Tips for Keeping Your Fresh Food Fresh

Healthy Eating

(NC)—The statistics are staggering. North Americans throw away nearly half of our food uneaten. Whether shopping for one or for the whole family, people are starting to skip buying fresh foods – seeing them as costly waste.

Sue Mah, registered dietitian and renowned speaker, has a few simple tips to help you keep your food budget in check and your groceries fresh for longer.

Her first rule is the most simple: make sure you are getting the absolute best price to begin with. “You no longer have to shop at premium or expensive grocers to get the best fresh foods. Stores like Walmart Supercentres stock great quality fresh produce, ensuring that price is no longer an obstacle to eating well.”

Once you get the food home, Sue has some easy tips to making sure you get the maximum value out of your fresh food purchases.

Fresh fruit and veggies
For apples, keep them in the fridge in a perforated plastic bag. Apples left at room temperature will soften ten times faster which can lead to waste.

Leave the stem and seeds intact if you’re only going to use half a pepper or half a melon. The stem and seeds help to prevent the food from drying out.

Wrap washed and dried lettuce leaves in a damp tea towel or damp paper towels.

Store asparagus stalks upright in a shallow pan of water, or wrap the base of asparagus stalks with a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag.

Fresh garlic, on the other hand, will sprout if kept in the fridge; keep it in a dry, dark, cool place instead.

Find a similar dry, dark spot for potatoes, because they will shrivel and turn green if kept in the light.

Mushrooms should be stored in a paper, not plastic bag.

In your fridge
Keep milk and eggs in the coldest part of the fridge, not on the fridge door.

Store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

Use raw, fresh meat within 2-3 days and ground meat within 1-2 days of purchase.

Use cooked leftovers within 3-4 days.

Keep whole wheat flour, brown rice, wheat germ and ground flax in the fridge to help them last longer.
In your pantry
Store pasta, grains and rice in a cool dry location in the pantry.

Practice the “first in, first out” rule. Use up the oldest cans first and put the newer cans at the back.

No one wants to waste their money. Follow these simple tips to ensure that your food stays fresh and delicious long enough to get eaten.