Nutritionists say that the problem with many people’s diet is not that they don’t buy enough vegetables and fruits, but that they don’t have time to eat them before they get spoiled. According to statistics, 25-30% of purchased products are thrown in the trash. There are at least two explanations for this phenomenon:
- We buy too much food;
- It’s just that the products are spoiling faster than they could.
What to do? Going to the store every day? Plan a week’s menu? Hmm… These principles seem to be suitable only for the most disciplined. We’ll give you 12 simple tips on how to keep the food fresh for up to 2 times longer, stop throwing out the illiquid, and properly arrange storage in the fridge.
12 nuances of storing food in the fridge
Tip 1. Keep the products separate from each other and in packaging
When products are nearby, their smells are mixed, and harmful bacteria can very quickly “move” on each other. If the food is on the shelf without any protection, it is quickly cherished or dried, especially if the refrigerator works on the system. No frost without a specially provided area of freshness. Conclusion – you need to store products in separate containers and packages.
Containers are convenient but not very compact and require some financial investment. So instead, you can use reusable plastic bags of zip-lock. You can buy them in a stationery store, in the hardware departments of supermarkets, stores like Fix Price or Ikea. However, even the most ordinary office packages will be suitable.
The only thing that should not be stored in packages is sausages, meat, chicken, fish, and cheese – in the film, they suffocate, get an unpleasant smell, and quickly begin to spoil. It is better to transfer them from factory packaging to containers or wrap them in paper/foil.
When there are not enough containers or packets of zip-lock, help out ordinary plates and bowls, which only need to close with foil. To save space in the fridge, dishes can be put on top of each other using Chinese sticks as a prop.
Tip 2. Store greens, vegetables, and fruits with paper napkins
The main enemy of many vegetables, fruits, and greens is the increased humidity in the refrigerator. To extend the shelf life of the fruit, store them together with paper napkins or in paper bags – the paper will absorb condensation. This technique is essential if your refrigerator does not have a special freshness area for fruits and vegetables.
Tip 3. If you are to buy a new refrigerator, choose a model with a dry and humid area of freshness
Freshness zones are boxes where perishable foods can be stored for several days longer than in a normal refrigeration unit. Due to the reduced temperature and optimal humidity level, the growth of microorganisms and bacteria slows down, but the food is not frozen.
For example, Bosch refrigerators with VitaFresh plus technology keep products fresh for up to 2 times longer. Just think how much advantage this time handicap gives:
- You can leave the food for at least a week and leave to rest without throwing away food.
- Or imagine this situation – in the afternoon, you planned to cook a new complex dish, bought ingredients, but by the evening, the inspiration was gone. It’s okay – fold the food into the freshness zone and transfer the experiment to another day.
- For those who cannot cook daily, the freshness area will allow you to cook soups, lunches, and dinners for a few days in advance. At the same time, the benefits and taste of dishes will not have to sacrifice.
- Also, VitaFresh plus technology will allow you to go to the store no more than once a week. During this time, fruits and vegetables, thanks to the natural level of humidity and the ability to regulate the access of dry air (we will tell about this option a little later), will not become watery and will retain their vitamins. You can forget about meat with a sweet, which usually appears after 2 days.
The freshness area in the fridge can be moist and/or dry.
- The wet area is more designed to store fruits, vegetables, and greens.
- The dry zone maintains a temperature of about 0 degrees and is designed for meat, fish, poultry, dairy products. If desired, you can store unedited dinners and even cool drinks.
By the way, in the refrigerators, Bosch with VitaFresh plus (Serie | 6) can apply such a lifehack – to pull boxes for meat and fish and instead put bottles of drinks. Because of the directional flow of cold, they will cool 3 times faster.
Tip 4. If your refrigerator has a freshness zone with the ability to regulate the access of dry air … It’s time to learn how to use it
So, you already have a refrigerator with a fresh area in which you can regulate the access of dry air. But do you really know how to use it? Or did you just set the average in the hope of the best? Understanding the humidity levels will help you keep your fruits and vegetables longer and in the best possible quality.
The principle of humidity tuning is quite simple.
