Plastic Free July Day 19

Plastic Free July Day 19: Make your own beans and avoid plastic-lined cans | Cellist Goes Green

Plastic can hide in sneaky places.  For example, aluminum cans are lined with plastic in order to keep the metal from reacting to the food inside. 

While some manufacturers have removed BPA from their packaging, many have not.  The EWG has created a database of packaged foods which contain BPA in their packaging.  And even if a company doesn't use BPA, the can is still lined with plastic and may use other materials which are also problematic.

One easy way to avoid canned food is to cook your own dried beans.  It's super simple, and requires virtually no hands on time.

How to cook dried beans

  1. Cover dried beans with water, and soak overnight.  Make sure you've covered them with plenty of water, they will soak up a lot!
  2. Drain the beans, and put in a pot, covering them with fresh water.
  3. Cook in boiling water for 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the kind of bean.  You should check periodically with a fork to see if they're done.

That's it!  It's one of the simplest food switches you can make.  You can also make them in the crockpot if that's your thing.

Most stores that carry bulk foods have at least a few varieties of dried beans.  We use a lot of chickpeas, black beans and navy beans.

If you aren't familiar with Plastic Free July, take a look at this post.  Basically, it's a month-long challenge to reduce the amount of disposable plastic you use.  It's a great starting point if you just want to give cutting out disposable plastic a try.
My first Plastic Free July was in 2013(!), and this month I'd like to highlight some of the things I do to reduce my plastic use, and some struggles.  Many things are part of my routine at this point (buying in bulk, refusing plastic silverware, etc.), but I am not perfect, and I always find this challenge to be a good time to refocus and look at what trash I am actually producing.