With the current lockdown laws and social distancing in place, many of us are trying to avoid going to the store unless it’s absolutely necessary. One way to ensure this is by keeping your groceries fresher for longer.
South Africa is facing a massive socio-economic challenge resulting from the ongoing lockdown and the fact that many people have lost their source of income and are now struggling to afford basic food necessities.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA), while many people don’t have enough to eat on a daily basis, South Africans waste a third of all its food – approximately 10 million tonnes of food a year. Vegetables and fruits comprise 44% of this food wastage. One of the main reasons for this is that we don’t store our food effectively.
It’s important that we increase our intake of fresh fruits and veggies during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we boost our immune systems as we head into winter.
However, with more of us social distancing and trying to avoid going to the shops as often, storing a good supply of fresh food can be challenging.
Here are 4 great ways to increase the shelf life of your fresh produce:
Store items in breathable bags
Using natural cotton bags (muslin) can extend the lifespan of your fruit and vegetables, as it allows them to absorb moisture and air. When kept in sealed bags, fresh produce breaks down and goes rotten quicker. Breathable bags keep fruit and vegetables crisp and fresh for longer.
Separate your bananas
Separating a bunch of bananas and wrapping each stem in cling wrap extends their lifespan. By wrapping the crown of a bunch, you slow down the ripening process. For optimum results, separate the bananas and wrap them individually. You can also slice them up and rest the cut sides in lemon juice to prevent browning.
Learn more about your fridge’s technology
LG’s InstaView fridge has nifty features that help store fresh produce for longer. Different produce requires different temperatures to prolong their lifespan. Fruit and vegetables vary in temperature sensitivity, which is why the FRESHBalancer™ feature on the LG InstaView fridge helps ensure your produce is stored at the correct temperature.
With a simple switch, FRESHBalancer™ keeps your vegetables and fruits in its optimal condition respectively by adjusting the right amount of humidity. You can find out more about setting the ideal temperature here.
For produce that requires specific moisture and airflow to prolong freshness, the Moist Balance Crisper™ is an innovative lattice-patterned box cover which maintains the moisture at the optimal level. This is especially useful for keeping your salad greens fresher for longer.
Leave tomatoes out of the fridge
People often make the common mistake of storing tomatoes in the fridge. Not only is this unnecessary, but it actually reduces the flavour of the tomatoes and makes their texture deteriorate more quickly. Instead, put them in a bowl that you have lined with a paper towel. If you have bought stemmed tomatoes, ensure the stems are at the top when you place them in the bowl.
You can also keep avocados, bananas, peaches, nectarines, pears and plums on the counter until they are ripe, then toss them into the fridge if you’re not yet ready to eat them.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.