According to WRAP, the Waste & Resource Action Programme, based near Oxford, as a nation we needlessly throw away almost 7.5 million tonnes of edible food every year. That is a staggering £12billion, or nearly £480 per household each year.
Whilst there will always be natural waste almost 70% of wasted food is completely avoidable; about 40% is wasted because we have prepared too much & 60% because we don’t use it in time.
This is where making sure you have the right fridge and “managing” your fridge in the most efficient way is more important than ever.
Your fridge should be set at 5 degrees but most fridges’ temperatures vary internally, the coldest areas being at the back and the bottom of the compartment and the warmer areas being in the door and at the top. This guides us as to where we place each food type.
In the door place pickles, preserves, ketchups and salad dressings because of their naturally occurring preservative properties. Don’t put leftovers at the top, place them mid way in sealed containers with other cooked meats and foodstuffs to prevent contamination with fresh items.
Similarly raw meats and fish should always be placed on the bottom shelf to avoid cross contamination from any leaks or drips. Vegetables and salads should be stored in the bottom drawers, making sure they have been washed and dried prior to storage to maximise their freshness.
Don’t overload your fridge either, good internal airflow avoids trapped air “warming up” in pockets. Caple offer fridges that are fan cooled or incorporate a forced air flow design to prevent this.
To avoid accidental warming consider a fridge with an open door and high temperature alarm. Perhaps one with a child lock on the control panel deactivating the controls, to stop those inquisitive little ones reaching for a sneaky snack.
At Caple, we offer an extensive range of freestanding and built-in fridge-freezers. So, follow our guide, which will help you select the right one for your needs and keep your food fresher for longer.
FROM MICHELIN STAR CHEF JOSH EGGLETON
1. Store washed lettuce in a salad spinner, this keeps moisture to a minimum and retains it’s crunch
2. Half an avocado keeps longer with the stone in
3. If there are soft fruits you can’t use in time, freeze them for smoothies and coulis
4. Don’t wash berries until you are ready to eat them, this will prevent them going mouldy too fast
5. Make soups from wilted vegetables
6. If there are two salad drawers in your fridge label them 1 and 2
so you know which vegetables need using first
7. Keep the stems of vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and celery in water to keep them fresher longer
8. Peel the stems of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
Parboil and then sear them in an oiled and salted pan – delicious
9. Hard cheeses freeze very well and can be used for toasties or sauces at a later date
10. Search out specialised fridge storage containers especially designed to extend the life of refrigerated food
So much of today’s food waste is completely avoidable but understanding some of the basics and with good fridge management we can all play our part in reducing waste.
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