Creativity in a Vacuum

Imagine you’re wheeling a grocery cart loaded with fresh, carefully selected, and thoughtfully purchased foods through a parking lot, out to your car. You’re a conscious consumer, opting for organics whenever possible, looking for Fair Trade and Equal Exchange certifications, reading nutrition labels from beginning to end. You load the trunk, gently tucking four bags into the mesh cargo net so they won’t tumble in transit, pull down the sunshade to keep everything cool, and gently click the latch closed. You begin to drive away, when out of the corner of your eye, you see the cart, still holding one more bag, full of food. Inexplicably, you continue on your way home, leaving it to rot in the midday sun.

It’s a dramatization of reality, but a reality we must face nonetheless. Americans waste as much as 20% of the food they purchase, despite the best intentions. Whether it’s an overzealous purchase of prime produce or grand cooking plans that never come to fruition, the old, wilted, moldy, and shriveled results are every bit as inedible. If you’re buying in bulk or merely buying with an eye towards long-term storage, you might as well flush 1/5th of your paycheck down the toilet if you don’t invest in a vacuum sealer.

By removing the excess oxygen surrounding your food, you’re slowing the natural decaying process causing bacterial growth, which keeps everything from fruits to nuts fresh up to five times longer than when simply refrigerated or frozen. Heat-sealed bags are much more secure and durable than any zip top baggies or plastic cling film, which makes it a smarter choice for meal prep and travel snacks, too. Ever since the FoodSaver FM2000 came into my life, it’s saved me from more than just the mundane insult of food waste. Earning a spot on the counter as an essential culinary assistant in its own right, I’ve taken great delight in making quick pickles thanks to the accommodating canisters and containers, dabbled a bit with sous vide, and slashed marinating times in half.

This is not my first time at the vacuum sealing rodeo. Bought on a whim, my earliest model was far from inspiring. Loud as a jet plane, prone to jamming, rough on crushable foods, and notoriously prone to sealing failure, it was quickly ferreted away into the basement, where’s it’s been collecting dust ever since. FoodSaver suffers from none of these common shortcomings; it’s the #1 best-selling vacuum sealing brand for good reason, with the confidence to offer a 5-year limited warranty across the board. Operation really is child’s play, and since they’re all ETL safety certified, you really could let your kids take the reins without worry.

Easy enough to plug and play without even reading the instructions through, I do have a few quick tips for best vacuum sealing practices:

  1. Freeze liquids, marinades, or wet items in advance. Sauces and soups are still great candidates for vacuum-sealed preservation, but only if frozen solid before sealing. Otherwise, the liquid will get sucked right into the machine, which will make a huge mess and could damage the appliance.
  2. Double-bag powdery items, like flour or sugar. Place in a standard zip-top bag first, poking a tiny hole in it to get the air out without releasing all the loose particles, before tucking them into the FoodSaver bag.
  3. Leave some breathing space, especially towards the top of the bag. Avoid the temptation to stuff as much possible into every bag. If you don’t, you may not be able to get a solid seal. However, if you don’t get a good seal first time, you can try making a second seal a bit further up.

The bags are BPA-free, freezer safe, microwaveable, recyclable, washable, and even reusable! Yes, you can keep on dealing and sealing again and again with the very same bags. Simply wipe off any food or residue near the seal area if resealing partially used food, and make sure they’re clean and dry if starting anew.

Using the FoodSaver FM2000, there truly is nothing to lose.

This post was made possible thanks to support from FoodSaver. Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I recommend them because I personally find the products helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.

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3 thoughts on “Creativity in a Vacuum

  1. Some day I will have one. Thanks for the information, I had never even considered getting one of these but it makes sense!

  2. Hmmm. Verrry interesting. I was brought up with tales of starving relatives and friends of my parents eating tulip bulbs during WW2, so I am super vigilant about waste, but the fact that the bags are reusable…well now I’m tempted!

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