Food & Wellnes Articles

Kitchen Hacks to Keep Your Food Fresher, Longer

“It’s time to rethink our relationship with food.” Live Green Toronto

Avoidable food waste is a significant issue across Canada; costing the average Canadian household an estimated $1,100 per year. Food is often wasted because we buy too much, cook too much, or don’t store it correctly. Know that other than economic costs, food waste has substantial environmental impacts according to the National Zero Waste Council’s research on household food waste in Canada.

The National Zero Waste Council’s research on household food waste in Canada reports almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year. Wasted food wastes the resources used to grow, produce and distribute that food to consumers and produces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Canada’s 2.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food waste is equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 and 2.1 million cars on the road. Food and other organic material incorrectly put in garbage bins are sent to landfill where it decomposes and produces greenhouse gases like methane.

— What Goes Where?

Few things are as sad in the kitchen as a fridge full of rotting vegetables and fruits. These kitchen hacks provided by Live Green Toronto will teach you how to store your produce to extend its freshness. Knowing how to keep food fresher, longer is a step in the right direction to stop food waste at home.

  • Pantry Onions, garlic, potatoes, squash and watermelon should be stored in your pantry and not in the refrigerator. Store watermelon in your pantry up to 2 weeks, then eat or freeze.
  • Countertop Banana, Citrus Fruit (store loose or in a mesh bag), Stone Fruit, Tomatoes — Do not wash, cut or peel fruit until ready to eat.
  • Refrigerator Apples, Grapes, Celery, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Pears, Broccoli, Corn, Fresh Herbs, Peas, Beets, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Green Beans, Squash & Zucchini, Cherries, Carrots, Peppers, Spinach, Kale

Line the fruit/vegetable drawers in your refrigerator with paper towels to absorb moisture. This will slow wilting. Fresh herbs should be wrapped in paper towel and then loosely in plastic wrap, leaving the ends exposed. When fresh herbs start to wilt, chop or blend them in water or oil, and then freeze in ice trays. You can also extend the life of your salad greens by storing them in a container lined with paper towels.

Squash and zucchini should be stored in a perforated bag. Store cherries dry in a covered container. Remove the green leaves from beets and carrots and store loose in your crisper.

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