The COVID-19 pandemic has got the country home sheltering while in lockdown.
While it was assured that the supply of essentials will continue as before, however, the apprehension resulted in panic buying, hoarding and stocking hoarding and stocking. Several stores ran out of a number of food items and the prices of vegetables and fruit became higher.
Now that you're overstocked, one should get smarter about what they have. We must learn the art of storing food with an extended shelf life and minimise food waste.
"Different food types come with different shelf lives. While some have the capacity to go for longer, others may not", states Luve Oberoi, Marketing Manager, Asahi Kasei Pvt Ltd, listing below a few ways which can help you keep your food fresh for an extended period of time:
Use of premium wraps
Premium (plastic) wraps are considered extremely helpful when it comes to preserving food. Plastic wraps are made of different materials and hence, can be found in the variety of PVDC Cling film, PVC or PE cling film. These were introduced in the mid-20th century and owing to capabilities to preserve food, it gained popularity.
However, if one has to choose the best amongst these, PVDC cling is considered to top the list of preference. These plastic wraps help in keeping the food fresh for a longer amount of time by avoiding moisture and smells from seeping through. It is considered ideal for storing raw vegetables, fruits, poultry, seafood, roti dough without any fear of discolouration or oxidization and thus eliminates any wastage of food.
Store your fruits and vegetables separately
Every food type has its own properties. It is advised that we must not store our fruit and vegetables together because a good number of fruit send forth a gas called ethylene glycol as they hit maturity. This gas speeds up the ripening of the fruit, often premature ripening of vegetables. Consequently, this can lead to the damage of fruit as well as vegetables that are kept with it.
Also, some fruit, on the absorption of odours from vegetables, become unpalatable. Hence, fruit and vegetables must not be put together.
Get creative and experiment with your food
What better time than this lockdown to nurture your cooking skills and bring out the inner chef! Most of us are taking cooking classes on YouTube and experimenting with new dishes which is causing some amount of food wastage too.
However, in times like this, what we really need is to get creative and experimentative with the leftover food. There are so many things which could be produced out of left-over food. For example, rice. Rice is an item which can be used in multiple ways. If you had cooked plain white rice in the afternoon for lunch and got some extra, you can re-cook them again in night by adding spices and onions to it, adding a different flavour to it.
Keep it up with expiry dates of pantry items
We often have food items at home but because we are unaware of its expiry date, it lead its way to dustbin. We must be aware what we have in our pantries and its shelf life. This will help in consciously using items and avoiding wastage of those food items.
Use fridge freezer shelves for different foods
Your fridge's freezer shelves are very helpful when it comes to storing food items like ready to eat products such as dairy, cooked meats, raw meat, poultry and fish, salad, fruit and vegetables. However, since they have different properties, they are stores in different shelves of the fridge.
Raw meat, fish and seafood should be kept on the bottom shelf or, if your fridge has one, a chill compartment that's specially designed for this purpose.
Butter and cheese are less perishable, so they're best kept near the top of your fridge where it's warmer.