Store Smarterto #ChangeTheOutcome on Food Waste
Ten simple ways to store your food smarter
Everyone can relate to rummaging through their kitchen to find that the “fresh” produce they had purchased earlier in the week has gone bad to the point where it is unusable and cannot be eaten.
It’s estimated that New Zealand households create 298,246 tonnes of food waste each year which is disposed of in landfill. Fifty two per cent of this waste is avoidable i.e. could have been eaten (157,398 tonnes)1.
We understand that we need to try and live more sustainably but are unsure about how much our food waste impacts the environment and how much money we’re unconsciously throwing in the bin.
Storing your produce correctly and giving it a longer life has never been easier, and Glad® has created the top 10 tips on how to store your food smarter, helping reduce the amount of food and money you waste!
- Check your fridge temperature
Checking the temperature of your fridge before storing any food in it will allow you to prevent your food from going bad. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge as it should be at 5 °C or below2.
- Know what to store in your fridge
Figuring out what food should be stored in the fridge seems like a no-brainer, although sometimes it can be tricky for certain products. Any foods or produce that have a short shelf life should be stored in the fridge so that they stay fresher longer.
Items like milk, cheese, fruit, vegetables and meat should all be stored in the fridge to keep them fresh and protected. There are several items that you should keep out of the fridge like coffee grounds, onions, tomatoes and potatoes as these foods thrive at room temperature.
- Store your fruit and vegetables correctly
Did you know that your fruit and vegetables produce different gases as they ripen?2 The production of these gases can cause produce to go bad quickly if they aren’t stored correctly. To combat this, simply keep highly gaseous produce such as avocados and apples by themselves and produce like broccoli and carrots together in a separate fridge section. In general, fruit and vegetables should always be stored separately.
It is important to ensure your vegetables are stored in the correct section of the fridge. Your fridge has a vegetable crisper drawer for a reason – it provides the right amount of moisture for your veggies! Make sure you set your crisper drawer to high humidity and place your veggies in the drawer, as this will ultimately ensure they stay sturdy and fresher longer!
- Separate your meat and fish from your fruit and veggies
To prevent your meat and fish from touching or dripping onto other foods, make sure you wrap or seal them in Glad to be Green® Reseal Bags or Glad to be Green® 50% Plant Based Cling Wrap. You can then store them at the bottom of your fridge, where the temp is cooler to prevent any cross-contamination2. This will keep your produce from spoiling and reduce the amount that could be wasted.
- Revive your stale bread with water
Generally, a fresh loaf of bread is best eaten within 2-3 days. If your bread shelf life is almost up, run some water over it and pop it in the oven for 6-10 minutes, and just like that, you have crispy fresh bread! Another way to maximise the lifespan of your loaf is by popping any leftover slices into the freezer in a Glad to be Green® 50% Plant Based Reseal bag to help keep them fresh and protected for later.
- Citrus fruits should be stored in air-ventilated containers
Fruits such as strawberries and grapes should be stored in air-ventilated containers in the fridge. This will allow your fruit to breathe and prevent them from sitting in water, extending their life, so you have longer to enjoy them!
- Cheese should be left to breathe
Cheese can spoil quickly if they are suffocated in their packaging or tightly wrapped in plastic. For ultimate freshness, unwrap your cheese from its plastic packaging and wrap it in Glad to be Green® Compostable Baking Paper to give it space to breathe and pop it back in the fridge3.
- Keep your eggs away from the fridge door
Most fridges are designed with an egg tray in the door, where most Kiwis will understandably store their eggs. However, with the fridge door constantly being opened and closed, the temperature of your eggs fluctuates, which can cause them to spoil. To avoid this, store your eggs on the shelf in the fridge4.
- Freeze your leftovers to give them a second chance
We constantly question what to do with leftovers from the night before. Instead of throwing them away, pop them in a Glad to be Green® 50% Plant Based Reseal bag and freeze to keep fresh for longer. Now that is one less meal to think about for the week – you’re all sorted!
- Give your bananas more time
If you find your bananas are ripe, to give them a little more time to enjoy, pop them in the fridge. Doing this stops them from going bad and will give you a few extra days of your perfectly ripe bananas. Remember, even if the peel turns black, they are still good to eat.
To store your food effectively, you don’t need fancy containers or a fridge Marie Kondo. All you need are some simple storage hacks that will keep your food fresher for longer, save you time, and reduce the amount of food and money you waste!