Food Waste Prevention Week is April 4th – April 8th, and we invite you to celebrate with us! Food waste is something many American households struggle with, but, fortunately, there are some easy ways to reduce it and make a BIG impact.
Food waste costs you! Every year, the average household spends $1,600 on food that ends up in the trash. Nobody wants to lose that money!
It also wastes the time and the effort of the countless people working hard fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and delivering that food to your door. And that’s not all; the wasted food does further damage to our beloved outdoor space.
Let’s get started!
Follow us on social media! We will be sharing tips and tricks and playing food waste prevention bingo all week. We will be giving away some sweet prizes to random winners who participate in the bingo!
After you have saved or printed your bingo card, try to complete as many of the bingo squares as you can throughout the week. Take a photo of yourself completing an activity on the bingo card and tag us @WeDontWaste on Instagram and @WeDontWasteDenver on Facebook. You can also send it through direct message, or email Caroline@WeDontWaste.org to share your entry! Random winners will be selected at the end of the week to receive We Don’t Waste merch!
You can also play Save The Food’s Bingo Card for another chance to win a prize!
Subscribe to our Newsletter! We will send more tips and tricks and keep you updated on We Don’t Waste’s impact on the community!
If you’d like to get the young ones at home involved (or just want to relax with a good coloring session, print out our Food Recovery coloring page!
Keep reading for more tips! We have compiled some tips from SaveTheFood.com on storing some of the most popular and common foods you’ll find in any home. Next time you find yourself looking for an easy trick to make a change, refer back to this guide!
These days avocados are everywhere. Here are some tips to keep them ripe and ready:
• Your avocados ripen best if you keep them on the counter.
• Avocados adore the dark, so keep them out of direct sunlight.
• Once they are ripe, you can keep them a few days longer if you store them in the fridge.
• Once you open an avocado, if you are not eating the full thing in one sitting, you can keep it fresh in the fridge by placing the side with the pit still in it face down in a little water in a container. Or dampen with water, oil, or lemon juice and store in a bag in the fridge.
Potatoes, Onions, Garlic
These common comfort food ingredients prefer to be alone in the dark:
• Keep them cool and dry —To keep your potatoes and onions fresh for longer, store them in a cool, dry place.
• Keep them separated — These vegetables don’t play nice together in the cupboard. Potatoes stored with onions will sprout and rot more quickly than if they are stored separately. So keep them away from each other.
To keep your oranges and grapefruit sweet and juicy, you want to keep them cold and dry:
• Citrus will last about a week on the counter but can keep fresh up to a month in the fridge.
• Make sure your oranges and grapefruits are dry before you store them in the fridge. This will reduce rot and prevent spoilage.
As for lemons, they retain their punch if stored in the fridge in a sealed bag or container.
Cold, fresh milk beats spoiled milk any day. Here’s how we can make the most of our milk, keeping it freshest longest:
• Milk stays best in the coldest part of the fridge — If you can, store it towards the back of the fridge, and on the lowest shelf (that’s normally the coolest part of your fridge). And check your fridge temperature if you can — the best temperature for milk to prevent it from going bad is just above freezing between 33 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Milk can be frozen to keep even longer — If you have more than you need, you can freeze milk to preserve it for up to six months. Pro tip: Milk expands when frozen so remove 1 cup of milk from the container before freezing. Once ready to drink, defrost in the refrigerator.
Asparagus is one of the first vegetables of spring. Farmers cut young stalks when they peak six to ten inches above the soil line and rush the tender green shoots to our tables. The season is short and plentiful, and we can buy in bulk when it’s cheapest and save for later. Asparagus will keep 10 days to 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen too. A few tips for keeping it crisp and happy in the fridge:
• It likes to be cold, but not too cold — Keep it in a crisper drawer or towards the front of the fridge.
• Asparagus is thirsty — If possible stand it up in a couple of inches of water to keep it from drying out. Trim the ends ¼ inch before putting it in a jar with water as you would fresh flowers. Change the water if you see it getting cloudy.
• If you don’t have room to stand it up, wrap it and let it lie down — Trim and wrap the bottom of the bunch in a damp paper towel and store in a crisper drawer or on a shelf toward the front of the fridge.
