Every year, over £2.1 billion of fresh fruit and vegetables are thrown away in UK homes because they have become mushy, mouldy, or are out of date.
Fresh produce’s fate is determined by how it is stored, and storing it in the fridge will afford you more time.
Apples, for example, may be stored in a fruit bowl for more than 100 days, far longer than in a refrigerator.
A special consultant for domestic food waste at the environmental organisation Wrap, Helen White, says, “The only fruit in my house is bananas.” But, before you start rearranging your fridge, make sure it’s still cool.
The typical UK fridge is set at 6.6 degrees Celsius when it should be set to less than 5 degrees Celsius.
If you’re not sure how to regulate the temperature, the Love Food Hate Waste website includes a step-by-step guide.
It also includes a helpful A-Z guide to food storage.
Using the freezer “hits the pause button” on food spoilage, according to White, ahead of Food Waste Action Week, which begins on Monday.
In a supermarket, a tray of apples is on display.
Apples can be stored in the refrigerator for a longer period of time.
Photographer: Alamy/Barrie Harwood
However, she emphasises the importance of properly defrosting meat and poultry before usage.
This involves taking it out of the freezer and placing it in the fridge the day before, or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
The freezer is a handy tool for single-person families, which squander more than larger ones, generally because it is more difficult to buy the proper quantities.
White recommends freezing food in portions that “make sense for your home.”