I was almost sick..
No, not from this flu that seems to be going around but from checking my credit card statement after the holidays.
This is the time of year people tend to scrimp a bit more and in conjunction with people setting health goals for the new year, I wanted to pass on some money-saving tips. These tips, however, are not food shopping or coupon saving ideas but how to save money once you've brought that food home.
You might be pretty shocked to realize how much money you're throwing away with rotten food each year. The average household is throwing out around 20 pounds of food a month. When you add this up over the course of the year you're looking in the neighbourhood of around $2000.
Where Do You Start With Better Food Storage?
Here's the issue, if you want to be your healthiest it means eating real whole food as much as possible. Ideally each day you want to have double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables. The problem is fresh produce does not have a long shelf life. How can you get some extended life out of your produce so you're able to use more and not have to have it thrown away like my hopes and dreams?
1. Store onions in pantyhose. Tie a knot in between each onion and this way you can extend the life of them for up to eight months.
2. Keep bananas away from other fruit. Bananas emit a gas called ethylene which accelerates the ripening of other fruits.
3. Green onion is a pretty healthy food but you know how quickly they go disgusting and slimy sitting in your vegetable crisper. Instead, chop them up the way you would use them and put them in plastic water bottles and keep in the freezer. It extends their life significantly and they actually thaw out pretty quick.
4. Avocados; We love you but you go from hard as a rock to mushy and unusable practically overnight. If you have some homemade guac (where you DON'T have to pay extra, unlike Chipotle) or a half an avocado, spray it with an olive oil cooking spray before wrapping it and putting it in the fridge to keep fresher and last longer.
5. Celery, broccoli and lettuce can stay fresher and last a lot longer when you wrap it in tinfoil and keep it in the fridge.
6. If you drink milk make sure to keep it in the back of the fridge and not on the door. The door is constantly opened and exposed to the warmer room temperature while the back of the fridge remains consistently cooler.
7. Mushrooms tend to spoil quickly as they are too often stored in the plastic wrapped packaging they were purchased in. Mushrooms do better and last longer when stored in brown paper bags.
Side note: What do you call a mushroom that buys all the drinks? A fungi to be with..
8. Asparagus (asparagi?) should be stored like flowers in some sort of vase that has water in the bottom.
Side note: asparagus in a vase for Valentines Day does NOT go over well. Just sayin...
9. Most people store their onions and potatoes together. This is not ideal as potatoes spoil faster this way. It seems weird but storing them with apples will help prevent them from sprouting.
Waste Not Want Not
All terrible jokes aside, we throw away a horrendous amount of food. It also makes eating as healthy as possible difficult when you go to make a salad and you have a mess of spoiled vegetables. This makes you more likely to turn to something quick and usually not as healthy for a meal. So keep things as fresh as possible with some of these tips and if you have any other good storage tips of your own feel free to share in the comments!
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