My favorite yoghurt on the face of the planet comes from a small, local, family-owned dairy called Fiddle Creek Dairy in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. The products from Fiddle Creek are created with milk from grass-fed Jersey cows, and the yoghurt contains only two ingredients: whole milk and live, active cultures. Not only is this yoghurt tangy, fresh, and delicious, but it is sold in magnificent glass jars! I am on a mission to purchase only products that are sold in recyclable and / or reusable packaging (preferably glass), and Fiddle Creek’s yoghurt neatly fits the bill.
As an aside, I should note that while plastic containers are technically recyclable, they are far from ideal. Much plastic that is “recycled” never gets reused, and all plastic is destined for ultimate disposal, since the quality of the product decreases with each melting-down. Plastic waste is a huge environmental concern, and I believe it is the responsibility of the consumer to reject plastic packaging whenever possible. One must also consider the contaminants that leach into food products when packaged in plastic. Unappetizing at the very least!
My yoghurt jars are prized commodities, awarded to me at the conclusion of each batch. I wash the jars and reuse them in my pantry to store dry goods that I buy in bulk, including nuts, pastas, dried fruits, beans, lentils, and rice. A regular-mouth mason jar lid fits the jar if the original lid is ever damaged or lost.
Once in a while, (okay, every time) the label on the jar refuses to peel away cleanly. Despite my best efforts to soak and scrub, there is always a pesky layer of glue left on my beautiful jars. Now, I certainly could go to the store and buy a container of the ubiquitous “Goo Gone,” but that prospect goes against my natural inclinations. #1. Environmental concern (Yet another plastic container), #2. Ingredients ( What’s in there, anyway?), and #3. Frugality (Why buy something I can make practically for free?).
I read some recipes for gunk remover in the past, and all of them were quite basic. You simply need an oily component and a light abrasive. For my homemade gunk remover, I combined some grape-seed oil from my pantry with an equal amount of baking soda. I stirred the two ingredients into a paste, and smeared it on the glue spots. (Weirdly satisfying). After letting the whole mess sit for about ten minutes on a kitchen towel, Mr. Thistle, the designated dish-washer, gently rubbed the jars, and the glue came right off! A quick wash in hot water finished the job.
So, the next time you are tempted to reach for the “Goo Gone,” give this procedure a try. It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive, and the mixture won’t poison anyone, which is a major positive. If you don’t live in a house with little people, you probably don’t need to worry about that last point, but I’ll admit that it’s one of the many reasons I don’t keep commercial cleaning products in the house. Everything we use to clean could be ingested safely (not that I’d recommend it!)
Do you have a favorite product that comes packed in glass? If you haven’t considered reusing your glass jars, take a look around your house and see if there are any single-use plastic products that you could replace with reuseable glass containers (zip bags or disposable wrappings, for example). And, while you’re at it, whip up some homemade gunk remover to clean up those jars!