As a continuation from last week’s blog post, I would like to share some additional tips from Corporate Chef Cate Smith about food storage and optimum shelf life. The next time you are getting ready to head out to the store or farmers market, or you are rearranging items in the refrigerator, consider the following suggestions.
Create a system for storing items after you purchase them at the store or farmers market. Rotate food by placing newer items at the back of the refrigerator and older items at the front. Having less recently purchased foods more easily accessible, you are more likely to eat them than unnecessarily throw them away.
Put a dry erase board (or even a piece of paper) on the front of your fridge so that you can take notes about the items within the refrigerator. On this board you can keep a list of the items in the fridge that need to be eaten, and by when. In addition, you can strike through items as you use them so you know what you need to purchase the next time you are out shopping.
Make sure when you are putting items in the refrigerator that you are storing the food at the optimal temperature and in ideal locations. Think about the following when arranging items in your refrigerator so it does not have to work too hard to keep foods fresh and cooled properly:
When storing herbs in the refrigerator, you can follow these simple steps so they will last for 2 weeks or longer:
Fruits are best stored in a different location than vegetables, whether in the refrigerator and on your counter. Fruits that give off a high level of ethylene, such as bananas, can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding vegetables.
Take time to write down every food item that you have thrown away to determine what items you waste on a regular basis. For example, if you regularly only eat half a loaf of bread before it spoils, you can note this. The next time you purchase bread, you might immediately put half in the freezer to avoid wasting it.
One way to make sure not to waste food is to designate one or more nights during the week to have an encore of a previous meal. In addition, you could make sure to use every edible part of your food items. Stems, leaves and the like can be included when making stocks, smoothies, casseroles, and soup.
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