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Reduce Food Waste & Make Your Food Last Longer Between Grocery Trips

Our “Un”Festival Theme for the month of July is WASTE.

Why is waste so important to sustainability? Because everything has to go somewhere. Our “waste” is quickly consuming the planet, when so many products could be reduced, repaired, reused or recycled. We used to think we could just throw things away. We now realize there is no “away!”

Here’s a great article from the new Seattle Public Utilities Curb Waste E-Newsletter:

COVID-19 has changed shopping and cooking habits for many of us this year. But fewer trips to the grocery store doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy fresh, healthy food.
Here are some simple tips to help food last longer:

Ways to Store Your Food to Make it Stay Fresh Longer –  Where and how you store food can make a big difference in how long it lasts.
> Did you know you should store fruits and vegetables away from each other since fruits make vegetables go bad faster?
> Try storing milk and eggs in the back of the fridge where it’s coldest, instead of in the door where it’s warmest.
> When you get home from the store, use SPU’s Food Storage Guide to decide where and how to store your fresh food.

Use Your Freezer – Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce. Stock up at the store or freeze your own fresh produce. The freezer can also help your bread, herbs, meat, fish, and cooked foods last longer. The sooner you get food in the freezer, the fresher and more nutritious it will be when you eat it later.

Download SPU’s Freezer Storage Guide for tips and step-by-step instructions.

Organize Your Fridge –  Stocking up on food means a very full fridge and freezer. This can lead to food going bad because you don’t see it.
> Organize your fridge so new groceries are behind the old and food that goes bad quickly is in clear view.
> Store cooked foods in clear containers so you can see what needs to be eaten and label your frozen foods with the date and contents.
> Create an “Eat First” area for food that needs to be eaten soon.

Understand Date Labels – Here’s something that might surprise you: with the exception of infant formula, the date labels on food products — ”sell-by,” “best-by,” “use-by” — don’t indicate the safety of food. In fact, they’re just suggestions by the manufacturer for when they believe the food is at its freshest and tastiest, not when it is unsafe to eat. Get to know your food date terms and you’ll avoid throwing away perfectly good, edible food.Learning how to make food last longer will reduce trips to the grocery store, and save you money!

Learn more tips at Love Food Stop Waste.