A problem we all have. It could be the rotting head of lettuce you were planning to make a salad with but didn’t get around to due to sudden dinner plans, or the leftovers from a potluck dinner where people brought over too much to finish. It might even be the apple you purchased under a week ago that spoiled in the fridge. No matter the circumstance, you’re not the only person struggling with rotten, mouldy food.
Each year, an average family of four spends over $9000 on groceries, but throw away almost 15% of the food due to spoilage. If a loss of around $1000 each year doesn’t feel like too staggering of a number, the physical weight of food that ends up in landfills annually is 72 billion pounds. The largest cruise ship ever ordered was 440 million pounds, so the amount of food thrown away in just one year weighs more than 150 cruise ships!
The solution to reducing this enormous number isn’t in cutting back grocery spending alone. Try prolonging the life of your foodstuff! Here are some methods to consider:
Unless you have an herb garden, adding extra flavour to your recipes can be troublesome as most grocery stores only offer herbs in bulk. If you only need a small portion, chop and freeze the rest of the herbs with a bit of olive oil in, for example, an ice cube tray. Now you have oregano, parsley, thyme, and more whenever you need it! Freezing is also a good technique in general to prolong the shelf life of most meats, fruits, and even butter.
Fruits can also be naturally preserved through do-it-yourself water mixtures. Keep mold off berries by washing them in a 6:1 ratio of water to vinegar. For newly cut apples, rinse them in a salt water mixture to keep them from browning.
Delay squishy, overripe tomatoes by removing the stems and storing them topside down! Keep the freckles off your bananas by wrapping the stems with plastic wrap! The most difficult produce to keep around is probably leafy greens as they tend to turn brown or dry up quickly. A piece of paper towel will absorb moisture and condensation, keeping the greens nice and crisp. Lastly, if you really want a tip that’s outside of the box, try stashing onions in panty hose in a cool, dry area. It’s said that this method might help the onions last up to 8 months!
Proper food preservation can be a tedious process. You have to make sure that you are freezing the right products, properly washing and drying your fruits and veggies, and finding enough space to place all your groceries. Then you have to repeat the procedures each time you bring home groceries…
- Parker, Lindsay. “12 Food-Saving Hacks You Have to Try.”Foodnetwork.ca. Food Network Canada, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.
- “Royal Caribbean Orders Largest-ever Cruise Ship.” Msnbc.com. NBC News, 6 Feb. 2006. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.
- “Save on Groceries.” Freshy Works. 2013. Web. 28 Dec. 2015. <http://www.freshyworks.com/save-on-groceries.php>.