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Food grade containers - CHEEP!

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Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  aerodyne on 9/5/2013, 8:12 pm

I have a need to supplement my SFG with a few containers for oddball, deep rooted plants, and for MM experiments  (More on this later under the MM section)

LOWES has a white, 5 gallon (7 trade gallon equivalent) HDPE 70 mill container with handle for only $4 each.  The bucket says "FOOD GRADE"  on a big yellow sticker on the side, but no stamped symbol saying "Food safe"

Still, I find most plastic containers, even nursery flats, have no markings al all, and this is a cause for some concern.  Plus, big planters/nursery containers are pricey, except for the Grow bags, a steal at 50 cents a piece.  The Viacom grow bags look flimsy, and are not food safe, with uncertain resin provenance per the Mfg.

I will continue my search for the ultimate low cost food safe container, but for now this is what I will use for my fall planting.  I got 5 of the buckets, made by encore plastics... 


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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  littlejo on 9/5/2013, 8:55 pm

Aerodyne,

I think that I'd ask at Lowes. If they can give you paperwork on the buckets, fine. if not since you know the maker, ask Lowes to give you their toll free contact # and go right to the source.
I personally think the buckets are a good idea.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  sanderson on 9/6/2013, 2:57 am

Yes, call the mfg. I bought one 5-gal white bucket at Home Depot for potatoes. The label states "Food Safe", made by ARGEE Corp. Others have gotten free 5-gal buckets from bakeries or other food facilities.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  aerodyne on 9/6/2013, 10:53 am

Good ideas - I have been emailing mfg's with good results.  A lot of products, including those made by sterilie, have no stamp at all.  I went to an organic foot store where they sell grain in buckets, when no one was looking, I lifted up the bucket, and no stamp, nothing!

I will check out the HD buckets as well.

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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  pattipan on 9/6/2013, 3:16 pm

@aerodyne wrote:
I will continue my search for the ultimate low cost food safe container, but for now this is what I will use for my fall planting.  I got 5 of the buckets, made by encore plastics... 
Do they need to be new? Ask for icing buckets at your local bakeries, grocery stores and even donut shops. Sometimes you can get them for free, sometimes for a very low price.

Another idea is ask for pickle buckets at Wendy's, McD's or other fast food places. A little smellier than icing buckets, but they can be cleaned. Free is good. Smile

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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  sanderson on 9/6/2013, 3:41 pm

Pattipan,  Free is always good. Good suggestions.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  walshevak on 9/6/2013, 7:49 pm

Firehouse Subs sells pickle buckets for $2 which is a donation to the local fire dept.

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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/6/2013, 8:17 pm

@pattipan wrote:Ask for icing buckets at your local bakeries, grocery stores and even donut shops. Sometimes you can get them for free, sometimes for a very low price.
pattipan
FREE: I get my 5 & 2.5 gal icing buckets free at the bakery in local grocery store, Stop & Shop. I ask them to save them and can pick up few a couple days later. Otherwise they throw them away. I have to wash them out but I do that with hot water and toss it on the compost pile. I think the bugs love frosting. What a Face 

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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/7/2013, 12:43 am

Is there scientific credibility to the idea of bags or buckets that aren't labeled as food-safe leach chemicals into vegetables potted in them?
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  sanderson on 9/7/2013, 3:53 am

Marc,  Yes, certain plasticizers, such as phthalate, will leach from plastic. Weeks ago I told a true story from my days as a health inspector about phthalate found in a mountain well. Turns out a shower curtain was in the well.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/7/2013, 1:16 pm

But I also wonder -- will they leach not just into soil or water, but will plants take them up?
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leaching chemicals from containers

Post  aerodyne on 9/8/2013, 2:00 am

I think it is certainly possible that any chemical that is water soluble could be taken up by plants - anyone see the "Blue" orchids at HD recently?

better safe, esp at $4.00 or less a conainer

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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  littlejo on 9/8/2013, 8:19 am

Oh, the mutli-colored chickens at Easter!
I was going to get one of the 'blue orchids' until a new bloom came on at the store and it was a dirty white!
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  Judy McConnell on 4/28/2014, 7:07 pm

