With both of my girls now at school, one in primary and the other in secondary, I have 2 packed lunches to make and everything has to be nut free. It’s really hard to keep their lunches both healthy and sustainable. That is, no plastic wrap or tin foil in sight. So, I really wanted to try out the Abeego Beeswax Wrap as an eco-friendly alternative and was delighted when Abeego agreed to send me out 2 sets of their Variety Packs containing 3 different sized wraps; small, medium, and large. The small-sized wraps are great for wrapping a few of my Nut Free Brownie Balls (recipe below), granola bars, or carrot sticks, the medium for a sandwich, and the large I have been keeping at home for covering salad bowls and also wrapping up my Nut Free Seeded Paleo Loaf that I make Anya’s sandwiches from.
Abeego was founded by the amazing Toni Desrosiers, a holistic nutritionist working in a health-food store, in 2008, just over 10 years ago. She wanted to find a way to extend the life of food with the use of natural materials that would mimic how natural foods would preserve themselves yet still put up with the modern day demands. For Toni, it isn’t just about reducing plastic waste but also about reducing food waste by making your food last for longer.
Abeego takes zero waste that step further – they’re totally waste-free, any scraps they have leftover are made into twist ties and fire starters and they use a minimal amount of energy to produce their wax wraps – mainly because they’re people-powered but also because their waxing machine uses very little energy too. Poifect!
What’s Wrong With Plastic Wrap and Tin Foil?
Most people these days use cling-film (or plastic/saran wrap) to cover their sandwiches and other food items to keep them fresh. It’s a non-recyclable, single-use, plastic food wrap made from PVC, which contains hormone-disrupting phthalates and other chemicals which can leach into both our bodies and our environment. It inevitably ends up stuck on landfill and can also be a major risk to wildlife, especially fish who either become caught up in it or eat it and become seriously ill and/or die. Even BPA-free containers can eventually leach BPA into our systems producing an estrogen-like effect on our bodies. This does, however, seem to mainly be when plastics are heated such as within the microwave or dishwasher.
Thinking aluminium foil is a better solution? Think again. To produce 1 ton of aluminium takes about 170 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) to produce and emits roughly 12 tons of greenhouse gases.
Thinking aluminium foil is a better solution? Think again. To produce 1 ton of aluminium takes about 170 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) to produce and emits roughly 12 tons of greenhouse gases. It can also take 400 years to break down and isn’t particularly recycling friendly due to how hard it is to clean. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone to throw it in with their empty cans to recycle. I know I haven’t. Not to mention leaching heavy metals into your system – yuck!
What’s So Special About Beeswax Wraps?
Abeego Beeswax Wraps are made from hemp and certified organic cotton that’s been infused with pure beeswax, certified organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Beeswax and jojoba oil are antibacterial whilst tree resins are antimicrobial. In fact, both beeswax and tree resins have been found to have been used in the embalming process in ancient Egypt, with coniferous resins slowing down microbial degradation and beeswax acting as an antibacterial sealant. So, it’s kind of a no-brainer to put these elements together to make a fully biodegradable food wrap that can keep moisture both in and out whilst letting food breathe and protecting against microbes and bacteria. I’ve outlined a few pros and cons below to help put things into perspective more:
- Doesn’t hang on to strong smells and won’t let smells escape.
- Keeps food fresher for longer than it would if wrapped in plastic wrap as it allows it to breathe.
- Is super environmentally friendly – it lasts well over a year and can be composted or upcycled as garden twist ties when its food wrapping lifespan is over. The production also has a far smaller impact upon the environment than plastics.
- It won’t leach chemicals into your body and cause hormonal disruption.
- Is portable and easy to clean making it great for camping and travelling.
- It’s prettier than cling film or tin foil and child-friendly – i.e. your child won’t choke on it if they end up chewing on it. The same goes for wildlife and domestic animals.
- You can wrap up anything, and I mean anything – tinned tuna, cheese, fruit, veggies, bread. The options are fairly limitless. Although it’s not advised that you wrap raw meat and fish directly.
- It’s fairly pliable and can mould around any dish just as you would cling film. Some people have complained about not being able to get a tight seal but with some practice, this can be achieved.
- Cannot withstand extreme high or low temperatures – i.e. cannot be frozen or used in the oven or microwave. It must also be left out of sunlight on really hot days.
- Can stain, this doesn’t make the wrap dirty or unhygienic, it’s purely an aesthetic problem but it will cling onto strong food colourings from beetroot, pomegranate, turmeric, and carrots.
- Is costly, not by much, and does require a moderate upfront payment but well worth the investment for your health and the environment.
So, as you can see the pros far outweigh the cons. On average I spend about £1.85 on cling film every fortnight, that’s almost £45 a year. For £15 you can purchase an Abeego Variety Pack containing 3 wraps that last for over a whole year. If you’re a big family you’ll probably need anywhere from 4 to 6 Variety Packs which would set you back a little but personally, I think it’s worth it when you consider the environmental impact of plastics and also the impact they can have upon your health too.
