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10 Food Storage Tips To Save You Money

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10 Food Storage Tips To Save You Money

I admit it. I have had to resort to eating beans out of a can with a stick (Okay maybe it wasn’t a stick). No, this isn’t a weird new diet fad it’s just late in January. About that time you start to realize how much money you spent over the holidays. Things tend to get a bit tighter this time of year as far as the old pocket book is concerned and saving money becomes a big priority.

When it comes to your health and wellness you are probably aware that you need to eat real whole food as much as possible. The problem is, fresh foods can spoil pretty quick. This is a good thing because it means the food contains more biological value compared to a packaged and processed item which will basically never spoil.

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How then can you prevent food from spoiling so quick, so you’re not wasting money and having to constantly go to the grocery store? Let’s have a look at some food storage tips.

We Throw Away A Horrendous Amount Of Food

I’m sure you’ve been there, you open the vegetable crisper expecting to see bright sparkling vegetables and instead you see a lump of slimy browning garbage. Into the garbage it goes, and we repeat this process every month. The average North American household is throwing out around 20 pounds of food per month.

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This equals around $2000 a year. That’s the cost of a pretty amazing giant 4K t.v, or 3 organic apples from Whole Foods.

So how do you keep this food spoilage under control? Well, it has to do with how you are storing the food in the first place. Certain items do better in various forms of storage. Let me show you 10 quick tips to keep your food lasting longer.

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  •  I’m sure you usually store all your fruit together in one place but start keeping your bananas separately. Bananas give off a gas called ethylene which causes other fruit to ripen a lot quicker.
  • Store asparagus in a vase with water in the bottom like you would with flowers to keep them fresher for longer.
  • Instead of keeping tomatoes in a plastic bag, which makes them spoil quickly, keep them in a single layer on a cardboard tray. Small cardboard flower planters can be good for this. Basically, avoid piling tomatoes up on each other.
  • Back to bananas, you probably notice how they can go from green to overripe mush seemingly overnight. To keep them from overripening put plastic wrap or tin foil over the crown of the bunch and it keeps them for days longer.
  • Mushrooms also don’t do good in plastic or the containers you bought them in but last longer, and stay fresher, when stored in brown paper bags.
  • Celery, broccoli, and lettuce can be stored in tin foil to greatly extend their life
  • Ginger is incredibly healthy but also can dry out and spoil pretty quick. Try storing it in the freezer which actually extends its life indefinitely and is still able to be peeled and grated easily
  • Milk stored on the door of your fridge can spoil faster as the door opens into the room continuously exposing those items to the warm air. Store milk in the back of your fridge to keep it at its coldest and freshest.
  • Use some lemon juice on a half an avocado to keep it lasting longer
  • You know once one berry goes, the whole container goes. Mix one part vinegar to ten parts water and swirl berries around in it. This helps keep them from going moldy and soft. You won’t taste the vinegar but the berries will last longer.

Wrapping It Up

It’s hard to eat healthy on the best of days. When you have good intentions only to be met by spoiled food, it’s more likely that you’ll turn to something out of a box or package. Storing your food in the best way possible will make you more likely to keep on top of healthy eating. It will save you money and you won’t have to be making as many trips to the store.

Just don’t mind me, I’ll be in the back stocking up on beans.

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Featured photo credit: katja wagner via flickr.com

More by this author

Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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