The average American household of four is throwing away $120 each month in the form of uneaten food. Fortunately, there is a fix to the problem—and can improve your experience with food in the process. Wasting less food is about keeping ingredients fresh, being creative with what you have, and getting to know your food, especially how it ages and how it is best stored.
Let’s take the refrigerator first off. Do you know the warmest part of your fridge? The coldest? What does that humidity setting on the drawer mean and which drawer should I use for what. Let’s break this down a bit. Even putting items in the right place in the refrigerator can add days to the life of some items.
Shut the door!
To keep this simple let’s look at what happens to the food in the box. The door is opened and in rushes warm air. The items in the door and at the top shelf of the fridge are subjected to this every time. So items in the door and top shelfs of the refrigerator should be less perishable. Put your mustard, jelly, and condiments in the door – Not the milk! Top shelf is for already cooked foods like left overs and longer shelf life items like cheese and pickles.
Middle shelf is home to your diary items like milk, sour cream and eggs. Make sure to always push your items to the back of the fridge as well. This can also add days to their lives.
Your bottom is cool-est!
The bottom shelf is for any item you do not want to drip or cross contamination of other food items. So this is where you put your meats, fish, and chicken, this is also the coldest shelf in the fridge so put your high risk, high perishable foods here.
What is a humidity drawer?
Let’s talk about those silly controls on the drawers as well. Humidity can be a friend or a foe to foods. High humidity will keep your leafy greens, spinach, carrots and broccoli very happy however putting food prone to rotting in here can mean disaster. Keep your fruits and veggies that break down and rot quickly in the low humidity drawer. And the low humidity drawer will stay just a bit cooler too!
Don’t be afraid of the freezer.
And don’t forget your freezer. It is meant to keep food longer and you can freeze just about anything. So despite its bad rap, frozen food—and freezing food—is one of the keys to turning around food-waste and help you save on your weekly groceries.
“We’ll dive deeper into perishable specifically in a different post as I am sure we have all figured out the crisper drawer does not keep things crispier”