Food waste is one of the main contributors to climate change. It’s easy to believe that throwing veggie scraps or leftovers out wouldn’t be an issue since food tends to decompose. But if they’re heading to the landfill, it will take years, even decades to fully break down. Turns out, there’s simply not enough airflow in overcrowded landfills for it to break down. Instead, it sits there releasing ethane gas more powerful than Co2.
It’s estimated that 1/3 of all food goes to waste. That’s around 1.3 billion tons of food every year. And we’ve all been there. The produce that goes bad before we get to eat it. The leftovers that get pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about. There is so much food waste. And a lot of it has to do with how we store our food.
How to store food to reduce food waste:
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Produce is arguably one of the quickest things to go bad. here are some ways to store some common produce items.
Carrots and celery
Are best stored submerged in water. This is also a great way to revive limp carrots and celery that you may have forgotten about.
Onions need airflow and are best stored in mesh bags out of the fridge. Keeping them in a bowl will cause one side to brown quickly.
Potatoes also need airflow. Keep them in a basket or a cardboard box with a few holes. They can keep for many months when stored this way in a dark, cool space. Too much light will cause them to start sprouting.
Garlic does best kept in a base or bowl in the pantry or on the counter. They can also last for months just always keep an eye on them and watch for sprouting!
Contrary to popular belief, apples do best NOT stored in the fridge. To prevent growing, keep them in a bowl in a dark, cool space.
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges can actually lose flavour when kept in the fridge! They do really well on the counter. Of course, if you cut the fruits and have leftovers, always cover them and keep them in the fridge.
Leafy greens can wilt extremely fast. They do better when kept a little dam. To do this simply lay out a tea towel and spritz it lightly with water to just get it damp. Place your greens inside, fold it and then roll it up. Secure it with a rubber band and spritz it every few days.
Or, to make your life even easier, use one of these veggie saver bags!
Like citrus fruits, tomatoes can lose their flavour in the fridge. Keep them on the counter or in our pantry for maximum flavor!
Bananas brown a lot quicker in the fridge! Keep them on the counter for longevity.
Almost all herbs should be kept in the fridge except for basil. Basil will wilt very quickly in the fridge. Other herbs like the bouquet of parsley and mint can be stored in a jar with a little water just like a bouquet of flowers! Just in the fridge, not on the counter.
Broccoli also keeps really well stored in a jar with water like a bouquet!
Food waste is inevitable. But with these tips on how to store food, we can hopefully reduce the amount of food that gets wasted. All we can do is try our best.
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