Every year, around 75 kilograms of food per capita end up in the garbage in Germany. A large part of this is fruit and vegetables. Much would still be edible, but may no longer look appetizing due to incorrect storage. With the right storage, food not only lasts longer but also saves a lot of money and protects the environment at the same time.
Store vegetables properly
Turn off the greens of carrots and radishes – they draw water out of the vegetables and make them wilt faster. Then wash the vegetables and, if possible, store them in a plastic box in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Radishes keep for at least a week, carrots longer.
Unpack the lettuce after shopping, wash well and spin dry. Afterward, it is best to store portions in sealable plastic bags or wrapped in damp kitchen towels. This keeps it fresh for at least two to three days. It is best to wash cucumbers after purchase, dry them and wrap them in a cloth. The delicate vegetables can be kept in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for about five days
Special fresh compartments, such as those offered by many modern refrigerators, are practical for storing fruit and vegetables. In them, fruit and vegetables are best stored without packaging at optimum humidity.
Tomatoes should not be kept in the fridge, they are best kept in a bowl. They continue to ripen and release the ripening gas ethylene in the process, so store them separately if possible. Peppers, aubergines, and courgettes are also better left outside. They do not tolerate the cold in the refrigerator and are well protected against germs thanks to their thick skin.
Potatoes and onions are best stored in the dark
Potatoes and onions like it cool and especially dark. When exposed to light, potatoes produce the poisonous bitter substance solanine. This can be recognized by the green spots and the beginnings of germination. To prevent this, potatoes – just like onions, which quickly go moldy in the refrigerator – are best stored in the cool, dark cellar.
It is best to store herbs in a plastic box in the refrigerator. So they last quite a long time. If they are placed in a jar like a bunch of flowers, they will wither. Always take packaged mushrooms out of the packaging, as water collects in them and they quickly got moldy. If possible, store mushrooms in the refrigerator for only one or two days and use them up quickly.
This is the best way to store fruit
Apples also give off the ripening gas ethylene. Therefore, always store them separately – either in the refrigerator or alternatively at room temperature in their own bowl. Use within a few days if stored out of the fridge. Fruits such as pineapple, mango, or grapes feel most comfortable at room temperature. If they are not yet ripe, they will continue to ripen in the basket. The sweeter the fruit tastes, the faster it rots. If fruit tastes particularly sweet, it will not keep for long.
Strawberries definitely need to be in the fridge. Bacteria and germs quickly settle on the large and very delicate surface of these fruits. Cut fruit offers a lot of contact points for germs, so it is better off in the fridge. The cold slows down the growth of germs.
Store eggs and cooking oil properly
Because of their special composition, olive oil and sunflower oil should be stored in a dark place in the cupboard – if the glass is dark, also on the shelf. It would get streaky in the fridge. Linseed oil, rapeseed oil, and pumpkin seed oil, on the other hand, are better kept in the refrigerator.
Fresh eggs don’t necessarily need to be in the fridge for the first ten days as they have a natural protective coating that protects them from germs. But once they’ve been in the fridge, they have to stay there because the protective layer is then destroyed. In the refrigerator, they should be in the door or high up in the compartment, as it is a little warmer there.