Beeswax Wraps Part 2: A Perfect, Eco-friendly Product.
Consider a product that is environmentally friendly, 100% natural, biodegradable, sustainable, easy to use and capable of significantly reducing pollution. In addition, it provides health benefits and keeps food fresh naturally, while also delivering savings that make it attractive enough for every household to do their bit to save the planet!
There is so much to like about beeswax food wraps – they are pretty much a ‘poster product’ for environmentalists, conservationists and concerned consumers alike. As a credible substitute for single-use cling wrap plastics, beeswax wraps have the potential to eliminate one of the most troublesome sources of domestic waste.
But how are beeswax wraps made and how do they work? Humans have long recognised the incredible attributes of natural beeswax, which has been used for a multitude of purposes for thousands of years. It never goes bad and can be heated and reused as required. Beeswax is routinely used as a glaze for fruit and in cosmetics, since it creates a barrier for moisture. The addition of propolis, or bee glue (which is derived from plant resins), imparts significant antibacterial properties and beeswax food wraps have been shown to naturally inhibit the growth of bacteria and thus prevent the spoilage of food (it has been estimated that 25% of the world’s food supply is destroyed by the activity of microorganisms).
Beeswax wraps are produced by covering pieces of cotton fabric with a mixture of melted beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin. After a thin layer of the solution has been applied evenly to both sides of the material, it is placed in an oven heated to around
95oC (it can also be covered with wax paper and then ironed). Once the beeswax mixture has penetrated and impregnated the cloth, it is removed to cool in the air. The resultant wraps are waterproof but breathable and pliable.
At Ben’s Bees, we offer a pre-made mix that makes it simple for you to create your own beeswax wraps at home. This can be grated onto your choice of fabric to produce beautiful beeswax food wraps in just minutes. Alternatively, you may wish to purchase our gorgeous, Australian-made, finished wraps.
Completely non-toxic beeswax food wraps are easily moulded into shape using the warmth of your hands. They have natural ‘grip’ and can be used to wrap food or seal containers. Beeswax wraps are not recommended for direct application on ‘wet’ foods such as raw meat and fish and some fruits. Instead, these should first be placed in a storage vessel, which is then covered with the wrap. Beeswax wraps can be used again and again; they can be rinsed in cold water or sponged with a gentle soap and then air dried. Cracks in the wax layer can be fixed with the aid of a hairdryer, or by placing the wrap in an oven or in the sun. Eventually (perhaps after about a year) beeswax wraps will start to lose their grip. They can then be rejuvenated by ‘re-waxing’ or repurposed as a fire starter; alternatively, they may be simply added to your compost.
In a world that is rightfully becoming more environmentally conscious, beeswax food wraps are quickly becoming accepted as a tangible way in which normal households can help decrease waste and pollution and avoid contamination of food with dangerous chemicals. Utilising age-old natural preservation techniques, beeswax wraps are easy to produce and maintain, and have exciting universal potential.