No styrofoam, please!

Author
Libationbrew
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2006/08/09 11:37:35 (permalink)

No styrofoam, please!

Best method to wrap a take-out sandwich? I hate styro foam. I like the tissue type, but was thinking about a big roll of butcher paper, for clubs, burgers, etc. I want to stick with paper/cardboard/foil as much as possible. Also, I don't want the food to get soggy! Ideas? Thanx!
#1

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    Pigiron
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/09 12:32:54 (permalink)
    Hot sandwiches need foil to reduce sogginess and to retain warmth. I hate getting a nice hot hero back to my office/home/hotel and finding soggy bread.
    #2
    renfrew
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/09 12:52:03 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pigiron

    Hot sandwiches need foil to reduce sogginess and to retain warmth. I hate getting a nice hot hero back to my office/home/hotel and finding soggy bread.


    Really? I always find that foil, while doing a good job of retaining warmth, does nothing to reduce sogginess.
    #3
    pacman
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/09 13:07:37 (permalink)
    As a customer I would LOVE to see LESS of the foam containers. IMHO, they may work well for transporting food, but, do nothing but make everything limp and soggy. My biggest pet peeve is french fries in the foam box. A local sub shop does that and by the time you get back to the office they are soggy with lots of moisture gathered on the box.

    My choices for packaging would be; hot sandwiches in foil, fries in those cardboard boats and wrapped with either deli wrap or butchers paper, Cold sandwiches in either deli wrap or butchers paper. Save the foam contaiers for anything liquid etc.

    Just my $.02
    Dan
    #4
    Libationbrew
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/09 23:02:21 (permalink)
    Thanks for everyone's input on the take out containers. I found that foil doesnt really work either as far as keeping out sogginess.
    But, yes, paper boats, or ff boxes, and I suppose I'm going to try the white butcher paper for sandwiches... foil containers for dinners, and see what happens... I expect to do a good amount (I hope!) of take out, and I want to be sure the quality is still there, once the customer gets the food home. Thanks!
    #5
    UncleVic
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/09 23:14:19 (permalink)
    Wrap the sandwich in paper towel, then secure it in either foil, waxpaper or butchers paper.. Will absorb the moisture and make a decent backup napkin...

    And thanks for not using FOAM to serve your food in, and the folks 200 years down the road thank you also..


    #6
    roossy90
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 00:02:29 (permalink)
    Ordinance in Freeport, Maine is NO Foam takeout containers.
    Take out containers must be of another type of material.
    Plastic, Metal....
    The place I worked at in the Fla Keys, The Lor-e-lei, wouldnt use foam containers either.
    That was in the early 90's.
    Different owners now, so I dont know if they are sticking with that self made rule.
    #7
    mr chips
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 00:20:07 (permalink)
    Foam cups are prohibited in Portland, Oregon.
    #8
    Porky Pine Kate
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 02:04:12 (permalink)
    Hello.

    I am a great advocate of alternative packaging. I have a mobile Q place now, but I used to own a fish and chip shop. For french fries ... "chips" ... I do a cone. Borrowing from my Mom's side of the family, the British, I use the shopper sized newspaper (also the same size as the smaller little town papers). What you do is use it in its folded state, I mean not opened out to two pages, but a single page size doubled. Get your butcher paper and cut a length to fit the newspaper. This is your inside lining. Makes it legal to use too. Now you take the left bottom corner up to the right side forming a triangle at the bottom and the top is still square. Fold the top down along the top of the triangle. Flip it over and fold the little bit at the left side over to make the cone point. Staple that little corner you just folded over a couple of times and you have a food cone. They are great for fries. Easy to hold for walking or they can be folded at the top for carry out. Cheap! Easy to make after a few goes. Your local paper will usually give you stacks of the newspapers free and the butcher paper is cheap enough. They look cool and if you are doing an event they will be easily recognized as yours! You could even get a big stamper and stamp your name and logo across the print.

    On containers. I fought this issue for months. Drained my brain for a solution. Nothing, but I did find a unit that pleases me. I am serving large quantities of sandwiches at events. I have more time at my roadside location, but I still like to move my product quickly. I served in the vicinity of 1000 pulled pork and brisket sandwiches last weekend. Speed is important. That may not be a lot of sandwiches to some of you but to me it was huge. I use Genpak BLACK snap it sandwich boxes. Two things about this box make it pleasing to me. #1 ... Black. For Q, you have no yellowing of boxes or smudges of BBQ sauce or rub on the box. It looks clean and distinctive. I see a black box and I know I fed that person. My local distributors do not carry these boxes and I have them brought in from out of state. I am paying about 7 cents a box. You can get white ones cheaper at Sam's, but I am well pleased with these. #2 ... I can stuff boxes with buns and stack them up ready for rushes of people. With a flip of the wrist you can make the top of the bun and the bottom flip to their respective sides. Saves me a lot of time. Makes my curstomer very happy. These boxes seem to be slightly vented, so I have not had a steam issue, yet they still stay nice and warm. It is not my total ideal situation, but it was the very best I could come up with. I am satisfied with it too. In the end all you can do is what works the very best for you.

    Hope I have added some ideas and insight.

    Good luck!

    Porky Pine Kate
    #9
    John A
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 07:16:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pacman

    As a customer I would LOVE to see LESS of the foam containers. IMHO, they may work well for transporting food, but, do nothing but make everything limp and soggy. My biggest pet peeve is french fries in the foam box. A local sub shop does that and by the time you get back to the office they are soggy with lots of moisture gathered on the box.

    My choices for packaging would be; hot sandwiches in foil, fries in those cardboard boats and wrapped with either deli wrap or butchers paper, Cold sandwiches in either deli wrap or butchers paper. Save the foam contaiers for anything liquid etc.

    Just my $.02
    Dan



    Punch holes in the top to release the moisture. Do the same thing with take out pizza boxes.

    John
    #10
    pacman
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 12:27:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by John A

    quote:
    Originally posted by pacman

    As a customer I would LOVE to see LESS of the foam containers. IMHO, they may work well for transporting food, but, do nothing but make everything limp and soggy. My biggest pet peeve is french fries in the foam box. A local sub shop does that and by the time you get back to the office they are soggy with lots of moisture gathered on the box.

    My choices for packaging would be; hot sandwiches in foil, fries in those cardboard boats and wrapped with either deli wrap or butchers paper, Cold sandwiches in either deli wrap or butchers paper. Save the foam contaiers for anything liquid etc.

    Just my $.02
    Dan



    Punch holes in the top to release the moisture. Do the same thing with take out pizza boxes.

    John


    I wish places would punch the holes in them. As a coustomer I shouldn't have to. By the time they put the food in and get the whole order packed up and brought out to me, most everything has already started forming condensation. Besides, one person pickus up for the whole office. Its packed in bags when we get there to get it, so if they haven't poked the holes, its too cumbersome & time consuming to do it yourself for too little benefit.

    Dan
    #11
    soozycue520
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 13:16:01 (permalink)
    When you do "take out", there are few solutions to get the same result of "eating in". There are some foods that travel well, but some that do not.

    I cannot do potato chips. By the time I open the box {depending on the sandwich ~ hot sammich = horrible: cold sammich = semi-horrible}, the chips are soggy.

    My point is, with take out food, know what travels well. If you're going to complain, know what you're ordering first.

    Potato chips don't travel well.
    #12
    tmiles
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 14:19:15 (permalink)
    I've waited a couple of days, and nobody has defended the foam take out boxes.
    The foam clamshell box is cheap, effective, and recycles. Unless it ends up on the side of a road or in a landfill, I don't see the harm.
    #13
    renfrew
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 14:32:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tmiles

    I've waited a couple of days, and nobody has defended the foam take out boxes.
    The foam clamshell box is cheap, effective, and recycles. Unless it ends up on the side of a road or in a landfill, I don't see the harm.


    It may have the capability of being recycled, but follow through on this is practically non-existent. There is not a comprehensive and easy system of recylcing styrofoam. It is not enough to say that it can be recycled. If it can, but isnt due to a poor system of collection, then that potential is wasted.

    We are great at producing cheap and effective, we suck at reusing cheap and effective.
    #14
    schwabpg
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 16:35:49 (permalink)
    I agree, the stuff is worthless for a lot of foods. But the good folks here just seem to think it's wonderful:

    http://www.polystyrene.org/polystyrene_facts/facts.html

    #15
    roossy90
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 19:58:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tmiles

    I've waited a couple of days, and nobody has defended the foam take out boxes.
    The foam clamshell box is cheap, effective, and recycles. Unless it ends up on the side of a road or in a landfill, I don't see the harm.


