I thought I’d circle back about my food waste post, earlier this week and storage.
The leading culprit of food waste is proper storage and the biggest areas of waste are seafood (50%) and produce (48%). Neither of those really surprised me but I would have put produce first in my house.
So here are a couple of notes on proper storage.:
Herbs– Store your like fresh flowers, in a glass of water. I find that some do better in the refrigerator and some are better on the counter. You have to experiment.
Flour – Unless you are baking often, store your flour in the freezer. This surprised me. This is because all grains, especially whole-grains, have some natural oils in them. Oils go rancid. Freezing or even storing in the refrigerator prevents this. If you do store this way make sure it is in an airtight container and that you let what you use come back to room temperature.
Cheese – I always knew I didn’t like plastic storage but now I know why. Plastic holds in moisture and as a result can promote mold. For items like cheese, use wax paper. I love the wax sandwich bags my mom used to use for lunches. For Bread, use a good old-fashioned paper bag, on the counter.
Oils – Most oils go bad after 2-3 months, once they are opened. Be sure to keep them in a dark environment. Sesame oil can be stored in the refrigerator.
Nuts – You can, and should, keep your fresh nuts in the freezer. Depending on the nut, they will keep in freezer 2-9 months versus 1-3, just on counter or in your pantry.
There are also simple ways to revive some foods that may just need a little help taking that last step, before the trash or compost heap.
Wilted Vegetables and Lettuce, simply give them a quick soak (5-10 minutes) in ice water.
Stale Bread, toast it and enjoy or season and toast then run through a food processor for great bread crumbs.
If you accidentally over salt something, add an acid like lemon or vinegar. If you are making soup or sauce, throw a raw potato in to absorb the extra salt.
Even overcooked veggies can be pureed and made into a soup or added to a sauce.
Buy and use the ugly fruits and vegetables. They, too, often end up in the trash of the grocery store.
For additional information go to savethefood.com.