How To Organize Your Refrigerator To Prevent Food Waste
By, Megan Roosevelt, Registered Dietitian and founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com
Organizing your food within the refrigerator may seem tedious but it can help prevent food waste, which for most is worth the extra thought! When considering where to place each item, consider if the food needs to be cooked or not and how perishable it is. As the founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com and a Registered Dietitian I am an expert in healthy eating, groceries and how to store them! I am excited to share with you my tips for organizing your fridge and preventing food waste.
On The Top of Your Fridge
Place cookbooks or kitchen appliances here if you must, but never food or beverages. It is common to add items such as bread, wine, cereal boxes and produce on top of the fridge however this can cause items to spoil due to the heat the naturally rise up from the refrigerator.
Upper shelves are perfect for food and beverage items that do not require cooking. Keep leftovers, drinks and ready to eat foods here. Store fresh herbs on the top shelves as well, up right in glass jars with water to prevent wilting.
The lower shelves are the coldest space in your refrigerator and are perfect for foods that do require cooking such as proteins and any raw ingredients.
The door is the warmest section of the refrigerator and ideal for condiments or items that do not perish easily.
Keep fruits and vegetables separate. If you have two drawers, designate one crisper drawer for fruits and one for vegetables. As fruit ripens it produces ethylene, which can speed up the ripening produce of other produce, even causing some to rot or sprout. It’s true it only takes one rotten apple to ruin a whole bunch! To prevent this from happening separate your fruits and vegetables and do not overcrowd. If you notice any produce item starting to go bad, quickly remove it!
Optional Refrigerated Items:
Did you know that some items should not be placed within the refrigerator? Some foods will turn mealy or become flavorless when refrigerated.
Keep These Items At Room Temperature:
• Tomatoes • Potatoes • Garlic
• Olive Oil
General Healthy Fridge Tips:
• Don’t overcrowd your refrigerator
• Clean often! Wipe down shelves and the inside of crisper drawers with an all-natural cleaner. Using cleaners with harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients and fragrance can leave behind a nasty residue, which can then be absorbed into your food! Try a simple natural cleaning solution such as vinegar and water! Use 3 parts hot water and 1 part vinegar to make your cleaning solution.
• Keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower
For more tips, healthy recipes, cooking videos and plant-based nutrition plans visit Megan’s website at healthygrocerygirl.com