    Everything goes to the dump.. What do you do with yours?
    ***guess where they end up.. the landfill somewhere....
    It would be nice if everyone recycled, but this isnt a perfect world.
    I throw mine in the garbage can also..
    I dont recycle them either.....
    They are not bio-degradable from what I understand.
    I would prefer something else, but until its mandatory, you gotta take what you get.....
    They will be there, along with the disposable diapers...


    #16
    UncleVic
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/10 20:56:03 (permalink)
    Thanks Roossy.. Everything ends up in a dump is exactly right. End users of the product are too lazy to recycle, thus suggestions like wrapping in butcher paper wrapped with a newspaper are awesome! (I'm not saying everyone is lazy in recycling, but drive down the road and look at peoples trash... It tells the whole story)... Amazes me how one simple question for alternative, and enviromentaly freindly packaging has a discussion on various foam products.. Especially since the poster said non of that..

    Edit: And that alternative packaging idea is Porky Pine Kate's on page 1 of this thread. Cheers to her! (Reminds one how the English serve their fish and chips).


    #17
    Libationbrew
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/11 01:50:11 (permalink)
    Well, all I can say is thanks, everyone for all the responses. Porky Pine Kate--your cone idea is great, also, your instructions were right on! I try to get a piece of foil to wrap my leftovers in, and they always bring me a white styro TYPE box anyway! (I didn't think this topic would turn into a technical one!) Kind of reminds me of 'paper vs plastic' at the grocery store! I say,"Make mine paper, and double it up, please!" Well, thanks again, all! Guess I'll figure it out. I'm trying to shoot for 2 weeks until my Grand Opening...Wish me luck!
    #18
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/11 19:38:26 (permalink)
    I thought this thread was about to go containers not fair use. lol I have a couple of questions but lets try this with a little background first. Normally I vend events and cater. But I decided about a month ago to look for a parking lot that I could set up in to vend in between events. I called a couple locations and on the 4th call, to a Kmart store on the busiest corner in Springfield I got not a yes, but a hell yes. The local manager and the district manager loved the trailer and the idea. The best part other than the traffic (40,000 cars a day) the location has already on the ground a Phone lines-Electric Service-Water. So other than zoning it’s a cakewalk. Zoning is going to cost me a grand, and the monthly rent is very low. In fact it’s what most vendors at good locations are paying a week. So instead of having down time I’ll now be serving food from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. So I started thinking about different to-go containers. I like the butcher paper thing, because I think it has character. But then I believe BBQ should come from a “joint with a screen door”. . I think it adds something. BBQ should not come from an all stainless steel restaurant with a bunch of shiny nosed kids wearing cowboy hats that think smoking is cooking over a char broiler. In fact if I could hire the right character I’d never go there… no I couldn’t stand that. LOL Anyway I’m figuring most of my product will be eaten in cars on site. Or taken back to an office and I’m also concerned about take home food for the bedroom communities that are less than 15 minutes from my location. One last thought. I’ve eaten in BBQ joints that spread out about a thousand sheets of butcher paper every morning and when the fries were done they were dumped right on the paper. Then the sandwich or ribs was put right on top and it was folded up and taped shut. But I’m not adverse to nice plastic containers, with see thru lids. Ok, come on kick my butt I have broad shoulders and I can take it. LMAO
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    #19
    AndreaB
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/12 12:25:46 (permalink)
    As a consumer, I can say I hate the foam containers and much prefer the food, depending on what it is, to be in cardboard containers, aluminum pie type plates, or wrapped in butcher paper. It seems to keep better on the drive home.
    There's a local Mexican place that uses the aluminum pie type plates, and covers them with a cardboard circle, and the food doesn't end up soggy or limp by the time you get it home.

    Andrea
    #20
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/12 12:38:42 (permalink)
    The City Barbeque place near me used to use those aluminum plates with cardboard tops for bulk meat orders to go, but they've since switched to a microwave-friendly plastic container with an attached lid. It keeps the meat hot, is easy-open, easy-close, and it works well for reheating in a microwave.
    #21
    pdxyyz
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/12 12:44:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dr of BBQ

    I’m specifically interested in sandwiches (pulled pork-brisket- pork loin-) and fries. I don’t want my BBQ sandwich to be a soggy mess when it gets to the work place.


