To avoid wasting food, you can act on several fronts: buy in a reasonable and economical amount, learn to recognize the real expiration dates of food and, last but not least, learn how to keep food fresh longer, for as few opportunities as possible to see it spoiling or rotting in the refrigerator or cupboards.
In order to save food, the time needed to prepare it or to buy the necessary ones and money, you can try some tricks, which we present here, to help you keep fresh food for a longer time. In the fridge or pantry, here's how to store food:
Put the fruits and vegetables in the fridge immediately after you come from the market
Did you buy mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, leeks, salads, strawberries, apples or pears from the market or supermarket? Store them immediately in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Do the same with herbs. Thus, they will not freeze or dehydrate.
Be careful, some fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, citrus fruits, lemons, oranges, bananas) do not like to be kept in the refrigerator at all and are subject to what specialists call "internal degradation". .
When the temperature is too low, the tomatoes wither and the bananas turn black, for example. These plants can be kept cold, if possible, in a dark cellar or in an airy pantry, where the temperature remains above 12 ° C. Other fruits and vegetables are less pretentious. Carrots, beans or celery can be stored in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
Fruits and vegetables: watch out for neighborhood issues
Some fruits or vegetables do not support the proximity of other foods. When ripe, tomatoes, apples and kiwis produce a substance called ethylene that causes a faster degradation of other fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, salads, spinach or eggplant.
Last but not least, don't forget that fresh vegetables should be eaten as soon as possible, because their vitamins are fragile. Sensitive to air, heat and light, they can be damaged or even disappear during prolonged storage.
Store food correctly in the refrigerator
When storing food in the refrigerator, first isolate it from each other. For example, it protects meat and fish in wrapping foil, and pastries and cooked meat in aluminum foil. Put semi-finished foods or cooked food in airtight containers. Wrap each piece of cheese in foil or aluminum foil. If you do not know how to proceed, seek the advice of the cheese merchant.
Depending on the model of your refrigerator, place the food either above or below (depending on the distribution of the cold indicated on the instructions for your refrigerator): butter so that you can easily reach it, the meat in the largest cold compartment, etc. As for the vegetables, keep them in the specific container, if they can withstand the temperature of a refrigerator.
Organize your kitchen cabinets efficiently
I deea is to organize the space there to find the perishable goods first. Thus, you will avoid forgetting in the bottom of the closet the tomato sauce that already expired three days ago. It is advisable, in order to respect the expiration dates, to check the shelf life once the product has been started. This is clearly indicated on the packaging or on the products.
Last but not least, when it comes to baby jars, these products are cooked and sterilized in their packaging, you must know that they remain sterile and keep very well until they are opened. In addition, as you probably already know, the noise of opening the lid guarantees the quality of the product. When the jar has been opened, the contents must be consumed within 48 hours, of course with storage in the refrigerator during this time.
Be careful not to break the refrigerator chain
Breaking this chain leads to an acceleration of microbial multiplication. If you eat food that has been left out of the refrigerator or freezer for too long, you risk food poisoning, especially when it comes to prepared foods that are more sensitive to temperature variations.
When shopping, use thermal insulation bags. The fuller the bag, the colder it is kept! Store frozen foods together, thus limiting temperature losses.
When you get home, don't be late: 1 hour and 30 minutes is the maximum that a product can spend in the refrigerator and about half an hour a frozen bag (at a temperature of 20 ° C). If the transport time or outside temperature is longer, use ice packs. If you carry fragile products (ice cream, sorbets, pizza, salads, etc.), prefer a refrigerated bag with reserves.
Freezing: the right rules
When you get home, immediately put the products in the freezer. Observe the shelf life: 3 to 6 months with vacuum sealed packaging for fatty products (fatty meat, fatty fish), 6 – 9 months with sealed vacuum packaging for fish and lean meat, 9 to 12 months for vegetables, fruits and vegetables .
Above all, check the specifications of your freezer. In fact, not all devices, even if they are No Frost refrigerators ( a list of compared models can be found here ) have the same storage capacity. So, if you are a fan of frozen foods, choose a "4 star" freezer, which keeps all foods frozen for 6 to 9 months and also allows you to freeze fresh or cooked foods.
Finally, don't forget this golden rule: never re-freeze a thawed product, not even partially.
Homemade compotes and jams: good reflexes
If you have a glivada or a garden with fruit trees or if you decide to buy good seasonal fruits, you can make compotes or homemade jams. First, wash, rinse and drain the jars and lids you intend to fill. Then put the still hot compote or jam in jars, up to the mouth. Then screw on the lids and turn them over until they are completely cooled. Your jar is now tightly closed.
If you made jam or jam, as long as the jar has not been opened yet, keep them at room temperature. For compotes, open or not, store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Without sterilization, you should consume them in 24 to 48 hours. However, for compotes, as for jams, always choose very ripe fruits and do not forget about sugar, which allows a better preservation of them.