06 May Top food storage tips to decrease waste
In the face of all the coronavirus challenges to the supply chain, it has become a “literal” mission to do grocery shopping for your household. Being limited to an essential shopping list and empty store shelves, we now need to learn how to prolong everything we’ve managed to buy for our homes, and for longer periods of time too. Reducing food waste and loss is very important, so why not learn a few ways to store your produce to get the most out of your shopping efforts.
Making your food last longer while still looking out for the environment is totally possible. From choosing plastic-free containers to freezing in glass (yes, it’s possible), here are a few tips on how to avoid using plastic in your home when storing food:
1. Re-use old items
While we may all love the idea of a pantry full of matching glass jars, the reality is, there are so many empty glass jars in the world that are perfect for upcycling. Why waste money on new jars when you can re-use inexpensive items such as empty sandwich spread jars, mayonnaise jars, and any other jars you may find. To give them a cleaner look, remove all labels by giving them a good soak. Use eucalyptus oil and give the particularly stubborn labels a light scrub.
2. Plastic-free storage
Buy all of your dry goods from bulk stores and store in the pantry in glass jars. You can also save leftovers and freeze it with freezer safe glassware. Plastic-free is indeed possible and way more practical than you think.
3. Reusable bags
Taking reusable bags with to the shops is a great way to reduce unnecessary plastic. Selecting products without packaging is another way to reduce waste. Choosing to make use of single-use disposables are also another way to lessen your effect of consumption on the environment.
4. Understanding date labels on food
Oftentimes, expiration dates are but mere guidelines and not necessarily strict rules. They usually refer to the quality rather than the actual safety of the food. Although it is still important to check the packaging, there are quite a few foods where the date does not affect its quality. Dry, boxed pasta can last for quite some time after it has been opened. Bread is also generally fine to eat if there isn’t any mould. This will not only save money, but waste less food too.
5. Flash freeze
We may never really know how long dry goods have been stored in shops, dreadfully anticipating the horror at bringing pests into our homes. If you think something has been at the store a too long of a time, put the jar with the contents sealed inside into the freezer for 24 hours. This kills any eggs. After 24 hours, it is safe to remove the jar from the freezer and place back in the pantry.
As the lockdown continues and consumers become less anxious about the availability of food, some restaurants have generously shared extra food to avoid food waste. There is also an expected trend where consumers may grow increasingly familiar and comfortable with online food platforms to promote social distancing and help flatten the curve. The behavioural changes in society might have a profound effect on food waste. Hopefully this will enlighten a few of you to make the decision to make the switch and go waste-free.