An average family throws out about 122 pounds of food a month and spends about $590 annually on food that eventually spoils.
According to the findings of a recent New Zealand survey that involved 1000 New Zealanders, 86 percent of these participants buy food only to throw it away — and about half of this food wastage is fresh fruit and vegetables.
The shelf life of a food is the length of time a food can keep before it starts to deteriorate or before it becomes unsafe to consume and loses its nutrients.
People have used numerous traditional ways to extend the shelf life of their foods for decades, and even millennia, like in the case of salt curing, smoking, and pickling.
However, what if you found out that you have been storing certain foods wrong your entire life, and there is a way to save money and get the most out of your produce?
Here is a list of 18 foods you’ve probably been storing wrong and some valuable pieces of advice:
-- To extend the shelf life of the milk, keep it in the very back of the fridge.
-- To extend the shelf life of yogurt, store it at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and you will have it fresh for 10-14 days more.
-- Store the lunch meat in the meat compartment to keep it fresh for up to 5 days past its sell date.
-- Place the mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge, and do not wash them before storing them.
-- Keep apples in plastic bags in the fridge, and in the case of apple slices, pour some lemon juice over them to prevent them from turning brown.
-- Wrap the hard cheese in plastic foil to be able to consume it up to 4 months after its expiry date
-- keep the eggs in their original carton to extend their freshness for about a month.
-- Wrap the bananas in plastic after you have separated them, and do not keep them in the fridge.
-- Keep the leftovers in a wide and shallow container in the fridge up to five days, but make sure you do this within 2 hours after being cooked.
-- Wrap the raw meats in at least 2 layers of plastic and keep them in the fridge, away from any ready-made foods.
-- Wrap the bag with grapes with a paper towel, and wash them before consumption only.
-Remove the moldy berries and keep them in the original container. Wash them before use.
-- Leave cherry tomatoes in the original container. Leave the larger ones to ripen on the counter, and store them once they are bright red.
-- Remove the leafy tops of the carrots, and store them away from fruits.
-- Keep the asparagus in the fridge upright, with the bottom wrapped with a damp paper towel, and covered with a plastic bag.
-Store the nuts at room temperature if you are going to eat them within a couple of months, and you can keep them in the fridge for up to a year.
-- Do not keep cucumbers at temperatures below 10°C for a longer time, as they can damage them, and lead to decay and pitting.
-- Store onions and potatoes separately, as they both release gases that spoil each other.
Therefore, make sure you follow these tips, as knowing how to properly store your produce will help reduce the food bill by keeping the foods fresh longer and eliminate the need to throw away the uneaten groceries.