4 must-try hacks to keep your food fresh for longer

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.

ALSO SEE: 5 superfoods to boost your immune system during lockdown

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.

ALSO SEE: Top tips and tricks to buy and store dairy during lockdown

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.

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