Food waste is a huge issue here in the United States. Most people wonder how a country with so many privileges could be so wasteful. The average household in the U.S. last year wasted an average of almost a hundred dollars of edible food every month. Now, you can’t turn everything into compost, but learning how to properly store leftovers or proper freezing and defrosting methods can be invaluably helpful to your health AND your wallet. Here are a few hot tips to get you started on the road to enlightenment when it concerns the safety and storage of your food.
What foods are even acceptable to be stored in the freezer
The first thing you have to take into account when freezing your food is that is can change the flavor and texture a little bit, but freezing does not reduce the nutritional value of your food. Freezing will greatly extend the shelf life of your foods, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that your food will be safe indefinitely just because you froze it. Some foods just don’t freeze well. Here is a quick and simple list of some of the foods that are safe to freeze.
- Dairy products
- Fruits & Veggies
- Nuts, beans, and grains
- Meats & meat stock
- Cooked pasta & noodles
- Stews & soups
- Bread & tortillas
The rules of preparation, freezing, and storage
There are a few things you definitely want to avoid when packaging and freezing your food. You want to retain the food’s moisture, and prevent freezer burn. You want to thoroughly trap in all those different smells. If you’re packaging cooked foods, you will want to make sure to avoid food poisoning when you’re cooling the goods. Below is a list of rules that will help you to safely prepare and store your perishables.
- Remove as much air as possible when packaging your food. This will fight against freezer burn
- Wrap all your meats and baked goods in tin foil before you put them into their designated baggies. The packaging your meats come in aren’t sufficient for long term storage.
- You want to make sure your food gets to the freezer and frozen as quickly as you possibly can. This will keep bacteria at bay. You should store your food in small portions. It will make the process faster in the beginning and when you choose to thaw the food out.
Guidelines for food refrigeration
Keeping your food cool until you are ready to cook or eat it is vital to the quality and safety of that food. Refrigeration is absolutely necessary for safe storage and transport of perishable goods. Storage warehouses and home refrigerators keep our food safe for consumption. Bacteria can grow and multiply a lot quicker than you think when you leave foods out at room temperature. Be safe, and invest some time in researching the proper methods of food refrigeration.