I found 5 gal white plastic buckets (marked HDPE 70) at WalMart - back in the auto/paint area for $2.85 each
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  aerodyne on 4/28/2014, 7:41 pm

Just bought 10 white one at Lowes, labeled "Food Safe", and a with a 15% discount on 5 or more, I think they were about 3.80 each including tax.  Lots of HDPE containers on the market (search up HOMZ) but the mfg's when contacted would not endorse food storage in them.  I am using a mixture of the white Lowes 5 gal buckets and the black/yellow HOMZ boxes of 27 Gal.  The latter are less than 10 at COSTCO.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/28/2014, 7:53 pm

Eh, I've been able to find white, food-grade containers (perhaps 3.5 - 4.0 gallons) for free or $.50 each at the bakery departments of local supermarkets.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/28/2014, 8:05 pm

I've been picking up frosting and filling buckets from the bakery dept. at local supermarkets. They are white, food safe and free. They come in 1, 2, 3, and 5 gallon sizes. I've chatted with the bakery managers and they were happy to save them for me. They even run them through the dish washer for me!  I use them for everything now. Planting, weeding, tool buckets, harvesting, watering and I keep a couple in the car in case I find compost materials. I've picked up over 20 in the past month or so. Happy hunting!
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  yolos on 4/28/2014, 8:11 pm

My daughter is a school teacher.  She gets them for me from the cafeteria at school.  We call them pickle buckets because that is what comes in them.  They are 5 gallon white plastic.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  baileyhermit on 4/28/2014, 9:12 pm

Those buckets are awesome. We get catered meals quite a bit at work and they just leave the buckets behind (drinks and ice were in them).   And local restaurants as well like other folks have said.

I also get those  large aluminum pans big enough to put a turkey in em for free.  Caterers use them all the time for warming trays (filled with water). I use those for drip trays for my small starters/pots. Also help to reflect light when I use them under lights with heat mats under them.
And dumpster dive for pots, trays and larger plant containers. Try your local greenhouse chains, they normally just throw them away. I get all of my pots that way from seed starter size to mongo  sized containers.  Just bleach them out well before using!
Home Depot won't let you take their old pots that they are throwing away tho, but you can take the trays that hold the pots. Go figure  thinking  thinking
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  sanderson on 4/29/2014, 12:55 am

Finding cheap or free things for the garden is always fun. Thanks to all for the good ideas finding food-grade buckets.
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/29/2014, 5:03 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:I've been picking up frosting and filling buckets from the bakery dept. at local supermarkets. They are white, food safe and free. They come in 1, 2, 3, and 5 gallon sizes. I've chatted with the bakery managers and they were happy to save them for me. They even run them through the dish washer for me!  I use them for everything now. Planting, weeding, tool buckets, harvesting, watering and I keep a couple in the car in case I find compost materials. I've picked up over 20 in the past month or so. Happy hunting!
I like it when the frosting is left in them so I can scoop it out and eat it off my finger...
 
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/29/2014, 6:29 pm

(snicker...)  Me too!

 drooling   then   rofl  golly gee whiz
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/29/2014, 6:58 pm

You two are sooooo baaad! LOL I bake cakes and cupcakes for parties and weddings as a hobby, so I get enough frosting. I can't be dipping into the frosting buckets,  too. OMG I'd be as big as a house. Thats why I love when they wash them for me....leaves no temptation! !!!!!!
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  baileyhermit on 4/29/2014, 8:28 pm

You could always switch to the containers that housed pickles..... and maybe you would find one or two in the bottom   lol! .   I forgot I had them in my jeep for a couple days in the hot sun. Opened it up and it reeked of hot pickles. Don't know if that was a good smell or not, but took forever to get it outta there!  I think I would prefer frosting!
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Re: Food grade containers - CHEEP!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/30/2014, 9:08 am

Well, Lyndeeloo, I am fat.  That covers a couple of reasons for the garden:  Better food & exercise.  In-between making cakes, etc. for us, friends, parties, etc.

But the frosting is so good for a quick pick-me-up.

I'll have to skip the pickle buckets, Bailey.  Can't stand 'em!  I can't imagine what Mike would say if I left them in a hot car!!!!!!  What I'd say is unprintable...
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