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Jul 24, 2012 07:52 PM

Food packaging that you love/hate?

Here are a few of mine. Feel free to tell us yours.


Food/liquids in glass jars/bottles. They seem to last longer and retain their flavor. I love to recycle the glass containers too.

Baskets and cardboard caddies from farmers’ markets. These also get recycled.


Plastic containers for prepared foods and liquids. Don’t want the plastic leaching into the food. I once bought a jug of apple juice that tasted like the plastic jug. Aggravating.

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  1. Love tubes of tomato pastes, makes it so easy to always have some on hand and add as much or little as needed.

    8 Replies
    1. re: cheesymama

      Yes! Since most of the time I only want about a tablespoon of tomato paste, these things are a godsend!

      1. re: twyst

        I've never been able to find this. What stores carry tomato paste in a tube? I need to look because I agree, it can be a waste!

        1. re: SweetHomeBama

          You should be able to find it at most markets in two places. The pasta/tomato sauce aisle shelf-stable tube or the produce section by the herbs and dressings.

          1. re: HillJ

            Ours are in the specialty section with other Italian stuff, not with the regular canned/shelf stable tomatoes.

            1. re: SweetHomeBama

              Trader Joe's sells it. I also found it at Cost Plus World Market this weekend, but it's much cheaper at Trader Joe's.

              1. re: juliejulez

                Whole Foods also has it under their house brand.

              2. re: SweetHomeBama

                I've found it at regular grocery stores not with the tomato products (canned), but underneath the spices. The brand I get, and see most often, is Amoré.

          2. Don't know if I'd use the word hate, but one thing that bugs me is cauliflower packaging - where I shop, all I can get (when buying a whole head) is cauliflower that is wrapped in plastic and then is sealed with clear plastic tape.
            I probably have about a fifty percent success rate at being able to get the tape off and still be able to store any unused portion of the head in it's original packaging.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

              i usually use the cauliflower in one go, so reuse is less of an issue; however, i hate that tape... damn near impossible to get open. in my younger, more persnickety and stubborner days, i would fight to be able to tear it open. now i get the scissors. and at first snip, my dog comes running into the kitchen, and sits right next to me... ready and waiting to accept his portion: the green crunchy leaves that i discard. i'm a "stalk girl," so he doesn't get that. however, while he happily chomps down the crunchy portions, any flaccid leaf, unaccompanied by a firmer stalk, he mulls around in his mouth then spit it out, oh so melodramatically, flinging it out of his mouth, merely by flapping his tongue around. and when the cauliflower is in to cook, and there's no more leaves left for him, i have to show him the empty bag, because apparently, i am not a trustworthy source.
              sorry for the tangent... the takeaway: i don't particularly like cauliflower packaging. :)

              1. re: Emme

                I know what you mean - lately it's been taking me less and less time before I reach for the scissors.

                1. re: Emme

                  Ha! Thank you for the dog story, Emme. I miss mine so much! His favorite words in the whole world were, "Basil, dropped one!" Anyone uttering these words would immediately hear a cartoon-like leg-scrambling from wherever he happened to be lounging.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    the best kitchen floor cleaner-uppers: first squad.

                2. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                  That seems so silly and unnecessary! I love food that is just sold large, whole pieces of fruit. The fruit's skin is its own packaging...although that leads to another critique of "packaging", the waxy coating put on some fruits, like those awful mass-produced apples shipped around the country from the Pacific Northwest.

                3. Hate: Iceberg lettuce packaging - impossible to open and retain the package. Adhesive closings on fresh bread - same reason. Plastic bag on bread - it ruins the crust. I do love the tubes of tomato paste.

                  1. Although most companies made the switch a while back, I still am appreciative of the screw top on my half and half container! Too many bleary-eyed mornings in the past having to cleanup due to the carton seeping liquid when I gave it a gentle shake.

                    I am a collector of those big fat rubber bands used for broccoli! They are super strong and last much longer than the brittle material used for some other rubber bands.

                    I dislike bread bags sealed with tape, much prefer a wire twistie or plastic clip.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: meatn3

                      That tape on a loaf of sliced bread is impossible to seperate........ ugh!


                    2. Hate: spice packets, especially the McCormick line with several little bubble-packed spices for a particular dish.
                      -individual foil-wrapped potatoes "ready to bake". Yes, I have seen these for sale, at roughly the price of a 10-lb sack of potatoes per.

                      26 Replies
                      1. re: tardigrade

                        Now that you say that, there is on produce market in my town and they individually wrap a lot of their stuff in plastic. I never buy there.

                        1. re: tardigrade

                          "Hate: spice packets, especially the McCormick line with several little bubble-packed spices for a particular dish "

                          What does something like this come with?

