So why think about how to store food?
Minimize food waste - why is this important? According to the National Resources Defense Council as a nation we toss up to 40% of our food supply every year, which for the average family of four the NRDC estimates to be $2,275 annually. Most of this food waste goes into landfills, where it produces the greenhouse gas methane that contributes to global warming.
What are some easy ways to get the most from your food storage?
The right 'tools' are everything - every home should be well stocked with quality, BPA free kitchen storage containers. 'Quality' will enable them to be used year after
|Strawberries - see what a difference good food storage makes?|
In addition to produce storage bags, examples of specialty food storage containers can include:
- Banana bags for keeping bananas fresh
- Pasta containers - perfect for open boxes of pasta
- Fresh herb storage containers
- Meat and deli containers
- Flour containers - particularly useful if you can freeze the container and contents
- Sugar containers, especially airtight containers for storing brown sugar
- Cereal containers
- Lettuce containers
- Stackable - think 'up' in your cabinets. Make use of the
- Use clear containers or label them so you know what's in the container without opening it.
- Have a range of sizes - super small containers are perfect for storing small amounts of food and can double as a to-go container, while bigger ones can be used for larger quantities of food or organizing foods like seasonings.
Have a plan for where and how to store foods to maintain their optimal freshness. Most 'shelf stable' foods like pasta, sugar, cereal and beans store best in a cool and dry location. Other foods, such as some produce, should only be stored in the refrigerator. While this can sound daunting, try these simple tips - develop a list of the foods you frequently purchase, focus on those first then gradually add more foods as your comfort level increases.
Look for ways to use leftovers or extend the storage life and freshness of foods. Need some ideas?
- Flour, berries and some other fresh produce can be frozen.
- Leftover fresh herbs can be dried for later use.
- Some foods can be morphed into useful household products; lemon halves can be used to create effective green cleaners and eggshells to create a natural soil booster for house and garden plants.