Celebrate ‘Stop Food Waste’ Day by Learning the Best Way to Store Fruits and Vegetables
This year April 27 is “Stop Food Waste” day. Studies show that 43% of wasted food in the United States comes from households. By making small shifts in how you shop, prepare, store, and preserve food, you can toss less, eat better, save money, and conserve resources used to produce and distribute food.
Wasted food is a growing problem with profound financial, social, and environmental impacts. Minimize the amount of food that goes to waste in your household by following a few food saving tips and by preserving foods in a home freeze dryer.
Here are the best ways to store your fruits and vegetables.
Refrigerator (cherries, berries, grapes, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, etc)
- Set your fridge to 40 degrees or below
- Store veggies separately from fruit
- Use plastic bags and containers to prevent drying out
- Wash berries and grapes when ready to eat (not before)
Counter and Refrigerator (apples, oranges, tomatoes, peaches, avocados, etc)
- Let these fruits and veggies ripen on the counter
- When ripe, store in refrigerator
- Separate ripe from unripe fruit
Counter (bananas, herbs, asparagus, etc)
- Store herbs like basil upright, with cut stems in a cup of water (like flowers)
- Separate bananas from the bunch and store
Pantry (potatoes, squash, pineapple, onions, mangos, watermelon, garlic, yams, etc.)
- Store in a cold, dark place like a cupboard or pantry
- Store potatoes separately from onions to prevent sprouting
- Store an apple with potatoes to prevent sprouting
Storing fruits and vegetables properly and in the correct locations will help keep fresh produce from going rotten and being wasted, but sometimes you just have too much and it is impossible to use it all before it will go bad. For those of you with a garden, you will recognize this problem all too well. It is impossible to eat all the produce a garden gives while it is still fresh. The best way to not waste produce that is in danger of going to waste is to use a home freeze dryer.
As a food preservation method, freeze drying is easier than canning and dehydrating and will last 7 to 8 times longer. Freeze drying is also the best method for retaining the most nutrients in food. While dehydrating and other methods of preserving can destroy more than 50% of the food value, freeze drying retains up to 97% of the nutrients.
Freeze drying doesn’t just help you eliminate fruit and vegetable waste either. You can freeze dry nearly everything. Any food you may throw out (leftovers, garden produce, bulk items, herbs, etc) can be freeze dried and preserved for when you need them again – up to 25 years even!
Help stop food waste by getting the most out of your food.