How did we keep food fresh before the advent of single-use plastic packaging?

Eliminating single-use plastics from your household is a noble intention. But when it comes to keeping food fresh, is there anything as reliable as some good ol’ plastic wrap? Actually, yes, says British food writer Bee Wilson in a column for The Wall Street Journal. While numerous localities have banned plastic bags, and many retailers have committed to reducing packaging waste, plenty of Americans are still clinging stubbornly to their cling wrap. It doesn’t have to be this way, Wilson writes, and actually, it didn’t used to be, either. Before the advent of cling wrap in 1930, people simply found other ways to store their food. Just cover your leftovers in a bowl with a plate or dish towel on top, Wilson suggests. Some food can even get wrapped in other food products, like banana leaves or corn husks. We got along fine before plastic wrap, she argues, and we’ll surely survive without it. —Jessica Fu