Lunch bags are not a new invention. For years, people have turned to things like brown paper sacks, plastic bags, or even old fashioned lunch pails to carry their food to and from work, school, or any number of other places where one may need to bring a meal with them.
While that brown paper bag sitting in your pantry may have a sort of throwback feel to it, the truth is that it’s entirely inadequate in modern times, and that includes several other lunch bag options as well.
Insulated lunch bags provide a much better option for temporary food storage and transportation. With an insulated bag, you can maintain food temperatures much more efficiently, along with a few other choice advantages.
Are you a little unfamiliar with the concept of an insulated lunch bag? Read on to learn how these work, what they offer, and why you need one.
Insulated lunch bags are not entirely complicated. Their build and design relies on a few simple concepts, mainly revolving around insulation (I know, what a surprise.)
More often than not, these bags are comprised of three different layers. The outer layer can be made from any number of materials, usually some kind of flexible plastic, fabric, vinyl, faux-leather, etc. It’s all dependent on the model and manufacturer.
The middle layer is where the insulation is placed, followed by an inner layer that usually has some sort of foil to reflect back hot or cold. This layer is also smooth, non-porous, and easy to wipe clean when needed.
These layers all work together to ensure that the food inside remains either hot or cold.
This provides a number of advantages and solutions to some common food storage and transport issues.
These bags offer a wide range of benefits that go well beyond just keeping food hot and cold, but we’ll start with that, as it’s most important.
The biggest problem with using anything but an insulated lunch bag is the difficulty maintaining food temperature. If you plan on showing up at work and putting your bag right into the refrigerator, this may not be an issue, but not everyone has that luxury.
If you are trying to keep food warm, a refrigerator is definitely not going to help.
Also, there’s the need to reheat the food to get it hot again, which may not be possible if you don’t have access to a microwave, stove, or oven.
Without any insulation in your lunch bag, your hot food is going to be room temperature by the time your lunch break rolls around.
That’s not only unappetizing, it can be dangerous.
Most of you have probably heard of what’s referred to as the “danger zone” for food. If this is new to you, know that it is in reference to the temperature range in which food-borne bacteria can grow.
Food safety agencies mandate that potentially hazardous food should not be stored at temperatures in this danger zone, so as to prevent foodborne illness. Foodborne microorganisms grow much faster in the middle of the zone, with temperatures ranging between 21 and 47 °C (70 and 117 °F.)
Leaving cold or hot food out for too long in this range can carry health risks, even if your food doesn’t taste strange at the time. An insulated bag used correctly is your best method of preventing this risk, while also keeping your food at its original intended temperature.
When you use an insulated lunch bag, you don’t have to worry about constantly buying paper or plastic bags to use. If you purchase a quality bag, it can hold up to years of use, giving you a go-to lunch bag option that is always ready to be used.
This is also a lot more sustainable, which is always a good thing.
Using paper or plastic bags, or even just some cheaper, lower quality lunch bag can limit its portability. The same goes for its overall durability, and its ability to protect the contents inside.
Insulated lunch bags often have a convenient shape, and always include a carrying handle, or two. They are also better at keeping your food from getting smashed or damaged when inside due to the extra layers of insulation and materials.
Not that you should go throwing your bag around as a way to test its protective ability, but know that it’s a lot more effective than other lunch bag options.
While all insulated lunch bags share the common trait of using insulation inside, they can be divided into different types, mainly corresponding to what materials and designs are used.
There are a number of different types available. You can find everything from basic lunch bags that have a very minimal look, to more elaborate designs that look more like day or handbags than actual lunch bags.
In regards to these types of lunch bags, they can offer a way to carry your personal items, a few work items, makeup, and your lunch that day, all in one bag.
Insulated lunch bags are a crucial item for anyone desiring to bring their meals to work or school on a regular basis. We’ve gone over the reasons for why it’s good to bring your own lunch to work, but an insulated lunch bag makes it all much easier, healthier, and more convenient.
When you have an insulated lunch bag available in your home, you already have more of a motivation to bring your food, knowing that you have an easy and foolproof way of keeping it hot or cold.
With other methods, you are restricted to what you can bring, forcing you to choose foods that don’t have temperature restrictions, which may make you just not want to bring your own meal at all.
There really isn’t an excuse to use anything else but an insulated lunch bag, especially if you want to have the most versatility with what food you can bring, while also getting to actually enjoy it more in the first place.