“Annam Bramha, Raso Vishnu, Pakto Devo Maheshvarha, Evam jnaktva tu yo bhunkte, anna dosho na lipyate.” The above quote in Sanskrit correlates food with the Hindu God trinity. It means that the creative energy in the food is Bramha. The nourishing energy is Vishnu. The transformation of food into consciousness is Shiva. If an individual understands this then any impurities in the food you eat will never become a part of you. However, correct food storage is imperative for the food to be in a consumable state. This is where sustainable fooding at home, especially within the kitchen, finds its relevance.
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Here are some time-tested tips and tricks for the same:
Buying Process: Plan the menu for an entire week and then accordingly do the grocery and vegetable shopping. This allows one to cook with fresh ingredients.
Cook as per the need. Do not irresponsibly cook a large amount of food and then waste or leave the scope of storing it in the refrigerator.
Post bringing to home: Sanitize any food item brought from outside before storing. Washing with hot water is helpful to decontaminate products that are in plastic bags or wraps. For paper bound food products, let them sit in sunlight for about a day and then store.
Refrigeration Best Practices:
- Ideally, the refrigerator should have a temperature maintained between 2- 4 degrees Celsius (35-39 °F). While for the deep freezer the temperature has to be set in between -18 to -15 degrees Celsius (-0.4 to 5 °F).
- Bimonthly, clean the refrigerator and the trays from inside with a soap solution.
- Perishable items like fruits, vegetables, dairy items, raw non-vegetarian items, eggs and of course the cooked food items can stay fresh from 3 to 7 days in refrigerated conditions.
- Designate racks in the refrigerator for arranging things. Define the product category like dairy, greens etc. and arrange the same together. inside the drawer and so on. This ensures the smells of varied food items do not mix.
- Store eggs in the same boxes as they come from the market after proper sanitization.
- Non-vegetarian food of all types should be stored in the freezer. Seafood preferably should be stored in a separate icebox and then kept inside the freezer.
- Always cover the containers of cooked food items when stored inside the refrigerator.
Dry Food Storage Sustainable Fooding at Home:
- Arrange non-perishable food items on the shelves in air-tight containers.
- Containers, where the dry food is stored, should be cleaned regularly to avoid germs, rodents and unwanted pests.
- For stacking dry ingredients the same principle as that of retailers should be used. This means that the products having earlier manufacturing & expiry dates should be stored in front to be used first.
- Dry foods should not be stored near microwave as exposure to heat might age them faster.
Read the basics of Ayurvedic Cooking for healthy eating – Click Here
Quick guide for storing some daily used staples, fruits & veggies:
- For storing any kind of flour, it highly advisable to store in small quantities and not more subject to consumption.
- Wrap banana’s stem with a cling film to make it last longer.
- Grow and store Coriander and other green vegetables in a deep dish filled with water inside the refrigerator.
- Cut the top part of root vegetables like carrot, beetroots etc. for making it last longer.
- Keep onions and potatoes separately. In an open, dry space. Same is with garlic.
- Keep dry fruits in airtight containers and then in the refrigerator.
- Fresh fruits like strawberries, apricot, grapes, and green onions that age faster have to be stored in the fridge as soon as possible to prevent spoilage.
- Do not refrigerate pomegranate, oranges ginger etc.
- While leave avocado, kiwi, peaches, pear guava in open space for ripening and then should be stored in the fridge.
- Store daily used oil in cool dark places. However, refrigerate oils extracted from nuts like Peanuts oil etc. as they tend to become rancid faster.
Hope these tips are a ready reckoner for your next food storage activity.
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