When’s the last time you were excited to receive something in the mail? March was a good month for me on that front. British reader Bethany kindly sent me a package of M&S delicacies that are unavailable this side of the pond, and I also received a sample package of Abeego beeswax food wraps from Toni Desrosiers in Victoria, Canada.
What is Abeego? Simply put, it’s a different way to wrap food. I think it’s a better way.
I first learned of this product, which has been around since 2008, when I watched an episode of Dragons’ Den last month. UK readers have their own version of the show, as do readers in more than a couple of dozen countries. If you’re an American reader who watches Shark Tank (which features two Canucks), you’ll also be familiar with the concept. The show provides entrepreneurs with televised opportunities to try to convince one or more members of a five-person HNWI (high net worth individual) panel to invest in their businesses.
I watched Toni make her pitch, and was drawn to the concept. She developed her product from the perspective that, “If living food needed to be wrapped in airtight wrap, then the rind, peel or skin would be airtight. It’s not.” What else? Well, the product is plastic-free. It breathes. A single wrap can be used up to a year with proper care, which is pretty simple. It involves cleaning your wraps in cold water and avoiding heat. I liked the notion that “every ingredient used comes from the earth and will return to it without a trace.” That appealed, as did the clincher: Toni told the Dragons that her beeswax wrap reduces food waste, because it’s better than plastic wraps at preserving food.
… and so I dropped Toni a note
We compost. I ditched chemical-laden fabric softeners when I learned about wool dryer balls. After colouring my hair for more than a couple of decades (some of us in my family go grey at a very young age), I stopped that practice a couple of years ago. These choices may have something to do with growing up in Vancouver and spending much of my down time these days in Kitsilano, but I think there’s an increasing number of people everywhere with similar perspectives.
So, everything I saw in Toni’s presentation resonated … and I dropped her an email. I asked if she would send me a sample of her product, and explained my interest in trying and writing about these food wraps. Late last month, this package arrived in the mail.
Loving the gentle honey fragrance
First impressions? When you open the package, the first thing you notice is the soothing honey fragrance. I love it. The pattern on the wrap is retro.
Did it do what’s promised, though? Well, I began by using the small wrap for a partial lemon, above. This led to my next impression: it’s fun to use.
It felt almost as though I was wrapping wonton – but without any frustration! There’s an adhesive quality to the product, because of the beeswax. I intentionally left the half lemon sitting in the fridge for eight or nine days before unwrapping and using it. That’s it, more than a week after I first wrapped it, in the last picture above.
What about stronger scented foods?
Would their smells linger? Well, so far, I’ve used Abeego for herbs, onions, cucumbers, lemons and a leftover rice dish (you can shape the wrap to fit around the top of a serving dish). I found that the very simple wash, in cold water, left the wrap ready to use for other foods. Abeego has online videos showing how to use and care for the product.
Working with this wrap can feel much like gift wrapping – but without tape or tears, and with the ability to reuse it. With the basil above, it felt as though I was wrapping a bouquet of flowers. With my experience over the last two and a half weeks, I’ll have no hesitation wrapping produce, cheese, and a range of leftovers such as the dishes below.
Would I buy the product?
Yes! I like what I’ve seen, and I like that the wraps are made of beeswax, tree resin, and organic jojoba oil infused into a cloth made of hemp and organic cotton. While I did not pay for these three wraps, I will be buying some to add to this collection.
What about cost? If you like the sound of these wraps, check out Abeego’s website. If you’re making your decisions primarily on upfront purchase costs, plastic wraps will likely win out. If you’re making choices based on a variety of factors, including reduced food waste, then you may also find yourself starting to acquire some Abeego wraps. I suspect that our Canadian dollar will make the product even more appealing to those whose countries are enjoying higher rates of exchange!