Whether you like to cook fancy dinners or prefer takeaway, you are going to have to store food at some point.
The general perception is that if you refrigerate food, it will last longer because the cold temperature slows bacterial growth. While keeping food cool is indeed better in most cases, it sometimes make it taste worse and decay faster due to moisture absorption.
You probably keep some foods refrigerated when they shouldn’t be and vice versa. As a result, much of your produce gets thrown out. In fact, Americans waste about 150,000 tons of food a day, with fruits and vegetables being the most frequently tossed items, followed by dairy and meat, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Uneaten food is by far the biggest single source of trash in municipal landfills. About 40% of the food produced in the country is wasted every year, consequently wasting all of the resources used to make the food, including fresh water and millions of acres of farmland.
The best way to prevent food waste and the related environmental costs is to stop throwing it out in the first place. But to do so, people need to know how to keep food safe and fresh for longer.
To create the list of foods that should and should not be kept refrigerated, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of reports and guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its affiliates on food safety and selected the products that are commonly found in people’s kitchens.