- Low humidity is needed for foods that are insensitive to moisture loss. Typically, these are fruits and vegetables that emit ethylene gas, such as apples and pears. By opening access to dry air in the fruit box, we allow ethylene to remove itself. This helps to prevent premature damage to the fruit.
- High humidity is needed mainly to store leafy greens, such as arugula, spinach, and herbs. When dry air access is closed, moisture is kept in a drawer, and the greens are kept fresh and juicy. Along with herbs, you can store fruits and vegetables sensitive to ethylene, such as strawberries.
Tip 5. Take a cursory inspection of the fridge at least 3 times a week
Regularly inspecting the contents of the refrigerator, you will be able to detect food promptly. You need to eat as quickly as possible and prevent the appearance of “illiquid.” This is especially true for those products that we are used to buying for good or several types. It can be yogurt, sour cream, sauces, cottage cheese, cheeses, milk, or canned food.
To better manage supplies, fold expired products into one place, such as a transparent tray that says, “Eat me first!”
Tip 6. If you’re going on holiday, fill the fridge at least half
The fact is that an empty refrigerator works less efficiently. If the shelves of your device are empty, they can be filled with water bottles.
By the way, overloading the refrigerator is also undesirable because, for effective storage, cold air should freely circulate on the camera and around the products. If the air slows down, the temperature will rise.
Tip 7. If possible, keep fruits and vegetables separate
This will help avoid mixing odors, and most importantly – will not allow ethylene, contained in many fruits, to accelerate the spoiling of vegetables. Especially sensitive to this gas: potatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, and salad. And here is a list of leaders on the development of ethylene:
Remember these fruits and never put them in one box with vegetables and other ripe fruits.
Tip 8. If you want to extend the shelf life of bread and pastries, the refrigerator will help
If you need to leave or just bought too much bread, then prolong his life as follows. Wrap the bread/pastry in a paper bag or plastic bag with small holes or a bag of natural fabric. If there is a fresh area for fruit in the fridge, put the packaged bread there. If there is no such box, then the top shelf of the refrigerator will come. So your bread and pastries will be able to live about 3 weeks. If necessary, flour products can be frozen for more than 1 month.
- To return the bread to a pleasant softness after long storage in the refrigerator (or after freezing), it can be heated in a closed container in a microwave oven.
Tip 9. If you find spoiled fruits and vegetables, immediately throw them away
Remember the saying about a rotten apple that “spoils all the fruit in the basket”? It’s really true. Buying fruits and vegetables (especially in containers) inspect the fruit. And if you find dubious specimens, throw them away.
Tip 10. If possible, buy products with a shelf life
When buying products, especially perishables, check their production, shelf life, and storage. Often in supermarkets, the same products on the same shelf may have different release dates.
Tip 11. Make good spread products
Returning from the supermarket with a week’s food supply, many chaotically unload packages. As a result, after a few days, spoiled or dried snacks and ingredients for dishes are found. All this is because different areas of the refrigerator set different temperatures. If the product falls into an unfavorable climate, it begins to deteriorate faster or lose its taste. Therefore, we advise you to remember a few simple recommendations once and try to stick to them in the future.
- The top shelves are one of the warmest places in the fridge. It is good to store here: all sorts of leftovers, drinks, and ready-to-eat products (e.g., butter, yogurt, cheese, and delicacies).
- Lower shelves – there is the lowest temperature, so this area is suitable for storing raw ingredients, that is, meat, fish, etc. (this advice is relevant if the refrigerator does not have a special area of freshness).
- The door is the warmest part of the refrigerator and, besides, with an unstable temperature, the habit of storing dairy products and eggs here should be abandoned. But sauces and ketchup, jam and pickles, soft and melted cheeses will feel on the door’s shelves quite normal.
Tip 12. Do not store bananas, tomatoes in the fridge, as well as…
The secret to the long-term storage of certain products is to store them at room temperature. In addition to bananas and tomatoes, this list includes:
- Whole watermelons and melons;
- Whole garlic and onion;
- Coffee and tea.
These products become tasteless at low temperatures and deteriorate faster. Also, outside the refrigerator, you can store apples and unseated hard fruits.