Crammed under your egg carton, you reach for your lost (and forgotten) box of cherry tomatoes to devour them, but their due date was two days ago. You would better be safe than sorry and convince yourself you’ll eat them up quicker next time but your rumbling stomach sees delicious freshly-picked tomatoes and welcomes you to take a bite. What to do?
Depending on the product and the conditions in which it was stored, there is probably no reason to throw them away.
Emma Marsh, head of the British organization Love Food, Hate Waste, estimates more than half the food thrown out in the UK is in very good condition and safe for consumption. On her website, Emma Marsh gives us some helpful tips to avoid wasting fresh ingredients and save up on your weekly budget:
1. Make sure you check the date properly. It is important to know how to read the different labels on the packaging. « Best Before »: These dates indicate the food’s quality rather than its expiration date. The product’s brand indicates that if the product is consumed after that date, it will possibly be of poorer quality than before but still suitable for consumption. « Use By »: If the product passes these dates, it is not recommended to consume the product. Be careful to follow the storage instructions on the packaging. « Display Until / Sell By »: These dates are not aimed at you but the sellers.
FUN FACT ! You can freeze almost anything! A frozen product can be stored for months and consumed up to 24 hours after defrost without any risk.
2. Plan your meals while shopping. Check your fridge and cupboards, write a list and stick to it! Bearing in mind this method, you will not only avoid ending up with unused products like your tasty cherry tomatoes but also save up on your shopping.
3. Store your food properly to keep it fresh longer. Apples go in the fridge, potatoes stay cool and in the shade and bread goes in a bag in the cupboard or freezer.
4. Cook appropriate doses. If your eyes were bigger than your belly, store your leftovers in a Tupperware for your dinner the next day.
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