Tired of throwing food away? - Carolina Country

Tired of throwing food away?

Here’s how to keep it fresher longer

By FamilyFeatures.com

Tired of throwing food away?

Nearly everyone can relate to the guilt you experience when you throw away expensive but now-rotted food. But did you know that food waste is a major issue that affects the environment, economy and food safety?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy–roughly $1,500 wasted each year. As for the major causes of this waste, the NRDC points to improper or suboptimal storage, poor visibility in refrigerators, partially used ingredients and misjudged food needs.

There are ways for everyone to address these causes, and many people are already making efforts to do so. According to Glad Food Protection’s Fridge to Fork survey, 87 percent of Americans say they are taking steps to preserve their grocery store purchases or are finding ways to prepare them for later consumption.

And in August, with nutritious garden produce in ample supply, proper food protection is essential. Here are ways to keep food fresher longer and properly store it the day you buy it:


Whole watermelon should be left at room temperature until ripe, then stored whole and uncovered in the refrigerator. Once cut, store the cut watermelon halves or slices in a zippered plastic bag and refrigerate.

Don’t wash berries before storing. Place in a single layer in a shallow bowl or into the bottom of a large food protection container lined with paper towels. Cover with plastic wrap or seal the container tightly.


Store whole heads of lettuce loosely wrapped in a zipper bag. Once cut, lettuce should be kept in a zipper bag or container. Add a lightly dampened paper towel to keep lettuce crisp.

If still in the husk, refrigerate corn uncovered. Once the husk has been removed, wrap corn cobs tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating. Raw or cooked kernels can be stored in food protection containers.

Place fresh whole broccoli heads in a large zipper bag, and poke several holes in the bag to allow ventilation. For cut broccoli, remove woody stems and cut the rest into florets. Soak in lightly salted water to remove dirt, then dry thoroughly. Place into a storage container.


Keep ground beef in its original packaging until ready to use. If you open the package before using the meat, wrap meat or beef patties securely in plastic wrap.

Wrap individual pieces of poultry in plastic wrap and place into a container or zipper bag. To prevent juices from leaking on other food, store poultry on the lowest refrigerator shelf.

Use paper towels to thoroughly remove excess moisture from fish. Place fillets in a container lined with paper towels. If necessary, stack fillets between rows of paper towels. Cover with another paper towel and seal the container. If possible, place the storage container on a bed of crushed ice inside a larger container.

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