A Guide to Plastic-free Food Storage
There are all kinds of waste, from packaging to disposable everyday items, but often overlooked is food waste. How much of your weekly groceries end up in the trash (or compost) before they ever got a chance to be consumed or used? Most of us would say that it's an embarrassing amount, and considering all the energy that goes into food production, it's key that we put a stop to unnecessary food waste.
However, is it possible to effectively store food without plastic? Won't our carrots go floppy and our salad wilt?
It is. It is completely possible to store your food in a way to decrease food waste without resorting to plastic.
Here are some simple rules that you can implement to get started:
Only store the things that need to be in the fridge there.
Otherwise make space on the counter for produce that does better at room temperature. Here is a break down of what should go where:
Use Water to Your Advantage
Just like you put flowers in a glass of water and on your counter, there are herbs and vegetables that need the same, like cilantro or kale. Others, like carrots and celery do best in water, but in the fridge. Some lettuces and leafy greens like spinach are best stored in damp tea towels or a Swag, and in the fridge.
Do NOT Refrigerate Bread!
Ripen and then Refrigerate
Seal the Deal
Segregate the Ripe and Ready
Use the Crisper
Don't Pass Over the Freezer
When you notice that your food is coming to the end of its usable life, freeze it! Veggies can be chopped up and used in stews, stirfrys, and casseroles, while frozen fruit is ideal for smoothies, jams, and baked goods. Otherwise, cook something with them to be eaten or frozen, like quiches, pot pies, or filling soup stock. Instead of plastic baggies, consider (re)zip bags, sturdy jars, or glass containers.
Minimizing food waste doesn't have to be complicated- it's all about forming habits like meal planning, proper storage, and finding creative use for scraps and food that's about to expire.
How do you deal with this issue?