According to global statistics, a shocking 60% of food bought for human consumption ends up in landfills. Despite this daunting statistic, reducing your food waste and doing your bit for the environment is surprisingly simple. Take a look at these tips and keep them in mind when you next unpack your shopping.
Sprouting potatoes, sour milk, or rotten fruit: while some foods have a short shelf life, often they are thrown away simply because of unsuitable storage conditions. Storing your produce properly will not only help you reduce your waste by prolonging their shelf life, but will also save you money!
Keep Your Fridge Tidy
A well-organized fridge is the first and the most important step in reducing household food waste. Meat, cheese, and other perishables should be stored in separate food containers.
This not only prevents cross-contamination ‒ a big hygiene no-no ‒ but has the added bonus of making them more noticeable, so you don't forget to eat them because they were left at the bottom of a drawer! As for vegetables: try placing them on a paper towel on the bottom shelf of the fridge. The paper towel will soak up any excess moisture ensuring your veg will last longer. Potatoes, onions, and garlic should not be stored in the fridge at all. Keep them in a cool dark place. The same goes for tropical fruit and citruses, which should be stored at room temperature on your kitchen counter where they will gradually ripen.
Keep Your Pantry Well-Organized
If you're feeling like diving head-first into a full-scale spring clean, it's really worth investing in some suitable containers! Not only because your cupboards will look like something from Pinterest, but they can prove useful. Pests, if they get into your food, can make quite a mess. Keep flour, sugar, salt, and other store cupboard ingredients in sealable, airtight containers
You’ll find practical jars and containers of all shapes and sizes at FAVI.co.uk that will help you keep your pantry organized and clutter-free.
Now you’ve taken care of your fruits and vegetables, it’s time to look at how you store your bread. Bread should always be stored in a clean tea towel, never a plastic bag, and always in a bread bin. Stored this way, good sourdough bread should last up to a week! If you already know that you won’t eat all your bread before it goes off, freeze it.
Learn How to Freeze Food Properly
Freezing food is a perfect way to store excess fruit, veg, or your leftovers. But be careful – incorrectly frozen food can spoil even if kept below zero. Did you know that your freezer should be close to fully stocked in order for it to work properly? However, not everyone needs to freeze this much food. In that case, fill any empty spaces with bottles of water. It's also worth bearing in mind that different food requires different methods of freezing:
- Keep meat and fish at the back of the shelf to protect them from rapid temperature changes when you open and close the freezer door.
- Vegetables should be peeled, cut into smaller pieces, and blanched briefly in boiling water to prevent loss of flavour and vitamins.
- Fruit should always be washed. You can even try dusting it with icing sugar so it keeps its sweet taste for longer!
- Pre-prepared meals should be portioned out into food containers.
- A good tip for fresh herbs is to chop them up, mix them with a glug of olive oil, and put the mixture into an ice tray.
- Did you know you can even freeze mushrooms? Try frying them in butter first. Remember to let them cool before freezing: this should help them retain their flavour and texture.
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