t even taken effect yet, they’d be signing petitions at a grass-roots level, not at the behest of mercenary hustlers making $1.50 a signature.
The California Legislature passed a bill in 2011 that would have prohibited petition circulators being paid on a per-signature basis, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. He said the legislation was “a dramatic change to a long-established democratic process in California.”
Contrast that with Oregon, which in 2002 required that petition circulators be paid by the hour, not per signature gathered. Since then, the state’s initiative process hasn’t died. It’s just become more representative of the public’s wishes.
Both Daniels and Murray predicted that a referendum on California’s bag ban will come before voters in 2016. Even if it fails to pass, it would likely delay implementation of the ban for months.
And that would translate into additional profit for the bag industry.
For those of you who don’t know who Art Buchwald is, you could consider him a sort of Jon Stewart of his time. He made many a sardonic comment about the state of politics and life in the world, and this is one of his most poignant.
Plastic bags and polystyrene products could soon become a thing of the past in Manhattan Beach.
The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to prohibit restaurants from distributing single-use carry-out plastic bags and to extend its ban on polystyrene products to include utensils, straws, cup lids and foam coolers. After a second reading of the ordinances at the April 1 City Council meeting, the new laws could become enforceable as early as June.
The city made headlines in July 2008 as one of the first municipalities to ban the distribution of plastic bags for all retail establishments. Following a lawsuit from The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, the city battled to prove the legality of the ban and ultimately won, with the California Supreme Court upholding the ordinance and ordering the coalition to pay the city’s legal fees. In 2012, however, the Manhattan Beach City Council amended the law to exempt restaurants from the ban to avoid further litigation under the California Retail Food Code.
Tuesday’s vote lifts this exemption, and Manhattan Beach can be confident that it will not invite more lawsuits from the plastic bag industry, said the city’s environmental programs manager Sona Koffee, citing a failed lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco last December.
Some 180 restaurants in Manhattan Beach will be affected by the amendment, Koffee said, adding that city staff has provided them with a list of vendors who offer alternatives—such as reusable bags or paper bags made with recycled materials—with comparable prices. With direction from the Council Tuesday, the ban will also apply to food trucks and push carts.
Currently, the enforcement of the plastic bag ban is solely complaint based, Koffee said, but city staff is considering inspections as well as a mandatory acknowledgement in annual business license renewal process. The polystyrene ban is currently enforced in this manner.
Last August, the Manhattan Beach City Council introduced a ban on polystyrene containers used for distributing prepared food and directed city staff to research alternatives for items such as lids and straws.
Polystyrene is a disposable thermoplastic petrochemical material commonly used for food and drink containers. The ordinance as introduced outlaws two types of polystyrene – clear plastic and foam, commonly known as Styrofoam.
In addition to outlawing the distribution of polystyrene straws, cup lids, utensils and foam coolers, Tuesday’s vote prohibits the sale of such products and lifts the previous exemption for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.
“They’re doing an excellent job to transition all the schools,” Koffee told the Council.
Alternatives include paper and plastic material that are not necessarily bio-degradable or plant-based but generally less harmful to individuals and the marine environment because people are more inclined to recycle them, she said.
So far, backlash has been limited to a statement from Ralph’s expressing that the chain grocery store would not be in support of the prohibition on selling their lines of polystyrene products, Koffee said.
Craig Cadwallader, resident and South Bay chairperson of the Surfrider Foundation, commended the City Council for blazing a trail in environmental policies.
“I just gotta say, this is what makes me proud to be a resident of this city,” Cadwallader said. “This is one of those intelligent things that this council continues to do. We’re actually setting the pace rather than following behind and doing things halfway.”
Mayor Amy Howorth credited past Councilmembers as well as former Mayor Portia Cohen, explaining that Tuesday night’s motions were the culmination of their tireless efforts to protect the environment.
“I’m glad we have kept up this legacy,” Howorth said. “It’s incredibly important and it’s very instructive, I hope, for other cities. We do differ on a lot of issues, as we should, to get to good decisions, but we all understand that this is so important. California leads the way, but Manhattan Beach, little Manhattan Beach, leads the way.”
Select a combination of tall, medium and low metal trash bins. Keep in mind that groupings work best in odd numbers.
Add Drainage Holes
Use a drill and drill bit to add about 5 holes in the bottom of the trash can to allow for drainage.
Measure proper spacing for casters with tape measure, then add mark with marker. Drill holes, then attach casters with bolts and screws. For reinforcement of extra large trash cans, attach a strip of pre-cut, pressure-treated lumber to bottom before attaching casters.