Food Storage Tips

It seems I am seeing a lot of products to place in your produce drawer or to put produce in to make it stay fresh for a longer period of time.  Being thrifty by nature  (OK, I am cheap –  😉 – so blame it on my genes) I have always had a problem tossing the last few shriveled up mushrooms into the trash.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN published a report in 2011 on food waste, and it is no surprise that fruits and vegetables top the list.  Indeed, I found many statistics regarding waste and did my own informal average of the reputable ones.   I came up with 17% waste – we literally toss on the average 17% of the food we buy.  The average cost per American household came to $750.00.

One day it actually occurred to me to google it – I came up with this list of tips:

  • Never store in air tight containers – they need air to breathe, like us.
  • It is best to store unwashed until use.  If you must wash produce ahead of time, store with a paper towel
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil with a paper towel to absorb moisture
  • Store blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in a single layer, if possible.  Second best is in a container with a colander built in that does not close too tightly.
  • Store leafy greens separately
  • Apples, bananas, and tomatoes do not need to be refrigerated if eaten within 7 days.
  • Place mushrooms in a brown paper bag on a shelf in your refrigerator – the bag will absorb moisture.  Dried mushrooms can be rejuvenated if soaked in water, or added to sauces.
  • Fruit that releases ethylene gas must be stored separately:
    • apples
    • apricots
    • cantaloupe
    • honeydew
    • figs
  • When in doubt, think of how it is stored at the grocery store, and do the same at home.
  • Shop the produce section last and keep produce at as low a temperature as possible
  • Eat all the perishables within one week of purchase

And speaking of bananas, do you know how to open a banana like the monkeys do?   You hold it upside down and squeeze the very bottom.  No struggles.  It pops open so easily that even I can do it!



About Betti

Crocheting, designing, and sharing my patterns to warm your body, your heart, and your home.
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