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Food: Too Good To Waste

Smart Storage: Keep it Fresh

The food items we waste the most are fresh vegetables and fruit. This is typically because we have bought too much or didn’t use it in time. By storing fruits and vegetables for maximum freshness, they will taste better and last longer, helping you eat more of them before they spoil. Storage tips:

  • Learn (PDF, 180 K) which fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer inside or outside the fridge.
  • Online shelf-life guides provide storage information on all types of food (external).
  • Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen that make other produce spoil faster. Separate fruit that is very ripe from others that are not as ripe.
  • Store bananas, apples and tomatoes by themselves and store fruits and vegetables in different bins.
  • Choose fresh foods that freeze well if there’s a chance you won’t get around to eating them in time.
  • The length of time that food will last depends on how fresh it was when you bought it. Local, in-season produce (external) will last much longer than produce that has been shipped a long way.
  • Consider using storage bags or containers designed to help extend the life of your produce.
  • If you like your fruit at room temperature, take what you will eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning, rather than keeping a fruit bowl out.
  • Separate fruit that is very ripe from others as it will speed up the ripening of the other fruit.
  • To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating.
  • Have produce that’s past its prime? It may still be fine for cooking. Think soups, sauces, pies or smoothies.

Take the Food: Too Good To Waste Challenge to see how much food is going to waste in your home.

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plastic food storage containers

Think you don't waste much food at home? Take the Food: Too Good To Waste Challenge to find out how much food you’re tossing.

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Food wasted by the USA and Europe could feed the world three times over.

food storage guide (PDF)

Food storage guide

Download this handy food storage guide (PDF, 650 K).

Store it Right (YouTube)

Watch the Store it Right Video (YouTube).

Updated: Oct. 20, 2015

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