How do you package your products?
While all of our packaging is easily recyclable, we’re also conscious of the extra space needed in our customers' homes (and bins!) when it arrives and the extra weight and carbon footprint for the courier, so that’s why we’ve carefully selected the minimum possible packaging for our products. While there are now lots of responsibly produced packaging solutions, it is usually the case that the best solution is less. We also use double wall boxes that help reduce the need for internal padding and believe that it is a secure way to protect the product on its journey. And, we use a special EcoTape that is a self-adhesive paper and 100% recyclable. We also aim to reuse any packaging that is sent to us and hope that our customers will be able to do the same - at least we are trying to stop single use plastics.
Why do you use glass?
We only buy glass that has already been recycled a minimum of once before.
- Glass is green. It can be recycled any number of times without losing any strength or quality.
- Glass is safe. It contains none of the chemicals found in plastics, like Bisphenol A or S, or Phthalates. These kinds of chemicals are banned in many parts of the world due to health risks
- Glass is strong. It can withstand pasteurisation, sterilisation, and can even be microwaved without degrading or releasing any toxic chemicals.
- Products last longer in glass. Glass can provide a vacuum or a protective atmosphere for an extended period, while remaining unaffected by its environment.
- Glass has been the packaging material of choice for the elite since Roman times, and since becoming inexpensive, safe and sustainable some 400 years ago, it has been the preferred packaging material. No other material offers the same safety and protection to its contents, and no other material is nearly as recyclable.
What should I do with my empty jar?
We have specifically chosen 500ml jars (larger than most other foods in jars) in the hope that our customers will want to reuse them over and over. We are also keen to minimize the proportion of packaging to the food inside and ensure that our customers spend proportionally more on the product than the packaging compared to some other products. Of course, this all means that our prices might be a little higher, but overall we want to provide value for money.
How long can I keep my jars?
We urge all of our customers to read the information at the following links with the aim that we can all reduce food waste.
Of course, we want our food to be safe and enjoyed in its best condition. Therefore, we have included a very conservative ‘Best Before’ date on each of our jars.
Typically, our pickles and sott’olio recipes include a ‘Best Before’ date that is six to nine months after they have been made. Our ferments have a ‘Best Before’ date that is five to six months after they have been fermented. In the case of both, we are confident that they will be in a good condition and safe to eat many months after this point.
We use wild or natural fermentation methods, which is, essentially, a process of preservation, but it does also bring many other nutrient and taste benefits. Once jarred and bottled, they are protected from pathogenic bacteria via two methods:
- The acidic environment (pH≤4.2)prevents bad bacteria from growing in them, and
- The presence of good bacteria out-competes anything that should not be there.
So, properly fermented foods are extremely safe and last a very long time - even outside of the fridge.
What temperature should I store my jars? Why is my jar overflowing?
Whilst our products are safe to keep at ambient temperatures for long periods of time, pressure may build-up under the lids and the jars might start to leak as the products continue to ferment. Putting them in the fridge slows the fermentation process. It doesn’t completely stop, but it does stabilise the condition. If the jars start to overflow they are still safe to eat, but check that they look, smell and taste OK. We do not believe that it is necessary to chill our products during transportation. Our products are either heat sealed or fermented, so it’s fine that they’re not transported in heavy carbon footprint refrigerated vehicles or packed with ice. However, when they arrive, we suggest that the ferments are refrigerated. When opened our jars may gently pop (this is a good thing!) or overflow a little, but don’t worry it’s totally normal. The live bacteria produce CO2 and as the gas escapes, some liquid can also get out too. Simply give any affected jars a rinse and put them in the fridge. The ‘Best Before’ dates are unaffected by this.
For added benefit, especially in regard to retaining the quality and preventing any bad bacteria, we suggest that you check that all of the veg in the jar is below the surface of the brine. If not, simply press down the veg so that it release more brine to the surface and the veg becomes submerged again.