You may not know this about me but I’m a bit of an organizing fanatic. Whether it’s keeping the aesthetic of this website clean and user-friendly, or storing leftovers in my refrigerator, I like my surroundings to be very orderly.
One of my favorite organizing tools is glass mason jars. I’ve been a mason jar devotee since the early 1990’s when I took my Ayurvedic training in New York City. Back then we were taught the principles of healthy cooking and food storage and those have stayed with me over the years. I’m still a total enthusiast when it come to glass. The first thing they often say when they walk in my kitchen is, “Why do you have so many glass jars?!” Here you’ll find out why glass is better than plastic!
1. Glass is Healthier than Plastic
I avoid plastic as much as possible for a number of reasons. First, plastic is made of petrochemicals that are full of toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) known as xeno-estrogens. These chemicals can leach into your food and then your body.
2. Glass is Cheaper
Plastic containers cost a pretty penny. Glass on the other hand is cheaper and a better investment. This sturdy material lasts much longer than plastic. If you don’t want to buy glass jars, you can collect them. It still blows my mind that every time we finish a jar of almond butter or coconut oil, a beautiful piece of glass remains. Save for a year and you’ll have an entire matching set!
3. Easy to Organize
Glass containers are super easy to organize. Your struggle to find matching lids for plastic containers will be a thing of the past when you switch to glass.
4. Easy to Clean
Because of its solid and sturdy surface glass is a breeze to clean. You won’t scrub away at glass until it deteriorates and leaches into your food!
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5. Won’t Melt in Dishwasher
Unlike plastic, glass can be safely washed at high temperatures.
6. Doesn’t Stain
Glass doesn’t stain. Unlike plastic, this sturdy material does not absorb oils and spices. I love that I can drink a Golden Turmeric Latte out of a mason jar, then place it in the dishwasher, and pull it out looking brand new!
7. No Flavor Trespassing
Plastic is not a durable substance. Its pliability makes it absorb and retain odor. I wouldn’t want to store my Mustard Lime Chicken in a plastic container. The plastic would smell like the savory mustard and chili in this recipe no matter how much I washed it. Who needs lingering food odors in their storage containers? Everything tastes better in glass.
8. Mystery Food in the Back of the Fridge? No Thanks!
I like to see what’s in my fridge. Visibility makes that space so much easier to maintain. Who wants mystery foods concealed by plastic hiding out in the back of the fridge, turning into a science experiment?! Not me.
9. Saves Space
Glass is fantastic when it comes to using vertical storage space. Tall mason jars fill my fridge shelves and pantry taking up less horizontal real estate by occupying the vertical spaces in our fridge, pantry, and cabinets.
10. Glass is Beautiful
Yes, glass is beautiful. Glass is gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing. Our fridge looks like a work of art when I’m done cleaning it out and organizing it.
Buy Glass for Your Kitchen
These are my favorite jars for storage!
And here are some great pieces that can go from fridge to oven to table!
This post is an oldie but goodie from the archives, I first published it in 2008.
Hi, great post. Im deciding between an OXO wall & glass jars.
The only drawback of jars for me so far would be their weight.
Storing 10-12 glass jars on a shelf might be too heavy.
Any advice on this? Thanks v much.
Jas, thanks for your comment! What is an OXO wall?
Wow! I just so happened to come upon your blog as I was looking for simpler ways to declutter and spring clean. So, I’ve always thought about using mason jars for storage. I’m a country girl through and through. And I love the look of Mason Jars. But I never thought of using them for storing leftovers and such in the fridge. I am right now trying to reorganize our fridge. LOL So I feel lucky that I came upon your blog.
Also, I am learning all about natural pain relief and natural healing, and the fact that you mentioned that plastics have harmful chemicals in them has made me definitely decide on switching to all glass.
However, I do have a question. How do you store a whole 5 lb bag of flour, a box of cereal, etc. in a mason jar? It would take several jars to store one item.
Beth, thanks for your comment and questions! I keep cereal in its boxes. For huge bags of almond flour I have 1 gallon jars that hold a large amount. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with and glad we’re on this healing path together :-)
Marcia Reich says
This is a great idea! I can occasionally and have plenty of idle jars and lids. Do you use a new lid every time you store something or wash the canning lids and reuse?
Marcia, I use the same lids over and over again for storing food in jars in both pantry and fridge :-)
I would like to use glass more than plastic, for all of the reasons you’ve stated, but I am too clumsy. The worst that happens when I drop a plastic container is, maybe I’ll have to toss some food, or wipe up a spill. But when I drop a glass container, my feet and legs and hands and knees are in danger. I had some beautiful glass cookware – all of it has broken. And now that the arthritis is more severe, I cannot get down on the floor as easily to ensure broken bits of glass aren’t surviving my sweep, vacuum and mop routines. … I’ve recently been introduced to the benefits of solar water. I know I need to invest in some glass containers for that, so wish me luck!
Pamela, although plastic is not my preferred type of container, I think it is a perfect choice for you since it’s the safest option! It’s good to be flexible around our choices and do what is most optimal for each of us in our unique situations :-)
Pamela, I am in a similar predicament. I have osteoarthritis. Glas is heavy, it brakes… we do what we can
Gabi, I totally agree!
I love your idea of jars for storage! I am reading that many glass products can contain lead. Do you have a resource website to discern which glass products contain lead? Thanks so much!
Andrea, I hadn’t heard that before, will look into it!
First and foremost glass jar or bottle is a much safer option as compared to plastic, when it comes to plastics certain harmful chemical might migrate from plastic to your food (during microwave heating), where glass containers on the other hand do not leach unwanted poisonous chemicals when they comes in contact of food, glass by nature is a non-porous and inert material.Secondly and most importantly glass is recyclable which reduces the global carbon footprint, where plastic on the other hand has become a major source for global environment.
Zean, thanks for your great comment! I couldn’t have said it better myself :-)
Ellen Hughes says
You got me when you said that glasses are aesthetically pleasing because they are beautiful. My husband and I want to have shelves installed in our kitchen. We want the shelves to help us keep our kitchen organize and free from mess since kitchen tools and ingredients make it look so bad. We’ll consider all your tips since we want to modernize the look of our kitchen.
A major benefit of storing and drinking water from glass bottle is that glass does not absorb any chemicals due to the its non-reactive nature, and secondly glass bottles are easier to clean.