6 Golden Rules for Food Storage

How you store your food has a huge impact on how long it lasts.
Every year New Zealand households throw away 122,547 tonnes of edible food, which costs us $872 million.

Incorrect storage is one of the main reasons why much of this food is wasted.

Storing food in the wrong way increases the chances that it will become stale, grow mould, go limp or be unsafe to eat.

You may not think twice about where you put your food when you unpack your groceries, but there are six small things that you can do to help your food last longer.

These are Love Food Hate Waste’s 6 golden rules of food storage to make your food last as long as possible.

1. Freeze your Bread

Bread is the most wasted food in New Zealand, with Kiwis throwing out 20 million loaves a year. Our humid climate means that bread doesn’t last in the pantry and goes mouldy faster. Bread can be stored in the fridge, but the ideal place for it is in the freezer. Frozen bread can go straight into the toaster for breakfast, and if you use it for sandwiches it will have defrosted by lunchtime.

2. Bananas Don’t Belong in the Fruit Bowl

Most fruit bowls in New Zealand are sure to have at least a banana or two in them, but this is the worst place for a banana to be stored. Ethylene gas, released by foods such as apples and pears, cause bananas to ripen faster. Once bananas are ripe they produce ethylene gas which ripens other fruit. It’s best to keep your bananas out of the fridge and away from other fruit.

3. Keep Your Cheese Tightly Wrapped

The best way to store a large block of cheese so it doesn’t grow mould or dry out it is to wrap the block tightly in its original packaging and place it in a cloth cheese bag in the fridge. If you don’t have a cheese bag, then wrap the opened end as tightly as possible, then wrap it again either in cling wrap or a plastic bag.

4. Keep Your Potatoes and Onions Separate

It may be convenient to store them in the same place as they both need to be kept in cool, dry, dark places, but potatoes and onions should be kept away from each other. When they’re kept together they release moisture which makes them both sprout faster.

5. Transfer Your Salad Leaves

Many people find their salad leaves can go limp and mushy very quickly. The worst thing you can do is leave them in the original bag. To make them last longer, put them in an airtight container or a large Ziploc bag.

6. Make the Most of Ice Cube Trays

Ice cube trays can be used for so much more than ice! They’re perfect for freezing small amounts of liquids that you’re not quite sure what to do with – like half a can of coconut milk. Use them to freeze things like leftover stock, tomato paste, pesto or lemon juice. Once frozen you can store the frozen blocks in Ziploc bags so you can reuse the trays.

To find out more ways you can reduce your food waste visit Love Food Hate Waste or follow Love Food Hate Waste on Facebook