Have you ever had to throw out fruit and veg before you've even gotten to use it? Food waste is becoming a real problem. In this next blog I share how to minimise waste and help make your fresh produce last longer.
When you've got a family to look after, it's frustrating to spend a lot of money on fresh fruit and vegetables every week, only for them to go rotten and have to be thrown out! With a shocking amount of food being thrown out in every household each day, I think it's time we start making more of a conscious effort to minimise food waste to make our food habits more environmentally friendly and sustainable, as well as reduce the amount of money we spend on the weekly shop. This is where eco-friendly and sustainable food storage comes in, to help us keep our vegies fresh as well as cut down on excess packaging waste.
What's causing food waste?
A huge contributor to food going rotten is actually plastic, which many of us often store fruit and veggies in. Plastic bags and wrapping can suffocate fruit and veggies, potentially leach chemicals into our fresh produce, and they end up going in the bin as well when produce goes rotten or mouldy.1 Fresh fruit and veggies need to be able to breathe! According to the ABC's War on Waste, the average Australian family is throwing out around $3,500 worth of food every year! That's a lot of financial and food waste. We waste so much money on fresh fruit and veg that just goes off in the fridge, never gets used and gets thrown straight in the bin. When stored correctly, outside of plastic, produce can stay fresh and last longer in your fridge.
How can we reduce food waste?
The best way to minimise food waste is by reducing the amount of plastic you use to store your food. Reusable storage bags for fresh fruit and veg are by far the best option, and they have been known to actually preserve freshness for much longer! There's no plastic, no waste, and they can be reused over and over again - just pop them in the washing machine every couple of weeks. Reusable cotton storage bags are the ideal option to replace plastic grocery bags, keeping veggies crisp, fruit juicy and produce fresh.
How do reusable storage bags work?
When lightly dampened, cotton storage bags help to prevent produce from drying and wilting by creating a moist, breathable environment with the fresh air and moisture needed to retain freshness. This clever system also slows down the production of Ethylene, the natural gas hormone which ripens fruit and veggies. Some produce is particularly sensitive to Ethylene exposure, while others produce the gas rapidly - things like Avocados, Bananas and Nectarines, which seem to ripen before we can blink, are Ethylene producing and can speed up the ripening of other fruits and veggies nearby.
Which food storage bags do I recommend?
Rather than throwing out food when it prematurely wilts or goes mouldy, keep it fresh and crisp in The Swag Starter Kit. With each bag designed with three layers, this multi-size bag system keeps fresh produce hydrated and crisp while allowing it to breathe. To use, slightly dampen the bag with water and place unripe fruit and veg in it and place in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Your produce will ripen slowly and steadily, allowing you more time to use it before it goes off! With different shapes and sizes, each Swag is colour coded so you can remember which produce is where. Wash every two weeks to keep clean and hang to dry completely. The Swag Bags are also available in individual Large, Small and Long sizes so you can create your own system based on the sizes and types of produce you personally buy.
Source: 1Sydney Morning Herald, 2The Swag.