Improper storage leads to a massive amount of food waste.

Improper storage leads to a massive amount of food waste.

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, about two-thirds of household waste in the United Kingdom is due to food spoilage (4).

Many people are unsure how to store fruits and vegetables, which can lead to premature ripening and, eventually, rotten produce.

For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature.

Separating foods that produce more ethylene gas from those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage.

Foods that produce ethylene gas while ripening include:

Bananas
Avocados
Tomatoes
Cantaloupes
Peaches
Pears
Green onions
Keep these foods away from ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries and peppers to avoid premature spoilage.

3. Learn to Preserve
While you might think fermenting and pickling are new fads, food preservation techniques like these have been used for thousands of years.

Pickling, a type of preservation method using brine or vinegar, may have been used as far back as 2400 BC (5).

Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer, thus reducing waste.

Not only will these methods shrink your carbon footprint, they will save you money as well. What’s more, most preservation techniques are simple and can be fun.

For example, canning an excess of ripe apples and turning them into applesauce, or pickling fresh carrots from the market will provide you with a delicious and long-lasting treat that even kids will enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *