Europe’s most efficient and environmentally sound e-grocer, Oda.com, shared a few key tips for common foods that often go bad quickly, and explained how to avoid this happening in the future.
It is key to store food correctly and while it may seem like a lot of the fruit and vegetables spoil quickly, there are easy ways people can keep them fresh for longer.
The experts at Oda revealed that potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables “last longest if they are kept in the dark” so they should be stored in a bowl or container and placed in a kitchen cupboard or drawer.
Mike from Kitchen Tips Online explained “potatoes are very susceptible to light, especially sunlight”.
“Sunlight causes the potato to turn green, or actually any kind of light causes the potato to eventually have a green coating on the outside of them. When I used to live in Ohio, I used to put my potatoes in a basement, in a bin, and they would last routinely for eight to 10 weeks,” he added.
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The experts also recommend using water to keep your perishables fresh. For example, “while items like limp carrots, leafy veg and even some herbs wilt before they’re truly expired, submerging them in ice cold water and patting them dry will help them perk up in no time,” they said.
Another way to use water is to store half-cut vegetables – such as carrots, celery and potatoes – in water in the fridge to help them last.
On TikTok, user @whatmami cooks shared: “If your carrots are getting floppy, they are dehydrated, leave them in water in the fridge and stop wasting.”
Users took to the comments section to say the results were “surprising” after leaving them in water for two days.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, like grapes, avocados or onions, “shouldn’t be kept with ethylene-producing products (including bananas, apples and kiwis) as they make other fresh produce ripen and rot more quickly”.
In terms of freezing food, the experts advised people to freeze fresh produce and not only “oven chips and potato waffles”.
They said: “Keep fruit in the freezer and use it in smoothies or on top of your breakfast, add frozen vegetables to stir-fries and curries.
“Sometimes, fruits which you buy frozen – such as berries – actually have a higher nutritional value than their ‘fresh’ alternatives because they are better preserved right after they are picked, when their concentration of nutrients is highest.
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“You can even freeze a loaf of bread and toast slices, as and when you need them. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t let your bread go moldy – particularly as baked goods make up a large proportion of food waste .”
The experts at Oda urged people to “plan their meals and shop their fridge” in order to save more money.
It’s easy to pick up more than what is needed when people don’t have a clear idea of what they want to eat, especially when items are on offer.
The experts explained: “Planning your meals for the week in advance can be a great way to avoid this issue altogether. Work out what you plan to eat and when, and how much of each item you’ll need per recipe.
“Planning and meal prep makes it easier to stick to a list at the supermarket, whether you’re shopping online or in-person, so that you can get only what you need – both saving your money and reducing the potential for food waste. “
They also recommended being creative with leftovers and suggested making arancini using leftover rice, as Italians do.
Alternatively, they suggested trying something more exotic and making egg-fried rice, which is actually intended to be made with day-old rice, using that same leftover rice.
They shared another clever hack: “When you make spaghetti bolognese, instead of forgetting about the leftover sauce, pop it in a jacket potato for an easy, low-effort dinner the next day. Think twice before you toss items like meat bones, which form the perfect basis for stock or a soup throughout the winter.”