Food for Thought: Are You Storing Your Food Safely?
If you live in an area where the seasons change, you’ll be making the wardrobe switch soon. You know, you’ll tuck away the tanks and flip flops and bins and take out the sweaters and boots. Whether that excites you or makes you feel like you need to go into mourning as you say goodbye to summer, the point I’m making is that we usually take good care of storing the fall and winter clothes, making sure they survive the summer season. It’s not like we want to buy a new wardrobe each year, right?
The good news is that taking precious care of our clothes is usually only a pain every few months.
Do you take loving care when you store your food? Think about it! It should be a DAILY thought process. Your health and the health of your wallet are at stake.
Primary goals of food storage
1. The main goal is to minimize food waste, avoid bacterial contamination and to prevent undesirable cross contamination from storage containers. Invest in glass or ceramic containers in a variety of sizes which are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Think Pyrex or other containers that can stand the test of time.
If glass containers do not make practical sense (for example, with children’s cold lunch for school) limit plastic to practical transport but avoid reheating food in plastic. There is a lot of controversy over that.
Use the container size that makes the most sense for the next use of the food. Perhaps, put leftovers directly into a single serving container that you can take with you to lunch the following day.
2. Do not reuse plastic water bottles.
3. Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees. The cooler side of life is less hospitable to undesirable things that grow.
4. Be realistic about how many times you will eat leftovers and freeze the rest.
5. Invest in containers and packaging that specialize in keeping frozen food airtight.
6. Explore current day food preservation resources that teach you how to can tomatoes for pleasure all year long.
Now, armed with food storage advice, your tomatoes and your wool pants will survive the off-season and be ready for you when you need them.
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Lori Reamer, RD is a nutritionist with more than 20 years of experience. Her most recent accomplishment is a book/website/blog entitled The Food That Fits: A Guide to Mastering Your Food Style. It is a concept that uses fashion theory to help you find your food practice. A lover of both fashion and food, she hopes to entertain and educate you about a topic that never goes out of style….food!