Tag - food

Food Shelf Life and Storage Tips

 

 

Awareness of the shelf life of food is a twofold concern, balancing food safety and concerns of not being wasteful of money and resources. Americans throw away nearly 40% of the food grown in the country. This amounts to 1,400 calories per person per day, around $400 per person, per year. Shockingly, 31 million tons of food are added to landfills each year! To help balance good health, thriftiness and being a conscientious citizen of the planet, we’ve put together a list of the shelf life of many common foods and best ways to store them to preserve freshness!

Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables

Apples – Refrigerator: 3-5 months

Oranges – Room Temp: 3-4 days  Refrigerator: 5-6 weeks

Lemons & Limes – Room Temp: 1 week  Refrigerator: 2-5 weeks

Grapefruit – Room Temp: 1 weeks  Refrigerator: 2 weeks

Stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Avocados (ripe) – Room Temp: 2-3 days   Refrigerator: 5-10 days

Berries and Cherries – Refrigerator: 2-3 days

Grapes – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Commercially frozen fruits – 1 year

Canned Fruits – Refrigerator, unopened: 1-2 years.

                         Opened (stored in airtight container): 2-3 days

 

Asparagus – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Carrots – Refrigerator: 2-4 weeks

Green Beans – Refrigerator: 1 week

Bell Peppers – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Tomatoes – Room Temperature: 2-5 days depending on size and ripeness.

Mushrooms – Refrigerator: 1-2 days

Commercially frozen vegetables – 8-12 months

Canned vegetables – Room Temperature: 1 year  

          Refrigerator (opened, stored in airtight container): 3-5 days
Shelf Life of Meat, Poultry, Fish and Eggs

Bacon – Refrigerator: 7 days  Freezer: 1 month

Raw Sausage – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1-2 months

Hard Sausage – Refrigerator: 2-3 weeks  Freezer: 1-2 months

Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Pork – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 3-4 months

Steaks/Chops/Roasts (Beef, Pork, Lamb) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Freezer varies: Steaks – 6-12 months, Chops – 4-6 months, Roasts – 4-12 months

Fresh Poultry (whole) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1 year

Fresh Poultry (pieces) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 9 months

Fish – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: Lean fish (cod, haddock, flounder) – 6 months

   Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) – 2-3 months

Eggs – Refrigerator: Will maintain their best quality for around 3 weeks after the “sell by” or expiration date on the carton. To determine if an egg is still good, you can do a “float test” by putting it in a bowl of waters. If it sinks, it is safe to use. If it floats, it means that gases have built up in it’s shell and it’s not safe for consumption.

Pantry Staples ( kept in airtight storage)

Flour: 6-8 months

Milk (Evaporated, Powdered, Sweetened/Condensed): 1 year

Nuts: Shelled 4 months, Unshelled 6 months

Peanut Butter: 6-9 months unopened

Baking Soda: 2 years

Baking Powder: 18 months

Rice: White, Jasmine and Basmati – 2 years Brown and Wild – 6 months

Pasta: 2 years

Oil: Olive – 6 months, Canola – 1 year

 

Most vinegars are at their best within 2 years but is safe indefinitely. The following pantry staples will keep forever. . .

Salt

Sugar

Honey

Real Vanilla Extract

Eye Health and Nutrition

 

In regards to eye health, you have probably heard “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes!” from mom several times throughout childhood. There are several foods that contain vitamins and nutrients essential for eye health. Protect your peepers by consuming more of the following. . .

Brightly colored Fruits and Vegetables – Yes, carrots are on the list of top foods for eye health. So are bell peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and canteloupe and other yellow, orange and red fruit and veggies. Carotenoids are the compounds responsible for this bright coloring and help decrease the risk of many eye diseases. The Vitamin C found in many of these fruits and vegetables also lowers your risk of developing cataracts. Mom was right! Carrots and other foods which contain Vitamin A or retinol help your body to synthesize a pigment in your eyes that operates in low light conditions called rhodopsin. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness.

FishCold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which offer protection against dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts. Tuna, Salmon, anchovies and trout have high levels of a type of omega 3 called DHA, a fatty acid esential for the health of the retinas but one that our bodies don’t make efficiently. We need to replenish DHA with food rich in this nutrient.  Low levels of DHA are linked to dry eye syndrome.

Nuts – Pistachios, walnuts, almonds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also offer healthy doses of vitamin E for eye health. Vitamin E helps protect membranes of cells throughout the body against free radicals, including parts of the eye. Cataracts may be formed due to oxidation in the lens of the eye and Vitamin E offers preventative help.

Leafy Greens – Spinach, kale, collard greens and seaweed are rich in luteins, nicknamed the “eye vitamin” as it is incredibly important for eye health. When we consume foods rich in lutein it is deposited in high quantities in the retina. It helps to fight free radical damage caused by exposure to sunlight, reduces eye fatigue and light sensitivity, protects against the development of cataracts. and halts the growth of cancerous cells. Lutein can also be found in those brightly colored fruits and veggies mentioned above!

Eggs – Another great source of both lutein and Vitamin A to protect against night blindness, dry eyes and general eye health and function.

Legumes – Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of zinc which assists the body in absorption of Vitamin A and reduce one’s risk of macular degeneration.