In recent years, there have been reports on food wastage in Singapore. The Singapore government has designated this year to be the year towards zero waste and is working up schemes to tackle this problem at a national level. In the midst of these problems, I believe that consumers like us also have a role to play in reducing food wastage in our home. I hope that our actions can help to curb the demand for more food than we actually need and reduce wastage in the process.
In this article, I would be discussing five reasons why you should organize your fridge and with one of the reasons that addresses the issue of food wastage.
1. Create More Space
This is perhaps one of the most obvious reasons why you should organize your fridge and that is to create more space. The fridge is one of those places where it is good to have an abundance of space rather than a lack of space.
Living in a food-obsessed country like Singapore, many of us do occasionally receive gifts from friends and family from their travels or when they happen to cook something nice for us. And we want to be prepared to receive while also ensuring that there is space to store these gifts of food.
Opening a fridge full of food can also rack up anxiety in a lot of people especially when faced with a situation when you need to store something ASAP. Attempt to keep at least one shelf free of items nearing the end of the week.
2. Ensure that Your Food is Being Stored Properly
Storing food to the brim in your fridge is not only anxiety inducing but it also prevents cold air from circulating properly. That could also mean that your food is not stored at the right temperature that slows bacteria growth. The ideal temperature to store refirdgerated food is at 4°C. You may often notice that food that you bought may tend spoil faster than it normally would.
3. Prevent Cross Contamination
Another important reason to store your food properly is to prevent cross contamination. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are storing raw meat above a packet of grapes right? Ensure that your fridge has ample space so that you wouldn’t need to make compromises in food safety in order to ensure that none of these items go to waste.
4. Reduce Food Waste
De-cluttering the main compartment of your fridge on a weekly basis also helps you to reduce food waste in the long run. In the past, I used to find vegetables that rotted with its juices spewed all over the vegetable bag meant to keep them fresh for longer. It was often a very disgusting sight that my mum was often unaware of. I challenge you to take stock of all the leftover fresh food that you have in the fridge and attempt to make a dish or two out of it. This can help to reduce food wastage in the long run as we make an effort to find out what we already have instead of going out to purchase ingredients for an entirely different meal. Not only is that a waste of food, it is also a waste of time!
5. Take Stock of What You Actually Need
I guess to me the whole point of organization is to induce mindfulness rather than simply sleepwalking through life. And that same life methodology can definitely be applied here. Even for those who love food, enjoy eating and love to cook, we know that we don’t every single spice or ingredient that a recipe calls for unless it is for a special occasion. Let our predecessors remind us that home cooking is about making do with what you have in your kitchen and not going out to purchase a 80ml bottle of cumin powder just to have a dash of spice in your stew. I call this the art of cooking which is cooking with leftovers and with whatever you have in your fridge.
And with so many food apps nowadays, many of us now aren’t even spending on fresh food or the time to cook a meal. So if you find that you are not cooking as often as you like then it is about time to acknowledge that and only purchase on the day when you feel an overwhelming desire to cook.
And here are three tips when it comes to organizing your fridge and reducing food waste:
3 Tips for Organizing Your Fridge
· Store frequently used jar condiments in pull out trays so easier to locate them amongst the other bottles in the fridge
· Store raw meat and seafood away in the lowest compartment (where it is the coldest) away from the other things in the main unit to prevent cross-contamination
· Store tall sauces and condiments at the door of the fridge where it is often the warmest
Apart from focusing on the issue of food wastage solely as a consumer, keeping up with organizing your fridge can also help to ensure that the food that you have is stored at a safe temperature.
Need help with organizing your fridge or other areas of your house? Drop me an email and we can discuss different ways and systems for organizing your fridge.