Keep it Fresh
Do you know how to properly store you fruits and vegetables so they last longer? Learning how to properly store you fruits and vegetables will help you get the most out of the food you purchase. Preserving fruits and vegetables at their optimum level of freshness means you will enjoy nutrient-rich food for a longer period of time.
It’s important to learn which foods are stored outside or inside the refrigerator. Not everything needs to be stored inside the refrigerator. There are actually some fruits and vegetables that benefit from being kept on the countertop or in a dark, cool section of your pantry. For example, tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, pineapples, and avocados are best kept out on the counter until they ripen. Once ripen, they can be stored inside the refrigerator. Keep whole onions and heads of garlic in a dark and cool place. For a detail list on how to properly store you food, visit the A to Z Food Storage Guide. And check out this website with information on food and beverage storage info.
Did you know that some fruits and vegetables release ethylene? Ethylene is a natural gas that is release by some fruits like apples and pears as they begin to ripen. So when it comes to food storage, this gas can either be considered beneficial or counterproductive. Make sure you keep apples, bananas, and pears away from other fruits and vegetables unless you want to take advantage of the ripening effect of ethylene.
The length of time your food last fresh depends on how fresh it was when you bought it. Sometimes it seems as though food last longer depending on the season you buy it in. And this is true! The length of time your food stays fresh depends on how fresh it was when you bought it. For example, food that was bought in season will last longer than food that was bought out of season. Say you buy a mango in the middle of November, and it looked perfectly delicious on the outside, however, once you slice it you realize it has dark spots, yuck! That’s what happens when food is not allowed to ripen naturally. So next time you go shopping, whether it be at the grocery store or the farmer’s market, make sure to buy food that’s in season. That way you won’t waste your money on food that will spoil prematurely.
Make sure the temperature and humidity levels in your refrigerator are correct. The temperature and humidity level of your refrigerator play an important role in preserving your food for long periods of time. Leafy greens benefit greatly from cool and humid environments. Take advantage of your crisper drawer which tends to be the most humid area in your refrigerator. Many drawers have a humidity control that allows you to adjust the humidity level from “High” to “Low”. The “high” setting is designed for vegetables and the “low” setting is for fruits. It’s important that you keep the correct setting because well adjusted drawers can help prolong the life of your food. Also, make sure you clean your refrigerator every week or so. This will enable the air in your refrigerator to circulate evenly around the food to keep it cool. If the air vents are blocked, it can lead to having warm and cool spots throughout the refrigerator. Uneven temperature can lead to bacteria growth and eventually food spoilage.
Be the Change: Save the Food
What if I told you that you can reduce the amount of food wasted and save on groceries and garbage? Sound pretty good, right? We have the power to make real changes in our community by simply implementing food waste prevention strategies in our kitchens. Start today by taking the
Save the Food Pledge and encourage others to do the same!
Special thanks to the Natural Resources Defense Council, EPA, and West Coast Climate and Material Management Forum for statistics and resources.