Ever opened up your fridge only to find out that your food is no longer worth eating? Well, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world!
Food spoiling is a major concern that creates a lot of waste, especially in summers. You feel awful for spending your hard-earned money on groceries that you could not even use once.
6 Tips for Avoiding Food Spoilage
Where pro-biotics are an important part of your diet, there are other microbes that can make your life miserable. And no matter what, the invisible bacteria and mold, somehow, succeed in ruling over your edibles. Whereas, you can’t do anything but weep to see your green vegetables turning brown.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, approximately 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten due to spoilage, bruises, or blemishes. The council also estimated that the average American family of 4 faces an annual loss of up to $2,275 due to the wastage of food.
Fortunately, there are many ways by which you can cut back on your waste and enjoy your favorite food whenever you want. By adding little efforts to your everyday routine, you can easily say ‘NO’ to food spoiling. Moreover, you will eat healthier and also keep more money in your pocket!
Check out these 6 food preservation tips to help you in this cause.
Proper storage of fruits and vegetables
Storing fruits and vegetables is tricky as each comes with a different requirement. Where you cannot leave every fresh produce out in the open, similarly you cannot refrigerate every edible.
In order to keep your fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible for a longer time, you need to follow these guidelines.
- Don’t wash fruits and vegetables before refrigerating (the dampness facilitates bacterial and fungal growth)
- Keep them in their original packaging or wrap loosely in a plastic bag
- In case, there’s dirt, rinse and dry well
- Case them in a paper towel before putting in a plastic bag
- Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be kept loose
- Onion and garlic are stored in a cool, dark place but separately, so they don’t absorb each other’s odor.
Here’s a quick guide for you to keep a check on which fruit/vegetable goes into the fridge and which stays on the top of your counter.
Refrigeration of dairy products and other edibles
Dairy products, drinks, jams, canned food, sauces, and other edibles also need proper storage.
The tricky question is where you should store a particular food item in your fridge?
Refrigeration is necessary to ensure that your food remains healthy and safe to eat. The regulated temperature in the refrigerator (mostly 40˚F) is to make sure that the growth of harmful bacteria is static.
Moreover, you need to designate particular compartments of your fridge for specific food items.
You need to make sure that all the prepared food is covered properly or kept in sealed containers. To avoid contamination of the cooked food from the raw ones, store them apart. It’s recommended to store raw meat on the bottom shelf so it won’t touch or drip onto other foods. This will also prevent cross-contamination.
Organize according to the date of expiry
If you have bought new groceries but already have some left from the previous month, use them first.
When you organize the food items in your fridge and cabinets, make sure to keep the older ones in plain sight, so they can be used up front.
Dairy products or fresh produce spoil relatively faster, and it’s important that you keep these things in plain sight. In case you have a stock of unexpired can food, don’t wait for them to get spoiled.
You can use the older items first or give to someone else, maybe to a local food pantry. This way, your money won’t be wasted; instead, it will be used for a good cause.
Don’t stock up
Yes, it’s fun to buy the whole store in one go, but don’t do that!
It’s preferable to buy groceries in smaller quantity rather than stocking up for a whole year. It will prevent the spoilage of food in case you don’t get time or need to use all the products. Although it will require frequent visits to the local store, it will save every penny of your hard-earned money.
Editor's Note: There is, of course a time and place to buy in bulk! This is one of the ways we save so much money each money and are able eat an all organic diet for under $200 a month!
Store in a clean, dry place
If the nearest grocery store from your house is in a far, far away land, then ignore the 4th tip.
Because you don’t need to spend more money on traveling every time you have to buy something.
So, if you are storing food in your home, make sure the storage area is clean and dry.
The cabinets should be intact and not broken so that there’s no dampness. Remember that microorganism are present everywhere, and all they need is some moisture and nutrients to support their growth.
Not just microbes, your food store will also attract insects, bugs, and rodents. Regular cleaning and organizing will help you restrict them. But in order to get rid of them, use a spray to keep the area bugproof. If you are hesitant of using chemicals around food products, go for brands that come with natural ingredients and are safe to be used.
RELATED: Bulk Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
Get creative with ingredients and leftovers
You can get creative with your leftovers and come up with unique yet scrumptious treats for yourself. If you have some boiled macaroni left from last night pasta, you can toss them into the soup and voila!
Moreover, you can swap ingredients if you don’t find the one recommended. For example, you can use apples instead of apricots in your favorite salad. You can use chicken instead of fish, and the list goes on. The use of single-ingredient for multiple purposes also saves time and money.
Food for thought
Food spoilage is a major concern around the world and also, pretty alarming. Where it feels super good to spend money on your favorite food, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see them get spoiled.
However, you can make your purchase worth all the delicious food by putting a little effort into your daily routine. Preservation and storage of food can be a bit tricky considering the type of each product. But in this tech-savvy world, you can learn to do it all yourself!