Food Packing Tips
December 13, 2010 | Permalink
All over the Internet you can find advice articles on eating more healthily while traveling, particularly during air travel. But while what to eat and pack is pretty well covered, advice on how to pack and eat is harder to come by. So here are some tips for coping with the major obstacles and minor irritants related to carrying food on the go.
Helping your food travel better
What containers you choose makes a huge difference. When using plastic storage bags, opt for the heavy-duty freezer bags with actual zippers. They are far sturdier and, even more important for all those times you’re juggling a bunch of things, far easier to open, close, and burp (squeeze out the extra air). We suggest always double-bagging, even for dry food. That way you’re almost guaranteed to still have functional plastic bags for your return trip. But sometimes, plastic bags are not the best choice. How many times have you dumped that nice, healthy banana you brought because it’s gotten too bruised? BPA-free plastic containers protect vulnerable fruit like apples and bananas.
Another key issue with bringing food along is keeping it cold. Ebags carries over 200 insulated bags, most in the $15-$50 range, both soft and hard-sided. TSA regulations do prohibit ice pouches (unless frozen totally solid), but what you can do is make your own inexpensive, disposable ice pouches to keep in place until the minute you go through the security checkpoint. And, of course, if you are road-tripping, you’ll be able to re-use them throughout your trip if you stay at hotels that have refrigerators with actual freezers. Make disposable ice pouches by filling a freezer bag ¾ full with liquid dish soap (or with 3 parts water, 1 part rubbing alcohol). Burp out air before closing, double-bag and freeze. Voila!
With the food itself, be sure to avoid bringing things that spoil more rapidly. If you’re bringing sandwiches, consider peanut butter, cheeses and smoked meats that keep longer. Instead of adding condiments, which can easily spoil and also make a sandwich soggy, carry along some of those small packets you get at fast-food restaurants. And consider choosing bagels or other dense, chewy bread that freezes well. Slice and freeze the bread the night before, then make your sandwich on the frozen bread, which will serve as an ice pack (though it thaws much more quickly).
Making your on-the-road food more palatable
Dry seasonings like a flavorful salt substitute (ie: Mrs. Dash’s Caribbean Citrus blend) can help even that iceberg lettuce salad you grabbed on the way to your gate. And let’s face it, airline coffee tends to leave something (or a lot of somethings) to be desired. But by bringing along a small bottle of cinnamon, flavored creamer or just vanilla extract (be sure to place this bottle in your quart zip bag for going through security) you can make that mediocre cup of joe a bit tastier.
Easing the eating process
How often have you broken one of those thin plastic knives trying to spread your cream cheese or peanut butter? Invest in a box of heavy-duty plastic cutlery, tuck a few in your bag (it’s TSA acceptable for carryon), and no more cursing. To ensure you don’t arrive at your destination looking like you’ve not yet mastered the art of feeding yourself, take a damp microfiber washcloth (in a plastic bag) to mop up dribbles on your tie without leaving behind the white flakes you get with paper towels and babywipes. And last but not least, carry a few floss picks. After all, who wants to realize at the end of the day that they’ve been greeting clients and colleagues with a shred of romaine trailing across two front teeth?
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Food Packing Tips: