Learning proper food storage techniques will drastically help limit your food waste. Planning ahead is the best thing you can do when it comes to waste related to your diet.
Once you get home, make sure that you’re storing your food properly. To maximize on longevity. This goes hand in hand with my post on reducing food waste.
Here’s some food storage techniques I’ve researched and personally use.
When my husband and I bring home groceries we immediately freeze meat products that we won’t be consuming for 3+ days.
Yes, we still eat meat in moderation. Remember that gradual steps are better than none and be kind to others.
A non-exhaustive list of proper food storage
A cool dark place:
Is perfect for potatoes, onions, squash and garlic. However, be sure to keep the potatoes, squashes and onions separate.
Keep these in the refrigerator:
Roots and tubers like carrots, beets, parsnips and ginger will keep well in the fridge. Be sure to remove any greens attached to them.
To keep carrots crisp and fresh: wash them, cut them down and submerge them in a container of water. Change the water every few days.
Cabbages, romaine lettuce and most other leafy greens should be stored in an airtight container. Do not wash before storing, excess water will cause them to rot quicker. Unless you have a colander container which will allow airflow.
Apples, ripe pears and berries should all be stored in the fridge. Ideally in the crisper drawer.
Cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant, broccoli, and zucchini should also be placed directly into the fridge, ideally in the crisper.
Celery should be washed, chopped and stored in an airtight container to increase longevity.
Store mushrooms in a paper bag inside the fridge.
Herbs and produce with roots. Lightly dampen a paper towel, or thin cloth. Wrap the roots prior to storing in the fridge.
On your counter:
Bananas, avocados and melons. Keep an eye on them to find out when they are ripe. Cut ends of an avocado can be covered with beeswax wrap and stored in the fridge for a couple days.
Mangoes and tomatoes should be kept on the counter to ripen, much like pears. Once ripened, place them in the fridge.
Citrus fruit can be kept on the counter for about a week to ripen, but should then be placed in the fridge to maximize their longevity.
Watermelon can keep for up to a week on the counter. Once cut, they should be stored in the fridge.
Place green onions in a container with a shallow amount of water. Change the water every few days and they’ll continue to grow for weeks! Or, if weather permits, you can plant the green onions directly into your garden.
To store asparagus, you’ll need to chop off an inch at the end. Place them in a jar or cup filled halfway with water. Ensure that they aren’t crowded. Then cover with beeswax wrap. These will keep up to a week. Be sure to change the water every few days.