Tips for Storing Foods to Keep Them Fresh Longer
Eating fresh foods that are locally grown and in season is key to a healthy diet. However, many people struggle with keeping foods fresh and eating them before they go bad. My own refrigerator starts the week with a bountiful harvest but ends up looking like a science experiment by the end of the week.
There are a few things you can do to keep your foods fresh longer so you can have access to healthy fruits and vegetables throughout the week. Here are a few tips for storing foods to keep them fresh longer:
Use Airtight Containers and Packaging
Exposure to air can cause vegetables to ripen and to rot faster. Delay this process and keep foods fresher by storing them in airtight containers. Tupperware containers, Ziplock bags, and jars are all great options for foods that have been cooked and are being stored for later. You can also keep fresh produce in perforated bags to keep them ripe and crisp.
Label Foods with Name and Date
Sometimes you can forget what's in your refrigerator or when you put it there. My own crisper starts to look like a jumble of plastic bags and green things when foods start to pile up. You can eliminate food waste and make sure you are always eating the freshest foods in your refrigerator by labeling your foods with the name and date you bought it. You can stop doing the sniff test and start prioritizing foods based on dates so you can stop letting things go bad and wasting food.
Separate Fruits and Veggies
Some fruits and veggies emit ethylene gas, which can make others ripen and rot faster. It is important to keep these foods separate to keep all your food fresher longer. Produce that is ethylene producing includes:
- Cantaloupes and melons
Produce that is sensitive to ethylene exposure include:
- Leafy greens
Be sure to store these items separately in your refrigerator to help them last longer.
Freeze What You Can
Some items, such as herbs, store better when they are frozen. Wash and store them in plastic bags in the freezer, and they will stay fresh for weeks longer than they would in the refrigerator. Berries also freeze particularly well. Experiment with other produce to find what works best for your purposes. For example, bananas will freeze well if you want to use them for smoothies, but not if you hope to eat them raw.
There are many other quick tips and tricks you can use to keep food fresh in your refrigerator, depending on the type of food it is. Check out this list of ideas for tips on specific produce.
I hope this helps you store your produce longer, so you'll actually eat the fruits and veggies and they won't have to rot in your fridge 🙂