Let's face it: fresh food makes for the best food. But eating fresh isn't just about shopping local -- it's also about taking care of the food you buy after you bring it home.
Most of us waste more food than we would like to admit. In fact a quick google search will reveal that the US wastes enough food daily to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium. So in the spirit of less waste and more taste, here are the most essential strategies for keeping your food fresh.
Not all fruit is keen on cold
Most of the time you're right to put fruits and vegetables in the fridge. However, tropical fruits like banana, kiwi and mangosteen simply can't withstand cold conditions and should be kept in cool or room temperature places.
Berries and vinegar
Rinse berries in water with just the tiniest hint of vinegar before popping them in the fridge. Don't add too much or you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise when it's time to eat.
Buy local when possible
Buy local. It's simply the case that local food is fresher, having not traveled the long distances supermarket fruits and veggies have.
Store meats and fish at the bottom of the fridge
Want your meats and veggies to maintain maximum freshness without freezing through? Store meats and fish at the bottom of the refrigerator -- where it's coldest -- to keep them fresh,
Don't suffocate your produce
Don't leave fruits and vegetables in closed spaces like containers or ziplock bags. Respiration is an important part of fruit and vegetable freshness, so make sure not to tie your bags closed or lock fruits and vegetables for too long in airtight spaces.
Know your cheese
Cheeses can be tricky, but there's a simple rule of thumb to keeping cheese fresh. The more moisture a cheese has, the more susceptible it is to mold. Dry cheeses like parmesan and romano keep for longer, whereas cottage cheese and mozzarella have shorter fridge life-spans.
It's the humidity , stupid
Maintain a healthy level of humidity for fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses -- but especially for salad greens. One tried and true technique is to rinse the greens and wrap them tightly in a paper towel, placing the wrapped greens in a plastic bag and then storing in the fridge.
Cast a regeneration spell on your veggies
Restoring veggies: When your veggies begin to lose their luster, try placing them in ice water for several minutes. The cool water permeates the skin and restores that characteristic crisp.
Don't fridge your taters
Just know this: potatos turn sweet in the fridge as their starches convert to sugar. Keep them in a dry, cool place.
Zip-freeze your herbs
You can keep those precious herbs fresh by storing them in the freezer. Just place in a ziplock bag and you can store fresh herbs for up to a month
Watch for weevils
Rice and pasta generally do not "go bad." But as you may have already discovered, certain types of very small bugs - like weevils - love to get in to your rice and pasta containers. Fight weevils and other "flour bugs" by placing bay leaves around your pantry. The scent will discourage these bugs from attacking these beloved starches.
Use lemon or lime on fruits
Avocado and apples have famously short shelf lives. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your fuit to keep them fresh and vibrant. To keep your guacamole fresh, wrap tightly with plastic to keep oxygen out.
Bathe your potatos
For freshly cut potatos, keeping them immersed in water will prevent oxidization and keep them looking and tasting fresh before cooking or preparing for salads.