                          1. re: MGZ



                            Recipe inspirations Premeasured spices and recipe card.

                            Usually found in the spice aisle next to jars.

                            Oddly, this was given "Product of the Year" award by some consumer survey of Product Innovation.

                            1. re: iluvcookies

                              It made me sad to know such things exist.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I don't get it either, but another poster on an old thread mentioned s/he uses them at a vacation home in lieu of toting along a bunch of spices.

                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                  that's why I have a set of mini spice bottles I tote along on trips. :)

                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                    HA! I see another thread here... what spices do YOU take on vacation?
                                    Or: What vacation spots are closest to a Penzey's store?

                                    1. re: iluvcookies

                                      Given the prevailing economic climate for the past 5 years, and the fact that the double dip has already started, perhaps the question should be: "Do you still go on vacations?"

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        Yah, or "What spices do you take instead of vacations?"

                                      2. re: iluvcookies

                                        We rent a condo in Hawai'i once a year: I take small plastic bottles of sugar (about 1/3 cup), salt (about 1/4 cup), black pepper, crushed red pepper, tarragon and oregano (about 2 TBSPs each), and buy garlic, onions and ginger there.

                                        1. re: iluvcookies

                                          LOL!!! :)

                                          yeah, no Penzey's in St. Lucia so gotta pack our own.
                                          This year one bottle will be filled with penzey's turkish seasoning, for sure. we use that on everything lately! Garlic, pepper, salt, adobo, thyme will fill the others.

                                        2. re: jujuthomas

                                          Someone on my Pinterest feed just linked a picture of someone using Tic-Tac containers as Mini Spice Jars for vacations / camping. Assuming you like Tic-Tacs, that's sort of ingenious.

                                        3. re: MGZ

                                          I actually bought one of those Recipe Inspirations several months ago :( My store was completely out of crushed red pepper flakes (ugh), and I noticed there was a bubble full of them in one of these things. It was for some mexican casserole. My husband saw the offending package laying on the counter and seemed pretty alarmed that I might be making that for dinner, hehe...

                                          1. re: alliegator

                                            In my markets, the Mexican food section has a plethora of much less expensive spices there. I've learned a bunch of Spanish names for things, and the quality has been quite good.

                                            1. re: pine time

                                              That's a great idea that'll probably work for me in the future! At the time, I was at SuperTarget, though :/

                                            1. re: Isolda

                                              If you focus on cost per oz of spice, yes it is a bad value. But that isn't the selling point of the spice sets. And if you already have all these herbs and the recipe, the product isn't aimed at you.

                                              It's a bit like complaining about the cost of Kleenex pocket packs when you could get a dozen rolls of TP for much less.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                I wasn't complaining, merely shocked, but I guess if you only use chipotle powder for one recipe, you may not want to buy a whole container of it. Oh, and I do buy those expensive kleenex pocket packs, as they fit in my kids' pockets and stay cleaner than just grabbing a wad of tissues from the more economical large boxes we use at home.

                                                I also don't hesitate to buy a whole jar or packet of an unfamiliar spice. I might love it and find many uses for it, but if I hate it, well, the experience of trying something new is pretty cheap, comparatively speaking.

                                        4. re: tardigrade

                                          Do you hate using the spice packets, or just seeing them on the shelf? In other words, Do you use them, but the find the packaging awkward, or are you just offended by the concept?

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            The concept: you end up paying a lot for of salt with a few common spices added,

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                You are already hooked on spices, and may even be a dealer. These spice packets are entry level spices, meant to entice the newcomer.

                                                On second thought, you can't be a dealer. Not enough marketing imagination. :)

                                            1. re: tardigrade

                                              re the spice packets, here's how i look at it:
                                              would i use them? no. i don't need them personally.
                                              would others using them encourage them to cook more often, and to cook more whole-food based meals, thereby increasing their (and/or their family's) intake of nutrients and decreasing drive-through meals? i certainly hope so. for those who have very little culinary knowledge and sense, little time to cook, and zero interest in learning the nuances of the kitchen, this product lowers the intimidation factor of getting in the kitchen. it makes it one step easier for these people to get into the kitchen and make meals. they might never otherwise try particular spices and dishes. they probably don't buy certain spices, wondering "what the heck would i do with that anyway? i don't have time for that." they might also prove to be an unforeseen gateway into more cooking... "wow, i didn't realized cooking was so easy" or "this is actually enjoyable for me." just saying, i don't like them for me, but the potential they hold for others... well, i recognize that.

                                              now the potatoes... seriously? talk about marketing.

                                              1. re: tardigrade

                                                McCormick's are experts at selling minute quantities of spices at incredibly high prices. Those packs just naturally fit into their line.