Tips and tricks to avoid wasting food

The Valencian Association of Consumers and Users (AVACU), with the collaboration of Mercadona, has prepared the Guide 'Let's take advantage of the food', a decalogue of actions that seeks to provide information and tips to avoid food waste in homes. Here we leave you a series of tips and tricks taken from this Guide that can help us save at home.

1. Plan your menu

Plans the meals of the whole week taking into account, on the one hand, the number of family members and, on the other, the meals that are made at home. With all this, make a detailed list of the products you will need.

2. Check your pantry and plan the purchase

Before going to the supermarket and when we have our planned menu: it is important to check what do we already have in our pantry and in our refrigerator? to avoid buying what we already have. Make a list and try not to leave it: many times we buy more food than we really need and this causes many to end up in the trash.

3. Keep your budget in mind

Rate if it pays to buy products in bulk or if it can be more profitable to buy products already packaged, in greater quantity, that can be frozen and used later. It also values ​​purchasing branded products and their price / quality ratio. Remember that throwing away food is like throwing money away.

4. Check the labels of the products

Check the product labels, review the Expiry dates or of preferential consumption and the conditions of conservation. Keep in mind that products with a preferential use date, if we do it after the indicated date, does not pose a risk to our health, although it is true that they may have lost part of their aroma, texture or other characteristics of the same.

5. Store and store food properly

When it comes to storing the food we have bought, we must place them so that the newly bought more in the background and those who were already in front, to consume them in that order. When it is time to store them in the refrigerator, it is advisable to do so in closed or vacuum packed containers. You should not touch the back wall and you have to leave space between them so that the air circulates correctly. It is also important to know that each food has its place:

- At the door, we will place the Drinks, butter, jams and sauces and eggs.

- In the upper part, the foods that require less cold: the frozen foods that we want to thaw, those already cooked, sausages ... in hermetically sealed containers.

- In the central part, yoghurts, dairy products, etc.

- At the bottom, the foods that require more cold for its conservation, as are the meats and fish without cooking.

- In the drawers, fruits and vegetables.

6. Use the food in order of seniority

When you buy food, put the ones that were already in the fridge and / or pantry in front of you and place the ones you just bought behind. In this way, we will use the oldest ones beforehand, avoiding that they remain forgotten at the bottom of the pantry or refrigerator and that their date of consumption or expiration is passed.

7. Serve small amounts of food

Always keep in mind that what remains on the plate can not be recovered. Therefore, it is better to serve smaller portions and if someone has been left hungry, he can repeat.

8. Save the leftover food

It is very easy to keep the leftovers of food or dinner, but it is useless if we do not consume them afterwards. If it is a already prepared dish (pasta, rice ...) the best thing is to freeze it. If it is a lot, it is preferable to divide it into several portions. If we open a can of preserves we must pass the remaining product to a pot or glass jar with a good seal; it will be better preserved.

9. Freeze food

This is good for both freshly purchased food and leftovers. We must wait for the food to cool completely before putting it in the freezer, since a sudden change in its temperature can alter its properties.

If what we are going to freeze are raw products that we have bought, we will do it in containers or bags suitable for freezing and it is better to do it in packages of two or three pieces. It's advisable label products that we have frozen, indicating the product and the date. Also in this case, we will apply the rule of consume the oldest before.

By last, they should not be refrozen food that we have thawed.

Some tricks to preserve food

- We can freeze fresh vegetables that we have bought: we chop them, boil them for about five minutes, let them cool and store them, well drained, in a bag suitable for freezing.

- To conserve garlic, we can peel them and put them in a boat tightly and store them in the refrigerator or in a boat full of oil.

- The bread it is better preserved in the fridge.

- For protect the salt against moisture, Pour a few pieces of rice into the salt shaker.

- If you wrap the lettuce on newspaper before putting it in the fridge drawer, it will be kept longer. Remember to wash it well before consuming it.

- Did you have any left ketchup? Put it in the fridge in a glass jar Covering its surface with olive oil raw so that the tomato does not lose its properties.

- When the cheese is started, you will avoid the proliferation of fungi if wrap with clear plastic before storage in the refrigerator.

- When we have leftovers from a canned product, they can be stored in the refrigerator, but first you have to change them to another container of hermetic closing.

- To prevent the muffin dry out, insert them in a metal box along with an apple whole well washed and dry.

Do not wash the fruit before storing it; wash it at the moment you are going to consume it, since the humidity accelerates its deterioration.

- The onions spoil the potatoes when they come into contact, so it's better to keep them separate.

- If the breakfast cereals they have softened, put them in the oven one minute, at about 100ºC, covered with foil, and they will be crispy again.

Video: 10 Ways to Reduce Waste | Zero Waste for Beginners

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