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Article: How to properly stow your groceries!

So verstaust du deine Lebensmittel richtig! | paigh | Fair & gemütlich

How to properly stow your groceries!

“What belongs in the fridge and what doesn’t? Keep in the original packaging or is it better to pack it yourself?” “What can be stored together?”
I stumbled across these questions regularly when I moved into my first apartment. And I'm still sometimes unsure about how to store certain foods correctly. Proper storage, especially of fruit and vegetables, is very important: Proper storage of food makes it last longer and keeps it fresh. If your food spoils, you are not only throwing money out the window, but you are also contributing to food waste.

You can now find out how to store food properly.

The purchase

If you shop carefully, you can save yourself a lot of rotten food. If you plan a little in advance about when, how much and what exactly you will buy, not only will the shopping itself be easier - the chances that the food will “survive” and stay fresh until you eat it are also much higher. If you are not sure when exactly you will be able to eat certain foods, it is a good idea to buy frozen and portionable products.

Especially for those of us who like to go shopping spontaneously and are inspired by the shelves in the supermarket, targeted shopping can be a real challenge. As with everything, the motto here is: practice makes perfect. If you write shopping lists or take half an hour on a Sunday evening to roughly plan the next week's meals, you don't have to run to the supermarket every (second) day, you spend less money and you're more careful with your diet . You'll see, it's worth it!

Store food properly

Most foods will last for at least a few days if stored properly. Homemade sauces, dips, jams or the like usually have to be consumed more quickly, within about two days (of course this only applies to non-preserved foods). The refrigerator is a great helper for us. Unfortunately, we usually only notice how much it really does for us when there is a power outage  . In any case, refrigerators have different cold zones - because some foods prefer warmer, while others prefer colder:

  • In the lowest part of the refrigerator There is usually a vegetable compartment. The temperature here is six to eight degrees, which is an ideal temperature for most fruits and vegetables. You can find out which varieties are an exception below.
  • The Storage above the vegetable compartment (often a glass plate) is suitable for storing perishable foods such as meat and fish. Here it is coldest at zero to five degrees. This tray can also be used for gentle defrosting.
  • The middle of the refrigerator At 4-5 degrees it is a little warmer than the compartment below. Dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt are particularly at home here.
  • In the upper part Open canned goods, preserves, already prepared foods or drinks can be stored at eight degrees.
  • In the refrigerator door It is warmest at ten to 15 degrees. Eggs, butter, dressings, sauces, but also milk, water and juices are in good hands here.
  • It is generally advisable to always cover open containers, prepared foods and cheese and sausage in an airtight manner or seal them in a container.
Best before date

The Best before date (MHD) is “only” a recommendation from the manufacturer. When the best before date has been reached, you don't have to throw the food away straight away. In most cases you can eat it without any problems if it smells good and there is no visible mold. The Use by date however, is something different. It is often stated on packaged meat, packaged salads or similar. You should always stick to this date, otherwise you could get sick.

Fruit bowl in sunlight with citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Store fruit properly

For all types of fruit and vegetables, it is best to wash them shortly before consumption. The water makes them more sensitive and causes them to rot more quickly. They are also more vulnerable to germs.

This applies to the storage of fruit Rule of thumb: native varieties prefer it cool and exotic varieties like it warm . Apples, pears or cherries So you can safely store it in the fridge. Bananas, mango and citrus fruits On the other hand, they like temperatures of over 16 degrees and find their place in the fruit bowl. Kiwis and figs are the exception with the exotic ones - they can be stored in the refrigerator.

If an apple is close to other types of fruit, they will rot more quickly. The ripening and putrefaction process regulates the hormone ethylene in plants. Apples release a particularly high amount of ethylene, as do plums and apricots, for example. It is best to store such fruits separately from each other to prevent the other fruits from spoiling prematurely. If a faster ripening process is desired (e.g. for bananas), it is even a good idea to place the fruit next to an apple.

Ripe bananas?

If the banana is browner than it is yellow at some point, it ends up in the bin in many households. That doesn't have to be the case. Ripe bananas are great for freezing and use for smoothies or nice cream! To do this, I cut the banana into several small pieces, put them in a reusable plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Frozen bananas are great in smoothie bowls: they cool you down and give the bowl a wonderfully creamy consistency. Definitely try it out!

Store vegetables properly

The vast majority of vegetables thrive in the refrigerator. The most popular exception is probably Tomatoes . But also the Potato, eggplant and pumpkin don't like the cold of the refrigerator. Potatoes in particular like it dark and well ventilated, so they can also be stored well in the cellar. By the way, the same applies to Onions and Garlic .

Regardless of whether it is fruit or vegetables: it is recommended Plastic packaging before storage remove . Condensation forms more quickly in plastic, which causes food to rot more quickly. Mushrooms in particular can be stored well in a paper bag or wrapped in a kitchen towel.

Store bread and baked goods properly

Sliced Bread molds faster than half or whole loaves of bread. The best way to store bread is to wrap it in a kitchen towel and place it in the bread bin. By the way, it's best to clean the bread bin regularly, as bread crumbs promote the formation of mold. If you don't have a bread bin, you can store the wrapped bread cut side down on a cutting board in the room. In general, wheat bread does not last as long as rye bread or generally bread made from darker flour.

If you would like to find out more about the topics of healthy eating, mindfulness or sustainability, take a look here over.

Do you have any other tips on how to store food properly? Then please share it with us! 

Proper food storage: Bread wrapped in a kitchen towel
Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash

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