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10 Ways to Keep Your Food Fresher for Longer

Ten tips for ways to keep your food fresher for longer!

It is estimated that people in the US throw away almost 25% of all the food and beverages that they purchase. To avoid wasting your food, try some of the tips below!

1. Separate Your Fruits and Vegetables

Instead of filling up your drawers with piles of fruits and vegetables, strategically place the fruits and vegetables that need refrigeration apart and those that sit on the counter separate. Fruits release lots of ethylene gas which can cause vegetables to spoil faster.

2. Don’t Refrigerate All Your Foods

Some foods like potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes and bananas will typically store better in cool places in your kitchen. Store tomatoes away from heat. Keep bananas away from other fresh foods and place potatoes, onions and garlic in cool dark places for a longer shelf life. Food like bread also does better in a cupboard, bread box or on the counter than it will in the refridgerator.

2. Buy What You Need

One of the most common causes of food waste is that people purchase too much food before it goes bad. Try shopping for your fresh fruits and vegetables 2x a week. Some people even like buying exactly 6 fruits, planning to eat two a day for 3 days. Keep your bananas together as much as possible for them to last longer, and keep the stalk wrapped in plastic wrap.

3. Try Cheese Paper

Does your cheese always seem to get moldy despite putting it in plastic bags or plastic containers? Check out your local specialty market or look online for cheese paper. The paper helps keep the cheese at the right humidity and prevent it from drying out or molding.

4. Perforation Matters

Ever noticed how your strawberry and raspberry cartons or bags of grapes have holes in them? Fresh fruits and vegetables need air, so avoid placing them in plastic bags or plastic containers without holes, this will speed up spoilage. Mushrooms should be placed in paper bags in the refrigerator.

5. Organize Your Refrigerator

Coldest place in your refrigerator is where your meat and yogurt should go. Butter and cheese can go in the warmer parts and fruits and vegetables can be placed separately in the drawers. Dairy will stay longer if it is not in the door where it is more exposed to warm temperatures. Aim to keep prepackaged foods like condiments in the door, because they already contain ingredients to help them last longer. Avoid overstocking your refrigerator thereby limiting airflow and keep it clean to minimize spoilage.

6. Keep the Container

If your cheese comes in a plastic bag, make sure to reseal the bag for it to stay longer faster. Other foods like carrots and apples will stay longer if they are left in the bags they are sold in.

7. Use Your Freezer

If you won’t be home or are going on holiday, save the food you have by putting it in the freezer. Foods like butter, salsa, bread, shelled nuts, bananas, olives, and chopped onions, garlic or chives can all be put into the freezer.

8. Don’t Wash!

Although it can seem nice to get into a routine of washing all your produce when you get home from the grocery, it will actually last longer if you only wash foods like raspberries, right before you are ready to eat them.

9. Make a Bouquet

Foods like swiss chard, celery, kale stalks, rhubarb, asparagus will last longer if they are placed in a cup of water in your refrigerator. Just cut the ends and submerge. Another option is wrapping them in tin foil instead of in plastic wrap.

10. Throw it Away

Remove rotten food from the package or bunch as soon as possible because when one item, like an apple goes bad, the rest of the foods will spoil much faster if left sitting next to it.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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