At first, I was a little worried about the upkeep when it came to cleaning but it’s so simple – you wash in cold water with an alcohol-free mild dish soap like Ecover, rinse, pat dry or air dry. You cannot use even lukewarm water as it can affect the beeswax but due to the antibacterial properties, there’s no need to worry about germs. The whole process is quick and easy.
What Did the Kids Think?
My daughters are 5 and 13 so they’re both pretty fussy about most things, Anya gets all funny about pretty much anything and everything and Scarlett, being a teenager, is naturally dismissive of most things due to them not being cool enough. I thought it would be fun to put a little Q and A below because after all, kids are brutally honest and will really tell you what they think.
Me: What do you think of the beeswax wraps?
Anya: I like them… Insert weird animal noises here.
Scarlett: They’re really flexible and you can wrap almost anything in them but I don’t like the smell very much.
Me: What do you like most about them?
Anya: The pictures! Insert more weird animal noises here.
Scarlett: I like how sturdy they are and that you can use them again because it is good for the environment. They’re really satisfying to scrunch up too.
Me: Did they keep your lunch fresh?
Scarlett: Yes, for a very long time, longer than cling film does.
Me: Do you think they’re better than using cling film? If so why?
Anya: Yes… because they have pictures!
Scarlett: Yes because they look nicer and aren’t plain and boring. They don’t break like cling film does and keep things fresher.
Me: Would you recommend them to your friends?
Anya: Yes because they have pictures…
Scarlett: Yes. Because the more people that use them the better it is for the environment. My friend wanted to know more about them too.
As you can see the girls were impressed, Anya really loves those pictures and I think it’s just so lovely to be able to teach them about the importance of limiting our plastic use as much as possible to help save the environment but also to look after our bodies too. Anya does understand on a basic level that plastic contains chemicals and can hurt animals if they get tangled in it or if they eat it but I think she was mainly impressed about having something she could get involved in folding up and even tried to make a paper aeroplane from them too.
The wraps feel amazing – they’re quite thick and malleable, you can seal things shut just from the heat from your hands and a little pressure. Once in the fridge, the wraps firm up completely. Wrapping your food in Abeego is quite therapeutic and I love it.
I loved the smell when I first opened the packet of wraps – it had a real pine-like scent coupled with something that reminded me of propolis – it’s a bee like medicinal smell that I can’t really explain. I was a bit worried that this smell would transfer to my food once wrapped but it didn’t, in fact, the smell started to disappear after a couple of washes. To be honest I was a little upset about that because it felt nice to be connected to such a natural smell. The wraps feel amazing – they’re quite thick and malleable, you can seal things shut just from the heat from your hands and a little pressure. Once in the fridge, the wraps firm up completely. Wrapping your food in Abeego is quite therapeutic and I love it.
Personally, I was really impressed and I will definitely be buying more Abeego wraps when I get paid next month. I’d love to be able to go fully plastic and tin foil free but being on a budget it means I have to be realistic and gradually phase things out. For now, I can put my mind at rest knowing I’m not using anything for the girls’ lunches which make up the bulk of my plastic usage and the large wraps I can still use to cover salads and wrap bread so all is not lost.
The Abeego Variety pack contains 3 beeswax food wraps; 1 Small Wrap 18 cm x 18 cm (7” x 7”), 1 Medium Wrap 25 cm x 25 cm (10” x 10”), and 1 Large Wrap 33 cm x 33 cm (13” x 13”). Available direct from the Abeego website for $18.00. UK customers head on over to A Slice of Green where you can pick up a Variety Pack for £15.00 as well as lots of amazing green and ethical household products.
Nut Free Brownie Balls Recipe
With all schools being nut free these days due to allergy risks it makes it so hard to ensure your kids are eating healthily, especially when it comes to being on a Paleo diet and all kids want sweet treats. My girls love these Nut Free Brownie Balls as they’re packed full of chocolatey flavour, are nice and sweet, and every mother’s dream because they’re packed full of nutritious ingredients such as hemp, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. All of which are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6.
These Nut Free Brownie Balls are every mother’s dream – only 10 minutes to make and they’re packed full of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 meaning you know your little ones are getting a super nutritious snack, making school days a doddle.
This recipe takes about 10 minutes to whip up and if your kids aren’t fans of chocolate (or are allergic) you can replace with either carob powder, coconut milk powder, or freeze-dried fruit powder so it’s a really convenient and interchangeable recipe. I don’t like to dictate the recipe rules when it comes to kids so please do make this your own – try out different seeds and fruits but keep the ratios the same to make sure that things bind together properly. I have tried this recipe without the cacao powder and without that dry ingredient element, you will find that the balls are too sticky to keep wrapped up. If you get to the weekend and have any leftover these are great broken up and thrown on top of yoghurt or porridge – it’s Anya’s favourite breakfast. Enough of my wittering on though – go check it out for yourself!
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- 1 cup Deglet Noor dates (pitted)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- Place all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and process until the dough just begins to ball together.
- Take 1 tbsp of dough at a time and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Place into an airtight container or wrap in your Abeego wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I was sent products from Abeego for my own personal use and to write a review if I wished. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. If you buy anything from the Abeego or A Slice of Green website I will not be at any personal gain. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.