Glass-based airtight containers
Storing food in plastic containers is an imperfect solution. Not only is there the likelihood of the plastic deteriorating and contaminating the food, but it also tends to stain and retain the taste and smell of whatever was last stored in it.
After years of frustration with plastic containers I recently picked up an 18-piece kit of SnapWare Glasslock, a glass-based alternative to plastic food storage containers. As their name implies, the glass containers come with a rigid plastic top that snaps shut with four hinges. This coupled with a durable silicone seal renders the containers leak-proof (something I definitely couldn’t do with my old plastic ones). I have biked with one filled with soup and arrived at my destination without a drop missing, and I didn’t have to waste another bowl in order to microwave it.
The biggest downsides to this container solution is the expense and added weight. Plastic containers are cheap, near-disposable, and almost weightless. But I’ll happily tote the extra ounce or two of glass if it means I don’t have to worry about plastics leeching into my now unspilled soup.
The containers themselves are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, but are not recommended for the oven. I have read many accounts of people successfully using them in the oven, but I do not believe they are made with the same borosilicate they use in Pyrex, so it is at your own risk.
The 18-piece set is enough for my partner and me, but may not be enough for a family of more than two or three (given how fast some people go through containers). I bought my set at a Costco warehouse where they are sold for quite a bit cheaper than elsewhere. I believe the Container Store has a near identical solution for comparable prices. Finally, for those not concerned about using plastics, SnapWare recently released a near identical product with BPA-free plastic.11/8/10