Instagram is all about showing off the food you eat. But no one wants to see last night's leftover —unless that mediocre meal's housed in really cool packaging. Sure, a reused Vons bag works just fine, but pleasing to the eye it is not. Luckily, there are some functional, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly ways to bring your lunch to school or work.
South Park's Progress (2225 30th St.) is no stranger to Urban Scout. It really is full of unique stuff for your home, self and friends. So it's no surprise that I found an entire section devoted solely to fun ways to pack a lunch. One of my favorites is the Food Kozy by Kids Konserve, a thin, reusable sheet of recycled BPA and toxic-free plastic that serves as a storage wrap for a sandwich, snack foods and other goodies. It all stays sealed in with a piece of velcro. Each Kozy comes in fun colors, like lime green and orange with a white swirly print. The wrap also doubles as a wipeable placemat. That means fewer breadcrumbs lodged in your computer keyboard. A pack of two goes for $9.99. If you go to store.kidskonserve.com, you can find even more great lunch accessories, including a lunch kit complete with a recycled cotton sack and napkin, stainless-steel bottle, Food Kozy and two stainless-steel containers for sides for $45. You can also buy each of those pieces separately, online and at Progress.
Another great find at Progress are the Sugarbooger lunch sacks by Lisa Lowe, who was inspired to make kid-friendly bags when her little one started school. The laminated, insulated canvas sacks feature happy designs, like Day of the Dead sugar skulls and a bright, Japanese-inspired print. Their cutesiness may put an adult in danger of being diagnosed with a major case of the Michael Jacksons, which is identified by a desperate need to remain a child for far too long. But for those who own their adorkability, these are $16.99.
At CityBeat headquarters, clean utensils are a hot commodity—everyone's constantly bumming forks off someone else. That's why I love To-Go Ware's Bamboo Utensil Set, which you can find at People's Organic Food Market and Co-Op (4765 Voltaire St. in Ocean Beach). Nestled in a durable holder made of recycled plastic bottles is a reusable knife, fork, spoon and chopsticks. It even has a carabiner that you can snap on a backpack—if, for some reason, that seems like a necessity. The utensils are heat- and stain-resistant and don't absorb flavor. The knife is a bit dull, but it gets the job done. Just don't use it on a steak.
Black + Blum is a British design company that makes innovative, useful pieces for everyday life. That includes the Box Appetit lunch box, which won an Excellence in Housewares Award. The 30-ounce container comes with an additional inner dish to separate foods, a sauce pot for salad dressing, ketchup or anything else you like to drizzle on your lunch and a fork that snaps into the lid. Pick it up for $21.99 at Grounded (897 S. Coast Hwy. 101 in Encinitas).
For fans of Mexican oilcloth, Coast Hwy Traders (528 S. Coast Hwy., Encinitas) carries lunch sacks by Oilcloth Alley. The company's based in Oceanside and makes lunch sacks shaped like everyday paper bags, only they're waterproof, leak-proof and far more interesting. These come in bright colors and prints that lean more towards the girly side. If you're into Mexican pottery and ethnic aesthetics, these are for you.
Now you can start snapping photos, since last night's pizza / today's lunch is going to look completely Instagram-worthy.