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Is butcher paper plastic free?

What's the wax/plastic aspect of butcher paper made from?

Has anyone tried using butcher paper to wrap frozen foods other than meat? I know it keeps meat fresher than plastic (in our freezer anyway), but what about other foods?

My goal right now is to all but eliminate plastic in the kitchen and food prep, but there are some things that I make ahead and freeze (like bread) and at the moment, our (lack of) schedule makes it difficult to bake bread fresh on demand. Of course, on demand bread baking is the eventual goal, but life keeps getting in the way.

While we are on the topic, what's parchment paper made from? It's sort of plasticy texture too. The box says it uses partly recycled paper, but doesn't specify that it's only paper. Is it just paper and they do something to it to make it so smooth?

Back to experimenting and researching my way to a plastic free kitchen. Thanks in advance for the help.

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

asked over 2 years ago
4 answers 2921 views
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Julie Myers

Julie is an Editorial Assistant at Food52.

added over 2 years ago

Butcher paper is made from kraft pulp, and I think you can buy it waxed or unwaxed. Parchment paper is made smooth and non-stick by treating the pulp in a bath of sulfuric acid, which partially gelatinizes the paper. You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

I think your best bet for freezing is wax paper or waxed butcher paper, which is coated in paraffin (if you're not opposed to that), since this will keep in moisture and prevent your food from oxidizing.

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added over 2 years ago

There seem to be a wide range of answers (as well as a wide range of butcher papers) this thread has a few suggestsions: http://sustainability.stackexchange...

he city of Ottawa apparently composts butcher's paper without distinction. Both Oakland and Berkeley include butcher's paper in their compostable lists (and Berkeley's even includes "Brown Waxed Paper Sheets"). The town of Sherborn also says that "wax paper and butcher paper" can go in your compost pile.

However, the city of Portland does not want butcher's paper in their compost, "because they contain plastic".

From what I have read on the Internet, there is a huge diversity of products called "butcher's paper", but plastic-coated papers seem to be referred to as "freezer paper".

I guess I do not really have an answer for you, and I believe there is no such "norm". I would only recommend you to make sure you know what the paper is made of when you buy it, and make sure it is entirely plant-based if you are to compost it.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Most butcher papers (if not all) contain plastic which is why Portland does not allow it in compost containers. I have heard we will be implementing a wax only butcher paper in the city of Portland soon if possible. You may be able to contact butcher paper companies to try to find plastic free. Just not sure how well that will keep your foods frost free.

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trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Thanks for the input guys.

I've sent an email off to my butchering supplier to see what's in the paper. Can't wait to find out what they say.

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