    I hate to say it but there isn't any packaging that will allow a hot moist filling to sit in a bun and not make a soggy mess of the sandwich.

    Now some of it has to do with the they type of bread used. A good crusty loaf can handle hot moist fillings. The crust maintains its integrity while the bread itself soaks up the liquid. I prefer a chicken parm sub on crusty bread after the sauce has soaked into the bread for a while. And most of these I see wrapped in the combo paper and foil wrap.

    I really hate good BBQ served on wonder bread hambrger buns. They don't even survive the time it takes to get the food from the kitchen to the table.

    #22
    John A
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/13 07:33:08 (permalink)
    I agree with pdxyyz, just do not see how any enclosed container with moisture within will not get the food soggy. Foam containers are cheap, fast, and easy to use, just punch some holes in the top.

    John
    #23
    Trencher
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/13 12:27:59 (permalink)
    yes i checked my cup again and it is deninietely styrofoam.
    #24
    RibRater
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/13 12:34:09 (permalink)
    From Dow:

    Today, the Dow STYROFOAM brand includes a variety of building materials (including insulated sheathing and housewrap), pipe insulation and floral and craft products. But there isn’t a coffee cup, cooler or packaging material in the world made from STYROFOAM.

    These common disposable items are typically white in color and are made of expanded polystyrene beads. They do not provide the insulating value, compressive strength or moisture resistance properties of STYROFOAM products. In order to protect the Dow trademarked name “STYROFOAM”, such other material should be referred to by the generic term “foam.”


    Can we move on now.


    This thread seems to be circular in nature.


    Libationbrew would like to discuss alternative containers for use at their restaurant.

    Any input you might have for Libationbrew about any other sandwich container other than Styrofoam would, I'm sure, be most appreciated. Conversation about proper use of the word Styrofoam and other foam devices has been hashed and re-hashed.
    #25
    Libationbrew
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/14 00:09:04 (permalink)
    Thank you, Larry! I secured my roll of butcher paper from Sam's, and that's what I'm going with. Also, the tin/cardboard type take out 'pan' that most decent italian restaurants use. And, yes, those 'scoops' or 'boats' or 'cones' for FF and rings. And yes, I plan on using 'stryo' for my hot coffee, hopefully, it will be limited to coffee. Soups & chili will be in those round 'cartons'.
    I plan on selling a lot of fried chicken, and am seriously considering using those cardboard buckets like KFC. Decisions, decisions! Ciao!
    #26
    Scorereader
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/14 10:47:40 (permalink)
    BYW, almost all the take out/carry out places in this area use the polystyrene foam containers with the lids. Some lunch buffet places have the option of getting plastic versions, but the pastic weights twice as much as the foam, so most people just use the foam.

    #27
    V960
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/18 08:37:37 (permalink)
    The reason there are no cups etc made from Styrofoam is because the margins are so tight. Styrofoam is chemically the same as the cup materials but is extruded, therefore compressed, but it is the same material. Dow doesn't want to lose its tradename the way Xerox lost theirs for photocopies.

    Bottom line is walk into a store and ask for the polystyrene cups..."Huh" will be the response.

    Ask for Styrofoam cups? "Aisle 3"

    They should have already lost the tradename because of the common usage of stryrofoam as a generic name for polystyrene.
    #28
    UncleVic
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    RE: No styrofoam, please! 2006/08/19 01:28:32 (permalink)
    I know I mentioned aluminum foil above in my first post, but after days of thinking about it, I want to remove that suggestion. Again, how many people recycle aluminum? I've been broken in my enviromental thoughts since most places use it (many that I have worked at also).. Also, with Mr. Hoffmans plastic tray with lid is no better.

    If you grill (the inside of a bun), or bake (like a sub from a pizza shop), they retain moisture pretty well. Soggy is normally not an issue here. Meat wrapped up, like chicken, bbq and ribs will enjoy the steam holding their tendernes...

    Serving of food is not designed for 30 minutes hold time either.. You would expect the customer to eat it within 10 or so minutes of delivery... (If not, they're nuts expecting anymore from you)...

    #29
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