Storing your food correctly is a crucial part in a zero waste kitchen. It can make the difference between making the most out of your food and throwing it out. The first step in storing your food correctly is checking the labels and following the products storage instructions. Once opened, some food need to go in the fridge and used within a few days, so take note of when you open the package. We recommend having a sharpie on hand to take note. Any leafy greens and salad items have to go into the salad drawer of the fridge. If you’re ripening fruit, don’t chill them but rather leave them out in a fruit bowl until they’re ready. As for your kitchen pantry, this is a great place for shutting out light. Keep spices, oils, and some vegetables- such as onions and root vegetables- dry and dark in here.
Using the right containers can keep your food in the best condition for as long as possible. Transfer dried goods, such as spices, pasta, rice, to airtight glass or ceramic jars to keep them fresh for 6 months or more. Plastic is easy to carry around for food on the go, it should only be used for cold food. High temperatures can cause the plastic to break down. Quick tip: in the fridge, keep asparagus, cucumber, carrots, and celery fresh by putting them upright in a jar of water.
Something new we learned about is blanching vegetables. It is a cooking process in which food, usually fruit or vegetable, is scaled in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and is then plunged into iced water to halt the cooking process. You can also just place the food under cold running water. Blanching foods can help keep your food fresh for longer. It also brightens the color and slows nutrient loss. Blanching food is usually done before freezing. Transfer your food into an airtight container and freeze and they will keep for up 10 months.
NOTE TO SELF
When buying vegetables in large quantities such as from Costco, freeze anything extra to avoid waste.
DR. GRIMALDI’S TAKEAWAY
I am very pleased that my team is learning about sustainability and zero waste. In a mass consumerism world, saving the most essential item of food is greatly beneficial to health and wellbeing of oneself. Zero waste can help immensely in anyone’s life especially in saving money and budgeting. So much food goes to waste every single day, so being conscious of ones consumption and waste is crucial. Making the most of what you have is very important and can go the distance in saving money, food, and time. It teaches our team of all abilities about money management, something they need to know as they launch into the real world.
Learning about sustainability and zero waste is very important in this day and age. I am very proud of my team for taking the initiative of learning and writing about this.