According to a new study, we waste about $2.5 billion dollars in produce each year. Save your money and help the environment by checking out these produce storage tips.
If your green bin is full of uneaten apples and whole heads of lettuce, you’re not alone. A new study has shown that Canadians are notorious for throwing out overripe, uneaten fruits and veggies, a practice that costs us about $2.5 billion each year.
Forty-five percent of us admitted to frequently green binning lettuce. Other common produce victims are bananas (41 percent), tomatoes (24 percent), grapes (23 percent), and celery (19 percent).
The study showed that about 90 percent of us feel bad about throwing out our uneaten produce, while more than two-thirds of us revealed that we would buy more produce if they didn’t go bad so quickly.
Luckily, there’s a way to make that happen.
Leafy greens. Leafy greens are notorious for their quick transition from “just right” to “too ripe.” Too help them keep longer, wash them before storage and remove any less-than-ideal looking leaves. These greens can be stored in a salad spinner, or wrapped in clean paper towel and stored in a sealed container.
Carrots, radishes, beets. To help them stay crunchy and crispy for longer, store them in your refrigerator and away from apples and pears. Cutting the tops off of these vegetables will help them retain moisture.
Root vegetables. Store root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, and onions in a cool, dry place with good ventilation.
Fresh fruit. Store ripe apples, oranges, pears, and the like at room temperature until they’re ripe, and then transfer them to the refrigerator. In this case, tomatoes count as a fruit, so store them the same way.
Bananas. They’re an exception to the refrigerator rule. Instead, place bananas in the freezer so that they can be used in recipes (or delicious summer smoothies) later.
If all else fails, whip up a big batch of some of your favourite stew or casserole. Not only do you have fewer veggies sitting around, but you’ll have a bunch of nice, pre-packaged lunches for work or school.
Not sure what to make? This Garden Vegetable Casserole with Rice and this Sheperd’s Pie Without the Sheep are both great for using up the celery and onions you may have laying around. Or, for a quick breakfast, Carrot Orange Smoothie is a tasty and healthy way to use up carrots, oranges … and bananas.