I can’t think of a more fitting time to talk about ways to keep produce fresh than while I’m here at Fresh Summit Produce Expo. If you are anything like me you have great intentions when you buy fresh produce but then something gets shifted to the back of the fridge or lost behind gallons of milk and other large items and you find it a week or 2 later – the worse for wear.
One of the hardest things about buying fresh produce is making sure you use it before it goes bad. There’s nothing like the crisp bite of romaine lettuce in your salad or a slice of tomato that is perfectly ripened, not too hard and not too soft. And don’t even get me started on fresh juicy berries and the versatility of summer squash. But those are also my PROBLEM VEGGIES and I know I’m not alone. Did you know approximately 40% of all food in America gets wasted every year? Search percentage of annual food waste in America. It’s staggering.
There are many reasons that contribute to those numbers and it isn’t simply because we don’t like food. Produce waste in our homes is part of the problem and our family is guilty of contributing to that waste. For our family, it seems like no matter what I do I always end up losing something in the back of the refrigerator. You know how that goes, right?
Next thing you know there’s a science experiment brewing in the back corner that has you searching for gloves and, perhaps, a hazmat suit if it’s been a while. The other reason is we have produce waste is when I buy without a plan. When we waste, my knee-jerk response is to cut back but I don’t believe the solution is to stop buying produce because our bodies need the nutrients of fresh produce. Instead, I set out to find better storing solutions.
Rubbermaid has a solution to help us extend the shelf life of our fresh produce.
Rubbermaid recently added new sizes of FreshWorks Produce Saver containers to their lineup and sent them to me so I could give them a try. Perfect timing since I just found the gem above in the back of my refrigerator.
I’ve put the containers to the test this week and am looking forward to seeing how they help me not only organize my produce better but, even more importantly, help it last longer. Make sure you stay tuned for my updates on social media over the next few weeks but we are on day 4 and holding well with the strawberries and zucchini.
I also put some baby carrots in a container to see if it helps keep them from drying out. However, Rubbermaid recommends storing unwashed uncut produce in them so that’s my own little experiment.
- Revolutionary built-in FreshVent™ lid – This lid naturally regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2 in and out of the container to create an optimal environment so produce stays nearly as fresh as the day it was picked. The filter in the lid never needs replaced.
- CrispTrayTM – This tray sits in the bottom of the container and elevates produce away from moisture to promote proper airflow to help reduce spoilage.
- Easy to use – Simply transfer your produce from grocery store packaging to the FreshWorks containers and refrigerate.
- Dishwasher safe – when you need to clean your Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers, simply pop the whole thing in the dishwasher.
- Made in the USA with global components
I have 6 easy tips for wasting less fresh produce.
- Don’t wash produce when you bring it home from the store. Wash it just before using.
- Don’t cut your fruits and veggies too far ahead of time. I do find it helpful to prep ahead but if you prep too far ahead you risk dinner plans changing and cut produce going bad.
- Transfer some of your more delicate (or easily forgotten) produce items to other packaging.
- Make a meal plan with each produce item designated to a meal then stick to it as much as possible.
- Buy 1 small amount of a “different” fruit or veggie to eat each week. This fills 2 purposes: adds variety so you don’t get tired of same old, same old, and you don’t waste a large quantity because you bought too many things “to try”.
- Get kids involved in the kitchen. Yes! Kids are more likely to eat something they’ve helped make. This has a trickle down (or up) effect because you are likely to fight less over them eating what’s on their plate.
Ready to give Rubbermaid FreshWorks and my handy produce saving tips a try? Enter for a chance to win your own!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer:*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.