Keeping food fresh without plastic

Food waste is still a big issue. A whopping one third of all food produced globally goes to waste, which has taken an area BIGGER THAN CHINA to grow. In the UK, food waste costs the average household £800 a year.

There is an idea going around that plastic packaging makes food last longer. This might be generally true, but with food waste rates high, does it seem to work well enough for you? Plastic has not always existed and is not the only way, so here are our top tips for keeping your food fresh, whilst ditching the plastic:

Storing leftovers

Ditch the clingfilm and plastic wraps, keep leftovers in a bowl covered with a plate, or a beeswax wrap (these are incredible!), or a container.

Food and produce specific tips

Know your fruit and veg – treat each fruit and veg with respect – each will have slightly different storage preferences. See below for our top tips to make food last as long as possible:

APPLES: happy pretty much anywhere.

ASPARAGUS: put in a glass bowl upright with water at room temperature.

AUBERGINE: leave in a cool dark place.

BANANAS: Keep bananas away from everything. Bananas produce a chemical called ethylene that triggers ripening, so will make the produce around it go off faster. You can also wrap a bit of cloth around the banana stems which slows the release of the ethylene.

BREAD: Store bread in a cloth bag (a pillowcase works well!) in a bread bin or container as airflow makes bread go stale faster. You can store bread in the freezer in slices and toast when needed.

BROCCOLI: keep in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before leaving in the fridge.

CHEESE: grate it and store it in the freezer to make last longer.

CITRUS: keep in a cool dark place with good airflow, not in an airtight container.

GARLIC: keep in a cool dark place.

HERBS: keep in the fridge in a cloth bag or wrapped in cloth to avoid the herbs getting damp, or chop up and store in the freezer in a container or ice cube tray.

LETTUCE: avoid moisture as this speeds up the ‘going off’ process – storing lettuce in a kitchen towel or cloth works well.

MUSHROOMS: keep out of the fridge wrapped in paper.

ONIONS: keep in a dark place with lots of airflow – you can store them in old tights and hang up!

SPROUTS: if on a stalk, can put in the fridge or a cool place; if loose put in the fridge with a damp cloth on top.

TOMATOES: depending on ripeness, tomatoes can last up to 2 weeks on the counter. If you want to speed up the ripening, put in a bag with an apple – it’s magic.

 

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