Google has released new tips on how to reduce our environmental footprint which includes handy food waste tips like storing flour, nuts and apples in the fridge.
On their interactive site “Your Plan, Your Planet,” created with the California Academy of Sciences, users can learn how their consumption of water, energy and food — or in the latter case, lack thereof — impacts the planet.
Overall, food production accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s water use, and more than a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions, Google points out. That means that throwing out foods because of poor storage practices or a misunderstanding of expiry dates is also a waste of the planet’s resources.
Here are a few storage tips on how to lengthen the (fridge) shelf life of foods and avoid wasting foods unnecessarily:
• Apples ripen up to 10 times faster at room temperature. Storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh and crisp for six weeks.
• Bread is also good for up to six months in the freezer, versus a few days at room temperature. Pop slices in the toaster for fresh, warm bread.
• Lengthen the life of salad leaves and greens by properly storing them in a container lined with paper towels to absorb moisture.
• Freezing foods to -18°C inactivates microbes like bacteria, yeasts and moulds, which means that foods like beef remain safe to eat indefinitely. Cooked beef is best eaten within three to four days when left in the fridge.
• Why store flour in the pantry where it can go stale in a year when you can double its shelf life in the fridge to two years?
• Store avocados on the counter until ripe and then place them in a low-humidity drawer to gain five more days of shelf life.
• Keep tomatoes out of the fridge where they lose their sweetness and texture. Instead, tomatoes should be stored on the counter away from direct sunlight for optimum flavour.
• Don’t be fooled by the sell-by date on egg cartons. They’re good for three more weeks. Hard-boiled eggs can likewise be eaten a week after boiling when kept in the fridge.
• Once opened, store nuts in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid.