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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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7 Life Hacks to Keep Food Fresh Longer

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If you’re like me, you do at least one of these two things: you buy in bulk, or you stock up on tons of fruits and veggies planning to eat them the upcoming week. It’s a hopeful and optimistic goal, but in reality, a lot of food goes to waste. I always feel disappointed, and even worse, I have to buy more of the same food I just threw out because I will eat it later. I just didn’t get to it in time.

Americans throw out more than 100 BILLION pounds of food every year.  So, I set out on a mission to find ways to keep food fresh longer. Helping my budget and the planet. Here’s what I learned.

Image by Gratisography / Pexels
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Stop Bananas from Over-Ripening

Tired of your bananas going brown by the end of the week? Bananas are nature's perfect snack, and I have to admit I eat one every day. To slow the browning process, separate your bananas when you buy them. The stems of bananas release ethylene gas as part of the natural ripening process. When you separate them, each banana absorbs less of the gas, making them last longer. For even more protection, wrap the individual stems in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.

Image by Couleur / Pixabay
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Stop Milk from Spoiling

Do you keep your milk in the refrigerator door? Stop right now. Chances are that you notice it spoils before you're able to finish it. When milk is exposed to warm temperatures, like the heat of the kitchen when you open the fridge, bacteria grows and it goes bad more quickly. The safest place to keep it? The very back of the bottom shelf. Warmth from the kitchen is less likely to make its way back there, and heat rises, so the bottom shelf is your safest bet.

Image by Skitterphoto / Pexels
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Keep Lettuce from Wilting

Those big bags of spinach and arugula are so tempting to buy- but I can never finish one by myself. The problem is that leafy greens tend to wilt pretty quickly due to their high moisture content. Condensation often collects in the bags, speeding up the process. To keep your greens from getting slimy, put them in an airtight bag with a paper towel to absorb the moisture. Make sure to change the paper towel every other day to keep your greens fresh.

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Keep the Berry-Mold at Bay

There's a reason that grocery stores tend to have amazing sales on berries. Their average shelf life is only about two days before they start to collect mold. To improve their lifespan, take them out of that store-bought plastic container right away and spread them out on a paper towel in a single layer. Then, give them a hot water bath. It seems counterintuitive, but gardening pros swear by the method. Place berries in water that's 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds before drying them and placing them in the fridge. 

Image by Kaboompics.com / Pexels
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Find the Perfect Balance for Bread

Bread that gets too moist collects mold, and bread that's kept too cold gets stale. One bread enthusiast put their grains to the test to find the best storage method and get the most of their load. If you're buying a baguette but don't plan on using it for a few days, try this. Keep your bread in a dark drawer at room temperature, with as few items as possible, in the bag you bought it in. The drawer should be away from heat and moisture. Hardcore bread lovers also swear that breadboxes are also a winning method.

Image by Dominika Roseclay / Pexels
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Treat Fresh Herbs Like Fresh Flowers

This trick shocked me. When you think about it, fresh herbs are a lot like flowers. They have a stem and a beautiful bundle at the top. But they tend to go bad quickly. Instead of throwing out the rest of that fresh rosemary after using a tablespoon in one dish, dry them off, snip the stems a little bit and place them in a jar of water like a bouquet. Store them in the fridge like this, and they'll last up to a few weeks.

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Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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