7 tips to keep food fresh and reduce waste

According to Stopfoodwaste.ie, over one million tonnes of food waste is disposed of in Ireland each year. Around 1/3 of this comes from households and means that, at home, each person is throwing out about 80kg of food waste each year. Here’s a few handy tips that will help keep your food fresher for longer and help you reduce household waste. They’ll be good for your pocket and for the environment.

7 tips to keep food fresh longer and reduce waste

1. Keep bananas yellow

Bananas are notorious for over-ripening almost as soon as you bring them home. Maximise their life span by separating each fruit and wrapping their stems in cling film. This prevents most of the ethylene gas in bananas (which causes the fruit to ripen so quickly) from escaping.

2. Fresh eggs test

If you have a batch of eggs that have been around for a while, test them before eating by filling a bowl with cold water and placing the eggs in one by one. Eggs that sink are still good to eat; the floaters are not, so throw them away.

3. Stop mushrooms from browning

Stop your mushrooms going slimy by wrapping them in kitchen towels before putting them in the fridge.

4. How to store bread properly

Don’t put your bread in the fridge. Keeping bread tightly sealed in a cupboard or bread bin is your best bet. If you know you’ll take a while to eat it, freeze it.

5. Wash berries in a vinegar solution

It might sound strange, but you can increase the life of strawberries, raspberries and other berries by washing them in a mixture of vinegar and water on the day you get them. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and quickly gets rid of any emerging mould. Dry them off with kitchen paper and refrigerate in a clean container.

6. Revive wilted greens

A tub of ice water is all you need to restore the crispy texture of lettuce or spinach. Soak the leaves before eating them and the water will rehydrate them and restore some taste and freshness.

7. ‘Decrystallise’ honey

You shouldn’t throw your honey away just because it’s gone cloudy or crystallised. Simply microwave it in 30-second batches to watch it turn clear again. Be careful not to microwave non-microwaveable containers or packaging.

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