Your bags are packed and you’re ready for a nice relaxing vacation, but then you open the fridge to realize it’s packed too. If you leave those veggies sitting around for a week, they’ll go bad, wasting money and perfectly good food.
We’ve all been there, but behold! There is an easy way to keep that food out of the trash bin.
Ashley Diedenhofen (@sciencebyashley) gives some tips on preventing food waste, and the great news is that anyone can pull them off — all you need is a refrigerator, freezer, and storage containers.
“Food waste is bad for your wallet and the planet,” she says in her caption. “Before heading out of town, take a few minutes to assess what can go bad and prevent that!”
First, she demonstrates freezing red peppers, explaining that peppers and onions are easy to preserve this way because they don’t require blanching beforehand. (Blanching is when you dump vegetables into boiling water for a few minutes to prevent flavor, texture, and color loss.) She just dices the peppers and puts them in a plastic storage container before placing them in her freezer.
Her bananas go into the freezer as well, but she makes sure to take the peels off first, as they can be difficult to peel after freezing. Then, she halves them and sticks them in — you guessed it — another storage container.
Ashley places her celery and carrots into plastic storage containers and baggies and then fills them up with water. The water keeps the veggies crispy.
She also shares one non-veggie trick using tortilla chip crumbs. She blends the chips and stores these in the freezer to use a salty breading on foods like fish, tofu, and zucchini.
How it’s helping
We love these tips because they prove that preventing food waste is pretty darn easy. While they’re great for pre-trip prepping, you can also use these tactics if you want to buy in bulk or just aren’t getting through foods before they start to go bad.
According to a 2020 study, the average American throws out $1,300 worth of food annually. Think of all the money you stand to save by preserving your foods instead of throwing them out.
The prevention of food waste also has global impacts. Americans throw out 30-40% of their food. This equates to 108 billion pounds of food waste per year. Land, water, labor, and energy all go into producing the food that makes it to our kitchens, so reducing the amount of food we toss also reduces the needless consumption of resources.
What everyone’s saying
Users were enthusiastic about Ashley’s tricks, with one saying, “My days of wasting food [are] over. Thank you!”
A few others sang their praises to freezers. “Freeze everything!” one person says, with another chiming in, “We came home from being gone for weeks and woke up with covid—my freezer stash saved us!!!”
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