Saturday, May 4, 2013

Food Storage Basics

Proper food storage is essential!  But what about those iffy items that may torment us with the question, does it go in, or stay out?  By no means is this a comprehensive list - but it's a start! 
And while we're at it, here's some helpful info on canned goods (they don't last forever like in sci-fi movies where survivors are eating them 10 years later!) 
Check out the a tip chart on general food storage at the bottom of this page. 

onions (Keep separate from potatoes!)
tomatoes (Ruins their flavour - really!)
peanut butter (Unless organic)
coffee (Easily absorbs odours of other foods)
basil, parsley 
(Store in a glass of water - treat like a flower.  Change water every day or so)
stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, mangoes)
apples (Depends if you like cold or room temperature fruit.  I vote cold.)
bread (Some say, in the summer, keep it in and in winter, out.  Refrigeration will slightly change the texture of your bread.)
butter (Just take what you need for a couple of days and keep in a covered butter dish.  Keep the rest in the fridge.)

anything that says, refrigerate after opening
whole wheat flour
nuts (their oils can make them go rancid)
nut oils (such as walnut, hazelnut, sesame)
lemons (If you put them in a plastic bag in  the fridge they will last up to 4 times longer!)

Here's some info from:
Do you want some of your fruits to ripen faster? Place the
fruit in a paper bag with an apple or banana and soon that
fruit will be ripe enough to eat.  Why?  these fruits give off a
gas called ethylene. Ethylene gas makes foods ripen faster. If
vegetables are stored with fruits that give off ethylene, they'll
begin to ripen and may spoil faster. This is why fruits and
vegetables should not be stored in the same part of the

The Goods on Canned Goods
Food manufacturers generally recommend that canned goods
be stored for no longer than one year for best quality. Tomato
products, canned fruits and other high acid foods should be
used within 18 months. Low-acid foods (such as canned
vegetables) have a shelf-life of 2-5 years. 
For the best quality canned food, store in a cool and dry place
– not near pipes, the stove or range, a furnace or in direct
sunlight. Keep cans dry to avoid the metal lids from rusting.
Rust can cause leaks and food spoilage.
Properly stored canned foods will almost always be safe to
eat. However, do not eat foods from cans that show these
warning signs:
  • Bulging
  • Leaking
  • Denting at the seam or rim (can allow air/harmful  bacteria to enter can)
Foods that don’t look spoiled can still have bacteria that can
make you sick. When in doubt, throw it out!

Check out this handy chart for storage!