•To freeze, a little prep time will go a long way: Trim and Blanche – Cut or snap off woody bottom of the stems (bonus: store separately for asparagus soup). Drop-in boiling water for 2 minutes to blanche then drop in ice water to stop the cooking. Dry it well, if possible freeze it first on a cookie/sheet pan and then transfer to a storage container. It’ll last for up to one year.
•Cook it straight from the freezer — No need to defrost. When ready to use, cook straight out of the freeze
As the weather turns warmer, fresh crisp salads and lighter foods, in general, maybe on the menu more often at home. But what if we’re getting our greens only every week or so?. Here are a few tricks to keep our greens from turning limp and mushy:
• Keep them dry — Washed or unwashed, wrap them loosely in dry paper or cloth towel to absorb the moisture that rots them quickly.
• Keep them cold but not too cold — Keep them in the crisper drawer or on a shelf towards the front of the fridge.
• Give them air and space — Place wrapped greens directly in the fridge or place in a covered but unsealed container that lets airflow. Keep them away from other fruits that produce ethylene gas and will accelerate the rotting of your greens, such as apples, peaches and pears.
More than half of all kids say that strawberries are their favorite fruit, and it’s easy to understand why. This bright, sweet, colorful early summer treat can be eaten alone or as the star of a recipe. Some tips to keep them from going soft on us too quickly:
• Keep them cold and dry — Store them in the original container in the fridge and hold off on washing until you’re ready to eat them. This is a good tip for all berries!
• Don’t let a bad strawberry spoil the rest — Sort through your berries before you refrigerate and pick out any that are moldy or spoiled.
• Freeze for later — To enjoy the bright sweet taste of summer throughout the year, you can freeze fresh whole or sliced berries. To freeze, rinse, remove the green stems and caps, dry well, and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen solid, place in sealed containers and return to the freezer.
Cherries love the cold. Store them in the fridge and they will keep fresh longer. An hour of room temp storage is equal to a week in the fridge when it comes to preserving taste and texture.
•Don’t wash until you are ready to enjoy your cherries.
•Freeze cherries whole, first in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid and then transfer to a sealed storage container and return to the freezer.
Peaches should be stored at room temperature and eaten when you feel a ‘little give’ with a gentle squeeze.
•Once peaches are ripe, you can move them from the counter to the fridge to keep ripe for about a week.
•Peaches prefer to hang out alone – keeping them separated from other fruits will keep them fresh and tasty longer
•Freezing peaches when fresh and in season is a great idea — you can rinse and cut peaches into slices, soak in a water/ lemon juice bath (to prevent browning use about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to 4 cups of water) and freeze first on a cookie sheet for 4 to 24 hours. Next transfer to an airtight storage container and return to the freezer, where they will last up to1 year
Room temperature is best – Tomatoes retain their flavor and ripen best at room temperature rather than in the fridge. So best to store on the counter, out of direct sunlight in a single layer stem side down.
•Happiest alone – Tomatoes ripen best if kept apart from other summer fruits and vegetables.
•Extend their life in the fridge – Once ripe, if you’re not using them immediately you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will generally retain their form and flavor for up to a week.
•Freeze whole – If you have an excess of ripe tomatoes, you can freeze whole to use later for soups, stews or sauce. Just remove the stems and freeze (optional, remove core). If you have the space and time, flash freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid then move to sealed containers and return to freezer. Or simply place fresh tomatoes in storage containers and set in the freezer. Defrost, core and use as you would canned tomatoes.
Broccoli is delicious. Here are a couple of tips to keep this favorite fresh:
• Broccoli prefers to be cold and slightly damp and likes air circulation. The best two options for storing it in the fridge for up to a week:
• Wrap in a slightly damp towel before putting your broccoli in the fridge.
• Stand a full head of broccoli in the fridge in a glass so air can circulate around its head as if it were flowers in a vase.
• If you want to keep it fresh for longer, you can prep and freeze:
• Cut the florets (the bushy part) from the stem, drop in boiling water for just a minute or two to blanche, let it dry well, and then store in a sealed bag or container in the freezer. This will keep in the freshness –blanched, frozen broccoli can last up to 1 year in the freezer.
If you’re looking for more active ways to get involved throughout the year, check out our volunteer opportunities! You can also make a lasting impact by making a donation. However you choose to get involved, your support helps us recover more food and feed more Coloradans.