How do you store food so that it stays fresh longer? Is it true that bananas cannot be kept in the fridge? The answers to these and other questions can be found in our instructions for proper food storage.
Every year about 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown away, most of it ends up in a dump. This not only damages the environment, but also has a negative impact on climate change.
Such thoughtless waste is becoming one of the main problems facing humanity, says New York chef Max La Manna.
He even wrote a book on the subject “More Plants, Less Waste“.
Max La Manna told the BBC what each of us can do to help tackle this problem.
Food has been an important part of my life since I was a child, because my father was a chef. My parents taught me not to throw away food.
There are almost 9 billion people on our planet now, over 820 million of them undernourished.
Meaningless waste of food is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Approximately one third of all food is either simply rotting in the fields or being thrown in the garbage.
It is not just food that is wasted. Money, water, energy, land and transport are all being wasted.
- It’s a pig’s move. The manure lagoons of the Pskov mega-farms
- Britain can sink in plastic trash
If you throw away food, it can also affect climate change, as a significant percentage of food is simply sent to a landfill where it rots by releasing methane.
If food were an independent country, it would be the third source of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
But you can fight it.
Shopping is the right thing to do.
We often buy too much food, more than we need.
Before you go to the store, you should make a list of what you really need and not buy too much.
What’s more, use all the food you’ve bought before going back to the store.
It’s the right thing to do to store food
Food spoils if it’s not stored properly.
Many people do not know which foods should be kept in the fridge and which should not. This causes fruit and vegetables to begin to rot and end up in a dump.
Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic and cucumbers should not be kept in the fridge – they should be kept at room temperature.
Greenery can be stored in a bowl of water.
If you understand that you have extra bread, put it in the freezer.
In a supermarket or other shop, choose fruit and vegetables that do not look pretty. They are just as edible and tasty, but since many people don’t want to buy them, they often end up in the garbage.
And if you can, buy fresh produce from a farmer or at a farmers’ market.
The under-eaten food is in the fridge
Scraps are a useful thing.
If you cook a lot and have something to eat all the time, take one day a week when you take all these leftovers out of the fridge and heat them up again or cook them somehow.
This food will not go to the dump. Besides, you’ll save time and money.
Don’t forget about the freezer
The easiest way to store food is in the freezer.
For example, if you have left vegetables that have become too soft for salad, you can freeze them and then make them smoothies or something else.
If you have too many herbs in your kitchen, put them in an ice maker, pour water on them and send them to the freezer. They can be used later for passivation or other recipes.
You can put food you haven’t eaten, even soups, in the freezer. Then you will always have ready and tasty food, which you only need to heat.
To work with your lunch
It’s nice to leave the office for lunch with colleagues, especially at your favorite restaurant, but it costs money and leads to waste of food.
It’s best to bring food from home. If you don’t have enough time to prepare food in the morning, get what’s lying in the freezer and waiting for your time.
Cook the broths
You can make broth from the leftovers of the food.
Quickly fry or heat up vegetable remnants and anything that has not been used. Put it all in a saucepan, add olive or butter, your favourite spices, pour water and cook over low heat.
And then enjoy the work of your own hands.
Compost is a valuable fertiliser and a good way to get rid of food waste without harming the environment and, moreover, helping the living environment.
Not everyone has a garden where it is easiest to do so, but there are many recipes for home composting in a normal city apartment.
This composting is a great way to help your indoor plants grow.
Step by step
There are many ways to reduce food waste, and each of us can do so.
If you think about how much food your family throws away every day, you can make a difference and contribute to the conservation of such valuable natural resources.
Even minimal changes in how you buy food, how you cook and consume food will help protect the environment. It doesn’t have to be difficult at all.
With very little effort, you can noticeably reduce the amount of food you find in the garbage can, save money, time and simply help nature.
In addition, there are additional tips on how to store individual products:
Vegetables and fruits
Keep fruits and vegetables sensitive to ethylene separate from other products. Not only temperature and humidity, but also the products themselves affect the shelf life. All fruits and vegetables emit ethylene, a gas that speeds up their ripening. Some products produce it in particularly large quantities. So that they do not affect other fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to this substance, store them separately. For example, in a separate container or outside the refrigerator. By following this rule, you can extend the life of fruits and vegetables.
Ethylene products: tomatoes, plums, pears, bananas, avocados, kiwi and mangoes.
Vegetables and fruits sensitive to ethylene: apples, cucumbers, carrots, salad, potatoes, broccoli.
Most fruits and vegetables can be kept in the fridge. It is worth noting that if there is a fresh zone in the refrigerator, the products placed in it can retain their useful properties much longer than usual.
Can tomatoes be stored in a plastic bag? Can be kept in a fresh area or in a vegetable container.
Matured tomatoes cannot be stored in a closed plastic bag as they release ethylene, which affects the ripening of the fruit. Under such conditions, the gas concentration is higher and therefore its effect on the vegetable is much greater. To prevent tomatoes from spoiling, after buying, remove the packaging and put it in a vegetable container.
Potatoes should not be stored at low temperatures because the starch contained in the tubers turns into sugar due to low temperatures. This is why frozen potatoes have a sweet taste.
It is best to keep the potatoes in a cold and dark place by placing the tubers in paper bags. This will avoid condensation and discolouring the product.
To keep the potatoes in storage longer, put a few apples on top of them. They will prevent the potatoes from germinating.
To keep bananas longer and not ink, cut off their tails. Note that bananas cannot be stored in the fridge.
In addition, it is better not to keep bananas with fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene. As in this case, they may spoil more quickly.